Gangsters, Ukraine, Warmonger

Post-Maidan Ukrainian Anti-Semitism: Tragic “Blowback” Resulting from U.S. Interventionist Foreign Policy?

Hits: 1849

The foreign policy of the United States in the post-Cold War era, driven by a doctrine of Exceptionalism and managed by a neoconservative strategy, has been responsible for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Nato’s war on Libya in 2011 and the covert war waged in Syria using Islamist proxies. It was also at the root of its involvement in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukraine in 2014. But the geopolitical advantage intended in each enterprise has brought the proverbial blowback.

The results are plain to see. Libya is now certifiably a failed state. Accompanying the destruction of the country’s infrastructure during the war to overthrow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was the loss of life which included the targeting by rebel factions of black African migrants and black Libyan citizens. The aftermath of Gaddafi’s fall, which is dominated by enduring battles between rival militias in different regions of the country has seen the rise of Islamist power including offshoots associated with the so-called Islamic State who has been responsible for the beheadings of Christian Ethiopian migrant workers. Migrants intending to reach European shores have lost their lives while embarking on perilous journeys across the Mediterranean Sea and there are even reports of West African migrants being bought and sold openly in modern-day slave markets.

Iraq is now a fractured state where many lives have been lost in a continuing cycle of violence. Added to the casualties of the battles during the invasion were those lost through a campaign to put down a Sunni insurgency which had been taking a toll on American soldiers. The war crimes associated with brutal battles in the city of Fallujah were repeated through a counterinsurgency strategy of U.S.-organised Shia death squads. Iraqi lives have continued to be lost in the ongoing war to liberate those parts of the country which were overrun by the Islamic State.

The Syrian War has cost approaching half a million lives and has led to the internal and external displacement of millions of its citizens. In both Syria and Iraq, Christians have faced violent persecution with those who fled from Iraq to Syria hoping for safety only to find their existence along with that of their Syrian coreligionists imperiled by the rise of jihadist groups.

Now in Ukraine where war has raged between the Ukrainian army and the separatist armies of the eastern Donbass region, the country’s Jewish community is facing a rise in anti-Semitism due to a resurgent nationalism; a phenomenon which can arguably be directly attributed to the forces unleashed by the U.S.-sponsored coup d’etat of February 2014.

The narrative of the Western mainstream media in regard to the fall of the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych still holds that it was as a result of a popular uprising of the masses symbolised by gatherings at Maidan Square in the city of Kiev. The truth is much different.

Serious questions need to be asked in several quarters about how the phenomenon of rising levels of anti-Semitism has been stimulated.

Firstly, what level of forethought was given by the responsible planning officials in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and Nato intelligence as to the range of potential side-effects when making the decision to utilise the services of ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi elements in the endeavour of so-called ‘regime change’?

Secondly, which agency within the government of Israel made the decision to send five Ukrainian Jewish emigres who were former Israeli Defence Force soldiers to lead a group of 40 street thugs in battles against the security forces of the Yanukovych-led government at Maidan? Did it have anything to do with a pledge made in the later part of 2013 by the head of the extremist Svoboda party to the Israeli ambassador that his party was no longer anti-Semitic? Similar assurances were given in February 2014 by the neo-Nazi Pravy Sektor group to the ambassador when its leader claimed that it had rejected xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

Thirdly, why were important figures in Ukraine’s Jewish community quick to dismiss Russian president Vladimir Putin’s condemnation of the role of anti-Semitic groups in the Maidan coup as a cynical ploy aimed at dividing Ukraine’s Jewish community? In March of 2014, 21 leaders of Ukraine’s Jewish community signed an open letter addressed to Putin criticising him while confidently insisting that even the most marginal of Ukrainian nationalist groups did not demonstrate anti-Semitism or other forms of xenophobia.

Part of the letter read:

“And we know that our very few nationalists are well-controlled by civil society and the new Ukrainian government -which is more than can be said for the Russian neo-Nazis, who are encouraged by your security services.”

Putin’s purported objectives were at the time claimed to have been unsuccessful and according to Timothy Snyder, an American academic, the Jews in Ukraine had become “Ukrainian Jews”.

