Israeli Diaspora Affairs Ministry Amichai Chikli sent letters to Poland, Greece and Ukraine this week expressing his concern over antisemitic incidents in those countries.
In a letter to Greece’s Ambassador to Israel Kyriakos Loukakis on April 12, Chikli complained about the behavior of Greek fans of the AEK Basketball club during Wednesday night’s game against Hapoel Jerusalem in Athens, in which Israeli fans came under attack.
“During the match, some of AEK’s fans burned the Israeli flag, waved Palestinian and Hezbollah flags, threw firecrackers and violently attacked the over 500 Israeli fans of Hapoel Jerusalem,” Chikli wrote.
Noting that a similar incident took place between the teams in Athens in December 2019, Chikli demanded that the Greek government condemn the attacks and open an investigation to ensure they don’t reoccur.
Chikli also sent a letter on April 11 to Polish Ambassador to Israel Agata Czaplińska regarding an antisemitic ritual on Good Friday in the small southeastern Polish town of Pruchnik, where residents hanged, burned and beat a dummy of the apostle Judas, stereotypically portrayed as a Jew.
That incident was condemned by leaders from the Polish Catholic and Jewish communities.
In a third letter on April 11 to Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk, Chikli called out a decision by the Kyiv City Council in Ukraine to name a street after Volodymyr Kubijovyč, a Nazi collaborator and SS official. Kubiyovych was a founder of the 14th Waffen (1st Galician) Grenadier Division, a Nazi force made up of Ukrainian volunteers.
In the letters to the Ukrainian and Polish ambassadors, Chikli wrote, “Unfortunately, we are again witnessing a sharp increase in the number of violent antisemitic incidents, especially in Europe. This worrying trend has also spread online, with significant antisemitic content posted there as well. Moreover, 68% of antisemitism online was anti-Israel.”
He noted that naming streets after Nazis and antisemitic rhetoric such as in Pruchnik “constitute a significant catalyst for this dismal statistic.”