Rena Cohen
An Israel-born, US-raised, Israel returnee

Global Jihad: Dagestan’s Jews in Mortal Danger

The Republic of Dagestan in southern Russia, bordering Azerbaijan and Georgia, is in the process of becoming the next flash point where innocent Jews can be slaughtered.

On Saturday Oct. 28th, anti-Jewish demonstrations began in the two Muslim republics of the Russian Federation, Dagestan and Karachay-Cherkessia, amid calls to kick out “refugees from Israel”.  On Sunday, Oct. 29th, the Dagestani regional authorities suspending the ban on demonstrations. Previously, the ban had served their interests —  it stopped Dagestanis from demonstrating against the Russian authorities drafting their men to go fight in Ukraine.  However, now the situation has changed — the regional authorities want to see the mostly Muslim Dagestani population vent their frustration and anger on the Republic’s tiny Jewish minority.  This has already resulted in a mob carrying Palestinian flags and screaming Allahu Akbar searching the Dagestani airport for Jews.  There are also preliminary reports coming out on social media of Jews being beaten.  The (state controlled) Russian media is saying nothing about this. Neither is the Western media.

The only reason I know about this is because of my husband, Ariel Cohen, an internationally recognized authority on the Former Soviet Union and the Middle East, and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council.  Since the October 7th massacre of Israeli Jews, Arabs, dual nationals and visiting European and Americans in southern Israel, Ariel has thrown himself into media interview after media interview, explaining the complexities of the Middle East to the U.S., British and anti-Putin Russian media.  He found out about the developing scenario in Dagestan today and has been online and working the phones ever since trying to stop the impending slaughter.

One thing we do believe — if attention is focused on the situation, that may help to save lives.  The 400 Jewish families still in Dagestan may be gotten out of there safely. If Israeli travelers were taken off the plane from Tel Aviv to Moscow, which made a refueling stop in Makhachkala, Dagestan they need to be released immediately.

At this point, there should be little doubt in the minds of anyone but the most self-deluded that a global jihadi push in on.  Israel and the world’s Jews, and those sane and conscientious enough to stand with us, must not flinch.  We must not fail.  And we must not cower or refuse to confront evil and hatred.  As we saw in World War Two, they come for the Jews today, they come for the rest tomorrow.

About the Author
Born in Kibbutz Nachshon Israel, raised in the U.S. and lived there on both coasts with lots of visits (even a few residential stays) in Israel, and intending to return yet again. Entrepreneurial generalist -- worked for others, built my own medical reporting business (with NO seed money), and since have had an extended career in the U.S. biotech industry in early startups through late clinical stage firms, holding positions in everything from investor relations and corporate communications to business development to Director, Facilities (my current post). Longtime editor, particularly on foreign policy topics. Co-founder, with my sister, Jade Bar-Shalom, Z"L, of the Books for Israel Project during the Second Intifada, which connected synagogues, churches and community centers in the U.S. with low-income Israeli Jewish, Arab, and Druze schools to help them build much-needed English language libraries for the kids. Author of the book, LambBunny and His Friends (on Amazon). On and off painter. Writer of op-eds. Blogger for The Times of Israel.
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