An armed mob stormed through the city of Uman, Ukraine over Shabbat, attacking Jews outside the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav, Yeshiva World News reported.
“I returned from the Kloiz [the Breslov synagogue] and I see that they’re beating every Jew who ‘dared’ to look at them or say a word to them,” one Jewish visitor to the town said.
“It started with an insignificant dispute between one of the local Ukrainians and a Jew. The Ukrainian involved in the dispute called his antisemitic friends to come and beat up Jews.
“The police did show up at the scene but didn’t lift a finger to help the Jews. They just stood by and watched what was happening, while the Jews were being beaten up. What they did do was prevent the dozens of thugs from entering the [grave].
“Four Jews were taken to the nearest hospital on Friday night as a result of being beaten by the Ukrainians. On Motzei Shabbat they returned and the fighting is now at its height.”
According to witnesses cited by Yeshiva World News, the Ukrainians were running throughout the city armed with knives and clubs and were looking for Jews.
Uman is an important city for many Jews, with thousands making the trip there every year on pilgrimage to the grave of Rabbi Nachman, the founder of the Breslover Hassidic sect.
However, there have been tensions with the Jewish pilgrims and the locals. In October, locals vandalized an area near the grave with graffiti of Adolf Hitler.
In 2016, Rabbi Nachman’s grave was vandalized with a severed pig’s head.
These incidents reflect a rising trend of antisemitism worldwide, and many are worried about the safety of Jewish pilgrims in Uman.
According to Shlomi Elisha, director of the organization Shemira Ukraine, “Due to the many incidents in recent months, we’re funding a commando unit which will protect us and our streets from the Ukrainian thugs. We have no more expectations of the Ukrainian authorities.”