Ukrainian MP Oleksandr Feldman 370.
(photo credit: SAM SOKOL)
KIEV – The leader of the Svoboda Party – a far-right political faction widely
perceived by Ukrainian Jews to be anti-Semitic – recently met with Israel’s
Ambassador to Kiev Reuven Dinel, to discuss a possible visit to Israel,
Ukrainian MP Oleksandr Feldman told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
an interview at the third annual Kiev Interfaith Forum, Feldman, who is a
lawmaker from the ruling Party of Regions faction and president of the Ukrainian
Jewish Committee, alleged that Dinel and a representative of Svoboda were
brought together by a Jewish member of parliament.
Feldman declined to
specify to which MP he was referring, saying that there were several other Jews
in parliament and that identifying the lawmaker was “not the right
According to Feldman, the Svoboda party was “kind of having fun
with the situation” and was planning on making use of a visit to Israel for
propaganda purposes, to garner “excellent public relations.”
leadership, the Jewish parliamentarian said, would use an Israel visit to gain a
patina of respectability and to discredit those who are active against their
party, allowing the groups to tell Ukrainians that it is only “Jewish radicals”
like Feldman who are against them.
Such a visit would be dangerous,
Feldman told the Post
Eduard Dolinsky, executive director of the
Ukrainian Jewish Committee, who was present for the interview, added that “very
recently” there were “initial contacts, through a Jewish member of parliament,
[between] Svoboda [and] Israel, but the Israeli Foreign Ministry instructed the
ambassador here not to continue what he initially planned.”
trying “to organize a visit of their leaders to Israel,” he said.
Post could not independently verify Feldman’s claims. Neither the Foreign
Ministry nor the Svoboda party replied to email requests for comment. The
Israeli Embassy in Kiev did not immediately respond to a request for further
information regarding Feldman and Dolinsky’s claims.