Jewish group slams police force for ‘open anti-Semitism’ after high-ranking official asks for information on all members of the Jewish community in the city of Kolomyya, including phone numbers and places of residence.
By JTA and Cnaan Liphshiz
Published on Haaretz, May 11, 2020
A Ukrainian Jewish group accused the nation’s police force of “open anti-Semitism” after a high-ranking police official requested a list of all Jews in the western city of Kolomyya as part of an inquiry into organized crime.
The official request to the head of Kolomyya’s Jewish community is dated February 18, 2020, according to a photograph of the document that Eduard Dolinsky, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, shared on Twitter Sunday.
“Please provide us the following information regarding the Orthodox Jewish religious community of Kolomyya, namely: The organization’s charter; list of members of the Jewish religious community, with indication of data, mobile phones and their places of residence,” read the letter.
The letter was signed by Myhaylo Bank, a high-ranking officer in the national police force who handles organized crime. The letter did not explain his unit’s particular interest in Kolomyya’s Jews.
The head of the city’s Jewish community, Jacob Zalichker, declined on February 25 to provide the requested information, adding that his community would comply only when presented with a court-ordered warrant.
“It’s a total disgrace and open anti-Semitism,” Dolinsky told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “It’s especially dangerous when it comes from a law enforcement agency that we have to fight the very thing it is perpetrating.”
Kolomyya and its environs, located about 250 miles southwest of Kiev, has several hundred Jews.