Svoboda Fuels Ukraine’s Growing Anti-Semitism

May 24, 2013 9:24 am 30 comments

The Svoboda logo. Photo: Wikimedia commons.

The rise of anti-Semitism in Ukraine is barely noticed in the State Department’s recent International Religious Freedom Report for 2012. This is especially alarming, because even in the best of times, anti-Semitism is as prevalent in Ukraine as coal in Newcastle.

The collapse of the Soviet Union gave rise to nationalist far-right organizations as well radical Muslim groups with anti-Semitism as their common denominator. Europe’s current financial woes have also led to the rise of new neo-fascist groups such as Hungary’s Jobbik party, known for its vile anti-Semitic propaganda, and the far right extremist Greece’s Golden Dawn, with its swastika-like flag and symbols, and aspiration ”to become…like Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

In Ukraine, the noisiest anti-Semitic group is the Svoboda (“Freedom”) party. Established in 1991 as the “Social-National Party of Ukraine” under the SS-era symbol of the Wolfsangel. In 2004, with new leader Oleh Tyahnybok, the party renamed itself and adopted innocuous symbols.

That, however, didn’t change the Nazi characteristic of the party. Tyahnybok himself has stated on several occasions that the “Moscow-Jewish mafia” is running Ukraine.  Other prominent party members have often used the derogatory, anti Jewish slur ”zhid”, including against Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis, suggesting she was not a “real” Ukrainian because of her Jewish heritage.

Svoboda supporters include among their heroes leaders of pro-Nazi World War II organizations known for their atrocities against Jews and Poles, such as the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and the 14th Waffen-SS Galicia Division. (To Svoboda’s vocal displeasure, Poland’s parliament recently introduced a resolution condemning the OUN and the UPA for wartime massacres of Polish civilians.)

Concerns about Svoboda aren’t confined to words and historical associations, however.  As reported by the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) in April, Svoboda thugs took part in an opposition demonstration against the government of President Viktor Yanukovych, and provoked a small riot in Cherkassy, a city some 125 miles southeast of Kyiv. Outfitted with T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Beat the zhids!,” the Svoboda goons’ provocation has, according to JTA, “raised anxieties among Ukrainian Jews fearful of rising xenophobia and racially motivated violence.”  Joel Rubinfeld, co-chair of the European Jewish Parliament, is quoted saying: “Svoboda lifted the lid from the sewer of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and it’s spilling out.”

All of this would be enough cause for concern. But Svoboda is not alone. Ukraine’s “respectable” opposition parties, Batkivshchina (“Fatherland”) and UDAR are not less anti-Semitic.  Batkivshchina is nominally headed by former prime-minister Yulia Tymoshenko, currently imprisoned on corruption charges, and effectively run by former parliamentary chairman Arseniy Yatsenyuk. UDAR is headed by celebrated boxer Vitaly Klitschko.   Far from shunning Svoboda–as Europe’s mainstream Hungarian and Greek parties respectively have ostracized Jobbik and Golden Dawn–Batkivshchina  and UDAR have embraced it and its anti-Semitism in a united opposition to the government of President Viktor Yanukovych, who isn’t Jewish.

Tyahnybok and his party have already benefited from cooperation with the “mainstream” Batkivshchina and UDAR forces, which claim a “pro-western orientation” and accuse Yanukovych and his ruling Party of Regions (PoR) of being pro-Russian.  With a strong regional base in the western part of Ukraine, Svoboda emerged as a major element in the parliament following the October 2012 election, pulling in over 10 percent of the vote nationwide. Svoboda also controls local governments in parts of its home region and boosted–with the support of other opposition parties–pension payments for local veterans of the SS Galicia Division.  Hoping to enhance their future prospects, recently Yatsenyuk and Klitschko appeared together with Tyahnybok to cement a joint opposition electoral program against the current government.

Yanukovych’s and the PoR have responded to Svoboda’s rise, recently rallying its supporters under the theme “Into Europe without fascism!” and against “political extremists to revive an ideology of national enmity, and racial and religious intolerance.”

PoR draws its support primarily from the east and south of the country, which includes Odessa, the historic center of Jewish cultural life in Ukraine. “We are against fascism,” a PoR supporter told the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Ukrainian language service: “What is being done in western Ukraine is wrong. I have never seen a demonstration in favor of Stalin, but the fact that fascism is trying to rise in Ukraine is very wrong.  The deputies from western Ukraine in the parliament are trying to instigate a nationalist mood.”

