Charge Ukrainian lawmaker, rights group urges


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Jewish human rights organization is calling for criminal charges against a Ukrainian lawmaker.

Sergey Kirichenko, a member of the Kherson regional legislature and a former deputy in the national parliament, threatened pogroms in a May 23 interview to the Russian-Israeli news Web site, according to the UCSJ: Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union.

Kirichenko has demonized Jews in the past, the organization said.

“Artificiality and moral corruption are poured through the media controlled by Jewish owners; Jewish directors and screen writers film it using Jewish actors,” Kirichenko said in the interview, UCSJ said.

“The Jews are the ones who are guilty of the economic difficulties of Kherson and Ukraine,” he added.

Kirichenko threatened pogroms if the Jews don’t give up power, saying “I would prefer that a just transfer of power from Jews to non-Jews in Ukraine take place in a civilized and peaceful way. Resisting this natural process would only incite tough consequences, examples of which there are plenty of in history.”

Dr. Leonid Stonov, director of UCSJ’s international bureaus, said Kirichenko has a long history of violating laws against the incitement of ethnic hatred.

“He often goes beyond the usual anti-Semitic rhetoric of the farright by employing terms like ‘genocide,’ " Stonov said. "Given the fact that anti-Semitic violence is a troubling feature of Jewish life in modern-day Ukraine, it is clear that such statements are not only in violation of the law, but are also extremely dangerous. We therefore ask the prosecutor’s office to begin an investigation into his continual illegal incitement of ethnic hatred.”

Earlier this year, Kirichenko said publicly that “Jews are occupiers, they have occupied us, they have stolen our wealth and they control us. … They create the circumstances under which the genocide of Slavs is made possible."

He also said, "Like in Gaza, where they kill women and children, they destroy the Slavic nation from within. … Jews think we are an inferior race who ought to serve them. That’s why they commit crimes against us that they wouldn’t dare to commit against any other people.”

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