Moscow – On the second
night of Rosh Hashanah, a group of five or six men disrupted a Jewish concert
in the Great Hall of Moscow’s International Music House with a tear gas attack.
A half-hour into the program, the men, who were seated in the first row, began
shouting menacing insults at rock star Andrey Makarevich, the featured
performer of the evening, and hurled canisters of pepper gas into the hall,
forcing the audience of 400 to evacuate the building teary-eyed and coughing.
To the Russian Jewish Congress, a major national Jewish organization,
this was a clear anti-Semitic attack. In a statement after the onslaught, the
group condemned the incident as a desecration of the Jewish holiday, which many
members of Russia’s largely nonreligious Jewish population celebrate through
cultural rather than religious observance. The use of gas against Jews was
especially hurtful, the RJC said, conjuring up painful memories of the