Critics of the government have dismissed PoR’s anti-fascist initiative as a political stunt to distract from the opposition’s rallies demanding Tymoshenko’s release and accusing Yanukovych of sabotaging Ukraine’s pro-European Union orientation.  Yet, Yanukovych has resisted pressure from Moscow to join a Russian-led Customs Union in favor of economic ties with the EU.  Moreover, his government is pressing ahead with shale gas fracking to reduce Ukraine’s dependence on Russian energy, while the “pro-western” opposition is against fracking on environmental grounds–a stance that mostly benefits Gazprom, the gigantic Russian gas supplier that holds a stranglehold on Ukraine and much of Europe.

It is troubling that Ukraine’s respectable opposition parties are playing into Russia’s hand while adopting the Nazi-like Svoboda as a legitimate political force. Advancing the credibility of an extremist group that dredges up the worst associations with Europe’s past does not bode well for Ukraine’s future. This should have been highlighted in the State Deportment’s report.


Rachel Ehrenfeld is the director of the New York-based American Center for Democracy.

30 Comments

  • Hello ms Rachel !

    Your statement about ukrainian anti- semism in VO Svododa – completely wrong!!! I listen their debaits – never anything like anti-semism, seems you have been reading Putin’s KGB propaganda sites.

    Good luck

  • Roman Melnychuk

    I know I am late in responding to this commentary, but for those who think VO Svoboda represent being as Nazis, this just shows your ignorance for the truth. Ukraine even today is still being controlled by Moscow and the Yanukovych team. Ukrainians do want peace and freedom in our own country, but how can this happen if Russia still has control over part of the country via their spokesperson Viktor Yanukovych. I am outraged that you all think Oleh Tyahnybok and his party hold anti-semitic sentiment.

    Its the old argument over again… Ukrainians are anti-semitic people who just want to see the end of Jewry in the country. If more Ukrainian Jews and Diaspora Jews would wake up and realize that Ukrainians were never truly masters of their own land, and that Moscow hosted this, maybe there would be less hostility. As an extreme Nationalist of Ukraine through living in the USA from parents who came from there, I am completely besides myself that you would all think this. VO Svoboda represents freedom for all Ukrainians without Russian-Moscow influence in the land. We are a party of Ukrainians for a free Ukraine where we control the country and not Russian oligarchs.

    Roman

    • Let the people of Ukraine show the world that they can disenfranchise the bigoted element in their midst in a manner befitting a developed nation of the 21st century, and the world will rally enthusiastically to the cause of a free, independent Ukraine.

      But we need to put Svoboda and similar parties in other nations on notice: the free world will not abide a resurgence of fascism with the attendant antisemitism and other forms of minority persecution and oppression across Europe. We’ve gone that route once before, we’ve seen where it leads, and traveling it once was far more than enough for the rest of time.

      While we see a threat of renascent fascism in Ukraine, in Hungary, in Greece, and elsewhere as a political force which is once again “respectable,” the position we’ll take will be one of bristling vigilance.

    • Hi,

      yes, never heared untisemism from VO Svoboda, more than that recently was forum of World Jewish Congress that said: ” VO Svoboda – not an anti-semit party “.
      Clear !!!

  • The problem of LGBT rights in Eastern Europe, particularly in Ukraine, has become a subject of discussion at a special seminar in Brussels on 4 June. According to From-UA, this was announced by the Secretary of the International Group of the European Parliament for the protection of the rights of LGBT Bruno Selun.“We are shocked by the recent events in Ukraine and thoroughly monitor their development. The party Svoboda is largely responsible for the way the situation develops”, – noted Selun.The seminar was chaired by the co-President of the International Group of the European Parliament for the protection of LGBT rights Michael Cashman, United Kingdom.The international group of the European Parliament on the protection of the rights of LGBT unites MPs who act in protection of the fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It includes 153 MEP.

  • Member of the Ukrainian Parliament from Svoboda Mikhail Golovko met in Germany with representatives of marginal National Democratic Party of Germany, which is considered in Germany as outcasts. According to the authoritative magazine “Der Spiegel”, the government indicates that party as anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic, ideologically close to the National Socialism. The degree of their alienation from society can be understood by the fact that their Party Conference was held in a tent, because of the refusal of conference halls to offer them their service.

