Duma Deputy's Tweet Interpreted as Anti-Semitic

United Russia State Duma deputy Andrei Isayev caused controversy on Tuesday when he used a word to refer to the political opposition that some interpreted as being anti-Semitic.

He created a verb from the word zhid, a derogatory term for a Jewish person, to describe opposition activities.

This caused a chain of offended reactions by fellow bloggers, leading to another tweet from Isayev in which he explained that the slur was a linguistic error and accused those who had interpreted his statement as anti-Semetic of lying.

Isayev claimed he meant that the opposition was becoming "liquid," implying fewer in number. The Russian adjective for liquid shares the same root as a derogatory term for a Jew.

Borukh Gorin, spokesman for the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, criticized the original tweet but said there was no basis for accusing Isayev of anti-Semitism.

"In my opinion yesterday's statement was not ethical, but he himself says that he did not mean anything like 'that,' so I have no reason to accuse him of anything," he said, RIA-Novosti reported.

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