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PAGE 12A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 20, 2013 i In Ukraine protests, young Jews are marching with ultranationalists Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images Protesters against the Ukrainian government cheering a speaker in Kiev's Independence Square, Dec. 5, 2013. The ongoing protests-- known widely as EuroMaidan, after the Ukrainian name for the square in which they have taken place--were sparked initially by anger over Presi- dent Viktor Yanukovych's refusal to sign an agreement that would have deepened ties between Ukraine and the European Union. They have since blossomed into a full-blown movement seeking Yanukovych's resig- nation, along with calls for an end to corruption and the "selective prosecution" that has landed opposition lead- ers in jail. The protesters also want a strengthened social safety net. A number of young Jews are involved in the protests, which have drawn together a diverse coalition of liberal youth and opposition party leaders, including members By Talia Lavin (JTA)--On the last eve- ning in November, at least 31 protesters were taken into custody and dozens treated for injuries following a violent confrontation with Ukrainian police in Kiev's Independence Square. But that wasn't enough to intimidate the crowds who have occupied the main square of the capital since Nov. 21. Thousands showed up the following morning, including a young woman carrying a 10-liter pot of fresh borscht to help the crowd through an- other cold day on the square. Itwas "like a carnival," said Dmitri Gerasimov, 32, a Jew- ish klezmer musician who has taken part in the protests."I didn't feel any aggression in the crowd. Itwas like a public holiday." BUYER !! iiiii!il Gold Diamonds ih hn i : 83 Daniel Montesl00 407- 1-8544 www.winterparkcash.com  Development Corporation for Israel Isroel Bonds 2600 South Belcher Road, Suite i 0: A SRAeL' ONDS Largo, Florida 33773 Reva Peatlstein Monica DiGiovanni Assistant Director Registered Representative 727-539-6445 800-622-8017 tampa@israelbonds.com www.lsraetbonds.com of the ultranationalist Svo- boda (Freedom) party, whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, has freely trafficked anti-Semitic stereotypes. "If the nationalists are in favor of a regime change in the country, and I am also, then they won't prevent me from going out into the Maidan with everyone and express- ingmy opinions," Evgenia Talinovskaya told JTA. "The EuroMaidan movement is primarily identified with the educated youth. And Jewish youth in Ukraine primarily fall under that description." While it is difficult to know how much support there is for the protest movement among young Ukrainian Jews, the country's orientation toward Europe has proven a divisive issue within its Jewish com- munity. Older Jews tend to be more fearful of Ukrainian nationalists, whose resent- ment of Russian influence has led them to support a more pro-Europe Orientation. The community "is very split on the issue of the pro- tests," said Meylakh Sheykhet, Ukraine director for the Union of Councils for Jews in the For- mer Soviet Union. "Generally speaking, the young genera- tion of Jews, just like other young Ukrainians, support this revolution. But the older generation of Ukrainian Jews, the ones who grew up and were educated in the Soviet system, they are not in support. They are very pro-Russian." Right-wing parties such as Svoboda, which garnered 10 percent of the national vote in 2012 parliamentary elections to become the fourth-largest party in Ukraine, bristle at Russia's influence over their country. They have em- braced EuroMaidan despite the right-wing tendency, evident elsewhere in Europe, to resist the encroachment of the European Union. "Svoboda is an opposition party to the current regime, and they are supporting this trend because it goes against the current regime," said Oxana Shevel, an associate professor of comparative politics at Tufts University. Ukrainian Jewish leaders have been unnerved by Svo- boda, which it considers a threat to community security. The party's use of anti-Semitic rhetoric also has prompted concern from the European Parliament. "We fear that this situation will get out of control," Rabbi Pinchas Vishedski, head of the Jewish community organiza- tion in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, told JTA. "And when there is chaos, minori- ties will suffer, as our history tells us." Other Jewish community officials, including the chief Chabad rabbi of Ukraine, Moshe Azman, have likewise condemned the protests as dangerous for the Jewish com- munity. But those concerns have not been enough to keep Jews from joining the protest movement. After mass emigrations in the 1970s and 1990s, the Jewish community in Ukraine shows no signs of leaving. And for young Jews, investment in Ukraine's future is a part of their identity. "I love Ukraine very much," Talinovskaya said. "My par- ents are here, my friends are here, and I have no plans on emigrating, which means my children will be born here." Other Jews active in Eu- roMaidan echoed her senti- ments. " Ahava (Anuta) Teslenko, a 29-year-old model and tele- HANDYMAN SERVICE Handy man and General Maintenance Air Conditioning Electrical Plumbing Carpentry Formerly handled maintenance at JCC References available STEVE'S SERVICES Call Steve Doyle at (386) 668-8960 vision personality, told JTA she considers her role in the movement "a demand of the soul and the mind" borne of the "necessity for an indepen- dent Ukraine."And Gerasimov said EuroMaidan is a protest against a"Russian future" for the country. "Many Ukrainian Jews who considered themselves Jews first have left Ukraine already," Sheykhet told JTA. "So those who stayed, and who now make