Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic
Council, said the United States included an
outspoken anti-Semite as part of its official delegation to the inauguration of Ukraine's new President Viktor Yushchenko.
Citing a report in the Jan. 26 Chicago Tribune, Forman said that Myron Kuropas, who flew to the inauguration as part of then Secretary of State Colin Powell's party, had written in 2000 that "Big money drives the Holocaust industry. To survive, the Holocaust industry is always searching for its next mark. Ukraine's turn is just around the corner."
Forman said Kuropas also had argued "that Jews played a driving role behind Soviet leader Josef Stalin's murderous policies in Ukraine."
Kuropas "has demonstrated his hostility towards Jews for some time," Forman said in a Jan. 27 news release. Again quoting from the
Chicago Tribune, he noted that Michael Kotzin, executive vice president of the
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan
Chicago, said of Koropas: "This is not new stuff. ...If you go back over the decades, he's taken these kinds of positions highly antagonistic to the Jewish people and Jewish interests and causes."
Forman added that "It is astounding that on the eve of commemorating the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, President Bush's staff would not even bother to look into Kuropas' regular attacks on Jews and what he terms the 'Holocaust industry' before sending him to Ukraine with our Secretary of State, to represent the United States of America. His voluminous writings, which repeatedly trade in classic anti-Semitic canards, are easy to find; he has engaged in such rhetoric in countless forums ever since he started working to raise money for the defense of John
"This deeply embarrassing incident shows a lack of judgment on the part of the White House and, frankly, a lack of basic competence," Forman said. "That the Bush White House put this man on a plane to Ukraine with our Secretary of State, even as Europe was commemorating the Holocaust, is inexcusable."