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Kyiv Post | 14Feb2013 | Oleksandr Feldman
Svoboda promoting hatred
[W.Z. This article by Oleksandr Feldman is identical to the ones that
appeared in the Algeheimer
and Kyiv Post on 06Feb2013, wherein I note that Mr. Feldman
and his Party of Regions obviously support continued Russification and
enslavement of Ukraine under the domination of the Muscovite
dictatorship, rather than supporting the Ukrainian language and an
independent Ukraine with aspirations towards democratic European
values. The Mila Kunis zhyd/yevrei controversy was initiated by Yulia
McGuffie in a 05Dec2012
article in the Kyiv Post. The comments therein (by Roman
Serbyn and others) explain the usage and historical evolution of the
Ukrainian word zhyd and the Russian word yevrei. The comments
reproduced below chastise Mr. Feldman for his bigotry and hate
One of the most recognizable figures of Ukrainian Jewish descent, the
beautiful and talented actress Mila Kunis, recently fell victim to the
hatred of a member of the Ukrainian parliament from the far-right
Svoboda Party -- a party which is notorious for regularly injecting
anti-Semitism into their speeches and public pronouncements.
He sneeringly proclaimed that she was not “Ukrainian but a
zhydovka.” This deeply hurtful slur for a Jew was an alarming
gutter effort to inject Jew-hatred into the acceptable bounds of
mainstream Ukrainian discourse.
Despite the widely accepted notion that we live in an
ever-more globalized world, too many people are skeptical that what
happens in the halls of some far-off parliament on the other side of
the world bears any impact on our way of life. On the
contrary, I fear that events now developing here in Ukraine should
remind us that our world is now inextricably intertwined. Every person
who dreams of a more tolerant and peaceful international community is
obliged to sit bolt upright and take notice.
I speak directly to this growing trend, wherein an
anti-Semitic collection of hate-mongers are abusing the democratic
Parliament of Ukraine to spew messages and incite violence, in ways
that we had hoped were relegated to the distant past. In our
recent elections, I was horrified to witness Svododa gain over 10
percent of the national vote. Like all ultra-nationalist
parties, they campaigned and were elected on a message intended to
inject fear into society. They shrilly warn that foreigners and
minorities are positioned to take over the country. Idolizing some of
the most virulently anti-freedom icons of generations past, including
most prominently the architect of Nazi propaganda, Joseph Goebbels,
Svoboda works hard to make hatred commonplace -- and acceptable --
throughout Ukrainian society.
Regrettably, Svoboda Party leaders realize that they have
fertile ground on which to harvest such a dangerous agenda.
While it has been on the decline in recent decades, there is
no disputing that anti-Semitism, particularly among the less educated
sectors of our society, remains ingrained in the minds of all too many.
Svoboda has rallied behind this recognition and exploited
mistrust of Jews to gain popularity among some in the lower class who
painfully welcomed the chance to be a part of campaigns of hate.
I am wholly aware of the fact that if Svoboda’s growing
popularity goes unnoticed outside of my country’s borders, we may
quickly reach a point of no return. At that time, the idea of
the party enjoying broad legislative powers to limit freedoms of
expression amongst those who think unlike them would serve to reduce or
prevent completely any immigration from nations they view as
un-Ukrainian. All this could happen despite the decisive steps of the
current government in Kyiv to staunchly oppose inroads made by Svoboda.
One would have to be utterly ignorant of the history of this
region to be unaware that campaigns born ostensibly in the guise of
populism and democracy can quickly decline into mass chaos, violence
and yes, even genocide.
Thankfully, we are not anywhere near that point and I don’t
intend to call for panic. I am in fact confident that the
international institutions in place in the 21st century are strong
enough to notice the rise of this devil at an early stage.
Once not long ago in history, the international community
looked on in silence as Hitler and the Nazis deluded the world into
thinking that their Jew-hatred was not worthy or “dangerous enough” to
warrant global condemnation.
When the world finally did take notice, it was too late.
That is the lesson that I feel strongly IS worthy of taking
notice. Anti-Semitism and xenophobia are the most insidiously
contagious social diseases humanity has ever experienced.
Civilized societies become infected with these sicknesses
before they even pause and assess the damages that the illness is sure
This is an issue that cries out for the sincere attention of
the international community, and most notably the leadership of the
American Jewish community and the government of the United States of
America. Ukraine and the USA have developed a strong alliance
defined by economic partnerships and a specific diplomatic vision that
there is much that unites us in how to work together to address threats
and cultivate opportunities. Should Svoboda continue to
expand, let no one deny this will harm regional and international
agreements and impose instability on our mutual markets.
If history has taught us anything it is that hatred never ends
with speech but will soon escalate to far more violent expressions.
Nor can hatred be contained to any national borders,
particularly in today’s world of social media and instant communication.
I appeal to all peaceful and caring leaders around the world
to notice this phenomenon and join me in opposing everything that
Svoboda represents. Because we all know that the stakes are
far too high for the world to be able to say, “We did not know and
therefore we did not act.”
Oleksandr Feldman is a member of the parliament of
Ukraine and President of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee.This article
was originally published by the Gatestone Institute.
Serbyn: 14Feb2013 at 7:07pm
As I recall it, some time ago the Kyiv Post referred its readers to
this article, published in another online periodical. Posting it now
seems to me to be most inappropriate, if only because St. Valentine's
day should be celebrated with notes on love and not articles on hatred.
