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Fact Sheet: How can the U.S. be "pro-Israel" while it supports anti-Semites in Ukraine?

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Chris Ernesto       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments

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The United States has what is called a "special relationship" with Israel. Just one problem with this: The U.S. is supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine. How can the U.S. be "pro-Israel" if it is assisting and training anti-Semites? And how is it that the U.S. supports neo-Nazi extremists today even after 6 million Jews were targeted and methodically murdered by Nazis during WWII?

Pentagon officials announced that U.S. troops from the 173rd Airborne will deploy to Ukraine in March to help build the Ukrainian National Guard. The Pentagon neglected to mention that prominent members of the Ukrainian National Guard include the Azov battalion, a leading neo-Nazi group formed in 2014.

In addition to sending U.S. troops, Washington has already sent heavy military equipment and has earmarked $19 million for Ukrainian forces.

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Azov is "run by the extremist Patriot of Ukraine organization, which considers Jews and other minorities sub-human," and was founded by Andriy Biletsky, who is also head of two neo-Nazi organizations, the Patriot of Ukraine and the Social-National Assembly.

Biletsky, who was elected to the Rada (Ukraine's parliament) in November, wrote in 2010, "The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the white races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led sub-humans."

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Support for the Azov militia comes on top of U.S. backing of the Svoboda Party, a group condemned by a 2012 European Parliament resolution as "racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic," and Pravy Sektor, a nationalist organization that has been characterized as neo-fascist. Ukraine's U.S.-backed government is "unrepentant about using the neo-Nazis," according to The Telegraph.

Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok was expelled from parliament in 2004 after giving a speech demanding that Ukrainians fight against a "Muscovite-Jewish mafia," and for praising World War II partisans who fought Jews and "other scum."

In 2005 Tyahnybok demanded that Ukraine do more to halt "criminal activities" of "organized Jewry," and, even now, Svoboda openly calls for Ukrainian citizens to have their ethnicity printed onto their passports.

Tyahnybok also declared that Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk was a hero who was "fighting for truth."

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Another top Svoboda member, Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, a deputy in parliament, often quotes Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, as well as other Third Reich luminaries like Ernst Rohm and Gregor Strasser.

The BBC reported that Pravy Sektor is the most radical wing of Ukraine's Maidan protest movement that toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February, 2014.

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Chris Ernesto is cofounder of St. Pete for Peace, an antiwar organization in St. Petersburg, FL that has been active since 2003. Mr. Ernesto also created and manages and

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