up the major- ity of the Jewish presence in Ukraine, consider themselves Ukrainian first." Anna Furman, 22, said be- ing Jewish is no obstacle to her passionate involvement in the fight for Ukraine's future. Like other young protesters, she believes a pro-European orientation for Ukraine, and the reforms that will entail, will change her country for the better. "It's important to note that healthy and informed nation- alism entails support for the religious and cultural heritage of the people," Furman told JTA. "What's important is that this is the country we live in, and we are its citizens here and now. We can't close our eyes to what's happening around us." "None of us think that joining the European asso- ciation will magically make our lives perfect, like a fairy tale," Talinovskaya said. "But we have to start somewhere." Israeli father saves daughter kidnapped by Palestinians By Anav Silverman Tazpit News Agency It was a true mi'racle for a young couple from Dolev, whose one-year-old daughter was kidnapped by local Pales- tinians that had hijacked the family's car on Tuesday after- noon, December 3. Driving home to Dolev, a community located in the southern Sa- marian hills north of Jerusa- lem, the Israeli mother had her daughter buckled in the back car seat, when a Pales- tinian vehicle that had been tailgating suddenly bumped into the rear end of her car. "I pulled over and got out to check what had happened. There were three Palestinians in the other vehicle and one of them came out and asked if there was any damage. I turned around to reply and before I could even answer, he was already in my vehicle," the mother told the Israeli newspaper, Yediot Aharonot. "The two cars drove off and I was left helpless." The Palestinian carjacker sped away with the young mother's car--as well as her little girl who was asleep in the backseat along with the mother's cellphone and wallet. In an interview with Tazpit News Agency, the father of the young girl described the frantic phone call he received from his wife following the car jacking. "They left my wife standing in the middle of the highway all alone and the only thing she could do was yell: 'my baby's been kidnapped.' A Palestinian man saw heryeiling, pulled over and gave her his cellphone so that she could me and the po- lice," the husband told Tazpit. "When I received the call, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I wasn't sure if it was even mywife. The number was unknown and my wife was hysterically yelling that our daughter might be killed. I asked her what my teudat ze- hut [Israeli identity number] was to verify that she was really my wife was and when she told me, I knew the situ- ation was real," recalled the husband. From that point, the hus- band realized that every second was critical in order to save his daughter's life. He immediately put on a pair of shoes, left their home in Dolev and asked a friend who was armed to drive him to his wife's location. "At the spot that my wife had described where our daughter was kidnapped, I found my wife hysterical. She pointed to the direction that the Palestinians had driven off--to Ramailah." Recalling thesituation, the husband said he was proud of his wife. "She didn't faint, she alerted everyone that had to be alerted--this was a horrifying situation." The husband, who asked that he and his family not be referred to by their real names in press reports due to security concerns, said he and his friend immediately drove to the nearby Arab village to locate the car. "We couldn't find the car in the firstvillage, so we drove off to the neighboring village and there was an Arab man there who stopped us and told us in Hebrew, "Come with me, everything will be OK." They followed him and the husband and his friend found the car abandoned, with sev- eral Palestinians surrounding the vehicle. "I immediately went to the back door and our little girl woke up," he told Tazpit. "She gave me a smile, which made me feel better and I gave her'a hug. I acted as if nothingwas wrong--that we weren't in the middle of a Palestinian village, or that our car had been stolen, that everything was ok." But the story didn't end there. Palestinian police ar- rived on scene and wanted to take away the father to Ramal- lah for questioning. The father refused and waited for Israeli police and military to arrive. Once they did, the couple and the daughter then traveled with Israeli police to a station in Modiin-Illit and the mother was asked to identify the car thieves, who were familiar to the police. "When my wife saw our daughter, she breathed a huge sigh of relief," recalled the husband, who was an officer in the elite IDF unit. "There could have been so many terrible endings to this situation, but ours was a miracle." Both parents work in the fields of social work and youth education. "Thank G-d, our situation ended the way it did but people need to know that these kinds of things happen all the time in our region. These situations can leave people in such trauma--ours was but a rare victory." "There are rocks thrown at our vehicles all the time, property and cars are stolen frequently, homes broken into--it's the Wild West out here," noted the husband. "They see women driving and they think that they can do what they want." Naama Tzemach, 26, from the neighboring Neriya com- munity near Dolev told Tazpit that residents in the commu- nities of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council live with miracles every day. "These kinds of things happen all the time. I'm scared to drive in certain areas because of what the Palestinians will do to us, but this is home at the end of the day." Mother of three, Tzemach explains that "Anything can happen here but G-d protests us--there's no other way to explain what goes on here."