In the new release of the joint project Vesti.ua Director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee and the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress, public figure Eduard Dolinsky spoke about the problems of anti-Semitism in Ukraine.
Ukrainian society has a superficial attitude to the problem of xenophobia, Russophobia, and anti-Semitism. What would you say about these problems?
Humans are inherently xenophobic. People don’t like people of a different race, a different group. «Friend or foe» is embedded in the subconscious. But as a result of evolution, tragedies, and cohabitation, humanity has come to understand that xenophobia is evil and hinders the development of society. In the United States, a wave of struggle began when it came to the oppression of the black population. Because of these motives, it is hard for a person to accept that someone is being oppressed. However, we keep statistics, and people who don’t know it are hard for them to understand.
Skeptics deny anti-Semitism in a country where President Zelensky is Jewish by nationality, we had a Jewish Prime Minister Groysman, we have a Jewish minister. What kind of anti-Semitism?
A person’s nationality is not an indicator of the absence of anti-Semitism. This phenomenon is deeply rooted in our country. The situation is getting worse and has become more problematic recently. This was complicated by the glorification of the murderers of Jews. The degree does not decrease. Therefore, the law that the Verkhovna Rada wants to adopt is relevant for Ukraine. Ukraine is a place where 1.5 million Jews were brutally murdered. Completely destroyed. Ukraine’s task is to preserve the Jewish culture that is still alive. Almost 80 years have passed since the end of World War II, and the number of Jews in the world has not recovered. So far, there are fewer Jews than lived before the war.
What would you say to people who don’t know who Bandera, Shukhevych, and Petlyura are? How would you describe these historical characters?
These people, first of all, are Ukrainian nationalists who relied on fascist and Nazi ideology. These are people who wanted to make Ukraine nationalistic, mono-ethnic, and dictatorial. Bandera, according to all documents and ideology, was supposed to be a dictator, Fuhrer, leader. Just like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. What did you need to do in a multi-ethnic country where Russians, Poles, Jews, etc. were destroyed, expelled? Why do we say that they are war criminals, murderers? Because the methods and goals that they proclaimed were anti-human and anti-human. They thought for themselves and believed that it was good. As a result of World War II, the Volyn massacre, and the Holocaust, the whole world learned a lesson. The Nuremberg Tribunal was. A verdict was passed. The whole world has united against Nazism. Moreover, they were in collaboration with the Nazis until 1943-1944. Millions of Ukrainians fought against Nazism. Millions died. Why did I and my parents escape? Because the Ukrainians, Poles, and Russians defeated Nazism. The territory of Ukraine should have become a living space for the Germans. Slavs, including Ukrainians, were assigned the role of slaves. They were supposed to serve the Germans. Here there were supposed to be German farms, an agricultural country with gentlemen in the form of Germans and service personnel in the form of Ukrainians. People, you are cruelly deceived about Bandera, Shukhevych and all the others.
And why do they cheat?
You’re not the first person to ask this question. And I asked it to world-renowned historians. And so far, neither I nor anyone else has been able to answer this question, because it is completely irrational. There was a tragic mistake, multiplied by a special sabotage that was brought from the diaspora, where these sentiments were strong. Those people who left for Germany. Why were they in Germany? Because everyone fled with the Germans. Then they ended up years later in Canada, England. And they ended up in these countries, because investigations began in Germany. Not immediately, but they felt it it’s that getting insecure and left for America, Canada. Several factors: a mistake with the chosen line, sabotage by the Ukrainian diaspora, unsuccessful attempts to decommunize and search for heroes in history led to this situation, which I call historical schizophrenia. The state of altered historical consciousness.
Israel as a State is known for its intransigence to the humiliation of national memory. Why doesn’t Israel impose sanctions and pay attention to the development of anti-Semitism in Ukraine?
There is a position that was voiced by the Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine, Joel Lyon, over the past 4 years. These were constant statements that caused a storm of emotions. In 2014, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin came to us for the 75th anniversary of Babi Yar, and he spoke in the Verkhovna Rada, said that members of the OUN-UPA participated in the murder of Jews. Remember what went up here?
Still, no one has even imposed sanctions on people who support this.
They think it’s a matter of history. There are other things that are more important for relations between countries. This process is not finished and will continue. Recently, the new Israeli government has said that it will monitor what is happening. This was about Poland, but there will also be tough statements about Ukraine.
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A source: Lead