As tensions continue to mount in Ukraine, Jewish groups are urging a peaceful solution to protests between the Ukrainian opposition and government.
“We support the clear message that top US and EU officials have been sending: the violence must stop and a negotiated political solution must be found,” the ADL said in a statement. “For the sake of all the people of Ukraine, we hope for a quick end to the violence and political turmoil.”
“For those who cherish democratic values, including the right to peaceful assembly and protest, it is incumbent to be heard and to make clear that such behavior is totally unacceptable,” added American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris. “These events pose a particular challenge for Europe and the United States, which need to underscore that, if Ukraine is to have a bright future in the international community, there must be an immediate end to the use of violence and an intensive discussion about a change of direction.”
“The promise of a democratic and peaceful Ukraine hangs in the balance… The Ukrainian leadership, supported by Moscow, bears primary responsibility for the deepening crisis. They should heed the urgent calls of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, President Obama, and European leaders to rethink their approach and respond with understanding to the legitimate aspirations of the Ukrainian people.”
Meanwhile, the Chabad-Lubavitch of Kiev has said its Or Avner Jewish Day School is remaining open, despite the continued violence.
“In Israel and the US, we are not needed, and in Ukraine, we can make a positive difference in people’s lives, so we are here,” said Rabbi Shmuli Zejger, according to Chabad.org.
Meanwhile, reports have trickled in about Israeli and Jewish involvement in the clashes, including one account from PressTV that a former Israeli officer has had a lead role in the anti-government protests.
And according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “A number of young Jews are involved in the protests, which have drawn together a diverse coalition of liberal youth and opposition party leaders, including members of the ultranationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party, whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, has freely trafficked anti-Semitic stereotypes.”