Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Two Violent Anti-Semitic Attacks Alarm Ukraine’s Jewish Community

January 20, 2014 5:55 pm 6 comments

Protests in Ukraine. Photo: Wiki Commons.

JNS.org Two violent anti-Semitic incidents that occurred in Kiev over the course of a week have alarmed the Ukrainian Jewish community. On Jan. 11, two men attacked 26-year-old Israeli teacher of Hebrew and Jewish tradition Hillel Wertheimer after he left a synagogue at the end of Shabbat. He did not suffer serious wounds. On Jan. 18, a 33-year-old yeshiva student from Russia, Dov-Ber Glickman, was also attacked after he left a synagogue.

The men hit Glickman with their fists and their legs. According to the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress General Council (EAJC), the men’s combat boots may have been outfitted with blades. Glickman dragged himself to a nearby ritual bath, where he was discovered and taken to a hospital. In an additional incident, yeshiva students who organized a night patrol Saturday detained a suspicious individual who, according to the students, looked like a skinhead neo-Nazi and was found to possess a detailed plan of the surrounding neighborhood.

Sam Kliger, the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) director of Russian Jewish community affairs, believes the incidents could be a “sinister sign indicating that some are trying to use anti-Semitism in political confrontation in Ukraine.”

When the Maidan protests began in November 2013 against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to freeze plans to join a free trade agreement with the European Union, there was little indication of anti-Semitism among protesters, despite the fact that ultra-nationalist Ukrainian political opposition party Svaboda was participating in the protests.

Yet historically, “in this part of the world, a political confrontation sooner or later starts to exploit the ‘Jewish question’ and to play the Jewish card,” Kliger told JNS.org. “The question is: Who is using it? There are several versions. One of them suggests that some pro-governmental forces are behind the attacks in order to then blame the nationalists and ultra-nationalist groups associated with Maidan protesters to denounce their legitimacy. Yet another version suggests the opposite, namely that some radical groups like neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists are behind the attack, which they then can blame on the government,” Kliger said.

“We at AJC strongly condemn these vicious and dangerous acts of anti-Semitism regardless of what forces are behind them. We call for full investigation and we hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice. We shall closely monitor the unfolding political drama in Ukraine, especially in light of recent anti-Semitic attacks,” he added.

The National Conference Supporting Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia (NCSJ) also issued a statement condemning both attacks. NCSJ Executive Director Mark Levin told JNS.org that “no one really knows the full truth” about who is responsible for the attacks.

Levin, however, he was not surprised by the incidents. “Anti-Semitism unfortunately remains an issue in Ukraine. It ebbs and flows,” he said.

6 Comments

  • Chiam Goldstein

    good goyim

  • The “protesters” set a police officer on fire; not even the Egyptians, with far greater grievances with their government, did that. Just watch – there will be more anti-Jewish attacks, as well as attacks on Russian ethnics.

    They had an “orange” revolution that gave them their own country. Then they declared themselves victims of a supposedly intended famine by the Soviets, one which afflicted many other parts of the USSR at the time, a notion rejected by US investigators at the time. Then they celebrated Stepan Bandera, an incredibly foul twentieth century murderer, one so evil as to be designated by Poles as being responsible for a Polish genocide. They decided to arrest, on trumped up charges, a Russian ethnic prime minister. Now, having basically cleansed themselves of Jews (although insufficiently so for their tastes) & proven they can push Russians around any way they want, the only ones left are themselves.

    I once had an online conversation with a Ukrainian. When his statement that he would shoot me on sight if he could became upsetting to me, he said it really should not disturb me. Yes, he said, Jews were certainly on the kill list; but to comfort me, he said the ones they really want to slaughter at this time are Turks. After what that monster did in London recently, I believed the conversationalist meant what he said.

  • Michael Brytan

    If you just do a small amount of investigation you would have realized that it’s not just Jews, but also Christians, atheist, and all assortments of citizens in Ukraine are being attacked. Ukraine’s dictator Yanukovych routinely sends out thugs to beat people up, not just in Kiev, but around the country. Ukraine has become a de facto dictatorship / police state. The American ambassador would have conveyed that to any Jewish American representatives who rightly are concerned about their fellow Jews in Ukraine. The American ambassador would have also told anyone inquiring about the safety of Jews that the Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox priests who are participating in the demonstrations would NEVER tolerate or condone ANY violence or other antisemitic behavior on the part of any of the demonstrators. They would pack up and leave if any such acts were being committed by the demonstrators.

