Israeli President eager to fight against anti-Semitism in Europe

Israeli President Moshe Katsav said Monday he was concerned about a rise in anti-Semitism in Europe, including Russia, and urged authorities to do more to fight it.

Katsav, on an official visit to Estonia, singled out right-wing and left-wing extremist organizations, the anti-globalization movement and "the extremists within the Muslim community" as sources of anti-Semitism.

"I am really concerned about this rise in anti-Semitism in Europe, including Russia," Katsav said when asked by a local reporter about reports of anti-Semitism in Estonia's giant neighbor.

Rights groups have warned that racism and xenophobia are growing at an alarming rate in Russia, the AP reports.

Katsav said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was determined to combat anti-Semitism and urged Russian authorities to keep up the fight through legislation, law enforcement and education.

Katsav was speaking at a joint news conference with Estonian President Arnold Ruutel during his first official visit to the Baltic countries.

Later Monday, he was scheduled to meet Estonian Defense Minister Jaak Joeruut as well as representatives of the 3,000-strong Jewish community in Estonia, visit the Jewish school and the site where Tallinn's new synagogue is being built.

Katsav was also to take part in a ceremony honoring Holocaust victims at the site of the Klooga concentration camp just outside Tallinn.

He is scheduled to travel to Riga, Latvia on Tuesday morning.