Be­larus pres­i­dent to send en­voy here to calm feel­ings over of­fen­sive re­marks

The Jerusalem Post - - Front Page - • By HERB KEINON

Be­larus Pres­i­dent Alexan­der Lukashenko will send a rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Is­rael next week to clear the air fol­low­ing an­gry re­ac­tions to what was per­ceived as an anti-Semitic tirade he made last week, Be­larus Am­bas­sador to Is­rael Igor Leshchenya told The Jerusalem Post Wed­nes­day.

Ac­cord­ing to Leshchenya, Pavel Yak­oubovitch, the ed­i­tor of the Be­larus To­day news­pa­per, will hold meet­ings with For­eign Min­istry of­fi­cials and the press. Yak­oubovitch, who is Jewish, is con­sid­ered close to the pres­i­dent.

Lukashenko sparked a diplo­matic row with Is­rael two weeks ago when he ad­dressed the shoddy con­di­tions of the town of Bo­bruisk dur­ing a live press con­fer­ence and said: “Well, ob­vi­ously, it is a Jewish town. The Jews do not care for the place they live in, look at Is­rael, I have been there.” The town was re­or­ga­nized af­ter the Jews left, he added, and called for Jews “with money” to re­turn there.

For­eign Min­is­ter Tzipi Livni blasted the com­ments, say­ing, “The role of lead­er­ship is to fight anti-Semitism, wher­ever it raises its ugly head all over the world, not to en­cour­age it. Anti-Semitism is pri­mar­ily an in­di­ca­tor of the so­ci­ety in which it

See BE­LARUS, Page 21

BE­LARUS AM­BAS­SADOR IGOR LESHCHENYA (Sy­bil Ehrlich)

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