Anti-Semitic Party Gains in Ukraine Election

Far-Right Svoboda Wins Unprecedented 12% of Vote

By JTA

Published October 29, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Ukrainian ultranationalist Svoboda Party has made unprecedented gains in the country’s parliamentary elections, where it garnered 12 percent of the vote.

Svoboda – or Freedom Party – has gained a reputation as an anti-Semitic movement due to anti-Jewish statements by its leaders.

Sunday’s vote means the party can now control a faction in parliament for the first time, according to exit polls. The party won less than one percent of the vote in the last election in 2007.

Party leader Oleg Tyagnibok has called in the past for purges of the approximately 400,000 Jews living in Ukraine, as well as other minorities. The party has held several protest rallies against the presence of Jews in Uman, in the center of the country.

Exit polls showed the governing party of President Viktor F. Yanukovich in the lead with 27.6 percent to 32 percent, followed by Tymoshenko’s 24 percent. Svoboda appeared to be fourth largest, after a party led by a former boxing champion, Vitali Klitschko.

Earlier this month, Svoboda signed a cooperation agreement with Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party, which was second strongest in the elections.

The agreement between Svoboda and Tymoshenko’s party drew a critical statement over the weekend from Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. “Anti-Semitic insults by Svoboda have caused outrage on a number of occasions both in Ukraine and in Israel,” Liberman said. “The expression of such views reminds of the darkest pages in the history of the last century that has led humanity to the tragedy of the World War II.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.