MOSCOW, November 8 (RIA Novosti) – Israeli President Shimon Peres officially opened a new Jewish Museum and Center of Tolerance in Moscow on Thursday.
“This museum is an eloquent declaration of the principles of tolerance toward people and their freedom,” he said. “Here we can see man part with the past and move into the future with hope.”
“The museum tells us about two ideologies – communism and Zionism,” he added.
Peres took the opportunity to reiterate Israel’s criticism of Iran, describing the Iranian authorities as “negators of the Holocaust who want to perpetrate a new Holocaust.”
The Iranian people are not an enemy, Peres said, adding the threat came from the “power-hungry” Iranian leadership.
“It asserts that religion prohibits the production of nuclear weapons and at the same time develops nuclear weapons,” he said, adding that Russia, too, was interested in ensuring that nuclear weapons do not fall into Iran’s hands.
“We are praying that Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama pool their efforts in putting an end to terror and threats to free mankind from bloodshed and despair,” Peres said.
The idea of establishing the museum came from the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, which was given the museum building in 2001.
The museum aims to demonstrate Jewish cultural traditions and customs and also show the history of Russia through the prism of one ethnic group, organizers say.
The Center of Tolerance will provide a platform for dialog on issues of tolerance, mutual understanding, respect and intercultural relations, and will feature both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
The museum will be opened to visitors for the first time on Sunday.