    • Mr. Brytan’s view is correct. Stamping an entire nation and culture as antisemitic is reverse bigotry. The reprehensible actions of a few ought not be used to generalize about the thousands in Maidan, especially when the few may well be government-sponsored instigators. This is a red herring issue that ought not divert attention from the basic concern – will Ukraine remain in the sphere of a corrupt totalitarian regime posing as a democracy, or will it move into the sphere of Europe and the NATO alliance? Will protestors be able to effect a real change in the direction of the Ukrainian government, or are the current barbaric attempts to intimidate the protestors simply a restrained temporizing, in order not to scotch attendance at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, and will unbridled barbarism reign once the Olympics are past?

  • The Ukrainians are some of the biggest Jew haters in history. They couldn’t wait to help Hitler round up and kill them. Why
    would Jews live there?

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Blogs Sports Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    JNS.org – The seed for the city of Cleveland’s first professional championship in a major sport in 52 years may have been planted at the Shaw Jewish Community Center on White Pond Drive in Akron, Ohio, nearly 20 years ago. That’s when a tall, lanky kid from Akron named LeBron James walked onto the hardwood court and changed the game of basketball forever. Coach Keith Dambrot, now the head basketball coach at the University of Akron, conducted those sessions that attracted […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    JNS.org – In 2008, Yoram Honig was a producer and director living in Jerusalem, fresh off his first international hit, when the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) came to him with a challenge: build a film industry from scratch in Israel’s capital. “When we started here, was nothing in Jerusalem,” he said during an interview in his office in the Talbiya neighborhood. Now, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, which Honig heads as an arm of the JDA, pumps 9 million shekels […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will wear a leotard bearing Hebrew lettering when she competes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships over the weekend. Douglas’ Swarovski-outlined outfit will feature the Hebrew word “Elohim,” meaning God, on its left sleeve. The Hebrew detailing honors the athlete’s “rich heritage of faith,” according to apparel manufacturer GK Elite, which produced the leotard and released a preview of it on Wednesday. The company said Douglas’ sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created the Hebrew design. The outcome of the P&G Championships will help […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    Britain’s world heavyweight champion, Taylor Fury, should be banned from boxing for making Nazi-like comments, a former world champion from the Ukraine said on Thursday, ahead of their upcoming match. “I was in shock at his statements about women, the gay community, and when he got to the Jewish people, he sounded like Hitler,” Wladimir Klitschko told British media, according to Reuters. “We cannot have a champion like that. Either he needs to be shut up or shut down in the ring, or […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Hanoch Hecht just made television history; but, unfortunately, he couldn’t have his rugelach and eat it too. Hecht became the first rabbi to compete on the hit show “Chopped,” where contestants are forced to use four random ingredients in their recipes, and have 20-30 minutes to create an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. A contestant is eliminated after each round. Hecht, 32, said that while the dishes and utensils were new, the kitchen was not kosher, so he couldn’t taste […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer is starring in a new Pepsi Max commercial for the company’s campaign in Israel. The commercial begins with a bunch of Jewish men eating at a restaurant, when Schmeltzer walks in and tries to decide what to order. An employee at the obviously Israeli eatery offers him a variety of foods, but the entertainer in the end decides on a bottle of Pepsi. Everyone in the restaurant then joins him, drinking Pepsi Max and dancing to […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Book Reviews Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    JNS.org – “Writing is a messy process,” says author Elizabeth Poliner. “People who don’t write fiction would be surprised to see what early drafts could look like.” But readers wouldn’t know “what a mess it was for the longest time,” as the Jewish author puts it, when reading Poliner’s critically acclaimed latest book, As Close to Us as Breathing. The volume garnered Amazon’s “Best Book” designation in March 2016 as well as rave reviews from the New York Times,W Magazine, NPR, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Sundance Tour Features Short Film About Elderly Jewish Woman’s Decision to Eat Bacon for First Time

    Sundance Tour Features Short Film About Elderly Jewish Woman’s Decision to Eat Bacon for First Time

    The Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour, which started on Friday in New York City, features a mini-documentary about an elderly Jewish woman whose journey away from Orthodoxy leads her to taste forbidden food for the first time in her life. In Canadian director Sol Friedman’s Bacon & God’s Wrath, Razie Brownstone talks about ending her lifelong observance of keeping kosher as her 90th birthday approaches. The recently declared atheist said the discovery of the search engine Google spurred a lapse in her Jewish faith and made her decide to […]

    Read more →