The JCU considers overthrowing the Hanukkah menorah in Kyiv an act of inciting ethnic hatred

The JCU considers overthrowing the Hanukkah menorah in Kyiv an act of inciting ethnic hatred
12/12/2020

The Jewish Confederation of Ukraine is deeply concerned about the blatant act of vandalism committed on December 10, at the beginning of the Hanukkah festival, on Kontraktova Square in Kyiv, where the festive Hanukkiah was overturned.

Noteworthy is the outright provocative behavior of the perpetrator, who committed this act openly, making a footage of his crime, accompanied by an anti-Semitic speech.

Although the police have already identified the vandal, Andrii Rachok, and started a case under the article on hooliganism, the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine believes that this qualification does not comply with the essence of the crime and the degree of damage to the reputation of Ukraine. The fact that such a qualification is not adequate to the crime is also indicated by the fact that the next day, already after receiving a report of the criminal case start, Andrii Rachok made a second attempt to overthrow the Hanukkah menorah.

We call on the law enforcement authorities to investigate this crime under Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine as the violation of equality of citizens depending on their religious faith.

This incident reaffirmed the need for Ukraine to adopt the International Definition of Anti-Semitism (IHRA) so that  such cases have a clear legal qualification in the future and do not allow perpetrators to feel impunity.