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Israeli diaspora affairs minister calls for action against anti-Semitism in Poland, Greece and Ukraine

In Athens, basketball fans attacked Israelis in the crowd, burned an Israeli flag and waved flags of the Hezbollah terrorist group

Minister of Diaspora Affairs Amichai Chikli (Photo: Ilan Lorenzi)

Following anti-Semitic incidents in Poland, Greece and Ukraine, Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli called on the ambassadors of the three countries to address the anti-Semitism in their respective countries.  

On April 11, fans a Basketball Champions League game in Athens attacked Israelis in the crowd, burned an Israeli flag and waved flags of the Lebanon-based terrorist organization, Hezbollah, according to Chikli's letter to Greek Ambassador to Israel Kyriakos Loukakis. 

“It should be noted,” wrote Chikli, “that a similar event happened in December 2019 in another basketball match between these same teams in Athens, when in addition to burning the Israeli flag, AEK [Athens Football Club] fans put up pictures of Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian terrorist responsible for deadly terror activity which killed dozens of Israeli citizens.”

In Poland, in the town of Pruchnik, an effigy designed with anti-Semitic stereotypes and inscripted with “Judas 2023” was hanged and burned by residents last week, as part of Easter celebrations originating in the Middle Ages. 

“While traditions are important,” wrote Chikli, “including those that represent different ideologies, the ceremonies mentioned above have led throughout history to blood libels, discrimination and pogroms against innocent Jewish people and other bystanders.” 

“The execution took place via hanging, and the ‘corpse’ was then paraded through the streets while children and adults beat it with sticks, delivering 30 blows. The ceremony ended with the residents burning the effigy, marking a disturbing conclusion to the event,” wrote the European Jewish Congress.

According to Chikli, the local municipality had promised it would end the tradition in 2019. 

In Kyiv, Ukraine, the city council looked to name a street after a Nazi collaborator and Schutzstaffel (S.S.) official, Volodymyr Kubiyovych.

“During [World War II], Kubiyovych headed the social welfare and the economic committee (the Ukrainian Central Committee), which published in August 1942 an officiant notice to deport Jews and anyone who hid them,” Chikli wrote. 

“It is of the utmost importance of me to reach out to you personally about this problematic incident,” Chikli wrote about the street-naming. 

The diaspora affairs minister asked all three ambassadors to come up with a meaningful response to the incidents.


The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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