Wave of anti-Semitic vandalism in Ukraine

Graffiti praising the Holocaust and demanding Jews leave the country found on three Jewish institutions in Odessa, Ukraine.

JTA, Arutz Sheva Staff,

Odessa
Odessa
iStock

Unidentified individuals wrote anti-Semitic graffiti on three Jewish institutions in the city of Odessa in southern Ukraine.

The graffiti, including the words “toasting the Holocaust” on the gate of Odessa’s museum for that genocide, were discovered Monday. The city’s Brodsky Synagogue had the words: “Jews out, Ukraine for Ukrainians” written on its exterior fence.

Another offensive appeared on a gate adjacent to the Beit Grand Jewish Community Center. It and the other two graffiti featured the symbol of the Azov Battalion, a National Guard of Ukraine regiment that was set up after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.

Last month, an anti-Semitic slur was painted on the wall of a Jewish charity in western Ukraine.

The black graffiti saying “death to the kikes” was discovered on the exterior wall of Uzhgorod’s Hesed Shpira charity, which is funded by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, or JDC, Eduard Dolinsky, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, wrote on Facebook.

The incident follow several cases of death threats and vandalism against Jewish institutions in western Ukraine, including at cemeteries and synagogues.

The incidents have taken place amid a divisive public debate in Ukraine on the conferring of state honors to nationalists who incited hatred against Jews during the 1930s and 1940s, including for some who collaborated with the Nazis.

Earlier this month, anti-Semitic vandals threw animal blood on a menorah in the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev during the Hanukkah festival.

Two days earlier, vandals spray painted a swastika on the menorah.

Kiev police received a complaint regarding the vandalism, and have opened an investigation into what they called an “act of hooliganism”.


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