Wiesenthal Center: Lviv mayor covers up anti-Semitism
(JTA) — The Simon Wiesenthal Center has strongly condemned a statement by the mayor of Lviv, Ukraine, in which he said that in his city “there has never been anti-Semitism and there will never be.”
Mayor Andriy Sadovyi made the statement June 10 at a news conference.
Efraim Zuroff, Israel director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told JTA Monday that the mayor’s statements were “a hopeless attempt to cover up very strong manifestations of anti-Semitism.”
Zuroff noted the existence of a restaurant in Lviv which encourages patrons to dress up like haredi Jews and haggle over prices. Another restaurant celebrates the legacy of the Ukrainian Nazi collaborators led by Stefan Bandera. His men actively participated in the murder of thousands of Jews in 1941.
The Lviv municipality is set on June 30 to award a prize named after Bandera to individuals who “helped develop Ukrainian statehood.” Many Ukrainians view Bandera and his troops as anti-Soviet freedom fighters.
Zuroff called the prize “another display of gross insensitivity by the Lviv municipality, which continues to countenance anti-Semitism.” He reiterated his organization’s call to tourists to avoid Lviv’s controversial restaurants. Lviv, in western Ukraine, is one of the host cities of the European 2012 championship games.
Three arrested for attacking Jewish man near Paris
(JTA) — French police arrested three men suspected of attacking a young Jewish man in suburban Paris.
The suspects hurled anti-Semitic insults at the man and stole his cellular phone during the June 8 incident in Sarcelles, north of the French capital, according to the newspaper Le Parisien.
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls, meeting the day after the incident with leaders of the area’s Jewish community at the Great Synagogue of Sarcelles, affirmed his “determination to tolerate no anti-Semitic attack and no insult,” according to Richard Halimi, president of the Sarcelles Jewish community.
Last week, the Jewish community of Marseille in southern France reported that an unknown assailant had raped an 83-year-old Jewish woman in her home. According to some media reports, the attack may have been anti-Semitic in nature.