Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine condemns attempt to use June 22 for political purposes
A statement of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine, Vaad of Ukraine, was published in connection with actions planned in Lviv on June 22 by Odesa public organizations, which call themselves Jews Against Anti-Semitism and Jews Against Gurvitz.
“According to information made public by the mass media, Odesa public organizations, which call themselves Jews Against Anti-Semitism and Jews Against Gurvitz, plan to hold an anti-fascist rally in Lviv on June 22. According to the available information, these organizations do not represent either the Jewish community of Ukraine or the Jewish community of Odesa, and they have no moral right to speak on behalf of Jews of Ukraine. Their provocative activity, aimed at destabilizing interethnic relations in the country, was earlier condemned by Jewish public organizations in Odesa, rabbis, organizations of former prisoners of ghettos and concentration camps, the Righteous among the Nations, the Embassy of Israel in Ukraine. Moreover, according to the available information, these ephemeral structures represent the interests of radical pro-Russian organizations, and the leadership of both committees have been repeatedly noticed in outspoken anti-Semitic propaganda,” the statement of the Vaad of Ukraine says.
The Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine, which unites 266 organizations from 90 cities, resolutely condemns an attempt to use the tragic date of sorrow and memory for political purposes. The Vaad of Ukraine emphasizes that provocations on the day are unacceptable and it calls all constructive state, city and public institutions to make every effort to minimize possible negative effects of provocateurs’ activity.
RISU also has a statement of the Jewish community of Odesa, which says that the Odesa public organizations that call themselves Jews Against Anti-Semitism and Jews Against Gurvitz do not belong to the Jewish community of Odesa. These organizations are public unions, therefore, according to the statement, they have no right to represent a religious community and speak on behalf of Jews. Such rights, as the Jewish community of Odesa says, are given only to a rabbi, a head of a community, and the representatives of these organizations express exclusively their own opinions and assert their own public standpoint.
The Jewish community of Odesa declares that it supports the struggle against fascism and anti-Semitism; however, it believes that using such a method is ineffective and provocative and can only complicate the situation.