Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Other Jewish Groups Condemn Tymoshenko (And Indirectly, Clinton) for Having Legitimised Anti-Semitic Party in Ukraine

Nov 02, 2012, 09:44 ET from Ukraine Jewish Monitor

WASHINGTON, November 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

The Anti-Defamation League of America (ADL), a major Jewish organisation, has criticised the Opposition Party of Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine for having signed a parliamentary alliance that gave legitimacy to an extremist party well known for its anti-Semitic views.

In Washington, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued a statement on November 1st in which he expressed "alarm" at the strong electoral support for the radical Svoboda (Freedom) party of Ukraine at last Sunday's parliamentary elections. 

"Anti-Semitic rhetoric," Mr. Foxman said, "has been a mainstay of Svoboda's leaders and campaign slogans."

Svoboda won more than 10 percent of the parliamentary party list votes in Ukraine, meaning it will enter parliament for the first time.

A number of U.S. Jewish observers now blame U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton for having ignored warnings about Mrs. Tymoshenko's dealings with a party accused by Israel of racism when she effectively endorsed Mrs. Tymoshenko in public statements.

Mrs Clinton's support for Mrs. Tymoshenko thus indirectly helped legitimise a party on the fringes of Ukraine politics that has never won a seat in parliament before.

Mr. Foxman singled out Tymoshenko for her cynical political alliance with a neo-fascist party, saying: "It is of particular concern that the opposition party of Yulia Tymoshenko has signed a cooperation agreement with Svoboda, giving great credibility to this fringe extremist political party."

The American Jewish organisation's criticism of Tymoshenko for having effectively given legitimacy and credibility to the extremist Svoboda party comes after similar expressions of concern from Israel.

Although neither Israel nor ADL have singled out U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton by name, it is clear to analysts that the U.S. Secretary of State's support for Tymoshenko has indirectly benefitted the extremist Svoboda party.

The ADL said in a statement yesterday that Oleh Tyahnybok, Mrs. Tymoshenko's new ally as head of Svoboda, "just yesterday confirmed his long-standing claim that Ukraine is ruled by a "Muscovite-Jewish mafia" and that "Ukraine should finally be given to Ukrainians" and should exclude hundreds of thousands of Jewish Ukrainians.

Tyahnybok, said the ADL, "has called Jews 'occupiers' of Ukraine and has lauded the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, a nationalist militia in WW 2, for killing Jews." In addition, the ADL reported that "Svoboda has organised demonstrations against Jewish pilgrimages to Hassidi Jewish holy sites in Ukraine, and its officials have tried to prevent Holocaust education films from being shown in Ukraine schools."

The New York Times, in its edition of last Monday, October 29th ("Governing Party Claims Victory in Ukraine Elections"),  said the Svoboda party's "influence is likely to be even bigger than its share of the vote because of a cooperation agreement that it signed with Mrs. Tymoshenko's Fatherland party."

Also critical of Mrs. Tymoshenko's agreement with the extremists has been the Government of Israel.

The New York Times wrote that "the agreement drew a critical statement on Saturday from the Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who alluded to the deaths of millions of Jews on Ukrainian soil during the Holocaust.

"Anti-Semitic insults by Svoboda have caused outrage on a number of occasions both in Ukraine and in Israel," Mr. Lieberman said, using the party's Ukrainian name. "The expression of such views reminds of the darkest pages in the history of the last century that has led humanity to the tragedy of the Second World War."

SOURCE Ukraine Jewish Monitor