Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
In recent times, glimpses of insight into some parts of Ukrainian society have started to appear. Some Ukrainians say we stood on the Maidan for completely different ideals than we have now, others require to stop the fratricidal war in the East of the country, there are not many, but they are. Also, the same representatives of the Jewish community of Ukraine that, at the time, supported the nationalistic militants and proudly called themselves “Judeobanderists”, began to express their concerns.
What is more, “Judeobanderists” is not abusive name-calling, but self-attributed, thus it is those people with Jewish roots who supported the Euromaidan and the right-wing Ukrainian nationalists “Right sector”, which they personally sponsored, who call themselves in this way.
One of the main PR managers of this meme was made by Igor Kolomoisky – Ukrainian oligarch, one of the main sponsors and organizers of the Maidan, and President of the European Jewish Union. The movement of “Judeobanderists” in Ukraine even became fashionable, it had its own symbols – the menorah with the teeth of the Trident.
It must be said that until 2014, despite all the ups and downs of political development of Ukraine, there were no distinct national and ethnic problems in the country. Representatives of different nationalities felt free, both as in business and in politics. Until the last moment.
Yesterday, the leaders of 29 communities and public Jewish organizations of Ukraine appealed to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Kiev City Council, and government, national and international institutions with a request to contribute to the preservation of ethnic peace in Ukraine. They are concerned about the situation with the glorification of the UPA and the anti-Semitic nature of this movement.
“We, Ukrainian Jews, as an injured nation, including by the activities of the OUN and UPA, are also well aware of these facts. We believe that attempts to rewrite history, concealment and denial of anti-Semitic ideology, and practices of these organizations are nothing but an insult to the memory of over one million Jews destroyed in Ukraine by the Nazis and local collaborators, and, moreover, Holocaust denial,” reads the text of appeal.
The document was signed by representatives of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, Jewish forum of Ukraine, the Jewish religious community of Kiev, the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, and other members of the Jewish community of the country.
According to modern Ukrainian standards, representatives of Jewish organizations, in their address, descended into outright sedition, as they considered “the decision of Kiev City Council to give the name of Stepan Bandera to one of the avenues and to give the name of Roman Shukhevych to another street to be inappropriate”. But what about self-named Jewish supporters of Maidan – why wasn’t it an inconvenience before?
Leaders of Jewish organizations, in fact, say the right things, obvious to all. But, really, how is it that representatives of such a wise nation needed 2.5 years to realize this, or maybe something went wrong? But by the way, many people in Ukraine are still in shock only from the fact of Jewish support for the Nazis and Bandera.
It’s very strange that the genetic memory of an ancient nation failed in such an apparently obvious question. It is well known that flirting with nationalism is fraught with consequences.
Apparently the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine, having supported the Ukrainian nationalists were thinking that they were in complete control of the situation, and can use it for their own purposes. But, the released nationalism’s genie has left the lamp, and to herd it back in now would be incredibly difficult.
This will require the efforts of the entire Ukrainian society and, of course, the political will of the government, which today, in contrary, pursues a policy of glorification of Ukrainian nationalists – Nazi henchmen who have left only a trail of blood in the history of Ukraine. On their conscience are the deaths of thousands of Ukrainians, Poles, Russian, Jews, but it’s exactly them who are erected as the main heroes of Ukraine.
It is worth recalling that the main ally of Ukraine in Europe – Poland – has nowadays condemned Ukraine for the glorification of the OUN and UPA. The Polish Parliament adopted a decision according to which, the Volyn massacre, conducted by the members of Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, is considered as genocide of Poles. How much do Ukrainians themeselves need to abandon the nationalist ideology?
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