March 11, 2014

Ukraine Jewish leaders to Putin: No anti-Semitism, please leave

Jewish leaders in Ukraine have written an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, urging him to withdraw his troops from their country and rejecting his claims of anti-Semitic activity there.

The letter, published on the website of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, casts doubts on Putin's motivations for sending his troops into Ukraine in the wake of the mass protests that led to the removal from power of former president Viktor Yanukovich last month. And regarding anti-Jewish sentiment, the letters states that Russia is far more guilty of anti-Semitism than Ukraine. 

"The Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine are not being humiliated or discriminated against, their civil rights have not been limited", says the letter. "Meanderings about 'forced Ukrainization' and 'bans on the Russian language' that have been so common in Russian media are on the heads of those who invented them. Your certainty of the growth of anti-Semitism in Ukraine also does not correspond to the actual facts. It seems you have confused Ukraine with Russia, where Jewish organizations have noticed growth in anti-Semitic tendencies last year.

In fact, the letter states, the only real menace faced by the Ukrainian people, including the Jewish community, emanates from Russia - and Putin in particular.,7340,L-4497618,00.html

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