Israel Zangwill: Russia was largely responsible for the Anti-Jewish pogroms in Ukraine

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Israel Zangwill Commends New Republic’s Attitude Toward the Jews in Ukraine (A letter from Israel Zangwill, noted writer and President of the Jewish Territorial Organization, in reply to an invitation by the Ukrainian Government to participate in the commission for the investigation of Jewish pogroms in Ukraine.) October 20, 1919. THE PRESIDENT OF THE DELEGATION OF THE UKRAINIAN REPUBLIC Dear Sir: — I feel highly honored at the invitation of the Ukrainian Government to take part in the proposed Commission for the investigation of anti-Jewish pogroms, but I am away in Wales, resting under medical advice, and do not feel the strength to undertake the journey. Moreover, if Doctor Yoehelman, a member of the Council of the Jewish Territorial Organization, forms one of the members my organization will be sufficiently represented. I take the opportunity of saying, however, that it needed not this step, nor even your honest admission of the deplorable facts as regards the towns, to convince me that your government is working hard, if not perhaps its hardest, to stop massacres for which the unsettled state of Russia is largely responsible. The national rights you have given to the Jews are a manifestation of true statesmanship and in shining contrast with the Jewish policy of Poland, and I can only hope that your Republic will be preserved to give the rest of the world an example of the strength and the exalted patriotism that comes from the cordial co-operation and mutual respect of all the varied racial and religious elements that make up a modern State. That these massacres, if they continue, will destroy your State no less surely than its innocent victims, adds to the regret with which I, as a supporter of the principle of self-determination, observe your present failure to suppress them entirely. Again thanking you for the honor of your invitation, Sincerely yours, Israel Zangwill. [Source]

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Wikipedia page about the Kyiv pogrom (1905) has information from the Jewish Encyclopedia stating that “it was clear that the riots were premeditated. To give but one example—a week before the pogrom of Kyiv broke out, Von Hubbenet, chief of police of Kyiv, warned some of his Jewish friends of the coming riots.” If the chief of police knew about the impending violence but did not take necessary measures it shows who planned the violence.

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