A few dozen far-right protestors gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Kiev calling on Israel and Jews to “repent for genocide” on Ukrainians, apologise for Soviet oppression and take responsibility for a 1930s famine.
The demonstration in the capital of the former Soviet republic was a protest against a tweet by Israel’s ambassador, Joel Lion, which criticised a torchlit march held in memory of a Ukrainian World War II leader and alleged Nazi collaborator.
The far-right activists called on Israel and the Jews to assume responsibility for the famine known as Holodomor. The famine, which killed millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s, was a result of the policies of the then-Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.
Noted activist Vladislav Goranin claimed that Israel “deliberately spreads antisemitism in Ukraine” and that Jews and Israel must “repent for genocide” on Ukrainians. Ultra-nationalists in Ukraine and elsewhere in the Former Soviet Union blame Jews for Communist oppression as well as the famine, citing the “support” of some Jews for Communism.
Jews have historically been accused of promoting Communism by its opponents, just as the Communists accused the Jews of propagating Capitalism. According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, examples of antisemitism include “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective”; “Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews”; and “Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism to characterise Israel or Israelis.”
Moreover, Jews in the Soviet Union were subjected to horrendous persecution, as were other minorities, just as they were subjected to pogroms by the Czarist regime that preceded the Soviet Union.