An uprising in southern Russia, where rioters stormed an airport tarmac apparently searching for Jewish passengers on a flight from Israel, has shocked Jews in Russia and beyond, drawn condemnation from the Israeli government and prompted the Kremlin to call an unscheduled meeting to address the clashes.
Hundreds of young men stormed the main airport in the predominantly Muslim republic of Dagestan on Sunday night, searching for a commercial flight from Tel Aviv. Videos and some images on social media showed some of the rioters holding Palestinian flags and carrying signs opposing the war in Gaza, possibly spurred on by a Telegram messaging channel that urged them to “catch” the passengers of the incoming flight from Israel.
The Israeli government, in a statement, said Monday that it expected the Russian authorities to protect all Israeli citizens and Jews and to act firmly against the rioters, describing the episode as “wild incitement directed at Jews and Israelis.”
At least 20 people were injured in the riot, and dozens were arrested. The government in the predominantly Muslim republic said Monday that the outburst had been calmed and vowed to prevent further clashes. Russian aviation authorities said that the airport, in Makhachkala, the republic’s capital, would reopen on Tuesday.