Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ukraine: Couple attacked in Kiev, Jewish leaders blame pro-Russian rioters

Israel National News reports:
An Israeli couple in Ukraine's capital city of Kiev were rescued from a near-lynching last Friday, right before Shabbat. 
Zalman Hetzklovich and his wife were walking in Kiev's Independence Square in the center of the city, when eight Ukrainians wearing uniforms and holding sticks suddenly leaped out of a van at them. 
The Ukrainians pointed at the couple, shouting in Russian for them to stop.
"I understood that if I didn't run at that moment it would be the end of us," reported Hetzklovich. "I stopped a taxi and got in with my wife, asking the driver to get us out of there. The attackers surrounded the car and demanded the driver stop."

Rabbi Hillel Cohen, who himself was stabbed in Kiev in an antisemitic attack last week, blames pro-Russian rioters for both attacks.

This idea is echoed by another Ukrainian Jewish leader:
An attack on a Ukrainian rabbi over the weekend was a provocation, intended as a “justification for the continuation of Russian aggression” in Crimea, one Ukrainian Jewish leader asserted on Saturday. 
Such violence serves to “discredit the new government of Ukraine,” Josef Zissels, chairman of the Vaad of Ukraine and a vice president of the World Jewish Congress, told The Jerusalem Post.

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