Ukrainian Jews voice fears over safety

By Simon Round, February 21, 2014
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Ukrainian Jews have voiced concern for their country’s future in the wake of the protests sweeping the country.

Journalist and photographer Alexander Shulman told the JC that the instability has already prompted antisemitism in Ukraine. “There have been attacks near yeshivas and synagogues. These have been provocations on both sides of the conflict in order to attract attention abroad.”

He added: “The political conflicts have had a detrimental effect on the economy and this could in turn affect antisemitism.”

He added that the rise of the nationalist far-right was an added cause for worry. The far-right Svoboda party is the fourth largest in parliament with 36 MPs and is aligned with like-minded parties around Europe, including the BNP in the UK.

Julia Goldenberg is the executive director of the charity 2U, which works with World Jewish Relief in the Ukraine, helping vulnerable and elderly people. She said: “We try to help elderly Jews by installing phones, secure entrances and heating systems for them. Many are suffering due to the ongoing situation.”

Last updated: 7:45am, February 21 2014