Steps to address the manifestations of xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism in Ukraine
Ukrinform, Kiev, Ukraine
November 9, 2015
This event was dedicated to the International Day against Fascism and Anti-Semitism, which is marked all over the world on November in the memory of the tragedy, which is known as Kristallnacht.
Organizers: Ukrinform, ACF “To You”, Jewish Forum of Ukraine.
Arkadiy Monastyrskiy – Jewish Forum of Ukraine (JFU) President;
Julia Goldenberg – All-Ukrainian Charitable Fund “To You” (ACF 2U) Board Chair;
Eduard Dolinskiy – Ukrainian Jewish Committee Director;
Sergey Naraevskiy – Consultant on combating xenophobia, Security Service of Ukraine;
Gennadiy Polishchuk – Counselor, Embassy of Israel;
Martin Graf – Counselor, Embassy of Germany.
The introduction of criminal penalties for anti-Semitism and xenophobia will help to overcome these problems, stated Eduard Dolinskiy, Ukrainian Jewish Committee Director.
“It is necessary to introduce into the Criminal Code a law for crimes motivated by anti-Semitism and for Holocaust denial. Two factors – the punishment and education of people on these topics will lead to effective results,” – Dolinskiy said.
He has pointed out that these topics are discussed on the regular basis and such discussion is not over as there are no results.
Dolinskiy mentioned that more than 70 years after the Holocaust passed “and Ukraine – one of the central scenes of the Holocaust in the world, but so far the issue of anti-Semitism is not settled.” According to him, the civil society in Ukraine, does not respond to the facts of anti-Semitism and vandalism. “The subject of vandalism in Ukraine is relevant – is the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and monuments. 99% of vandalism is happening in Ukraine at Jewish places. Very rarely we see something unrelated to this” – Dolinskiy said.
In his turn president of the Jewish Forum of Ukraine Arkadiy Monastyrskiy pointed out that Interior Ministry and Prosecutor’s Office are not recorded vandalism as crimes on the ground of anti-Semitism. They are characterized as hooliganism. Our appeals to the Interior Ministry and Prosecutor’s Office results in the letters, which inform us about the opening of criminal proceedings that are closed pretty soon as since the perpetrators are not found.
Julia Goldenberg, ACF 2U Board Chair also stated almost every day you can read the messages that acts of vandalism occur in Ukraine; rallies with anti-Semitic slogans have become regular events. Therefore, it is necessary to work constantly with civil society and to educate population. Without these steps, we will not be able to get things off the ground.
Representatives of the Jewish organizations applied to the authorities to change the situation in the country, to adopt laws that would prosecute those who are to blame for acts of anti-Semitism and vandalism.