It is of course possible that the authors of the letter felt compelled to write what they did because they calculated that refusal to do so might have prompted unwanted scrutiny of the loyalties of Ukrainian Jews and even reprisals. Nonetheless, it is clear that several of its contents were manifestly untrue given, for instance, the decision of the post-Yanukovych parliament to issue an edict abolishing a law which allowed the country’s regions to make Russian a second official language.

The Maidan coup was overseen by Victoria Nuland, then the U.S. Under-Secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, who was captured handpicking the future government of Ukraine in a tape of an intercepted conversation she had with the American ambassador to Ukraine.

Nuland, herself Jewish, had been photographed with Oleh Tyahnybok the leader of Svoboda who in 2004 had spoken about the need to fight the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia” controlling Ukraine. The following year, Tyahnybok signed an open letter to then-President Viktor Yushchenko which called for the government to halt the “criminal activities” of “organised Jewry”.

In the coming years, the dismantling of the Yanukovych government will come to be seen less as a popular uprising than as a foreign-sponsored intelligence operation along the lines of Operation Ajax, the CIA’s overthrow of the democratically elected government of Mohamed Mossadegh in Iran in 1953.

The CIA had bribed key officials and public figures into denouncing the policies of Mossadegh. It also rented the services of mobs composed of Right-wing activists and members of the underworld to manoeuvre the protests into the direction of violence. In a similar vein, Pravy Sektor and other extremist paramilitary organisations played a key role in the violence in Maidan Square. These bodies are composed of the worshippers and political descendants of Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist leader.

Bandera’s image was on prominent display at Maidan and in a sense he served as a kind of spiritus rector for the enterprise. Bandera was a Nazi collaborator who was instrumental in forming the Roland and Nachtigall Battalions, both of which supported the Wehrmacht during the Nazi invasion of the U.S.S.R. in 1941. The 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (Ist Galician), also composed of Ukrainian volunteers, would later materialise as a fighting force on the German eastern front.

Anti-Semitism is embedded in the history of Ukraine. Ukraine composed a large geographical segment of the Pale of Settlement where Jews were largely restricted at the time of the Russian empire. Babi Yar, the ravine site of an infamous massacre of almost 34,000 Jews in 1941 is situated in Kiev.

Prior to the emergence of modern Ukraine after the breakup of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, each of the two previous independent Ukrainian states to have emerged during the course of the 20th century which were headed by the nationalist figures Symon Petliura and Stepan Bandera were linked to the commission of anti-Jewish pogroms.

Tyahnybok’s “Muscovite-Jewish” reference reflects the prevailing view propagated by nationalists who blame the historic misfortunes of the Ukrainian people on Russia and the Jews. This interpretation of history holds that the great famine of the 1930s, known in Ukraine as the Holodomor, was instigated by the ethnic Russian and Jewish Bolshevik leadership in the Kremlin, with the Jewish Lazar Kaganovich playing a key role in the tragedy in which millions of Ukrainians starved to death.

So poisonous is the legacy of anti-semitism in Ukraine that Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the lawyer and economist who became the first prime minister of Ukraine after overthrow of the Yanukovych government, denied being Jewish in the face of contrary evidence. It is a stance which prompted the followers of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to publish a lengthy open letter condemning Yatsenyuk for denying his Jewishness. In the same vein, nationalists frequently cast aspersions on the Ukrainian heritage of President Petro Poroshenko and opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko by referring to the supposedly Jewish surnames that feature among the antecedents of both.

The ascendance of several Jewish figures such as Yatsenyuk to political power including the installation soon after the Maidan coup of the Jewish oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky as governor of Dnipropetrovsk, a part of the eastern region, is taken by ultra-nationalists as confirmation of a disproportionate level of Jewish power and influence in Ukraine.

The country is mired in an endemic culture of corruption and a patriarchal system which is proving difficult to reform. Poroshenko’s initiative to enable foreigners to be appointed to top positions in government through a special law which fast-tracked those earmarked via a presidential decree was seen as evidence of Ukraine’s dire economic circumstances. It also did not meet with the approval of Ukrainian nationalists many of whom voiced concerns about the implication that Ukrainians lacked the talent and expertise to transform their own fortunes as a nation.

