2 The telephone conversation was “open and honest”, Herzog’s office said.
3 They discussed bilateral issues, including the problems of the Jewish diaspora.
4 Herzog spoke at length about the activities of the Jewish Agency, which deals with immigration to Israel.
5 The Russian Justice Ministry wants to dissolve it, despite protests from Israel.
6 Herzog was chairman of the Jewish agency before he took over as president.
7 “The two presidents emphasized the important areas of cooperation between Israel and Russia and agreed to stay in touch,” Herzog’s office announced.
8 Putin, he said had stressed his personal commitment to the remembrance of the Holocaust and the fight against anti-Semitism.
9 Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that the phone call also dealt with the Jewish agency.
10 Both sides had agreed that “contacts on this will continue along the responsible authorities of both countries,” he said.
11 The Russian Justice Ministry’s case against the non-governmental organisation is due to be heard on Aug. 19.
Russia accuses the organisation of violating the country’s laws.
12 According to media reports, it is accused of unlawfully collecting personal data from Russian citizens.
13 Peskov rejected reports that the dissolution of the organisation was intended to prevent the departure of bright minds from Russia.
15 Because many Russians have Jewish roots, they can take advantage of the offer to obtain an Israeli passport and leave.
16 So far this year, according to the Israeli Integration Ministry, almost 17,000 people have left Russia for Israel, or more than twice as many as last year.
17 In Israel, it is suspected that by banning the organisation, Russia wants to punish Israel for its stance in the Ukraine war.
18 The Israeli government has condemned Russia’s attack on the country and declared its solidarity with Ukraine.