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Jewish Journal | 12Jun2012 | [Efraim Zuroff]

Wiesenthal Center: Lviv Mayor covers up anti-Semitism

The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned a statement by the mayor of Lviv, Ukraine, in which he said that in his city “there has never been anti-Semitism and there will never be.”

Efraim Zuroff, Israel director for the Wiesenthal Center, told JTA on Monday that Mayor Andriy Sadovyi’s statement was “a hopeless attempt to cover up very strong manifestations of anti-Semitism.” Sadovyi made the statement Sunday at a news conference.

Zuroff noted a restaurant in Lviv that encourages patrons to dress up like haredi Orthodox Jews and haggle over prices. Another restaurant celebrates the legacy of the Ukrainian Nazi collaborators led by Stefan Bandera who participated in the murder of thousands of Jews in 1941.

The Lviv municipality on June 30 is set to award a prize named for Bandera to individuals who “helped develop Ukrainian statehood.” Many Ukrainians view Bandera and his troops as anti-Soviet freedom fighters.

Zuroff called the prize “another display of gross insensitivity by the Lviv municipality, which continues to countenance anti-Semitism.” He reiterated his organization’s call to tourists to avoid Lviv’s controversial restaurants. Lviv, in western Ukraine, is a host city for the Euro 2012 soccer tournament.

The Bandera prize is “part of a whitewashing campaign” in Ukraine, according to researcher Irena Cantorovich, who published a study this month on Ukrainian commemoration issues at Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry.

COMMENTS in Jewish Journal:

I’m sick and tired of this whining! Mr. Efraim Zuroff you Jewish people have their heroes and villains. I’m having hard time finding information on individuals fighting for Ukrainian freedom. And the information that you are spreading is falsified by the same people that were trying to kill off Jews on eastern front of WW2. I’m sorry that you as individual have hard time finding truth. I will point you to the truth Uman take a good at the news and have some shame!

Comment by Taras on 6/13/12 at 3:31 am

What a biased article (but then again, what could you expect…)!
Stefan Bandera is a controversial historical figure, and his relationship to Jews in Galicia could be described as ‘ambivalent’ rather than ‘anti-Semitic’. However, in contemporary (Western) Ukraine he is first and foremost regarded as an important participant in the struggle for a independent Ukrainian state. Why should Ukrainians be denied to have national heros? This article gives a good overview of the Bandera-controversy: http://www.russkiivopros.com/index.php?pag=one&id=315&kat=9&csl=46

Comment by Alexander on 6/14/12 at 6:21 am

Second, when it comes to national/religious stereotyping, I have seen a lot of that when doing academic fieldwork in Ukraine. Jews are often portraited as ‘bargaining economic entrepeneurs’, to put it in morally neutral terms. But is that so bad? Have Jewish people in general lost all sense of self-irony? Is this really anti-Semitic? Is it better to portray others as ‘cancer’, as Africans in Israel are called? http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m88783&hd;=&size=1&l=e

Comment by Alexander on 6/14/12 at 6:23 am

Mr. Zuroff,

Your article is prejudiced, anti-Ukrainian, Ukrainianphobic as well showing your lack of historical knowledge. Any article that the Jewish/Israeli news media prints or posts is most ly always anti-Ukrainian. Yet you forget your own history of modern Israel was founded by terrosist groups such as the Irgun, Hagganah and Stern Gang. As far as your comments on Stepan Bandera, he is a hero of Ukraine for figting against two evil empires of Nazi Germany and Communist Russia/Soviet Union. He fought for a free Ukraine.

Comment by Viktor on 6/14/12 at 7:13 am

This article is far away from intellegent discussion.Grossly misrepresented facts about every subject the author pointed out in his article. The above article had no other goals but to show ukrainians and citizens of Lviv as antisemitic without any grounds.

Comment by Andriy on 6/14/12 at 3:12 pm

COMMENT in Kyiv Post:

Representing PROFESSIONAL J Hate | 13Jun2012 at 16:03

The Simon Wiesenthal Center & the ADL are the world's most powerful Hate mongers and Holodomor deniers ...equating Holodomor recognition with diluting and denying the Holocaust! Remember how they hounded and warned Pres Yushchenko and his team about this during their visits to Israel & the USA. They drove Hollywood actor Mel Gibson to insanity for mentioning the Holodomor in his Readers Digest article....remember the hysterical "talk shows" about this and his movie "Passion of Christ" with their hysterical dire warnings that there would be world wide pogroms and another HOLOCAUST because of this movie. They even pressured a Ukrainian Catholic Bishop in Philadelphia to condemn Mel Gibson's Jesus movie. Guess what...NOT ONE Jew was killed or hurt ANYWHERE because of that movie! But this is TYPICAL for these HATE MONGERS who shouldn't be taken seriously by ANYONE...but instead should be prosecuted for their hate crimes and constant attempts to Censor, extort, bully and CONTROL!

[W.Z. I read the Kyiv Post shortened version of this article on 13Jun2012 and noted the above critical comment amongst others. However, when I returned to this article on 15Jun2012, all comments had disappeared and  one had to register  to"sign in" to post a comment. It seems that Ukrainophobic comments are acceptable on the Kyiv Post, but criticism of the Holocaust Industry,  its charter members and their pimps is not acceptable.]