(JTA) — A Ukrainian military prosecutor suggested that Jews seek bloodshed in his country, prompting calls for his dismissal by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and others.
Col. Gen. Anatoliy Matios, Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor and a highly decorated officer who also holds the title of deputy prosecutor-general of Ukraine, spoke about at least one Jew in an interview that the Insider magazine published Monday. In it, he named a communist Jewish theoretician, Alexander Parvus, and said the revolution Parvus supported “drenched Slavs with blood for decades.” Noting Parvus’ Jewish ethnicity, Matios said: “There is always a Parvus. They want to do the same to Ukraine.”
Efraim Zuroff, Eastern Europe director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called Matios’ claims “outrageous and false.” Whereas Matios and other communist leaders were Jewish, “they weren’t acting as Jews. Their inspiration was in Moscow, not Jerusalem.” Matios “need to be fired,” he said. Zuroff said the “anti-Semitic implication from Matios’ words are undeniable.”
On Twitter, Dovid Katz, a prominent activist against anti-Semitism in Lithuania and Eastern Europe, wondered whether “there is any chance” that Ukraine’s president and government “would consider, you know, firing this madman? Any senior EU military official who suggested Jews wanted to drown the country in blood would be removed immediately,” Katz wrote, adding, “And you do want to join the EU, right?”
Matios’ “incitement of hatred against Jews,” as Zuroff called it, “is part and parcel of a bigger problem, which is the resurgence of virulent anti-Semitism in Ukraine,” he said.
Last year, the number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in Ukraine doubled from 2016 to more than 130 cases, according to a report by Israel’s Ministry for Diaspora Affairs. The tally for Ukraine surpassed the number for all the incidents reported throughout the entire region combined, the report said.