Ukrainian Jewish lawmaker Oleksandr Feldman menaced in Kiev


(JTA) — Oleksandr Feldman, a Ukrainian lawmaker and Jewish leader, said he was threatened in Kiev by uniformed men who hurled anti-Semitic insults at him.

Feldman, president of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, told police that the unidentified men surrounded his car on June 17 near the parliament building, Ukrainian Jewish Committee director Eduard Dolinsky told JTA.

“When he tried to leave, they punctured his car tires,” Dolinsky said, adding, “In the police report, Mr. Feldman noted that the men shouted anti-Semitic insults at him and this angle will be investigated.”

The suspected attackers left the scene as police approached, Dolinsky said, noting that Feldman was guarded during the assault by his bodyguard. Neither was injured in the incident, which occurred on Institutskaya Street in central Kiev.

Feldman, who wears a kippah and is one of Ukraine’s most well-known Jews, also initiated the annual Kyiv Interfaith Forum.

Anti-Semitic attacks are rare in Ukraine, and Kiev especially, but several have occurred since November following the eruption of a revolution that forced President Viktor Yanukovych to flee for Russia and has left hundreds dead.

Last month, armed and masked men threatened to burn down the house of one of Ukraine’s chief rabbis, Yaakov Dov Bleich, the president of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine. Bleich was not in the country at the time of the attack, which ended without serious injury.

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