  • Stuart Burycka

    The problem with this article is in essence a hermenuetical one. The interpretations are proximally given to Poltical factions and entitites when the intelligibillity of the social phenomena themselves aren’t referenced concretely, because because to do so would undermine the pragmatic purpose in writing this article.
    A quotation that will ellucidate my hermenuetic point is neccessary. “Idle talk is constituted by just such gossiping and passing the word along-a process by which its initial lack of grounds to stand on becomes aggravated to complete groundlessness. And indeed this idle talk is not confined to vocal gossip, but even spreads to what we write where it takes the form of ‘scribbling’. In this latter case the gossip is not based so much upon hearsay. It feeds upon superficial reading.”
    The judgements and assertions made in this article are apophantical assertions that attempt to assign properties such as ‘fascim’ and ‘anti-semitism’ to political organizations that are of an aprori nature categorical different then the aforemention interpretations, and cover up reality. Thus, the intelligibility of this article is specious and explicity void of valuable content. The author should recall how the anti-democratic Bolsheiviks assign categorical properties such as ‘enemies of the people’ thereby authorizing the wholesale liquidation of benevolent citizens in the Ukraine during the Soviet Occupation of Galicia and Poland in 1939; but such atrociites have been obscured and sweeped into the dustbin of history because because the Soviet historical hermenutic has been the prevailing one the West.

  • Rachel has plumbed new depths of ignorance by playing into the hands of the Russophiles who have enslaved Ukraine for hundreds of years.

    If you want to find the root of antisemitism, look no further than Moscow where they invented “Beyond the Pale” when Russia first banned Jews.

    Svoboda is nothing more than the leading anti Russian Imperialist party in Ukraine and they will make no special accomodations if the thug oligarch is Jewish instead of Christian – after all Kagonovich killed 10 million Ukrainians.

  • Barry Meridian

    Any Jew that lives in Ukraine, Hungary, Romania is stupid, knowing how these countries helped the Nazis murder 90% of the Jews in these countries in WW2.
    I’d rather live in Antarctica under the Penguins then live in Ukraine, Hungary or Romania

    • Barry, read your history about Jews in Ukraine. Yes there were Nazi supporters but my family helped save a Jewish family knowing well that they wold be classified as Jews if caught.

    • Myth: “Maidan protesters are Fascist.” Reality: No maidan protesters are legitimately “fascist” by any real definition of the term. Russian news media have been pushing the meme that the protesters are “fascist” based on a deep and willful misreading of history and a willingness to characterize right-wing nationalist groups (such as the small but loud political party “Svoboda”) as “fascist” even though pretty much all groups at maidan have a basic aim of a government that resembles those of modern liberal democracies in Europe. It stands to note that such right wing groups make up a small percentage of the total number of maidan supporters, but Russian media focuses exclusively on them and especially their most fringe members. Videos of maidan protests produced by, for example, RT dot com, the Kremlin’s western-facing propaganda arm, are heavily distorted and those produced for Russian internal consumption are even worse.

      The claim that the maidan is “fascist” is particularly ludicrous as it comes from Putin’s camp, when Russia (along with Belarus) with its cult of personality, invented enemies, state control of media, state-sponsored right-wing intimidation groups (Nashi), and indistinguishability of government and corporate (Gazprom) interests, while not fascist, are certainly as proto-fascist as you will find in Europe today.

      It is true that during World War II, independence-minded western Ukrainian nationalist groups, desperate to throw off the yoke of a Soviet Russian imperialism that had caused the deaths of millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s, took arms from the one group that was willing to give them–Nazi Germany. They agonized over the decision to do so, just as Irish freedom fighters did in accepting weapons a generation earlier and the appropriateness of that decision can be legitimately debated today. However, even if we were to fully believe the full package of lies and mischaracterizations about the anti-Soviet nationalists of the WW2 era as true, this would not somehow magically translate into “right wing Ukrainian groups of today are fascist.” It just doesn’t and they just aren’t (and weren’t then, either, for that matter, but that’s a topic for a different day). Rather, such groups are (as they were) characterized by wanting Ukrainian national (not ethnic) self-determination. Right wing groups are present in nearly all countries of the world. But in Ukraine as elsewhere, these groups represent a small fraction of maidan protesters.

