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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Libel Case Opens With Definitions

The first day of a libel trial Wednesday between the Russian nationalist newspaper, Pamyat, and the Jewish Gazette, adjourned with both sides arguing over the meaning of the word "anti-Semitic".


Pamyat Editor, Dmitri Vasilyev, who filed the suit after the Jewish Gazette described his newspaper as anti-Semitic in 1991, argued that the word "Semites" cannot be attributed to Jews alone. Therefore, he said, "anti-Semitism" denotes hatred of all the related nations, including the Arabs.


"I don't hate the Arabs and they comprise 86 percent of all the Semitic nations", Vasilyev said. He added that he also did not hate Jews.


For his part, Tankred Golenpolsky, the editor of the Jewish Gazette, produced 16 encyclopedias which gave the standard definition of anti-Semitism as hatred of Jews.


Vasilyev is the leader of one of several Pamyat groups, all of which are noted for their nationalist and anti-Semitic rhetoric.