Economic stagnation, if not regression, along with an intermittent but vicious civil war with Russian-speaking separatists in the eastern Donbass region render Ukraine as species of a failed state. And it is in circumstances of economic difficulties that anti-Semitism has often reared its head.

There have been recent publicised instances of Ukrainian public figures making blatantly anti-Jewish remarks. For instance, in March Nadiya Savchenko, the Ukrainian army pilot turned politician, claimed that while she did not consider herself anti-semitic, she did not like Jews because although constituting “two per cent” of the population, they “occupy 80 per cent of power.”

In May, Vasily Vovk, a retired general with connections to the country’s security service, called for the destruction of the Jewish community. Vovk asserted that he was “completely against Jews” and that they were not Ukrainians.

“I will destroy you along with Rabinovich. I’m telling you one more time – go to hell, zhidi (kikes), the Ukrainian people have it here with you”.

“Rabinovich” is believed to refer to Jewish Ukrainian oligarch and politician, Vadim Rabinovich.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a global organisation which monitors anti-Semitism, has highlighted concerns expressed by the Jewish community of a rise in bigotry and violence. If Ukraine is drifting slowly but inexorably into a new dark era of naked anti-Semitism, it is clear that the United States which backed the xenophobic Banderovsti at Maidan must reflect on the costs of its actions one of which has been the increase in Jewish insecurity and even flight from the country.


Originally published on 2017-07-28

About the author: Adeyinka Makinde is a London-based writer. He can be followed on Twitter @AdeyinkaMakinde

