| 28Jan2009 | Itar-Tass

Israel does not regard famine in 30s genocide of Ukrainians

TEL AVIV, January 28 (Itar-Tass) -- Israel does not regard the famine in Ukraine in the 30s of the past century as genocide, and, just as Russia, considers it a tragedy of many peoples of the USSR, Pinhas Avivi, the deputy director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry in charge of relations with Russia, CIS and East European countries, told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“We regard the ‘holodomor’ as a tragedy but in no case do we call it genocide,” he said. “We describe it as the tragedy in which the peoples of Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and of other countries suffered, and we accept Russia’s wording,” he said. “The Holocaust is the only genocide to us,” he said. “We voted precisely in this way in the United Nations on the document Ukraine presented and we regard it (the ‘holodomor’) as the common tragedy of many peoples, not Ukraine alone.”

“This was Israel’s clear message, and we, specifically, decided that we recognize the document UNESCO adopted two years ago, and nothing else,” Avivi said.

Late last year Ukraine’s delegation to the UN circulated a declaration calling for recognition of the “holodomor” as genocide of the Ukrainian people. In addition to Ukraine, 31 countries, Israel included, signed the document. Israel, however, addressed to Ukraine’s representative a letter with reservations regarding its stand, which were not given a broad coverage.

[W.Z. So what were the contents of this letter? What were the reservations? The neo-Stalinists in Moscow are obviously applying tremendous diplomatic pressure on countries around the world to dissuade them from recognizing the Holodomor as genocide. And one could expect the Israelis to waffle, even though Yulia Tymoshenko during her visit to Israel some time ago  reportedly received assurances from Israeli politicians that they would indeed recognize the Holodomor as genocide.]

The Russian delegation succeeded in blocking the Ukrainian delegation’ s resolution in the UN in December. “We have succeeded in preventing it from being put on the agenda of the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly,” Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador at the UN then said. He said Kiev’s suggestion to regard the famine of the 30s of the past century as genocide of the Ukrainian people can be assessed as “an attempt to sow discord and animosity between the Russians and Ukrainians.” Churkin said, “Our peoples have the common past and the famine affected not Ukraine alone.”

[W.Z. Certainly true. The Muscovites have been murdering Ukrainians for centuries and Ukrainians have been struggling for centuries to regain their independence.  The Kuban region and other areas of the RSFR settled by Ukrainians suffered during the Holodomor. So did other ethnic groups -- including Russians. Genocide has been proven with respect to the Ukrainians. It remains to be proven that Kazakhs, Germans and others also were victims of deliberate genocide.]