Forbid entry to Ukrainian mayor, rabbi says


KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — A Ukrainian chief rabbi has called for barring a controversial mayor from traveling to certain countries.

Rabbi Avraham Wolf, chief rabbi of Odessa and Southern Ukraine, appealed to various countries to forbid entry to Uzhgorod Mayor Sergey Ratushnyak, who allegedly assaulted a young woman on Aug. 6 as she campaigned for a leading presidential candidate. Ratushnyak then allegedly made several xenophobic and anti-Semitic statements.

The rabbi’s open letter was addressed to Javier Solana, secretary general of the European Union; Avigdor Lieberman, foreign minister of Israel; Sergey Lavrov, foreign minister of Russia; and Hillary Clinton, the U.S. secretary of state.

Wolf called on the ministers to demonstrate to those “Ukrainian politicians who are going to play the Jewish card during upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections that such intentions run counter to the interests of our country as well as the whole world community.”

Wolf also welcomed the Ukrainian politicians who condemned Ratushnyak’s behavior and statements, as well as the prosecutor’s decision to charge him on three separate counts, including inciting ethnic hatred. Wold appealed to the world leaders “to support the processes of extirpating xenophobia and inciting interethnic hatred in Ukraine.”


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