VAAD expresses concern over Kyiv-Mohyla inaugural lecture by anti-Semitic historian
The banner reads Anti-Semitism is Barbarism - photo from http://eajc.org/page32/news32926.html
The Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine (VAAD Ukraine) has issued a statement regarding the decision by the Kyiv –Mohyla Academy [NaUKMA to invite historian Serhiy Bilokin to give this year’s inaugural speech at the university. The university has, in previous years, invited such renowned people as Paul Ricoeur, Sergei Averintsev, Ivan Dziuba, Lina Kostenko, Yaroslav Hrytsak, Mykhailyna Kotsyubinska and Adam Michnik.
VAAD Ukraine is therefore surprised and disturbed at the invitation to a historian notorious for anti-Semitic views which he in no way attempts to conceal in academic and publicist writings. It mentions, for example, an article in which Bilokin seeks to reveal “the decisive role of Jewry” in the events of the Revolution and subsequent “Ukrainian national Catastrophe”. The other quotes cited from Bilokin’s writings are thoroughly offensive. VAAD mentions that in 2003-2004 Bilokin had links with the activities and publications of the notoriously anti-Semitic Interregional Academy of Personnel Management, better known as MAUP.
VAAD stresses the authoritative position held by the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, and its “unique atmosphere in which new generations of Ukrainian intellectuals gain their education and are formed.”
It points out that for over 10 years it has been running various joint programmes with Kyiv-Mohyla, and that from this year they are together beginning the first ever Ukrainian Masters Course on Jewish Studies. “Together with the Congress of National Communities we are drawing up and implementing unique projects aimed at developing tolerance which, after being tried out in Ukraine, we are presently developing in Moldova and Belarus, Georgia and Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan.
This makes it even more regrettable that an anti-Semite should have been invited to give NaUKMA students the address marking the beginning of the academic year”.
A report on the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress site says that the address was accompanied by protest with a banner being unfurled reading “Anti-Semitism is Barbarism.”.