2019-11-27 17:18:00

Ukraine has seen no attacks motivated by anti-Semitism in past 3 years - Association of Jewish Communities

Kiev, November 27, Interfax - Ukraine is among the European and other countries having the lowest levels of anti-Semitism, the executive co-president of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine, Josef Zissels, said in Kiev on Wednesday.

"Ukraine is a country with one of the lowest levels of manifestations of anti-Semitism in the world and in Europe," Zissels said at debates on whether the level of anti-Semitism in Ukraine is growing.

Contrary to the findings recently published by the Anti-Defamation League which ranked Ukraine as the country with the second highest level of anti-Semitism, Zissels said Ukraine has not seen a single assault motivated by anti-Semitism over the past three years.

"I'll tell you for comparison that Western European countries see dozens of such assaults every year, like 50, or 60, or 70 assaults. These are Germany, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the United States," he said.

Ukraine saw a peak of manifestations of xenophobia and anti-Semitism in 2005-2007, when up to eight physical assaults a year were recorded, Zissels said.

As concerns instances of vandalism motivated by anti-Semitic sentiments in Ukraine, "there were 24 such cases in 2017, 12 in 2018, and what happened to the monument to [prominent Jewish author] Sholem Aleichem is the 11th such incident in Ukraine as a whole this year," he said.

"This is the lowest level over the past two or three decades that we been monitoring this," Zissels said.

In commenting on the Anti-Defamation League's rankings, he said, "These are just absurd findings that have been wrongly interpreted, instead of studying this carefully to see what we have seen for very many years - that the level [of anti-Semitism in Ukraine] is very low."

Zissels also criticized the survey methods used by the Anti-Defamation League as "very outdated."