Shmuel Tuboul, the Jewish man who was stabbed to death in Uman, Ukraine, was murdered because he was a Jew, and anyone saying otherwise is misleading the public, according to Manny Schwartz, an old acquaintance of the Tuboul family. In an interview with Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language radio newsmagazine, Schwartz stated: “Even if the authorities in the Ukraine try to hide this, he was killed because of his Judaism.”
Schwartz said Tuboul's appearance was obviously Jewish: he had a large kippah, long peyos (earlocks) and a beard. He noted that the murder occurred when the festivities marking the 200th anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Nachman reached peak pitch. "Shmuel went to his family-owned grocery store to get a drink for celebrating. He heard the noise of fighting outside and saw youths throwing stones at the car. He went out to them and summoned his brother Raphael. They thought that the attackers wanted to steal the car. He offered them money but to no avail. They tried to make the attackers flee. Then one of [the attackers] stabbed Shmuel twice directly in the heart.”
Schwartz added that the Jews who live in Uman are “well aware of the locals' character” and that they have solved numerous incidents of violence by paying money “so as not to raise the flames.” In this case, he said, there was no way of talking to the attackers, who had come to kill Jews and not for any other reason. "They did not take the wallet nor the cell phone," he noted. "There's no other reason. It was murder for murder's sake. All the circumstances indicate that the murder was because he was Jewish."
Asked if the hassidim at Uman are organizing for some kind of revenge, Schwartz said all the Jews' resources are now directed to returning of the victim's body to Israel for burial. "We do not want to create animosity with the neighbors," he said, but added that he expects local authorities to come up with a deterrent against the anti-Semites, by increasing police presence or some other means.