Thursday, March 06, 2014

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The Ukranian Jews- It’s Not What You Think

A reader wrote…

I just wanted to comment on your post regarding Ukrainian Jews.

I think that your comment regarding "abandoning their property" was harsh and unfair. I had the misfortune of spending a month in the Ukraine and it is a miserable, backward and intensely anti-semitic country. The situation of many Jews that I saw there was just heartbreaking. Many are elderly, holocaust survivors.

It's mainly an aging, and weak community. If they don't leave I don't think that it's because of clinging onto their wealth.  They're still drawing water from wells and don't have telephones in their homes, and there's absolutely nothing to buy there.

Here’s a report on the status of the Ukrainian Jewish community.

B"D Hashem should bring them all home safely.

I grant that I may have applied Western standards to a non-Western Jewish community in saying they could flee if they are ready to abandon their property.  But, given the conditions you describe and the increasing risks of anti-semitic semi-fascist anti-government native Ukrainian groups on one side and an aggressive Russia on the other – and a significant percentage of the community having the option of making aliyah to Israel with costs covered by the Israeli government, what’s holding them in place?

The Normalcy Bias?

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