      To many of us living in the west, “nationalism” seems like a remnant of a previous century and as such most forward thinking people, like your author, have little sympathy for regressive nationalist mindsets in general. Remember, though, that most of us can afford to do so because we live in countries whose basic right to self-determination are not regularly undermined by imperialist neighbors. Or, to put it another way, could the maidan protesters *really* be “fascist” if part of their goal is to join an ecumenical EU? The “fascist” meme is utter nonsense.

  • ANd Jews flock to the Ukraine for Rosh Hashana

  • because even in the best of times, anti-Semitism is as prevalent in Ukraine as coal in Newcastle.THIS STATEMENT ISN’T PREJUDICED? HAHAHA!

  • Did you get a comment from the Svoboda Party regarding these claims? Otherwise the article you published seems a bit biased…

  • David tarbuck

    You use too wide a brush whe you paint all the oppositon paties together.

    In particular you need to respect UDARs rise as the new broom which can sweep clean.

    Svoboda is of course Fascist thugsand the Block Yulia is yesterdays cold porridge but the self made Mr Klitschko is not beholden to either; rather he just entered into an reement to work with the others at arms lengh.

    He does though need to be constently reminded of the dangers inherent in Yulia Tymoshenko anf Oleh Tyanibok.

    Both ae ruthless self serving types who care not at all for their country or its people but are solely intent on gouging out what ever they can (mis)approprtiate for themselves. Both also have rather seedy foreign connections

  • Michael Brytan

    Thank you Rachel for repeating the same old lies. I’m sure you are well paid by the Ukrainian neo-Soviet oligarchs who continue the old Soviet tradition of portraying Ukrainian nationalists as being anti-semitic.

    It’s hard to know where to start correcting you since everything is nothing more that neo-Soviet propaganda.
    Let’s start with this quote:

    “….Yanukovych’s and the PoR have responded to Svoboda’s rise, recently rallying its supporters under the theme “Into Europe without fascism!” and against “political extremists to revive an ideology of national enmity, and racial and religious intolerance…..”

    Had you done your homework or even some basic honest journalism you would have quickly noticed that the Ukraine’s national Jewish Association condemned these anti-fascism as being nothing more than pro-POR (pro presidential) THUGS who are a threat to peace and stability. They are not pro-European but rather, pro-status quo (aka as neo Soviet stagnation).

    Further, had you done your homework or simple honest journalism you would have quickly realized that the lowest levels of anti-semitism is in Western Ukraine where the Svoboda Party hold most of it’s power. In fact, the highest levels of anti-semitism are in the Crimea followed by the Donbass regions were the Svoboda Party has almost no power.

    Also worth mentioning is the red herring that Mila Kunis was described as a “Zhidivka” by a member of the Svoboda Party. Zhidivka is a non pejorative noun for a female Jew in Ukrainian and the exact same word has been used for hundreds of years by Poles. Slovaks, Czechs and many other slavik groups to identify female Jews. Repeating a lie a hundred times does not make it the truth.

    Your article is nothing more than a neo-soviet orientation towards current Ukrainian society and politics and needs to be carefully edited.

  • why do you refuse to post comments to this article?

  • What anti-semitism are you talking about?

  • This is such an unbalanced article that should be placed in the opinion column. Not until the very past parlimentary election did Svoboda- elect members (10%) to the Parliment- much of their support came from anger iver the language law -placing Russian on the same language footing officially as Ukrainian. Theere have been Anti-semitic remarks attributed to a some leaders in Svoboda from 10-15 years ago – which should be condemned. Then the writer smears the other 2 opposition parties with the Anti- semitic brush with no evidence. Perhaps the writer’s objectivity is eclipsed by her anti- Ukrainian sentiments.

  • While this article is correct and noble in trying to fight antisemitism in Eastern Europe, this does not mean that the article doesn’t contain half-truths and promotes a different kind of ignorance.

    All 3 opposition parties are labeled as antisemitic in this article. Really? So any political party that is mildly pro-Ukrainian and pro-European is antisemitic?

    Interestingly this article mentions 4 of the 5 main political parties in Ukraine. Can you guess which one is left off?? The Communist party, the other extreme. The communists are allied with the party of regions, which this article speaks favorably of. Of course no mention of this is made in the article, nor the fact that the PoR and Communists are actively trying to whitewash communist crimes and close soviet archives.

