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CAEF Statement on Russia-Ukraine, Feb 25, 2022

For Immediate Release

February 25, 2022

Thoughts and Prayers for Peace in Ukraine

Russia has attacked Ukraine without provocation, and invaded its sovereign territory.

Reports are that this is eerily akin to the start of WWII, with a similar pretext; a land with a large minority of German speakers were supposedly being liberated from the injustices of their countrymen as the Nazis entered Sudeten and Russia in the 1930s, so too Russia has invaded Ukraine claiming to be liberated Russian speakers from the fascism and injustice of their majority Ukrainian countrymen in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The world watches and waits, while some Western governments negotiate, compromise, threaten and impose sanctions.

Map from Business Today, February 23, 2022

However, Russia is a world power with outsized military might, and it is a nuclear superpower. And its leader has expansionist desires, and is using tactics that include patently false statements in his propaganda, including claiming that “Russia is merely acting to protect people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide… for the last eight years,” as reported in an article by Cnaan Lipshitz in the Jewish Telegraph Agency, February 24th, 2022, the day of the Russian invasion. (see full article)

“Putin has claimed, ‘And for this we will strive for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine.’ The incursion is the culmination of a slow escalation that began in November as Russia began amassing troops along its border with Ukraine, allegedly out of concern due to Ukraine’s relationship with the Western-led NATO bloc.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the first Jewish President, stated repeatedly in recent days that he hoped Putin would not invade, that his sabre rattling was understood to be a serious scare tactic to get the government of Ukraine to commit to never joining NATO, and the NATO alliance agreeing to never allow Ukraine to join. Putin is acting like a dictator and must be held to account by the International community.

The Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation calls on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine and cease all aggression on the territory of Ukraine.

We express deep concern for the welfare of all civilians, especially those located in areas of greatest risk now. We express concern for the children and the elderly, and for the thousands of Jews who remained or returned to Ukraine after harrowing experiences during WWII, regaining confidence in the revitalized country with its new commitment to fight antisemitism.

The Joint Distribution Committee and other Jewish welfare organizations have been assisting elderly and impoverished Jews in the Ukraine for years and their need is even greater now.

We urge the adoption of the path of diplomacy to resolve conflicts and settle all manner of disputes. We urge the exercise of the utmost restraint by all concerned in order to prevent the loss of life and civilian injuries.

We extend a hand of friendship and support to our Ukrainian-Canadian friends who are experiencing great stress and anxiety at this time. Finally, we support the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Ukraine.

In the 21st century, borders should not be redrawn by the use of force.


Contact: Andria Spindel, Executive Director, CAEF 416-409-3822


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