“It is imperative that Ukrainian authorities stand up to Svoboda’s rising power,” says director of New York-based American Center for Democracy
WASHINGTON, June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is being released by the US-Ukraine Observer:
Director of the American Center for Democracy Rachel Ehrenfeld observes in a recent commentary that the “overtly anti-Semitic, anti-Russian and anti-Polish rhetoric of Svoboda (‘Freedom’) party” have been embraced by Ukraine’s political opposition and ignored by Ukrainian authorities. Writing for The Algenmeier, based in New York, Ehrenfeld writes: “Ukraine’s strongest western well-wishers have urged the ‘respectable’ Opposition to shun Svoboda. ‘The European Parliament [EP] has said it does not understand why opposition parliamentary factions Batkivschyna and UDAR cooperate with the Svoboda all-Ukrainian union, which the EP accuses of having anti-Semitic views. I can’t imagine that people like Klitschko, who position themselves as Europeans, and Yatseniuk, would willingly shake the hand of a person who in public states that Jews are the main threat to European civilization,’ said Marek Siwiec, a Polish EP member. But shake hands with Svoboda they do. In fact, they clasp hands in unity for the simple fact that they believe that working together in a united Opposition that includes Svoboda is the only way they can beat Yanukovych in the next presidential election in 2015. Whether that will work as a political calculation remains to be seen. In the meantime, it is imperative that Ukrainian authorities stand up to Svoboda’s rising power. While Polish and German prosecutors announced they were looking into extradition cooperation with the U.S., Ukraine has thus far remained quiet. Unless Kiev decides to prosecute Korkac and ask for his deportation, he’s likely to live out the rest of long life (he’s 94 years old) in the U.S.”
Ehrenfeld states there are growing concerns about ant-Semitic political forces in Ukraine. “The rich history of Nazi-like symbolism and glorification of Ukrainian collaborators with the Third Reich did not stop the supposedly more responsible elements of Ukraine’s political opposition, the Batkivshchina (“Fatherland”) and UDAR parties from joining forces with Svoboda.,” writes Ehrenfeld. “My [May 2013] article, which unbeknown to me, was translated and published in Russian, generated interesting comments both on The Algemeiner page and elsewhere. Some supported while others attacked me,” she continues.
In her commentary, Ehrenfeld cites examples of Svoboda supporters who wrote following her original commentary. Ehrenfeld writes: “Even more telling than the individual perspectives behind these bigoted comments is what they portend about future dangers in Ukraine. Ukraine is far from the only country that needs to struggle with atrocious episodes from its past and face disturbing influences on its future. America has its own struggles with racism and anti-Semitism. On June 15, the Associated Press exposed Minnesota resident and Nazi war criminal Michael Korkac, who in 1949, was allowed to immigrate to the U.S. Korkac, who was involved in suppressing the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, is a former officer and founding member of the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion and later was an officer in the infamous SS Galician Division, which, as mentioned in my earlier article, was glorified by Svoboda. ‘The Galician Division and a Ukrainian nationalist organization he served in were both on a secret American government blacklist of organizations whose members were forbidden from entering the United States at the time‘.”
Rachel Ehrenfeld is the director of the New York-based American Center for Democracy.
The Algenmeier: “Telling the Truth About Ukraine’s Rising Anti-Semitic ‘Svoboda’ Party: An Eye-Opening Experience – With Portents for Ukraine’s Future” http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/06/21/telling-the-truth-about-ukraine’s-rising-anti-semitic-svoboda-party-an-eye-opening-experience—with-portents-for-ukraine’s-future/
Contact: US-Ukraine Observer, Frank Abernathy, 615-290-5662, email@example.com
SOURCE US-Ukraine Observer