JERUSALEM, Israel – The National Police of Ukraine have launched an investigation after a high-ranking police official requested a list of all the religious Jews in the city of Kolomyya.
The letter was dated February 18, 2020, and was signed by Myhaylo Bank – who leads a unit against organized crime.
“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,” said Eduard Dolinsky, Director General of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee.
“It is explained as fight against transnational criminal gangs,” Dolinsky said after posting the letter on Twitter.
Ukraine’s National Police department demanded from the Jewish community of Kolomiya to provide police the list of all Jews with addresses and mobile phones and Jewish students in universities with addresses and phones. It is explained as fight against transnational criminal gangs pic.twitter.com/re7foVcgHi
— Eduard Dolinsky (@edolinsky) May 10, 2020
The head of the Jewish community, Jacob Zalichker, refused to provide the requested information and said he would only comply if he receives a court-ordered warrant.
Ukraine’s police force opened an inquiry into Bank’s actions after Israeli Ambassador Joel Lion intervened in the matter.
“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.”
A report released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) last year revealed that 46% of Ukrainians hold "pernicious and pervasive" anti-Semitic attitudes towards Jews.