Josef Zisels condemns attempts to manufacture Ukrainian-Jewish clashes in Lviv on 22 June


Human rights defender and Head of VAAD, the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine has warned in an interview to Radio Svoboda that Ukrainian-Jewish clashes are being deliberately orchestrated in Lviv to coincide with the seventieth anniversary of the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany. Members of the Odessa organizations “Jews against anti-Semitism” and “Jews against Gurvits” have said in the last few days that they plan to hold an anti-fascist rally in Lviv.

Josef Zisels stresses that these organizations are not part of VAAD and that people are being used for anti-Ukrainian provocation.

Immediately after the events of 9 May in Lviv, numerous pro-Russian organizations, communists and Russian politicians declared that the beginning of the Soviet-German War would be commemorated specifically in Lviv.

Over the last few days, two little-known organizations “Jews against anti-Semitism” and “Jews against Gurvits” have joined their number.

The Jewsih Stalinists, as they call themselves, are planning to hold an anti-fascist rally on the Hill of Glory in Lviv where clashes took place on 9 May.

Zisels: Ideological provocateurs are manipulating inexperienced people

Josef Zisels believes this is all a planned provocation so that the Russian authorities can present Western Ukraine to the world as aggressive and anti-Semitic, and Jews as Stalinists.

He stresses that ideological provocateurs are manipulating the stereotypical thinking of elderly people.

The organization “Jews against Gurvits” was created on the eve of the local elections and supported by the current Mayor Oleksy Kostusyev who, Josef Zisels says, used indirect anti-Semitic slogans in his campaign against his opponent.

“There are some older people who were used in the slogan “Jews against Gurvits”.  Nobody knows anything at all about the second organization “Jews against Anti-Semitism”.  This is a very small group of older people with a Soviet upbringing. Somebody is manipulating inexperienced people who should be aware that nobody will greet them with open arms in Lviv. A situation is being orchestrated in order to demonstrate how bad Ukrainians are, and there can’t be anything Jewish in Stalinism.”,

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