‘We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine,’ Anti-Defamation League says

“We understand what is at stake in this war and we are proud to advocate for continued and expanded Western military, political and economic support for Ukraine,” stated the Jewish organization.

 UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT Volodymyr Zelensky attends a conference in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, in Paris, via videolink last week. The Russian leadership has asked the world to believe that the Ukrainian government led by a Jewish president is ‘a Nazi regime.’ (photo credit: UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/REUTERS)
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT Volodymyr Zelensky attends a conference in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, in Paris, via videolink last week. The Russian leadership has asked the world to believe that the Ukrainian government led by a Jewish president is ‘a Nazi regime.’
(photo credit: UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/REUTERS)

We at the Anti-Defamation League, together with the rest of the American Jewish community; and we, members of the Ukrainian Jewish community, stand in solidarity in the historic struggle for Ukrainian freedom in the war against the Russian invader.

We collectively understand this is a critical moment in the history of post-World War II Europe – both strategically and morally. We understand what is at stake in this war and we are proud to advocate for continued and expanded Western military, political and economic support for Ukraine.

In the complicated world in which we live, this war is a rare instance of good and evil in clear distinction. Russia invaded Ukraine without provocation, but with a clear and articulated goal of extinguishing Ukraine’s very existence as a sovereign state.

Ukrainian Jews suffering Russia's propaganda about Ukraine as a Nazi regime

All Ukrainians have been the target of Russian aggression, but the Jewish community of Ukraine has suffered the additional insult of Russia’s propaganda about Ukraine as a Nazi regime.

 Tanks of the Ukrainian armed forces are parked on the roadside during a withdrawal near the village of Nyzhnje in Luhansk region, Ukraine, October 5, 2015. (credit: STRINGER/ REUTERS) Tanks of the Ukrainian armed forces are parked on the roadside during a withdrawal near the village of Nyzhnje in Luhansk region, Ukraine, October 5, 2015. (credit: STRINGER/ REUTERS)

In order to justify their unjustifiable actions, the Russian leadership has asked the world to believe the unthinkable: That the Ukrainian government led by a Jewish president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is in fact “a Nazi regime.” 

When confronted with the truth that Ukraine is a democracy, led by a president and defense minister who are both Jewish, Russia stepped up its accusations and distortions by claiming that Jews can be Nazis and hinting that Hitler himself may have had Jewish blood. 

This propaganda insults Ukrainian and American Jews whose families experienced the Holocaust and mainstreams Holocaust denial and trivialization.

We are encouraged by the turn in the war in favor of Ukraine. We know, however, that Ukrainian civilians continue to be targeted and killed on a daily basis. And we know that Russia will undoubtedly grow even more brutal as it gets more desperate.

That is why we urge continued strong support in every way from the US and the West to make sure the Russians understand they cannot win this war, and those negotiations can only be about Russia evacuating the territory it has invaded.

This war of aggression by Russia has caused tens of thousands of deaths, displaced millions from their homes, caused families to be split, and overwhelmed neighboring countries with refugees. All of which is morally untenable, and strategically dangerous. 

If Europe is to have a peaceful future, and if the Jews of Europe are to have their own future within the continent, then we, Ukrainians, Americans, Europeans, Israelis and others must recommit ourselves to saving Ukraine and achieving a peace that reverses the Russian aggression.

As we see from the courage of the Ukrainian people, this goal is not a pipe dream. But it can only happen if the world exhibits the same stamina in this conflict that the Ukrainians have.

After all, it is a struggle that we all must face.

Boris Lozhkin is president of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine. Jonathan Greenblatt is CEO and national director of ADL (the Anti-Defamation League).