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Facebook Suspends Account of Ukrainian Jewish Leader After He Posts Details of Country’s Holocaust Collaboration

AJN.- A prominent Jewish figure in Kiev found his Facebook account suspended after his post detailing Ukrainian collaboration in the Holocaust was flagged as a violation of the social networking site’s terms of service.

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Antisemitismo. Ucrania: Funcionario judío denuncia que bloquean perfil en Facebook por recordar colaboracionismo

AJN.- A prominent Jewish figure in Kiev found his Facebook account suspended after his post detailing Ukrainian collaboration in the Holocaust was flagged as a violation of the social networking site’s terms of service.

Eduard Dolinsky, director-general of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, told JNS.org he was locked out of his account October 20 after posting an old video of the Soviet trial of two members of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a group that participated in the murder of Jewish civilians during World War II.

Dolinsky, an outspoken critic of the Ukrainian government’s alleged support for revisionist history that denies the country’s role in the Holocaust, said this was not the first time he has been censored by Facebook. Over the past several weeks, two other of his posts critical of Ukraine’s past actions were removed by the social media site.

“I believe that this is an orchestrated attack by Holocaust deniers here in Ukraine,” Dolinsky said. He added that he was careful to avoid foul language or any other objectionable content, which would have resulted in immediate censorship.

“The post was absolutely correct,” he told JNS.org.

Other comments that Dolinsky said have been taken down by Facebook include those criticizing official signs commemorating fighters of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), an offshoot of the UPA and a group initially supportive of the Germans. The OUN has been implicated in the murder of many Jews and Poles, and only eventually broke from the Nazis over the issue of Ukrainian independence.

Dolinsky’s posts condemning such memorials placed at the Kiev municipality and at Babi Yar — the site of a two-day massacre of 33,000 Jews by the Nazis, where OUN members were later killed as well — were removed as violations of Facebook’s terms of service.

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Jerusalem office told JNS.org, “It is a very sad day and a very serious matter if any criticism of the efforts of the Ukrainian government to distort the history of World War II and the Holocaust are taken down by Facebook.”

“Such a ridiculous policy basically gives the Ukrainian government a green light to continue to glorify individuals who participated in the mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust,” Zuroff added.

Dolinsky is not the only individual to report facing censorship when critical of the Ukrainian government online. Experts say there is rampant restriction of freedom of speech in the formerly communist country.

Ukrainian-Israeli journalists Shimon Briman and Alex Kogan both shared a post discussing the responsibility of World War I-era Ukrainian leader Simon Petliura in a series of pogroms against Jews. The post, which contained a Russian epithet for Jews, was removed from both journalists’ timelines.

“I felt there is anti-Jewish censorship on Facebook,” Briman said.

Briman said he does not believe the Ukrainian government had any direct involvement, but believes that a bill passed last year by parliament making the denigration of the OUN and UPA illegal has encouraged social media “trolls” to attack critics of Ukraine’s historical record.

“We are talking about a well-organized community of Ukrainians, who well understand what they are doing,” Kogan said.

Professor John Paul Himka, a Canadian researcher who focuses on the Holocaust in Ukraine, pointed to the recent government ban on the Polish film “Wołyń” — which details the WWII mass murder of Poles by Ukrainian nationalists — as proof of official stifling of free expression.

Though the 2015 law failed to establish specific penalties for violators who do criticize the OUN or UPA, academics and human rights activists around the world condemned it for censoring historical debate and establishing an official state narrative of the Holocaust.

Asked about the recent Facebook incidents, Volodymyr Viatrovych, director of Ukraine’s state-sponsored Institute for National Memory, told JNS.org, said the policy of “decommunization,” or the process of dismantling the communist legacies of states in the former Soviet Bloc, does not generate censorship or limitations of freedom of speech. He added that he does not believe that the “Ukrainian politics of decommunization has some influence on the politics of Facebook.”

Neither Facebook nor other representatives of the Ukrainian government responded to requests by JNS.org for comment.

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Argentinian President Macri visited the historical synagogue of Basavilbaso

AJN Agency.- Only a few days away of Rosh Hashana and with Iom Kipur coming soon, Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina participate of the meeting at the synagogue Tefila L’Moisés at Basavilbaso, Province of Entre Ríos.

