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Ukrainian Jews challenge bill that redefines anti-Semitism

KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — The Ukrainian Jewish Committee is challenging the non-traditional interpretation of the term anti-Semitism in a new government bill.

The National Commission is attempting to modify the traditional interpretation used in the bill on the protection of public morals.

The Ukrainian Expert Commission on the Public Morals Protection, the authors of the bill, favor the term be defined as an intolerance that is expressed in the “hostile attitude toward Semites,” including Arabs, Jews and Ethiopians, instead of the traditional meaning as an intolerance or hatred toward Jews.

The Ukrainian Jewish Committee has called on the expert commission’s chairman to use the term in its traditional sense, according to a statement.

“We strongly object to such interpretation of the term because it doesn’t correspond to the traditional meaning and reality, but looks like an interpretation or quote from political dictionaries or anti-Semitic publications,” Eduard Dolinsky, a director general of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, told JTA.

“Anti-Semitism is and should be interpreted only as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish individuals and their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

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