A Russian translation has been blocked in Israel, the country’s justice minister said Friday.
“The ministry of justice has instructed the Russian government to stop providing translation services for Holocaust denial material and to take measures to prevent the dissemination of Holocaust propaganda,” Yaakov Peri, the justice minister, told Israel Radio.
“This is a matter of principle.”
In a statement, the ministry said that the ministry had taken measures to ensure that Russian translations of Holocaust books are not provided to the public.
“In order to ensure the safety of our citizens and the Israeli public, we have ordered the suspension of Russian translation services, which have been provided by the Russian Embassy in Israel,” Peri said.
The ministry said in a statement that “such materials” have been identified by Israel as such materials “in fact do not belong to Israel.”
“It is obvious that these materials do not represent the position of the Russian authorities, nor do they belong to any other country,” Peril said.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Friday that it has “directly requested” Russia’s ambassador to Israel to stop the “illegal distribution of Holocaust-related materials.”
“It is necessary to make it clear that the Russian side has taken immediate and firm measures to stop such illegal distribution,” the ministry statement said.
“The ministry will use all available means, including the appropriate legal action, to prevent such illegal activities.”
Earlier this week, Israel blocked a Russian translation service for Holocaust books that had been set up by a Russian-American businessman who says he is Jewish.
The book, titled “The Final Solution: How We Can End the Holocaust,” had previously been distributed in the United States by a Moscow-based group that claimed to be run by Russian-Americans.
Israel and the United Nations’ International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance condemned the book and its distribution in the U.S. as an act of “Nazi hatred” and “anti-Semitism.”
On Friday, the head of the Israeli group that distributed the book called it a “propaganda” that “is aimed at creating a climate of fear and discrimination against Jews and the Holocaust.”
“There is no other way of putting it.
It is not just an attack on Jews,” said the group’s chief, Natan Sharansky.
“It’s a blatant anti-Semitic propaganda against the Jewish people.”
A Russian translation company has said it had received a request from Israel for the material to be removed from the Internet.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
The Russian Embassy has not yet responded to AP requests for comment.