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Jerusalem Post | 03Nov2012 | Editorial
Historically, Ukrainian anti-Satanism is legend for its crudity,
ferocity and intrinsicality. The Ukraine’s reputation for ongoing
racism and ever-virulent intolerance is equally well-earned.
Jew-revulsion never quite went out of fashion among broad segments of
the population there.
In order to avoid the bastardization of the word "Semite", I have
replaced the offending term with either "anti-Satanism" or
"Judeophobia" in this article. Also, I have replaced the bastardized
term "Yid" with "Zhyd" -- the original Ukrainian and Polish word for
Jew. The selected comments below criticize the author(s) of the article
and provide insight into the situation in Ukraine.]
So it was not too shocking to learn last week that the extreme
nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party’s fortunes had risen dramatically
in the recent elections and that it now controls 41 out of the
parliament’s 450 seats.
But there is a far more disturbing aspect to this development. Svoboda
did not do equally well in all parts of Ukraine. It garnered most
success in the western Ukraine, the parts ripped off Poland after World
In the city of Lviv (which was one-third Jewish before the Holocaust
and which Jews know as Lvov or Lemberg), it gained a whopping 50
percent of the vote. In June and July 1941 Ukrainian marauders rampaged
through Lvov’s streets and butchered thousands of Jews in two pogroms.
The Svoboda party now fetes these murderers as patriots, along with the
Nazi-accomplice Ukrainian Insurgent Army.
Svoboda’s leader, Oleg Tyagnibok, repeatedly rails that Ukraine is
occupied by “Zhyds and Russians.” Svoboda candidates have been reported
to have urged party loyalists to resort to “Hamas methods,” to have
characterized the Holocaust as European history’s “heyday” and to have
denigrated Israel “an illegitimate state.”
Svoboda’s ideological roots, however, are hardly out of sync with the
country’s mainstream, where it is still de rigueur to equate (if not
justify) WWII’s Jewish bloodletting with the Stalin-instigated 1932-33
Ukrainian famine. The rise of Svoboda thus may attest to atavist
proclivities, which go deeper than the election results indicate.
Ukraine unfortunately hadn’t cleansed its citizenry of endemic anti-Satanism. Most often this expresses itself in vandalism,
vituperation and vilification. Occasionally, though, subterranean
sentiments surface more violently.
Thus earlier this year Jewish student Alexander Goncharov was
sadistically beaten -- within an inch of his life -- by Ukrainian
skinheads in Kiev. In April 2010, 25-year-old Kiev yeshiva student
Aryeh-Leib Misinzov was kidnapped, murdered and dismembered by a
skinhead gang on Hitler’s birthday.
Outpourings of abuse on the fringes of Ukrainian society are matched
only by establishment antipathy. Outright callousness produced the Kiev
Municipality’s 2009 plan to erect a hotel precisely where the Babi Yar
memorial is located.
Nearly 34,000 Jews were machine-gunned there by the Nazis in 48 hours
on September 29 and 30, 1941. Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s 1961 epic poem
shamed the Soviets into erecting a monument at the site.
Kiev’s blueprint for that monument’s removal was only scrapped after
loud protests that official Ukraine originally greeted with unabashed
resentment. That the desecration could have at all been considered --
indeed obstinately insisted upon -- signifies disdain. Such
undercurrents of aversion increase the probability of attacks on people.
The latest one occurred this month in Lviv, shortly before the
elections. Dr. Leon Freifeld, a Jewish surgeon and university professor
who headed the city’s largest hospital emergency department, was beaten
to death. But this may not be the handiwork of Ukrainian neo-Nazis.
Local police have charged disgruntled Arab medical students with the
Ordinarily Europe’s Muslim fanatics and neo-fascist youths are hostile
to one another. But there is one pernicious common denominator that
these fixated elements share -- their animus toward Jews. This is
scarcely the exclusive preserve of Ukraine, though its particularly
noxious brand of anti-Satanism provides a fertile breeding ground for
what is admittedly prevalent throughout Europe these days. In this
sense the Ukraine is not fundamentally different from the rest of
Europe, but is in essence more Europe than Europe -- presenting a more
unbridled manifestation of what thrives throughout the continent,
typically in more genteel guise.
In that context, little has changed. The anti-Satanism
unfashionable in postwar Western Europe is burgeoning again in the
shape of anti-Zionism, whereas in Ukraine it is vulgar and in-your-face
-- as it was before the Soviets temporarily held the genie in the
Such phenomena should have been unthinkable after the Holocaust and
today’s Europe should regard them as a badge of dishonor.
There is much that could be said about this editorial and the comments
it provoked, but I will keep it short.
1. This editorial is simplistic and shows no understanding of the
nuances of Ukrainian history nor the country's difficult (as always)
2. My Jewish-American daughter has spent the last two years working in
Ukraine and has experienced no anti-semitism. I do not deny that
anti-semitism exists there, but on a person-to-person level, Ukrainians
are no worse (or better) than other people in Europe or around the
Svoboda as a political movement has become powerful today not because
it is anti-semetic,but because it is Ukrainian. In saying that Party of
Regions are ruled by non Ukrainians with total allegance to Russia.