    Also, the author, who is supposedly trying to promote democracy, is writing favorably about Yanukovich, a man who falsified an election in 2004, the result of which was overturned yet no one went to jail. A man who somehow secured a majority in parliament in the last election even though the opposition had more votes. A man who is currently reducing freedom of the press.

    Svoboda has been so successful partially because many Ukrainian speakers feel marginalized by the country’s elite and there is no effective outlet. The majority of Ukrainians speak Ukrainian, but its most likely used more by the poorer half of society.

    Ukrainian politics are complicated. There is a far-right party that supports joining the EU, and a communist party that allies itself with wealthy and corrupt oligarchs. Its full of contradictions. Making generalizations like this author does spreads its own type of ignorance.

    It’s laughable that this author could be a director for a Center of Democracy. It’s just as unfortunate as a far-right party using the name Svoboda (freedom).

  • Aaron shwartz

    It is troubling indeed that such biased and slanted articles like this one are forever trapped in cyber space.

  • The US STATE DEPT has been one of the most antisemitic organizations in the world for the last eighty years…why would it criticize anyone or any government for being antisemitic…that would be like the proverbial pot calling the kettle black!

  • Guys, Svoboda is not Anti-Semit party. Svoboda is Anti-Russian party. And if you look at the mafia rulers in Ukraine – you’ll see that they are Russians and Jews – that’s why Tiahnybok said “Moscow-Jewish mafia”. But it not means beet the Russians and Jews – just fight against mafia. About incident with Mila Kunis – she said that she is Jew but not Ukrainian (she is Ukrainian-born but her parents was both Jews). And word Zhyd in Ukrainian language means the same as Jew (and this is not abuse word). Russian language uses Zhid as abuse name of Jews (and Hebrew for other case) – that’s why Russian-spoken Jews thought that that was abuse words.

  • Dear Sirs:

    Rachel Ehrenfeld’s article on Ukraine highlights many important problems in ex-Soviet society. Unfortunately, these issues are far from new.

    In fall 2004, as an accredited international observer in the presidential elections that led to the “Orange Revolution,” I was vilified by Western media (as were my colleagues) for trying to draw attention to the prevalence of neo-fascism and anti-Semitism among the parties led by Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko. Prior to the election, I met with Jewish leaders in Ukraine who expressed serious concern about anti-Semitic elements in the opposition coalitions (which included the Nazi-sympathizing Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian People’s Self Defense (UNA-UNSO) party). While these local Jewish leaders were not wildly enthusiastic about the candidacy of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, they were distinctly alarmed by his main opponents.

    The point is: it is important – if not vital – that articles such as Ms. Ehrenfeld’s are translated into Russian and Ukrainian and disseminated in Ukraine and other ex-Soviet republics. If they are not, many supporters of parties like Svoboda (‘Freedom’), Batkivshchina (‘Fatherland’) and UDAR (‘Strike’/'Punch’/'Kick’) will entertain the false notion that their repugnant views on Jews, blacks, gays, and other minorities are acceptable to the West. (Note: these parties still presume to be welcome in Western supranational institutions such as the EU and NATO, complete with their overt religious bigotry and racism).

    Much of Western media (with their governments’ complicity) have reached a consensus that the imprisonment of Fatherland leader Yulia Tymoshenko is politically motivated, and that therefore President Yanukovych should be ostracized and opposed by the West en masse. But it has to be said that, even if Mrs. Tymoshenko’s imprisonment were unjust, the views of many of her allies would still be anathema to civilized people. Any notion to the contrary should be dispelled forthwith.

    The Algemeiner would be doing a great service by translating articles such as this one into Russian and Ukrainian, and publishing them as widely as possible.

    Sincerely,

    Chad Nagle

    • Michael Brytan

      Chad,

      You stated:

      “…The point is: it is important – if not vital – that articles such as Ms. Ehrenfeld’s are translated into Russian and Ukrainian and disseminated in Ukraine and other ex-Soviet republics..”

      We know dozens of people who also acted as election monitors in many of the Ukrainian elections and none have issued any statements to support yours. The US State Department and other government agencies have made all their reports available to the public and there are none with your type of comments.

      Further , if your were to regularly follow Ukrainian media, particularly that which is Russophilic (and Sovietphiles) you would have understood that Rachel’s story is simply a translation of existing pro-government propaganda. There is no need to translated it since it’s original version is in Ukrainian and Russian and the type of political rhetoric that is being released by the followers of the pro-government (pro POR) forces. Her article is simply a translation of the existing Ukrainian “journalism” and therefore there is not need to translate it.

