Svoboda party anti-Semitism in Ukraine


This video says about itself:

Jews upset over Ukraine election

11 November 2012

For the first time the nationalist Svoboda or Freedom party will be represented in Ukraine‘s parliament.

The movement which has links with foreign far-right groups like France’s National Front has been accused of anti-Semitism. Their election showing has raised concerns among the Jewish community.

“Unfortunately I have read their speeches and statements not once but many times. So I do not need any proof that they are anti-Semitic,” said Rabbi Pynchas Vyshedski.

More than 800,000 Jews were killed in Ukraine during the Second World War. There remains deep ties with Israel where there is anger at Svoboda’s success, winning parliamentary seats.

“We don’t understand why they gave them the opportunity to go to the election, we understand the democracy of Ukraine but this kind of party ought to be out of parliament,” explained
Alex Miller head of inter-parliamentary Ukrainian-Israeli committee.

[Svoboda leader] Oleh Tyahnybok was expelled from the centre right Our Ukrainian party eight years ago. In a speech he referred to Jews as being among the enemies of Ukraine. …

Tyahnybok and his party has forged links with other political groups including that of Yulia Tymoshenko and could be set to be part of a coalition in the forthcoming legislation.

From the Jewish Telegraph Agency:

Ukrainian Jews worry that rise of Svoboda party will bring anti-Semitism back into vogue

By Cnaan Liphshiz

April 26, 2013 6:14pm

KIEV, Ukraine — Marching in formation, six young men in dark jackets approach an anti-government rally in Cherkasy, a city some 125 miles southeast of Kiev.

At the appointed moment, they remove their windbreakers to reveal white T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Beat the kikes.” Their jackets carry the name of Svoboda, the ultranationalist Ukrainian political party.

A small riot quickly ensues. Angry protestors rip at the T-shirts, but the Svoboda-labeled men give as good as they get. One of the men beats Victor Smal, a lawyer and human rights activist, so savagely that he is rendered barely recognizable.

But denials notwithstanding, the incident has raised anxieties among Ukrainian Jews fearful of rising xenophobia and racially motivated violence they say is inspired by Svoboda, a party with neo-Nazi roots and a penchant for thuggery.

“Svoboda lifted the lid from the sewer of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and it’s spilling out,” said Joel Rubinfeld, co-chair of the European Jewish Parliament.

A U.S. State Department report this month singled out Ukraine, along with Hungary and Greece, as places of “concern” because of growing anti-Semitic parties. But open anti-Semitism is still rare in Ukraine. Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry documented just 15 cases of anti-Semitic violence in 2012. In France, the number was 200.

But the behavior of some Svoboda politicians risks changing that, some Ukrainian Jews worry.

Founded in 2004, Svoboda (“freedom” in Ukrainian) is the latest incarnation of the Social-National Party, a far-right movement ideologically aligned with Nazism. But while the Social-National Party never enjoyed any electoral success, Svoboda garnered more than 10 percent of the vote in the 2012 elections, becoming the country’s fourth-largest party.

“Svoboda is perhaps the biggest challenge facing Ukrainian Jewry today,” Ukrainian Jewish Committee President Oleksandr Feldman told JTA. “It has no structure and operates in a political vacuum and turmoil which allow it to run rampant.”

Svoboda’s unstructured nature also makes it difficult to pigeonhole. Party leader Oleh Tyahnybok has praised supporters for being the “worst fear of the Jewish-Russian mafia” and has called Jews “kikes.”

Yet the party also speaks admiringly of Israel, and Tyahnybok has made a point of advertising his meeting last December with Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine. Alexander Aronets, Svoboda’s press secretary, has praised Israel on his Facebook page as ”one of the most nationalistic countries in the world.”

Good relations with Israel may be desirable to Svoboda as a defense against accusations of anti-Semitism, a tactic employed by other European nationalist movements that have made overtures in Israel’s direction.

“They know anti-Semitism is preventing the good relations they seek,” said Moshe Azman, Ukraine’s Chabad-affiliated chief rabbi. “But Svoboda is not a uniform entity and I’m not sure the leaders control the rank and file.”

Feldman, an energetic businessman, lawmaker and founder of the Kyiv Interfaith Forum, says Svoboda has helped erode the shame associated with open expressions of anti-Semitism and other ethnic hatreds. His interfaith forum, which each year brings together hundreds of clerics from five faiths, was marred for the first time this year by a minor assault on a Muslim participant outside the conference.

“Svoboda is very frightening to Ukrainian Jews and other minorities because it is an ultra-Jobbik that evolved quickly,” Feldman said, referring to the anti-Semitic and Iran-friendly Hungarian party that also has enjoyed recent electoral success.

“We had hoped Svoboda would tone it down once it’s in parliament, but the opposite has happened,” said Vyacheslav Likhachev, a Ukrainian researcher with the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress. “The electoral gains have emboldened Svoboda lawmakers to incorporate thuggery as a modus operandi, a very dangerous development.”

