Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ukraine mayor accused of anti-Semitism

The Associated Press, By Maria Danilova (3/9/2009) KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Jewish leaders in Ukraine and Russia on Thursday condemned the mayor of a Ukrainian city who called a presidential hopeful "an impudent little Jew," and Russia's chief rabbi said he would travel there in a show of support for the local Jewish community.

The incident was a worrying sign of persistent anti-Semitism in a country that lost hundreds of thousands of Jews in the Holocaust, but also evidence of a heated presidential election campaign in a politically chaotic country and Ukraine's tense relations with neighboring Russia...

Ratushnyak denied he attacked the campaign activist, calling the incident a "myth." He did, however, confirm his remarks regarding Yatsenyuk but said he believed they were not offensive.

"Is everybody obliged to love Jews and Israel? If I don't like Jews and Israel, does that make me an anti-Semite?" he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview...

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