Unfortunately, wittingly or unwittingly, Feldman himself promotes
hatred with his political treatise, written in the form of inverted
anti-Semitism. Thus the article itself solicits enmity if not outright
hatred towards each other, of the Jewish and Ukrainian ethnic groups.
It would take a long article to analyze Feldman's unscrupulous
manipulation of facts and to refute his irresponsible allegations. Let
me point out just two objections to the text.
1) Feldman accuses a Svoboda M.P., of "sneeringly” proclaiming that
Kunis was “a zhydovka”, a term which
he calls a “deeply hurtful slur for a Jew.” Feldman errs on two points
-- the MP, Ihor Myroshnychenko, wrote in Ukrainian and not Russian and
used the term Ukrainian "zhydivka", not the Russian "zhydovka". The
Russian term was recognized as pejorative in the mid-19th century, but
even the Jewish literary journal "Sion" (Odesa) accepted a bit later
that the Ukrainian term was the normal designation of that people. It
is hard to believe that Feldman does not know this, and/or that this
was not pointed out to him by Ukrainian politicians and linguists.
Feldman does not name the "culprit" and identifies him only as a member
of “a party, which is notoriously known for regularly injecting
anti-Semitism into their speeches and public pronouncements."
Miroshnychenko's entry, qualified by Feldman as "an alarming gutter
effort to inject Jew-hatred into the acceptable bounds of mainstrean
Ukrainian discourse," is meant to smear not just Miroshnychenko but the
whole political party to which he belongs.
2) Feldman's accusation reaches beyond the party he hates: it extends
to the Ukrainian ethnic population in general. I quote: "Svoboda works
hard to make hatred commonplace -- and acceptable -- throughout
society... Party leaders realize that they have fertile ground on which
to harvest such a dangerous agenda.... anti-Semitism, particularly
among the less educated sectors of our society, remains ingrained in
the minds of all too many. Svoboda has rallied behind this recognition
and exploited mistrust of Jews to gain popularity among some in the
lower class who painfully welcomed the chance to be a part of campaigns
of hate." And so it continues till the end of the article: bold strokes
with a wide brush! Such sweeping insinuations against the common
Ukrainian population is highly insulting to their moral integrity and
Feldman should apologize for his statement.
Feldman left BYuT to join the Party of Regions and his attack on
Svoboda is in now line with the political agenda pursued by the
kleptoractic regime against the opposition, especially Svoboda.
Feldman's smearing attack, to which he has regrettably added a Jewish
dimension, is not just against Svoboda but against the broader
Ukrainian patriotic electorate. Unscrupulously branding Svoboda,
Feldman also takes his anti-Ukrainian campaign outside country,
appealing to the world, especially to the American Jewish community and
the US government: "I appeal to all peaceful and caring leaders around
the world to notice this phenomenon and join me in opposing everything
that Svoboda represents." The leaders of Svoboda have made many
mistakes and have said irresponsible things for which they should be
held accountable. But Svoboda is also in the in the forefront of the
efforts of the Ukrainian patriotic population to preserve and develop
Ukrainian independence, its culture, language, and everything that
makes Ukraine Ukrainian. Feldman's condemnation of "EVERYTHING that
Svoboda represents", attacks the Ukrainian character of the Ukrainian
state and society, and deserves to be criticized and condemned.
Mack: 15Feb2013 at ???
Regrettably, Feldman has more money than brains.
He shrilly warns everyone that Svoboda and Ukrainians are coming to
take him and Mila Kunis away, based on a Russian word that Mr.
Myroshnychenko did not use.
Regrettably, he suffers from the "I see anti-Semitism everywhere"
disease, even where it doesn't exist.
And he engages in flights of fancy and inflammatory rhetoric that would
do Hitler and Stalin proud.
If history has taught us anything, especially in Ukraine, it is that
people shouldn't lie - not even rich Jews like Mr. Feldman.
The sovoks did enough lying to last eons and eons. Now the sovok mafia,
which Mr. Feldman supports, and of which he is a wealthy member.
Noone's coming to get Mila Kunis.
I appeal to all peaceful and caring people around the world to come and
get Feldman and put him out of everyone's misery.
And tell him to stop spreading lies.
McCall: 14Feb2013 at 12:36pm
Was this opinion piece published a couple of weeks ago? If so, why
print it again?
Siebert: 14Feb2013 at 10:07pm
This is the third time around for this tired old piece. In football
they would call it "piling on." Mila Kunis emigrated to the United
States at the age of seven, more than twenty years ago. I have not
heard that she has expressed much opinion on this matter. She is
probably slightly bemused.
The United States has been greatly enriched by Jewish emigrants from
Ukraine from the tsarist and communist times. Argentina, Canada and
many other nations, one might add. At those points in history both the
Russians/Soviets and the Jews themselves did regard the Jews as a quite
separate people, as noted in internal passports and certainly in their
regard for one another.
It should not be a surprise that some of the population retains this
sense of separateness. Not as a matter of political suppression, but
simply a historical fact. I am happy to say that although a proud sense
of self-identity remains, people I know here in Kyiv see themselves,
and are seen, as firmly Ukrainian.
Kyiv Post, I write for the second time, please stop attempting to stir
up trouble where there is none. You do a disservice to political
diversity in Ukraine, to the Ukrainian people, and to the Jews here as
well. Just shut up!
Smith: 15Feb2013 at ???
Published again to fulfill the weekly POR/Communist Party propaganda
obligation. Get some new material (lies), please.