One example came in February, when party member Igor Miroshnichenko shimmied up the towering statue of Vladimir Lenin in the town of Akhtyrka, threw a rope around the communist leader’s head, tied the other end to a truck and brought down the monument.

In December, the same man said Mila Kunis, a Ukrainian-American Jewish actress, was “no Ukrainian, but a kike.” Asked by a newspaper if Miroshnichenko could be prosecuted for making a racial insult, a Justice Ministry official said the word he used — “zhydovka,” a feminized version of kike — was permissible and part of the official vocabulary.

“This was another Svoboda success in poisoning the public sphere,” Likhachev says.

Svoboda officials declined several JTA requests for comment for this story.

In February, Likhachev signed a letter along with several other Jewish Ukrainians asking the Jewish Agency for Israel to cancel plans to hold its board of governors meeting in Kiev in June. The letter, which several Jewish leaders dismissed as overblown, said that poor democratic standards and Svoboda’s ascent made Kiev an ill-suited choice.

“Svoboda are riffraff — nothing comparable to Jobbik, which has its own militia and coherent policy,” said Yaakov Bleich, a Ukrainian chief rabbi.

“Svoboda is troubling as a symptom of the main challenges facing Ukrainian Jewry: the economic recession and political uncertainty,” Bleich said. Still, he added, “because Svoboda is a mob, it’s less predictable than Jobbik. Svoboda’s leaders may be unable to control anti-Semitic displays.”

Despite the disagreements, many Jewish leaders seem to agree that Svoboda’s success owes more to frustration with the establishment than to its anti-Semitic statements. Likhachev pointed specifically to the discontent that emerged in the wake of the Orange Revolution, the protests following the 2004 election that brought former president Viktor Yushchenko to power on a platform of greater government accountability.

Bickering and disunity cost Yushchenko the presidency in 2010. He was succeeded by Viktor Yanukovych, the man whom protestors accused five years earlier of election fraud. That development strengthened Svoboda in two ways, Likhachev says.

“First, it radicalized disgruntled voters,” Likhachev says. “Second, the opposition allies learned they needed to stay united to win. So they are willing to overlook Svoboda’s anti-Semitism — to the detriment of Ukrainian society and its Jewish population.”

KENNY COYLE examines the liberal media’s refusal to put the true politics of Kiev’s neonazi groups under the spotlight: here.

Swedish neonazis to Ukraine to support their local colleagues: here.

As the Obama administration and its allies in Europe escalate their threats against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, the American media plays its assigned role as propaganda mouthpiece: here.

Britain: Gung-ho Tory backbenchers demanded action yesterday to stoke up the Ukraine crisis: here.

By Patrick Martin:

White House cynicism on the Holocaust

29 April 2014

For sheer cynical doubletalk, it is hard to top the statement issued by President Obama Monday, to mark the annual worldwide commemoration of the Holocaust, one of the greatest crimes in modern history.

The statement concludes, “let us recommit ourselves to the task of remembrance, and to always oppose anti-Semitism wherever it takes root. Together, we must give enduring meaning to the words ‘Never Again’.”

The two-paragraph text is posted on the White House web site immediately below a statement issued the same day on US policy in Ukraine, announcing new sanctions against Russia for Moscow’s public opposition to the US-backed takeover of Ukraine by right-wing nationalist forces that hail the Ukrainian Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

The February 22 coup was spearheaded by thugs and gunmen from the Right Sector, an openly fascistic organization, and it elevated into the Kiev government representatives of the fascist Svoboda (Freedom) Party.

Svoboda’s top leader for the last 10 years, Oleh Tyahnybok, is on record calling for an all-out struggle against the “Yid-Russki mafia” in Ukraine (i.e., Jews and Russian speakers). He made that statement in a speech at the graveside of a leader of Bandera’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which fought alongside Hitler’s Wehrmacht in World War II.

Tyahnybok has received a series of high-level visitors in Kiev, including US senators John McCain (Republican) and Christopher Murphy (Democrat), Secretary of State John Kerry (for a photograph of Kerry with Tyahnybok see the Kyiv Post here), and most recently Vice President Joe Biden.

Anti-Svoboda demonstrators in Washington DC, USA

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27 thoughts on “Svoboda party anti-Semitism in Ukraine

  1. Since the Svoboda leadership has already shown it’s contempt for the police and for the process of law after assaulting a member of a law office last week perhaps he should be dealt with outside the law, his members also. They should be lined up against a wall and shot. Maybe this time round the Nazi’s will not gain ground and bring a country into anti semitism.

  2. I hope none of us have to deal with this kind of anti-Semitic behavior ever again, but your news is not good and we will all have to be vigilant.

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  4. UKRAINE: The board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)approved a $17 billion loan package to Ukraine today.

    The two-year deal came with strings tied to economic reforms in Ukraine that could mean misery for Ukrainian households.

    When the IMF pledged assistance in March, it demanded that Ukraine raise taxes, freeze the minimum wage and raise energy prices as a requirement of the aid.

    As part of the deal, Ukraine will be required to use some of the loan to repay money it already owes the IMF.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-9d4a-World-in-Brief-010514

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