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March 13, 2014 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2014-03-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Israeli Hospitals Treat
Ukrainians Injured In Kiev

I

Yoel Goldman

Times of Israel

N

ine Ukrainian nationalists hurt
by gunfire during fighting in
Kiev were flown to Israel March
7 to receive crucial medical treatment.
The wounded, who are said to be in
serious condition, were taken to Kaplan
Medical Center in Rehovot and to
Hadassah's Ein Kerem Hospital.
The head of the World Forum of
Russian Speaking Jewry, Alexander
Levin, said that Kiev's central synagogue
functioned as an emergency triage center,
while efforts to transfer the wounded
were being coordinated by Kiev's Jewish
community, according to Israel Radio.
Ukraine's Jews have found themselves
in a tense predicament since the ouster of
president Viktor Yanukovych last month.
But the community, which numbers more
than 100,000, has been largely supportive
of Ukrainian nationalists against the mili-
tary invasion of Crimea by Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has
attempted to cast Ukrainian nationalists
as anti-Semites and neo-Nazis, in what
has been described by many Ukrainian
Jews as a disinformation campaign meant
to turn world opinion against the coun-
try's fledgling government.

An attack on a synagogue last week in
Crimea has been used by Russia to back
up its assertions, but Jewish leaders in
Ukraine maintain that anti-Semitism is
not on the rise.
In a highly critical open letter to Putin
published earlier this week, 21 commu-
nity leaders excoriated Putin's perceived
hypocrisy and asserted their support of
Ukrainian sovereignty "in the name of
national minorities and Ukraine's Jewish
community."
"Your certainty about the growth of
anti-Semitism in Ukraine, which you
expressed at your press conference,
also does not correspond to the actual
facts:' wrote the group. "Perhaps you got
Ukraine confused with Russia, where
Jewish organizations have noticed growth
in anti-Semitic tendencies last year."
Calling for Putin to cease his interven-
tion in Ukraine and his encouragement
for pro-Russian separatism within the
country, the group stated that it does
not wish "to be 'defended' by sundering
Ukraine and annexing its territory."



A

n Ontario judge ordered child
protection officials to use
law enforcement agencies
to apprehend 14 children in the ultra-
Orthodox sect Lev Tahor after most of
them fled the country.
On March 5, the judge was supposed
to hear an appeal of an earlier ruling
to seize the children and return them
to Quebec to be placed in foster care.
No members of Lev Tahor showed up,
and reports surfaced that several sect
members had fled to Guatemala and
Trinidad and Tobago.
The judge ordered officials to locate
the children and return them to Ontario
to be placed in the temporary care of
Chatham-Kent (Ontario) Children's
Services. Police said that 12 of the
children under the order have left the
country. The other two children were
apprehended March 9 at the Calgary
airport in western Canada.
Earlier last week, authorities in
Trinidad and Tobago stopped nine mem-
bers of the sect — three adults and six

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JTA contributed to this report

children — at the airport as they were en
route to Guatemala. They were returned
to Toronto on March 8. Another six chil-
dren are already in Guatemala, reported
the Montreal Gazette.
In an interview March 6 with the
Gazette, Canadian youth protection
official Denis Baraby said he's con-
cerned the remaining members of Lev
Tahor are planning another exodus and
that the rest of the children have to be
seized soon.
"I think the community is preparing
a mass move Baraby said. "If we want
to protect the children that are in the
community, we need to start working
on the exit of the 114 other children:'
The anti-Zionist sect had previously
lived in the U.S., then Israel. Some 250
members fled Quebec in November
just ahead of a court order to seize 14
children and place them in foster care.
Authorities said they had evidence of
physical abuse, neglect, underage mar-
riage and the forced ingestion of drugs.
The Lev Tahor settled in southwest
Ontario, where the Quebec order was
upheld last month.

IT ALL STARTS HERE

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The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan
Detroit has a website to aid Ukrainian
Jews. Donate at bit.ly/lcJPAOX.

Sect Families Flee Canada;
All But One Are Returned

JTA and other sources

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March 13 • 2014

39

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