The president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress has accused Ukrainian authorities of threatening him and using violence against him in an effort to take away his Jewish News One (JN1) TV channel.
JN1 is a 24-hour international and independent television network covering world news with a special emphasis on Jewish and Israeli current affairs. Rabinovich founded the channel in 2011 with Jewish-Ukrainian billionaire and president of the European Jewish Union Igor Kolomoisky. The channel is based primarily in Brussels but has offices in Kiev and Tel Aviv. Plans for offices in Washington, London, Paris, Berlin and Moscow are underway.
“A senior official in the government visited Rabinovich on January 17 and threatened to harass him and physically harm him, should he not transfer the JN1 television channel to them within a week,” a statement released by Rabinovich on the website of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The man who visited Rabinovich has not been officially identified, but the local TV channel News One identified him as Boris Podolsky Evseevich, a Ukrainian businessman well known for close relations with the Ukrainian power elite.
“I believe that what is happening is an individual racketeering attempt by a single representative of the government,” Rabinovich also said. Ukraine’s Jewish community, however, recently appealed publicly to the international community regarding the broader rise of anti-Semitic incidents in their country.