      The problem which Rachel does not seem to understand OR does not want to is there are Jews are a divergent peoples. There are those in Ukraine for whatever reasons are supporting the anti-democratic forces of the the pro governmental Party of Regions Party (POR) and if using ‘useful idiots’ in the West to claim that the opposing political parties are undemocratic and somehow evil, dark and undemocratic.

      The REAL threat to democracy is from the rulling Party of Regions (PoR) and not from any one of the opposition parties. Rachel’s article simply goes against all other credible evidence, including that of the US State Department, the Canadian government, the EU and other NGOs. Rachel’s story is nothing more than line for line neo Soviet propaganda.

      • Well, it looks as if all you Svoboda sympathizers have simply thrown your lot in with the anti-Russian skinheads. You have convinced yourselves that, because Yanukovych is not openly hostile to the Russian government (it would be foolish to be so, and neither Yushchenko nor Tymoshenko were, in case you did not notice), those opposing Yanukovych must all be heroes. Are you, by any chance, also skinheads? No photos of you are available.

        Svoboda is a party that contains overtly anti-Semitic elements. That is a fact. It is the latest incarnation of a strain that has long existed in Ukrainian society, tracing its continuity back through the pro-Nazi SS partisans in western Ukraine in WWII, through UNA-UNSO, the Fatherland Party, and now Svoboda.

        You refer to US State Department reports. Anyone with any sensitivity or objectivity in analyzing foreign affairs knows that the US State Department regularly overlooks abuses in various countries to further current partisan-political interests. It even assists in cover-ups, such as in the bogus explanation of the Benghazi attacks so soon before the US presidential election. The US State Department, OSCE, Council of Europe and other major Western organizations were prepared to overlook neo-fascism in the “Orange” opposition in 2004 because Ukraine was (and is) a major battleground for geopolitical control between the West and Russia. Observers accredited with such organizations generally traveled on first-class missions, all expenses paid, staying in nice hotels, etc. They were not about to jeopardize all that by issuing independent – inconvenient – opinions of what was happening. Of course you did not see any reports from the “US State Department and other government agencies” identifying anti-Semitic elements in the Orange Revolution and chastising the “Orange” leaders for doing nothing about it. Those in a position to issue such reports knew which side of the bread was buttered. You just swallowed their line, along with the hook and sinker.

        As for unattractive elements in the Party of Regions, who has denied that they exist? Ukraine is a largely backward ex-Soviet society. Of course its ruling party includes “zhlobs” with an underdeveloped civic consciousness. Who has denied, furthermore, that there were wealthy and powerful Jews in the “Orange” opposition who played prominent roles in the “Orange” government? No one here. But if Svooboda is truly inclusive of all nationalities (i.e., a truly civic party), then it is time for Jewish members of Svoboda to make statements attesting to that. I am unaware of any who have done so thus far.

        In reality, as with all ex-Soviet republics, it comes down to the lesser of two evils. Believe it or not, those of us who assert that the PoR and Yanukovych are less evil than your Jew-hating skinhead “freedom fighters” may actually have made a serious value judgment after much consideration. You have chosen to brand this value judgment a “lie,” and you have a right to do that. But please leave out the “Moscow-Jewish” conspiracy theories if you want to be taken seriously in intellectual circles.

        Perhaps your Svoboda Party will turn out to be a gift to Mr. Yanukovych in 2015. After all, any party whose leaders refer to a Jewish woman as “zhidovka” (the non-pejorative term is “yevreika”) probably has no future in modern politics.

    • Michael Brytan

      Chad,

      You stated:

      “…The point is: it is important – if not vital – that articles such as Ms. Ehrenfeld’s are translated into Russian and Ukrainian and disseminated in Ukraine and other ex-Soviet republics..”

      If you were to regularly follow Ukrainian media, particularly that which is Russophilic (and Sovietphiles) you would have understood that Rachel’s story is simply a translation of existing pro-government propaganda. There is no need to translated it since it’s original version is in Ukrainian and Russian and the type of political rhetoric that is being released by the followers of the pro-government (pro POR) forces. Her article is simply a translation of the existing Ukrainian “journalism” and therefore there is not need to translate it.

