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Ukraine

  • How my Jewish grandfather spent WWII in a German uniform

    What if I told you that my late grandfather was a Jewish Soviet spy who infiltrated a Nazi army unit during World War II to support partisans, Jews and the Red Army? This is the true story of Jacob Ingerman, recently published as an e-book in English, titled, 'A Jew in the 'Service' of the Reich.' Trying to tell my grandfather's war story is quite difficult, considering how completely imaginary and unbelievable it sounds. His is the story of a Jewish man who wore Nazi uniforms for three years while actually serving as a Soviet spy, marching through Ukraine, Poland, Germany…

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  • Why the EU needs to rein in Israel's settlement policy

    An Israeli academic makes the case for Europe to contain Israel’s settlement policy with greater determination and more concrete measures. By Nurit Peled-Elhanan Times are very tough for both Israeli and Palestinian families. The death toll in Gaza currently stands at more than 1,000, the majority of whom are civilians. The death toll in Israel stands at 43, three of whom are civilians. Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered in the West Bank. A Palestinian youth from Jerusalem was burned alive by Jewish extremists. Dangerous and violent racism against Arab-Israeli citizens encouraged by Israeli ministers and parliament members has led…

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  • Neither Russian nor Israeli: Lessons from a journey to the homeland

    After years of denying her Russian identity, Osnat Ita Skoblinski finally made peace with the cultural world of her friends and family. However, she never expected her first trip back 'home' to bring out feelings of hate and revulsion. By Osnat Ita Skoblinski My parents, who immigrated to Israel in the 70s, refused to have a decorated Christmas tree in our home. "We're Jews," they said, as they set out for a Novy God party on December 31st with Santa hats on their heads. Born in Israel to parents from the Soviet Union, I found New Year’s Eve celebrations especially confusing.…

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  • Complete control: On the unquestioned authority of the Interior Ministry

    Israel's judges rarely question whether the Interior Ministry may not actually be an expert on immigration matters, or whether it might be making decisions without asking the right questions - even when someone's life is on the line. The courts generally accept any, or nearly any, factual claim provided by the Interior Ministry regarding individuals whose requests for status in Israel were rejected. Judge Daphne Barak Erez's dissenting opinion in the verdict recently handed down by the Supreme Court reveals (a small portion of) the techniques used by the Interior Ministry to review facts. The dissenting opinion, presented in light…

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  • As national resentment grows in Ukraine, far-right party gains support

    Although it has been accused of anti-Semitism in the past, the Svoboda nationalist party's newfound success has more to do with a growing number of people who are disillusioned by mainstream politics and disappointed by a sluggish economy, than with people harboring genuine hatred of Jews.  KIEV, UKRAINE - On Sunday, millions of Ukrainians cast their ballots in thousands of polling stations across the country in the parliamentary elections. Some did so in Eastern Ukraine, where a love for the Russian language and (often) a longing for them-good-ole-Soviet days still prevails. There, particularly in densely populated cities and towns, the ruling "Party…

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  • WATCH: Ukrainians vote in 'test for democracy'

    Voters in Ukraine are casting their ballots on Sunday in the country's parliamentary elections. As of Sunday morning, there were already complaints of bribery near some polling stations. KIEV, UKRAINE - The ruling "Party of Regions" is likely to keep its majority, thanks to a revised election system that will allow single-mandate district winners to caucus with the party-in-power. The means that even though opposition groups, including the United Opposition (lead by the jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshchenko) and UDAR (led for the world boxing champion Vitali Klitshchko) will likely do better in the proportional representation part of the race,…

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  • WATCH: World boxing champion makes bid for Ukrainian parliament

    World Boxing Champion Vitali Klitshchko is running for parliament in Ukraine's elections on Sunday.     KYIV, UKRAINE - A popular personality in a country where sports figures do quite well, Klitshchko is promising to rock the political status quo. Some have said the boxer is being used by political elites to further their own causes, but his first coach said politics was a natural transition for the man. At a rally on Thursday night, one day before the last day of official campaigning, Klitshchko promised closer cooperation with Europe.  Ukraine has been badly hit by the economic woes of the…

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  • WATCH: Ukrainian Summer harvest, Arab Spring unrest

    The Ukrainian government has warned that wheat growers might not be able to meet quotas for international contracts, sparking speculation over the prices of corn, a frequent substitute. KIEV, UKRAINE - The shortage has been blamed on dry weather in Southern Ukraine during the months of June and July, right before the start of harvesting season. Officials were quick to explain that inventory from the previous year would help fill the gaps between the 4 million tons needed for export commitments, the 12.5 million tons consumed by the domestic market, and the 15 tons harvested in 2012. That failed to persuade…

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