The Symon Petliura statue. Connected to the massacre of as many as 100,000 innocent Jews
The Symon Petliura statue. Connected to the massacre of as many as 100,000 innocent Jews
Photo: Myvin.com.ua
Israeli Ambassador to Kyiv Joel Lion

Israel takes issue with Nazi sympathizers named by Ukraine as national heroes

Ukraine has chosen to honor not only Nazi collaborators and sympathizers but has named on its list of national heroes historic figures responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews in Cossack-led pogroms

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 12.28.19 , 22:41
The Israeli government is protesting the inclusion of Nazi sympathizers and Cossacks who instigated pogroms against Jews on a list of heroes of Ukraine.
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  • Israel's ambassador to Kyiv Joel Lion will address the appropriate Ukraine parliament committee Friday.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    יואל ליאון
    יואל ליאון
    Israeli Ambassador to Kyiv Joel Lion
    (צילום: ארמון הנשיאות באוקראינה)
    Ukraine intends to honor the national heroes' birthdays during various events over the course of 2020.
    Israel's request to remove some of the names has caused anger in local circles as some of the people to whom Jerusalem has said it is opposed are well-known historical figures who participated in violence against Jews.
    "In this rate, Israel will demand we stop remembering our historic national hero Bohdan Khmelnytsk," said one Ukrainian source.
    Khmelnytsk was head of the Cossack Hetmanate and is credited the creation of the nation of Ukraine. But in Jewish history of the time, he is considered seen as responsible for the cruel murder of thousands of Jews.
    Also among the names on Ukraine's list of national heroes are five people who either collaborated with the Nazis, served in their ranks or sympathized with them.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    The Symon Petliura statue. Connected to the massacre of as many as 100,000 innocent Jews
    The Symon Petliura statue. Connected to the massacre of as many as 100,000 innocent Jews
    The Symon Petliura statue. Connected to the massacre of as many as 100,000 innocent Jews
    (Photo: Myvin.com.ua)
    Others were historical figures of Cossacks who carried out pogroms, such as Maksym Zalizniak, the commander of the Cossacks who killed 20,000 Jews in the area of Uman in 1768.
    Ukraine-born Zionist activist Alex Tenzer commended the Israeli ambassador's protest.
    “For hundreds of years, Jewish blood had been spilt in Ukraine,” he says.
    “We must never forget what was done to Jewish families during the Nazi rule and much earlier in the time of Khmelnytsk when the Dnieper river turned red from the blood of 300,000 Jews,” he says.
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