      The problem which Rachel does not seem to understand OR does not want to is there are Jews are a divergent peoples. There are those in Ukraine for whatever reasons are supporting the anti-democratic forces of the the pro governmental Party of Regions Party (POR). There will always be ‘useful idiots’ in the West who will claim that the opposing political parties are undemocratic and somehow evil, dark and undemocratic.

      The REAL threat to democracy is from the ruling Party of Regions (PoR) and not from any one of the opposition parties. Rachel’s article simply goes against all other credible evidence, including that of the US State Department, the Canadian government, the EU and other NGOs. Rachel’s story is nothing more than line for line neo Soviet propaganda.

      On a final note it’s nice to know that you have traveled to Ukraine. We know dozens of people who also acted as election monitors in many of the Ukrainian elections and none have issued any statements to support yours. The US State Department and other government agencies have made all their reports available to the public and there are none with your type of comments.

      • Your innuendoes and unfounded allegations, that my criticism of the rise of anti-Semitism in Ukraine, and the role of “jew hating” in the opposition’s platform comes from Ukrainian government sources, is just that. All is needed is eyes to read and watch the news from Ukraine.

        I’ve been following first the USSR and later Ukraine for many years and have criticized both; Putin included.

        However, YOUR anti-Semitic character is fully exposed when you state: “The problem which Rachel does not seem to understand OR does not want to is there are Jews are a divergent peoples.” Really?! If we are “divergent”, as you claim, than why are you describing these divergent “peoples” as “Jews” ?

        Bigots-in disguise like you, are more dangerous than the overt Ukranian anti-Semites.

        • Rachel your last reply sounds like the “pot calling the kettle black”.
          The best reply, from which you can learn very much is that of James Mace. He is an authority

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    JNS.org – Omelet sandwich: 5 shekels. Iced coffee: 5 shekels. Tuna sandwich: 5 shekels. Fresh-squeezed orange juice: 5 shekels. Cheese bureka: 5 shekels. There’s plenty more on the Cofizz menu, but you get the idea. Dani Mizrahi and Amir Amshalm, two Israeli men in their early 30s, asked themselves: Why not launch a take-out food joint in busy neighborhoods around Jerusalem where everything—and that means everything—goes for five shekels, or about $1.50. They’d seen the concept take off in Tel Aviv, where [...]

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  • Arts and Culture Israel New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    The new FX Network drama Tyrant was shot entirely in Israel, just 10 miles north of Tel Aviv, Bloomberg News reported last Tuesday. Tyrant follows the life of an Arab dictator’s second son Barry, played by Adam Rayner, who reluctantly returns home to the Middle Eastern nation of his birth to join the family business away from his suburban life in America. The elaborate set production for the primetime drama included a crew of 300 and a reported cost of over $3 million [...]

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  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Skokie, Il-born 25-year-old Erin Heatherton (Erin Heather Bubley) is rocking the modeling world. And in a new interview accompanying a cover spread for Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine, she says Jewish moms are “constantly trying to set her up with their sons.” Imagine that – who would have thought? “The moms, they’re doing what they do. It doesn’t matter what country they live in, what city – grandmothers, too,” she admitted. “But I’m probably going to do that too one day.” Heatherton was [...]

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  • Education Israel First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    Some 15 Turkish university professors and lecturers will take part in a first of its kind seminar at Holocaust museum Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies starting next week. The trip is especially significant as Holocaust denial is rampant in the Arab world. A Palestinian professor was recently forced to resign after he led a trip to the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz. Participants in the week-long program at Yad Vashem will experience in-depth tours of the museum’s archives and [...]

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  • Israel Music Guns N’ Roses Guitarist Rocks Solo Acoustic Version of Israeli National Anthem – Hatikva (VIDEO)

    Guns N’ Roses Guitarist Rocks Solo Acoustic Version of Israeli National Anthem – Hatikva (VIDEO)

    Ok, fans, question time. What do: Guns ‘n’ Roses shred-meister guitarist, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (aka Ronald Jay Blumenthal), “Hard Rock Hotel”, “Las Vegas” and Israel’s ”Hatikva” (The Hope) national anthem… all have in common? I know, you’re probably thinking, “Hmm, ‘One of these things is not like the other,’ would fit in here,” right? Um, no, turns out. Caught backstage by blogger Darren Garnick at the swanky Vegas gig in early June, Thal, acoustic guitar in hand, fretted out a sweetly melodic [...]

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