Saturday, March 12, 2022

Antisemitism in Ukraine

The issue of Antisemitism in Ukraine received worldwide attention in 2022, when Vladimir Putin's Russia invaded Ukraine while he was alleging the need to "de-nazify" the country and its government.[51]

Henry Abramson, an expert on Ukrainian-Jewish history, says that many Jews around the world were surprised by the 2019 Ukrainian Presidential election of Volodymyr Zelenskyy because of "the stereotype of prevailing Ukrainian Antisemitism." According to Abramson, Zelensky's "Jewishness has not stood in the way of his being accepted as a symbol of the nation. (...) It is remarkable but not necessarily mind-blowing to see a Jew in the position as leader of Ukraine. It has happened several times before that Jews have been involved in the tight leadership of this country, particularly over the last century."[52]

According to Abramson, "Here in the West, there is a deep-seated stereotype of Ukrainian Antisemitism. It is particularly true of the children of Holocaust Survivors, who grew up in the diaspora, for two reasons. First of all, there was some degree of Ukrainian collaboration with the Nazis. That is, of course, Putin's go-to line which is absolutely absurd and offensive that Ukraine needs to be De-Nazified. That's ridiculous."

"The second reason for this stereotype is that Jews in the diaspora have been separated from the day-to-day of Ukrainian life" says Abramson, and because of the assumption that the historical and present relationship between Jews and Ukrainians over thousands of years can be forever tarnished and defined by the handful of incidents he lists, such as:

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