President Moshe Katsav, on an official visit to the former Soviet republic of Moldova, said that anti-Semitism is still occurring in Europe.
"A hundred years after the Kishinev pogrom, and 60 years since the Holocaust... the Jewish people suffer from anti-Semitism in Europe," Katsav said. "Over time, anti-Semitism changes its face. It is not destroyed. Sometimes it smolders, sometimes it turns into fire," he told Moldovan lawmakers.
A century ago, 49 Jews were killed and hundreds were injured in Moldova's capital when angry mobs attacked Jewish inhabitants of Kishinev - which was under Russian control at the time - and torched about 1,500 Jewish homes and businesses. Thousands of Jewish families were left homeless.
Katsav met with Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin and was also expected to meet some of the 17,000 local Jews during his visit.
Katsav is on a week-long tour of four countries. He began with the Turkish capital Ankara, and after his Moldova visit, he will proceed to Slovakia and Croatia.
His scheduled visit to Slovakia has already stirred up controversy, because there is no plan for a visit to the site in Kremnicke where 542 Jews were buried in a mass grave in 1944. The site is regarded by the Slovak Jewish community as their local Holocaust memorial, and they have demanded Katsav visit the memorial.
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