Original article by Shimon Briman of the Forum Daily

Translated by Eitan Divinsky

The greatest accomplishment of the Jewish candidate in the Ukrainian presidential elections that took place yesterday: Vadim Rabinovich received more votes than the two Ukrainian ultra-nationalist leaders.

Vadim Rabinovich. Photo: Shimon Briman

Vadim Rabinovich. Photo: Shimon Briman

The first exit poll indicators yesterday evening heralded sensational results: Peter Poroshenko will become the head of state based on the outcome of the first round. He received more than 50% of the votes. The other highly touted candidates and leaders of large party blocs claimed the 2-6 spots, but in seventh place was a completely new presidential candidate, Vadim Rabinovich, president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress.

Exit polls gives Rabinovich 2.31% of the votes, placing him right behind the recent ruling party leader, Mikhail Dobkin, who finished with 3.33%. Rabinovich even defeated the renowned Maidan activist, Olga Bogomoletz.

After the exit poll results were revealed, national Ukrainian deputy Nicolay Tomenko called the successes of Oleg Lyashko and Vadim Rabinovich the “biggest surprises of the elections.” According to him, Rabinovich’s accomplishment can be explained by the latter’s “harsh but intelligent approach.”

“He was saying the same things as Lyashko, but he did so is an aesthetic, intelligent fashion. He explained what was taking place in language that was accessible to all,” explained Tomenko. It’s safe to say that not only his outstanding character traits and speaking ability contributed to Rabinovich’s success, but two additional factors: the active participation of Ukrainian Jews in the protests on Maidan and the warm reception it received, and the strong patriotic position of the governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region, Igor Kolomoisky. These factors contribute to a positive image of Jews in Ukraine and to a lack of anti-Semitism.

The presidential elections demonstrated that the Ukrainian people have risen to a new level of social awareness following Maidan. Vadim Rabinovich was able to prove that being Jewish doesn’t prevent you from earning a large degree of popularity amongst the Ukrainian public.

Rabinovich's certificate of candidacy for Ukrainian Presidential Elections. Photo: Shimon Briman

Rabinovich’s certificate of candidacy for Ukrainian Presidential Elections. Photo: Shimon Briman

But the most outstanding accomplishment of the Jewish candidate in these elections was that Vadim Rabinovich received more votes than the two Ukrianian ultra-nationalists combined. Oleg Tyagnyebok of the “Svoboda” party got just 1.16% of the votes, and the leader of the “Right Sector” Dmitry Yarosh just 0.67%.

The Russian agitators, who continued spreading rumors about “massive fascism and neo-Nazism in Ukraine” should now swallow their words in embarrassment since the fact that a Jewish candidate defeated both leaders of the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist movements dispells rumors forged by the Russian medias’ disinformation campaign.