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Ira Forman: It is Extremely Dangerous to Use Anti-Semitism as Political Tool, Especially Given the History of the Region


Kyiv, May, 16th, 2014 – Despite pro-Russian propaganda in Ukraine that is increasing throughout the crisis, there is no fear of anti-semitism that is coming from interim Ukrainian government. Moreover, Ukrainian officials are dedicated to get to the bottom of who are the perpetrators when they are unknown. This statement was voiced in Ukraine Crisis Media Center by Ira Forman, US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, who came in particular to assess how this crisis is impacting Jewish communities in Ukraine. “We get the stories of increasing anti-Semitism, how this interim government is populated by fascists and anti-Semites, and stories of Jews leaving in mass from the country. Moreover, we continue to hear reports of pro-Russian actors and their propaganda around the globe targeting the Jewish community,” tells Mr.Forman.

Having communicated with Ukrainian representatives of Jewish community Mr.Forman listed 2 key conclusions. First, there is no fear of anti-Semitism that is coming from this interim government. Second, there are incidents of anti-Semitism, but they fall into 2 categories: a part of them associated with pro-Russian actors in the East and South, and a part if incidents where perpetrator is unknown. “But there are people in the Jewish community who overwhelmingly believe it is likely perpetrated by pro-Russian actors and not associated nor with interim government nor with national movements,” he says.

Reacting to this situation Mr. Forman said: “It is wrong and dangerous to use anti-Semitism as a political tool and run up to the presidential election. It is extremely dangerous especially given the history of this part of the world. These types of claims on behalf of pro-Russian actors and Russian authorities towards Ukrainian interim government are simply false and misinformation. Therefore my Office promises in the coming weeks before and after elections to monitor any incidents of anti-Semitism and to call out the misinformation”.

Also, Ira Forman emphasized that in Ukraine the type of focus and the way of giving information is important.

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