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    RUSSIA'S RABBI CRITICIZES ESTONIAN DECISION

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    MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - The unveiling of a monument to SS Standartenfuehrer Alfons Wilhelm Robert Rebane in Estonia may serve to escalate neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism there, Russia's Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar said here today.

    According to Lazar, Estonia has already witnessed similar precedents, which can't but worry the international public at large. Not a single country of the world clears Nazi criminals; moreover, all people are voicing a unanimous opinion of their activities.

    It's an open secret that this monument was unveiled in line with a private initiative; nonetheless, the opening ceremony was attended by a member of the Estonian Parliament. At the same time, lack of any official reaction is quite dangerous.

    The younger Estonian generation will see that monuments to Nazis are being erected, and that the national leadership doesn't oppose this process; consequently, they might decide that the example of Nazi criminals is worth following, Lazar noted. Moreover, Estonian public moods might become more radical, he added. The national leadership would prove unable to control the situation, which, in turn, would threaten Estonia's neighbors, Lazar went on to say. Estonian authorities are remaining silent; the international community might therefore decide that Tallinn's official policy aims to justify Nazism, he stressed.

    We'll contact the European Union, unless Estonian authorities take action against those who had erected a monument to a Nazi criminal, Lazar noted.

    In his opinion, the unveiling of monuments to Nazis is, first of all, an EU problem because Estonia has now joined the EU. It is the EU, which must take action against Tallinn. Among other things, events in Tallinn should worry Germany, which knows from its own experience about extremely negative consequences of such actions.

    Moreover, Lazar believes that the unveiling of a monument to an SS officer is an Israeli problem because Israel fights any manifestations of Nazism and anti-Semitism in line with its state policy.

    Unfortunately, Estonian officials, who are voicing their readiness to fight anti-Semitism, still don't understand that the unveiling of a monument to Nazis can entail tragic consequences for the Estonian nation itself. That's why the authorities are keeping silent.

    However, Lazar voiced hope to the effect that official Tallinn will take effective action for the sake of preventing similar developments in the future. All Estonians and the entire international community will know about such measures.

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