Simon Wiesenthal Center Urges Russian President Putin and Ukraine's Acting President Turchynov to Denounce Anti-Semitism on Both Sides of the Ukraine Crisis

April 23, 2014

Among latest incidents: Synagogue recently targeted by anti-Semitic flyers firebombed on Passover; Ukrainian separatists pledge to combat "zombie Zionists" in apparent promotional video for new pro-Russian TV channel

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading international Human Rights NGO, is urging both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov to publicly denounce any and all acts of anti-Semitism amidst the continuing crisis between the two countries. The latest incidents include a firebombing of the Nikolayev Synagogue in Donetsk, Ukraine during the Passover holiday early last Saturday morning. That synagogue was targeted on Passover Eve with anti-Semitic flyers demanding that Jewish citizens register with local authorities and that they also register their properties. The flyer recalled Nazi edicts against Jews during the 1930s and 40s. Media sources also report that a bizarre video, described as "a powerful blow to the biblical matrix and zombie Zionist" was shown on KPE TV, the new pro-Russian network is based in Slovyansk, a city located 60 miles north of Donetsk.

"Instead of endless rounds of a blame game as to who is responsible for despicable and sometimes violent acts of anti-Semitism, we urge both Presidents Putin and Turchynov to publicly denounce any and all manifestations of anti-Semitism, whether from political podiums, the mass media, or violent hate crimes," urged Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder and dean and associate dean of the Center.

The Rabbis added that, "The multi-pronged Ukraine/Russia crisis continues to fester and while Jews have no influence on its outcome, hundreds of thousands of Jewish citizens remain vulnerable to hateful manipulation and horrific scapegoating. Only strong leadership from the top can put an end to these disgusting and dangerous spectacles."

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook,, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).