Earlier this week, the Ukrainian government successfully passed a law to ban antisemitism in the country.
Prescribing it as an illegal act, the law states that “antisemitism and its manifestations are banned” in the country. The Law on Prevention and Counteraction to Anti-Semitism in Ukraine defines antisemitism as “a certain perception of Jews, expressed as hatred of Jews.” It lists examples of this, including Holocaust denial and “calling for, concealing or justifying the killing or harm of persons of Jewish origin.”
Most countries with laws against antisemitism, such as Germany, France, and the Netherlands, criminalize various expressions of antisemitic hatred but not the condition of harboring it, as opposed to the new setting in Ukraine.
Not included in the law are mentions of the Israel rhetoric and also the growing phenomenon in Ukraine of glorifying Nazi collaborators as national heroes. And it does not stipulate punishments for those found guilty of violating the law.
With a signing majority of 283 lawmakers out of 450- six lawmakers voted against the bill, 40 abstained and 33 were not present during voting. President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish, now needs to sign the law for it to become effective.