Source: Adeyinka Makinde

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

Save

Save

 
READ MORE!
Mass Incarceration, Prison Labor in the United States
The Federal Prison Industries (FPI) under the brand UNICORE operates approximately 52 factories (prisons) across the United States. Prisoners manufacture or assemble a number of products for the US military, homeland security,and federal agencies according to the UNICORE/FPI website. They produce furniture, clothing and circuit boards in addition to providing computer aided design services and call center support for private companies. UNICORE/FPI makes its pitch for employing call center support personnel to firms thinking about off-shoring their call center functions. The logic is that, hey!, they may be prisoners, but it’s keeping the jobs in the USA that matters. Fair enough. ...
READ MORE
“Humanitarian Intervention” and the „New World Order“: A Violation of the International Law
The Concept & The Origin Of The TermThe term „humanitarian intervention“ is the American political neologism (newly coined word) to morally cover a new format of  Washington's global imperialism at the time of the post-Cold War's „New World Order“ in which the USA feel very comfortable to play a role of a global policeman. Theoretically, according to the Western conception of „humanitarian intervention“, one or more states (the USA and the NATO) have a moral (quasi) obligation and/or right to intervene into the internal affairs of other state, if this state (according to the self-evaluation by Washington) does not respect ...
READ MORE
What is July 4th to US Imperialism? What is It to the Oppressed?
“The Declaration of Independence implicitly legalized the enslavement of Black people and the genocide of Native people within the context of the developing American capitalist nation-state.” July 4th is once again approaching and principled left forces need to use the day as a teaching moment. In a speech given on July 4th, 1852, Frederick Douglas spoke before a packed Rochester Hall and did just that, highlighting the hypocrisy that stains the July 4th celebration of the American Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence, as Douglass emphasized, held no worth to the millions of Black people in the United States whose existence was ...
READ MORE
Holodomor in the United States
Yet another scandal is exploding on the Internet. The administration of free encyclopedia Wikipedia removed an article by a Russian researcher, devoted to assessing the loss of US citizens as a result of the Great Depression of 1932-33. Outraged bloggers began mass distribution of articles in the Russian segment of the popular blogging service Live journal. The material led to heated debates, while the so-called historical flash mob continues.Russian researcher Boris Borisov touched a really hot topic in his material on the estimated number of victims of the American Great Depression, which in turn, apparently caused a very strong reaction ...
READ MORE
War Crimes: Agent Orange, Monsanto, Dow Chemical and Other Ugly Legacies of the Vietnam War
Fifty years ago this next month (December 1965), with the urging of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the rubber stamp approval of President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, the United States Air Force started secretly spraying the forests of Laos with a deadly herbicide that was known as Agent Orange. Operation Ranch Hand, whose motto was “Only We Can Prevent Forests” (a shameful takeoff of Smokey the Bear’s admonition), was a desperate, costly and ultimately futile effort to make it a little harder for the National Liberation Front soldiers from North Vietnam to join and supply their ...
READ MORE
Hillary Clinton Wants to Do this Again — Now to Syria
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (and President Obama — and some NATO partners) did it previously to Libya, and here was the result (as discussed by the retired British career diplomat Craig Murray, at his craigmurray.org.uk, who has kindly allowed me to distribute it to other newsmedia) [and I as editor will add a few clarifiers and questions in brackets] (and then afterward, I shall add my own comments); so, here is Craig Murray:This is the result of NATO bombing of Sirte to “enforce the no-fly zone” in Libya.When the neo-cons in the UK parliament and the serial warmonger Hillary Clinton call for a ...
READ MORE
United States War Crimes
Human Rights Day, December 10, 2016, we bring to the attention of our readers an important article published in 2002 on the record of US war crimes. The issue of War Crimes emerged after World War I at the Versailles Conference, but it was not until the end of World War II that a more comprehensive definition of what constitutes war crimes was developed. First among new international conventions addressing war crimes was the 1950 Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal. Its fundamental premise was that the conduct of war in violation of international treaties was a crime against peace. Ill treatment ...
READ MORE
There is no Strategy Behind Trump’s War, Just Brute Force
These are awesome days for headline writers. So many global settings, such an abundance of weapons, such a wealth of choices! On the morning of April 14, the New York Times led with “A Giant U.S. Bomb Strikes ISIS Caves in Afghanistan,” matched by CNN’s “US Drops ‘Mother of All Bombs.’” The Washington Post chose Syria, where “Errant U.S. Strike Kills 18: Victims in Syria Were Allied Forces.” By mid-afternoon that same day, the Associated Press had shifted to the horn of Africa, where the “U.S. Sends Dozens of Troops to Somalia, 1st Time in Decades.” And as the Friday rush hour ...
READ MORE
27 Million Died in Russia because Wall Street Built Up Hitler’s Wehrmacht to Knock Out Soviet Union
With criminal corporate monopoly media masking the US created prosecutable genocide ongoing in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan by focusing attention on Russia, fantasized  as a dangerous enemy needing military confrontation, it might be a good time to review past US planned, facilitated and at times perpetrated genocidal crimes in Russia. History in context kind of puts to rest all the hype about evil Russia seeking to expand when it already is the largest country in the world spanning nine time zones with only half the population of the US to fill it.In 1900, Russia and America ...
READ MORE
US Foreign Policy is as Bellicose as Ever
It only took a few months under Donald Trump’s presidency for the US to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, impose new sanctions on Russia, reverse the normalisation of diplomatic relations with Cuba, announce its intention to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, warn Pakistan, threaten Venezuela with military intervention, and declare a readiness to strike North Korea with ‘fire and fury … the likes of which this world has never seen before.’ The Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Israel are the only countries on better terms with the US since Trump’s arrival in the White House on 20 January.Trump is ...
READ MORE
United States Imperialism Continues War in Afghanistan and the Destabilization of Africa
In just one week the United States government will commemorate its 16th anniversary in the bombing and occupation of Afghanistan.This war did not really begin in 2001 resulting from the attacks on September 11 where planes were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon headquartered right outside of Washington, D.C.U.S. involvement in the destabilization of Afghanistan goes back to the late 1970s when the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDP) led a socialist-oriented administration which advanced the cause of working people and farmers as well as providing fundamental civil rights to women. ...
READ MORE
Crimea: Was it Seized by Russia, or did Russia Block its Seizure by the U.S.?
Both before and after Crimea left Ukraine and joined Russia in a public referendum on 16 March 2014, the Gallup Organization polled Crimeans on behalf of the U.S. Government, and found them to be extremely pro-Russian and anti-American, and also anti-Ukrainian. (Neither poll was subsequently publicized, because the results of each were the opposite of what the sponsor had wished.) Both polls were done on behalf of the U.S. Government, in order to find Crimeans’ attitudes toward the United States and toward Russia, and also toward Ukraine, not only before but also after the planned U.S. coup in Ukraine, which occurred ...
READ MORE