ADL Urges Ukrainian Government To Take Action Against Anti-Semitism
New York, NY, February 21, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urged the government of Ukraine to take action in response to recent incidents of anti-Semitism in that country, including the desecration of a memorial to Jewish victims of the Holocaust and a cemetery in Odessa, and the continued operation of regional branches of an anti-Semitic university in defiance of an order to close.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry today issued a statement that "those who committed this crime discredit Ukraine … where there is no place for anti-Semitism and other forms of xenophobia."
"We are encouraged that the Ukrainian government has sent a strong message that anti-Semitism and xenophobia will not be tolerated in their society," said Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, National Director. "That is a positive and welcome first step. The government must now ensure that the investigation of this crime is taken seriously, and that the perpetrators pay a price for their actions."
In a letter to H.E. Oleh Shamshur, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States, ADL urged the government to take additional steps to marginalize the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management (MAUP), which continues to promote anti-Semitic meetings and conferences and anti-Jewish statements. "Your government," Messrs. Lewy and Foxman wrote, "must confront MAUP, its leadership and its outlets for its continued anti-Semitic agitation, which leads to an atmosphere where anti-Semitic crimes, such as the desecration of graves in Odessa, may occur."
On February 20, the Kiev Court on Economic Affairs ruled that 26 regional branches of MAUP could continue to operate, reversing a September 2006 decision by the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science that had ordered them shut. The ruling came just one day after a monument to Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Odessa was defaced with swastikas and the message, "Congratulations on the Holocaust," and an estimated 300 Jewish gravestones were similarly desecrated with graffiti.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.