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AJN Agency.- The argentinian President, Mauricio Macri, assisted to the Synagogue Tefila L’ Moisés de Basavilbaso, one of the olders of Argentina, making himself the first argentinian president in visit that synagogue.

Macri send his best wishes for the jewish new year celebration and added: «I want to thank you for reciving me here, in your home. For us it has been very important this years working with the community».

Claudio Avruj, secretary of Human Rights of Argentina discribed that the visit of Macri «Represents with out dudes a huge tribute to the jewish inmigration in the historic colonies of Entre Ríos and a deep recognition to the permanent support to the development of the local communities».

At meeting were present the Rabbi Sergio Bergman, secretary of goverment in Environment and Sustainable Development, and the Minister of Interior, Public Works and Housing of Argentina, Rogelio Frigerio, among others.

In a letter written by Avruj, he assured his pride for the president and remarked the pluralism and respect of Macri.

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Antisemitism/Argentina. The increase in antisemitic incidents is “fierce”

Agencia AJN.- The Asociation of Israeli Delegations in Argentina (DAIA) qualifies as «fierce» the increase in the number of antisemitic incidents in Argentina, after the anual report over the 107 percent increase during 2018 in comparation with the previous year.

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Agencia AJN.- This way was how the president of DAIA, Jorge Knoblovits, present today the details of the anual report of antisemitism, in a reunion realized in the Centro Cultural Kirchner of Buenos Aires.

Anyway, the communitarian leader said that “It is not fierce only in Argentina, it is fierce worldwide”.

“I start with an autocritic: with the results of the investigation and the results of the center of social studies, the increment of heat speeches and antisemitic acts that DAIA registerd, I think we hadn´t done enough for the memory and fighting the hate speeches beacuse the increase is fierce”, added Knoblovits after presenting the document.

Also, he remarks that “in Europe, reciently The Economist determines that 34 percent of europeans, where Shoa took place and where 6 millions died, dosen’t registres what Holocaust is”.

“In Argentina, being antisemitic and discriminating is a crime. He is punished by the Law. It is a great achievement, beacuse the communities live in peace and we know that discrimination is a crime”, highlighted the president of DAIA.

In this track, he describes that the increase of 107 percent had impulsed DAIA to develope “an app for people to can denunce this acts, not only antisemitic, any time of discrimination”.

“Also, whe put totems in subway, bus and train station, and in shopping for people to register that there is a place for register the denunces that are wecolme», afirms.

Knoblovits sustain that “many of the denunces” recibed where judicialized. “The sensation that I have is that we give judicial fight, but we are losing the culture fight. That’s the battle that we don’t want to lose. Inside the culture field, we are gonna do everything possible so we don’t have never again discrimination acts in Argentina, or at least those are gonna be fighted by us”, concluded.

Following the report, there had been 834 antisemitic acts in 2018, in comparation with the 404 reported in 2017.

The estadistics and investigation will be presented by DAIA and INADI (National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism).

The anual report of antisemitism was realized by DAIA with the Gino Germani Institute and the Center of Social Studies.

This year is the number 20 since the fisrt anual report published by the political organization of the argentinian jewish community, that stablished that practice in 1998.

Report shows that 68% of the incidents had place in Buenos Aires, and 32% where in the rest of the country. About the 834 reported incidents, DAIA said that 71% happend online, mostly in web sites, and 17% of that number appeares in social networks.

The report also shows that 27% of antisemitic material online had xenophobia against jews, while 18% was pushed by the events that took place in Middle East, 17% had relation with nazi simbology and jewish world domination conspiracy among other misconceptions.

Gino Germani Insitute present a poll of social perceptions of Jews in Argentina.

The poll shows that 53% of 1443 people interviewed agrees that there is discrimination against jews, while 87% didn’t know what it was the zionism.

The Report remarks that 61% agreed with the antisemitic prejudice of the «influence» of jews in international markets and 47% belives that jews are the first in not helping people in need.

The information for this poll was collected between June and July of this year.

In the presentation of the report, will join Knoblovits, the president of the Conferencia Episcopal Argentina y the bishop of San Isidro Monseñor Oscar Ojea, Néstor Cohen, who runs the investigation of Gino Germani Institute, the director of Social Center, Marisa Braylan and one of the principal investigatores, Verónica Constantino.

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