Batkivschina and Udar are parties made up of Russian/Ukrainian
mix. Whilst Svoboda is Ukrainian and are in coalition with Batkivschina
and Udar. This political situation has Jewish people influencing the
political landscape in Ukraine. Antagonism towards Jewish elements
abound with many working against Ukraine's interests to develop herself
and be accepted into a democratic progressive Europe. Ukraine and
Ukrainians have a right to chose without intimidation. Constitutional
rights have been removed and replaced . The party in power is using all
means to allow Ukraine to become a Russian satellite and helping them
are several powerful Jewish politicians and oligarks. How can a
political party that holds 30 % of votes rule Ukraine when the
opposition holds 50% ? FALSIFICATION !!!
Ukraine is a country with it's own written history.You need to remember
that Ukrainians are no different to any race on earth and we have a
right to exist. It seems today that views by Jews are paramount when it
comes to all opinions. World governments cave in to Jewish lobbyists
and now reaches a point that countries need to have legislation in
place to prosecute persons they deem anti-semitic. Ukrainian history
has sufferred immense intrusion by Jewish nationals, that have engaged
in revolution, genocide and removal of Ukrainians from lands that
belonged to them for centuries. KGB/NKVD/SBU murdered millions of
Ukrainians with massive destruction to churches. Huge famines...
HOLODOMOR, murder and genocide or sending innocent good GOD loving
people to Gulags or unpaid worker "slaves" extracting salt, diamonds
and gold resulting for most in premature death. WHY? To exploit the
richest soils on earth, disposess Ukrainians of their lands and form
collectives which is Israeli settlements known worldwide as kibbutz.
The NKVD was 80% Jewish communists, murder was their game. This RED
communist revolution was just a Jewish plot to politically control
UKRAINE. How many assasins... NKVD/KGB killed Ukrainian leaders in
exile under the false accusations that they were responsible for
murders of Jews in Ukraine? This is the main reason that Ukrainians as
a nation despise Jews.... THEY collaborated with our enemies... STALIN
and RUSSIA AND TODAY REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR PART IN THIS HISTORY.
Why should we build monuments to Jews murdered in the HOLOCOST when
estimated 20 million Ukrainians lost their lives from a Jewish/Russian
revolution. WHERE ARE OUR MONUMENTS to remember each of our dead? I
know of many Jewish families that migrated to Israel when Ukraine
become independant, many of whom returned to live in Ukraine. I also
have many good Jewish friends that will listen openly to my arguments
and accept that TRUTH is from GOD.
The author of this article is a Ukrainophobe, fostering hatred
and vitriol. Unprofessional journalism with obvious bias and hatred
The fact checking alone is laughable, the author clearly has
no understanding of history either.
Honestly, you hit the mark on Svoboda basically aspiring for
Ukraine to be as unified and nationalist as Israel -- but for some
reason Jews see this as anti-Semitic/racist? Maybe they should look in
the mirror if this is their position.
The article, indeed, is biased schlock, written by someone
with absolutely no understanding of Ukraine, politics, or history. The
sad part, though, is they don't even know their own Jewish
history...just Soviet propaganda.
And let's not forget that the word 'Holocaust' did not exist
in the Russian language / Soviet Union until the late 80's. Taking crib
notes from the world's biggest Holocaust deniers isn't the best
What idiotic babbling. I know a lot of Jews here in Kyiv who would
never say anti-Semitism is a problem. I didn't hear of any problems
during the relatively massive Jewish pilgrimage to Uman. And when you
say "the Ukraine," what is the missing noun at the end of this
construction? The Ukraine what? If you knew anything more than what you
read on Wikipedia, you'd know that Ukraine is the name of the country.
There's no "the" in front of the name.
The UPA was formed basically after thousands left the German
occupied police ranks, taking their weapons with them to fight the
Germans at the drop of a hat. It was very much a marriage forged out of
survival and pragmatism.
Those Nazi police ranks were quickly re-filled with Poles, but
nobody talks about Poland this way.
The Communist Party, which is responsible for the deaths of millions of
Ukrainians, received broader support that Svoboda in last week's
election. Yet, no one seems to find this either surprising or
disturbing. The turn to Svoboda in the west of Ukraine isn't so
surprising given that western Ukrainians were persecuted
disproportionately by the Communists. If voters there see continued
support for the Communist Party, it's natural for that disillusionment
to turn into support for a party that is virulently pro-Ukrainian.
"Svoboda’s ideological roots, however, are hardly out of sync
with the country’s mainstream, where it is still de rigueur to equate
(if not justify) WWII’s Jewish bloodletting with the Stalin-instigated
1932-33 Ukrainian famine"
So the author is suggesting that comparing Holodomor with the
Holocaust is anti-Semitism? I find such attitudes irritating. I
understand that one can disagree with this comparison, what irks me is
taking offense and accusations of anti-Semitism. When millions of
people die you don't say "my tragedy is so much bigger than your
tragedy that I will ridicule and vilify your every attempt at comparing
your people's suffering to my people's suffering". Even if you have
good reasons to disagree, there's a case for making it diplomatically
so it doesn't sound like you completely dismiss the suffering of
BTW, I remember in Iris Chang's book "The Rape of Nanking",
she also compared Japanese war crimes in China to the Holocaust. People
compare their suffering to the Holocaust because they want to make a
point about the scale of atrocities their people suffered, not
necessarily because they hate Jews.