Jews and Muslims promote unity in Ukraine
A Vow, by Abraham Slonsky
On behalf of my eyes, which have seen the grief
And laden my sagging heart with lament,
On behalf of my mercy, which bade me to forgive
Until the days of dread beyond pardon,
I have taken a vow; to remember it all,
To remember – and naught to forget.
The Ukrainians were second only to the Nazis in their brutality of Jews in WWII. In some cases worse.
Father Patrick Dubois has made it his life mission to find the mass, unmarked graves of Ukrainian Jews buried all over the country. He has so far uncovered approximately 800 of what he believes are 2000 mass grave sites. He believes the 6 million number is too low an estimate.
My grandmother’s family on my mother’s side is from a small town named Korelicz in the country of Belarus which was terrorized by the Ukranians in WWII. Belarus had one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe. Approximately 800,000 Jews perished there representing an alarming 90% of the Jews in Belarus.
It is under this backdrop of pain and horror that I promote this story of reconciliation between Muslims and Jews. It is what has come out of the killing of Bin Laden and really touches my heart.
Growing trend in favor of tolerance
This gathering is one of a series of Muslim-Jewish events in nine European countries during May initiated by the FFEU, World Jewish Congress, European Jewish Congress, the World Conference of Muslims for Interfaith Relations and the Muslim-Jewish Conference marking Europe Day-Victory Day and declaring that the two communities will stand together against manifestations of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia. Additional events are taking place in Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
Over 80 clerics were in attendance for the conference to speak out against Islamaphobia, anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia.
“A gathering of this scope in a country that has a painful history dealing with hatred and discrimination is quite remarkable and speaks to a growing trend in favor of tolerance across Europe and around the world,” Rabbi Schneier said.