Israel’s Ambassador to Ukraine Joel Lion has expressed his outrage at the decision by Lviv regional council to announce 2019 the year of Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, in the region.

“I was shocked on hearing Lviv regional council’s decision to proclaim 2019 the Year of Stepan Bandera. I cannot understand how the glorification of those who were directly involved in terrible anti-Semitic crimes can help fight anti-Semitism and xenophobia,” Lion wrote in an open letter published on the Israeli Embassy’s Facebook page on Dec. 13.

“Ukraine must not forget the crimes committed against Ukrainian Jews and should by no means celebrate them by honoring their perpetrators,” Lion said.

The decision was made on December 11 to commemorate Bandera’s 110th birthday anniversary. The council also decided to announce 2019 the Year of OUN to mark the 90th anniversary since its foundation.


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