«Jewish Observer»
August 2002
5762 Elul

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"If somebody asserts such struggle (against anti-Semitism - A.N.) goes on, - writes a Ukrainian film producer Alexander Muratov ("Einikait" (Kiev), #5, 2002), take the liberty of spitting upon his eyes". Impunity of anti-Semitism conditions its expansion, penetration into court instances, certain circles of intelligentsia both rightist and leftist. It is piling up heaps of lies in the hope nobody will manage to refute all this. That's why it is time to get down to those who spread anti-Semitic rubbish. Let's begin with a court.

We've already written that members of the "Unity" party brought an action against Rudolph Mirsky and the newspaper "Ukraine and world today" for criticizing their activity. This was, practically, a revenge for professor's coming out against anti-Semitism and, in particular, for his participating in our book "Anti-Semitism against Ukraine". The court rejected the request by Mirsky and his lawyer to conduct an ethnic political examination into publications on the activity of the "Unity" organizers. These publications by the "Za vilnu Ukrainu" (ZVU) newspaper were of an open national chauvinistic character which caused Mirsky's criticism. Unfortunately, courts in Ukraine are still captivated by former ideas when political and ethnic studies were considered bourgeois sciences.

The country has a successfully functioning Institute for political and ethnic studies of NASU, which is engaged, among other things, in the sphere of inter-ethnic relations. However, the General Procurator's office and court of Ukraine reveal little interest in its activity.

13 party members accused Mirsky and the newspaper of their families' having troubles and health deterioration due to his pronouncements. In spite of all these assertions being unconfirmed in the court, the judge P.Ukrainets wrote in the decision, "...the court assumes Mirsky's pronouncements spread by mass media could have had a negative impact on each of plaintiffs to the case... each of them could have borne moral detriment..." The judge further proceeds from assumption to assertion, "Since the defendants have spread a non-corresponding to reality information humiliating the honour and dignity of the plaintiffs... and brought moral (non-material) detriment, this information is to be refuted in compliance with the plaintiffs' demand..."

The judge chose an interesting way of finding out to what extent Mirsky's pronouncement published by the "Ukraine and world today" corresponds to reality. He simply looked through the Program and Statute of the party and discovered no clauses "aimed at arousing interethnic discord". It would have been strange if the party members had submitted the text in line with their true actions. The judge simply overlooked these actions, namely, publishing national chauvinistic materials in "ZVU", as well as the book "Whom God chooses" (Lvov, 2001) in which the former editor of this book B. Vovk, a member of the "Unity" party leadership, had presented its (newspaper's) anti-Semitic articles brought together.

As a result, the court turned down financial claims by the plaintiffs and bound R.Mirsky and the newspaper "Ukraine and world today" to bring excuses before plaintiffs. National chauvinists celebrate, and Mirsky has decided to refer to a court of appeals in search of justice. This search can lead him not only to the Supreme Court of Ukraine.

After the newspaper "CN-Stolichnye novosty" had exposed anti-Jewish publications by the journal "Personal", professor M.Senchenko came out in its defense having published his article in the newspaper "Selskie vesti" (14.06.2002), evidently supposing it was of particular importance for workers of the agro-industrial complex (AIS). In this article ("Personal" also published it almost unchanged (#6, 2002) Senchenko is introduced, without false modesty, as an academician of the UN International academy of information (IAI). He expounds his maxims based on pronouncements of a "famous Zionist" V.Zhabotinsky who somehow evoked Mr. Sencnenko's confidence. The latter liked the hyperbole of Odessa's publicist about an alleged possibility "to become an anti-Semite for just one word "Jew" (1909).

Such a primitive approach of a merited scientist of Ukraine has led to a no less vulgar conclusion that "A Jewish question today is a taboo not only in Ukraine but around the world". The Ukrainian reality refuted such fabrications long ago. After the conference dedicated to Ukrainian-Jewish relations the Republican associations of historians held in 1991 numerous Ukrainian editions published materials on different aspects of the Jewish question.

We may mention the magazines "Suchasnist" ("Modern times" #8, 1992), "Philosophical and sociological thought" (#1-2, 5-6, 1994), "I" (#8, 1996), monographs by professors of the Kiev national university named after T.Shevchenko V.Sergeichuk and V.Gusev, publications by senior lecturers of the Zaporozje university Semen and Vladimir Orlyansky who have described the history of Jews of their city and many others.

The director of Book Chamber of Ukraine Senchenko, undoubtedly, knows about these editions but pretends to be unaware of.

Senchenko alleges, "there is, in effect, no anti-Semitism in Ukraine", but then he agrees, "manifestations of anti-Semitism are ousted to a marginal level of life". We also have no objections to the fact that an officially registered in Ukraine Nazi-type "Idealist" published under the motto "We adopt a law on deporting Yids out of Ukraine", anti-Semitic books of the Oriyany publishing house and the mentioned "Personal" are found namely on this level. Since they officially do not represent influential power structures of Ukraine. The "Dzhereltse" edition of the Kharkov "Prosvita" was also on the marginal level when the court found it anti-Semitic ensuing an appeal by the Association of national cultural unions of Ukraine. Anti-Semitic publications disappeared from the pages of the "Vecherny Kiev" which was forced to publish a refutation of its accusations of our book "Anti-Semitism against Ukraine".

A good hostess leaves no dust in corners whereas a bad one pays no attention to it believing it yet be clean. Mister Senchenko alleges the Anti-Defamation league (ADL) needs anti-Semitism "to somehow justify its existence and funds it receives". Unfortunately, Senchenko and alike provide a sufficient amount of work for ADL which, nonetheless, gets no finances. None of the Jewish programs envisages funds to specially counteract anti-Semitism. The majority of Jewish leaders resemble masochists in this question: they count punches they get and classify them. This process is called monitoring of anti-Semitism.

A Jewish question, as well as a national question in general, can be tabooed only for xenophobes and chauvinists. The latter created ideological grounds of Holocaust and other tragedies resulting from stirring up interethnic discord. But when famous Ukrainian academicians I.Kuras, P.Tolochko, Y.Isayevich, I.Dzuba, M.Popovich and others speak on the Jewish issue they evoke a big respect and gratitude. Conferences on problems of the Jewish history and culture annually held in Kiev, Zaporozhje and Dnepropetrovsk give floor to researchers of different nationalities; their reports are made public by the editions of these forums.

To be continued.

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