A socially conscious defender of human rights and advocate of democracy for all might be tempted to automatically side with the opposition in Ukraine. Indeed the entire “crisis” is being painted in the mainstream media as a battle between the evil and corrupt Victor Yanukovych backed by the even more evil, homophobic, dog hating Putin and that paragon of democracy, tolerance and human rights….. the European Union. I’m not going to give my analysis of the conflict – you can choose your own poison as it were as to which news agency is giving a fair and balanced coverage of the F-A-C-T-S.
What concerns me is the fate of the 200000 plus Jews that remain in Ukraine and the extremely worrisome news that Edward Dolinsky, the head of the umbrella organization of Ukraine’s Jews now feels sufficiently in danger that he has reached out to Avigdor Liberman to request that the State of Israel assist in securing the safety of the community, and furthermore:
On Friday Ukrainian Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman asked Kiev Jews to leave the city and, if possible, the country, due to fears that Jews might be targeted in the ongoing chaos. The Israel National News reported Friday that some Jewish shops have been vandalized and other threats to the Jewish community have been received. “I told my congregation to leave the city center or the city all together and if possible the country too…I don’t want to tempt fate…but there are constant warnings concerning intentions to attack Jewish institutions,” Rabbi Azman told Maariv.
Indeed yesterday, The Times Of Israel reported that a Ukrainian synagogue in Zaporizhia (south of Kiev) has sustained damage as it was the target of a firebomb attack.
None of this is particularly surprising, given the history of Jew hatred in Ukraine. During elections accusations of being Jewish are a common way of discrediting a politician, and Oleg Tyahnybok the head of the “far right” nationalist opposition party Svoboda has said recently that Ukraine is being controlled by a Muscovite-Jewish mafia. Ironically in 2010 during presidential elections, deposed Prime Minister, and now one of the leaders of the opposition (and Princess Leia doppelgänger) Yulia Tymoshenko was also accused of being a Jew.
So what am I getting at? I don’t know what is to become of Ukraine. Just like in Syria, it seems to me like there are no good guys in play here and I am not ashamed to admit I don’t really care what happens to the rest of the country as long as they are scapegoating my own people - and in this case I REALLY mean my own people since my Grandmother fled Ukraine from anti-Semitic Cossacks in the early 20th Century for Australia.
Jews of Ukraine – its time to come home. To Israel.