The Interpreter

A special project of Institute of Modern Russia
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All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress: Antisemitism Not on the Rise

The Russian media and some foreign media outlets have expressed concerns about rising antisemitism, neo-Nazism, and ultra-radical nationalism in the wake of the Ukrainian revolution. To be sure, the right wing organization Pravyi Sektor, or “Right Sector,” and the Svoboda party are nationalist organizations linked with some radical ideologies. A very prominent Jewish Ukrainian, Vadim Rabinovich, writes that on the whole, these ideologies don’t play a key role in the majority of what has transpired in Ukraine, and antisemitism is not on the rise. — Ed.


Today, Vadim Rabinovich, president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress (VEK), co-founder of the European Jewish Parliament (EJP) has published a statement in the media regarding the latest events and the situation in Ukraine.

We cite the complete text of the statement:

STATEMENT from Vadim RABINOVICH

President of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress (VEK)

Chairman of the European Jewish Congress (EJP

Throughout the entire period of the events in Ukraine, I have been directly located in Kiev and with my own eyes – not from the TV and from the media – have observed the situation. The Joint Jewish Community in Ukraine and the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress all this time have been in constant contact with Jewish communities throughout Ukraine and with law-enforcement agencies, monitoring and studying the situation.

The general situation regarding the Jewish community of Ukraine is tolerant and quiet, there are no massive outbursts or worsening of antisemitism in Ukraine.

Several weeks ago, incidents were recorded of attacks on members of the community at a synagogue in the Podol district in Kiev. The situation is being investigated, a criminal case has been opened by law-enforcers, and the investigation has video recordings. There is confidence that the investigation will be conducted to the end.

On the night of 24 February, Molotov cocktails were thrown by unknown persons at the wall of the synagogue in Zaporozhe. I talked directly with the Zaporozhe rabbi and the head of the local community; fortunately, there were no serious consequences or damages as a result, and everything will be restored.

Law-enforcement agencies are treating the situation seriously, a criminal case has been open, and there are video surveillance recordings.

I personally have communicated with the heads of a whole number of groups that consider themselves radical, who have assured me that no manifestations of anti-Semitism have been or will be planned. Moreover, they emphasized in particular that they will ruthlessly combat such manifestations in their own midst. I want to reiterate: even in this difficult period of civic resistance, there have been no grounds to claim any serious incidents of anti-Semitism in Ukraine!

Thus, I categorically refute the statements appearing in a number of foreign media outlets of facts of massive anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Ukraine that do not correspond to reality!

The whipping up of the situation around this issue is of a provocative nature and does not contribute to a calm life for the Jewish community of Ukraine.

Together with the entire people of Ukraine, the Jewish community will actively participate in the building of a democratic state and promote the renewal and prosperity of the country.