Monday, January 13, 2020
A meeting took place Sunday between the rabbinic leadership in the Ukrainian locality of Uman and district police after reports emerged of what was called a "pogrom" carried out by local residents against Jewish pilgrims who had come to pay homage at the burial place of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, a Hasidic figure who lived from 1772 to 1810.
The Hasidic website Uman Shalom said that "a meeting of reconciliation and advancing security arrangements" had taken place on Sunday following what it referred to as a "brawl which broke out on Friday night between Jewish and local youths"
The news outlet charged that false reports had been spread of a pogrom in the area, causing "unnecessary fear," when, in fact, the fight was a result of "an argument between Israeli youths and local non-Jews."
The former director of Ukraine's Jewish Committee Eduard Dolinsky posted on Facebook on Sunday that "on Friday night in Uman, a group of local hooligans – about 30 people, attacked Jews near Rabbi Nachman's grave and beat them up. As a result of the pogrom, four Jews were hospitalized. Witnesses say bullies had sticks and knives in their hands. Due to many incidents and inaction by the police, Uman Jews are organizing a special self-defense unit to protect themselves from bullies."
However, social media have since been a forum for discussion over the possibility that it was an altercation that had broken out over an argument based on other circumstances, perhaps a disagreement between two people that started at a hotel.
"Communication between the parties will be maintained to prevent such incidents," Dolinsky posted Monday in reference to the results of Sunday's meeting between Jewish representatives and security officials.
"The Hasidim will continue to install CCTV cameras," he wrote.
In his latest Facebook post, Dolinsky quoted the Uman City Council as saying that the fight had been "between the employees of [a] security firm and the Hasidim," and that at no point was there "an ethnic or religious basis" to the incident.
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