The leader of the Bulgarian Jewish community has expressed deep concern at the statements from an MP from pro-Kremlin minority party Vuzrazhdane calling into question the loyalty of an MP of Jewish descent, Daniel Lorer of We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria coalition.
Tsoncho Ganev, a deputy speaker from the Vuzrazhdane quota and deputy leader of the Vuzrazhdane party – a minority party, with 37 MPs in Bulgaria’s 240-seat House, and which tends to slavishly follow the line of the Putin regime – speaking in debate in September 13, questioned Lorer’s allegiance to Bulgaria.
“I think that Mr. Lorer is interested in another people – his own people and not the Bulgarian people. And perhaps another parliament. Perhaps he is more interested in what is happening in the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) than what is happening in Bulgarian Parliament. In the end, everybody has priorities,” according to Ganev.
Responding in the House, Lorer said that Ganev’s statements fitted the definition of antisemitism, adopted by Bulgaria as a member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
Professor Alexander Oscar, president of the Organisation of the Jews in Bulgaria Shalom, citing the IHRA definition of antisemitism – adopted by Bulgaria’s government in October 2018 – said that this was a manifestation to antisemitism: “Accusing Jewish citizens of greater loyalty to Israel or the alleged Jewish priorities around the world than to the interests of their own nations. ”
“Antisemitic statements and hate speech from the speaker’s podium of the National Assembly are unacceptable. They represent a threat to the entire society, of which the Bulgarian Jewish community is an integral part,” Oscar said.
Vuzrazhdane, whose leader Kostadin Kostadinov is a formerly obscure politician from Bulgaria’s seaside town of Varna, has claimed its place as a voice in Bulgaria of Putin’s Kremlin regime, opposing aid for Ukraine in Russia’s war against that country, protesting for “peace” and objecting to every move by the pro-Western government elected by Parliament in June 2023 as “treason”. Kostadinov’s party, which has extremely close relations with the embassy of Russia, which represents war-crime accused Putin, has opposed conferring Bulgarian citizenship on anyone who does not have a “traditional” Bulgarian Slavonic surname.