Ukrainian Anti-Semitism and Mila Kunis: Complicated by Facebook, Dictionaries

Mila Kunis (Getty Images)

Mila Kunis. (Getty Images)

Sometimes there are so much information about the world, it’s hard to keep it all in your head. How many municipalities does Greenland have? Who owns the Canary Islands? Do we know anything about Madagascar except for cars and that animated movie with comedian Chris Rock?

So we can forgive you for forgetting that Ukraine has been beseiged in its parliament by the All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” movement, a nationalist uber-right-wing Slytherin-esque party that is really interested in bloodlines and keeping up the traditions of the neo-Nazis. For the past several years, Svoboda has been gaining momentum with its anti-Russian sentiment, gaining 12 percent of the national vote in the last election cycle.

Which is all terrible, but you know, the anti-Semitic Svoboda party has been rising to power for some time. Why do we suddenly care?

We care because they started attacking on our own territory. We care, in short, because one of their leaders started going after Mila Kunis.

From the news website Algemeiner:

A Member of the Ukrainian Parliament from the far-right Svoboda Party … sneeringly proclaimed that [Kunis] was not Ukrainian but a zhydovka. This deeply hurtful slur for a Jew was an alarming gutter effort to inject Jew-hatred into the acceptable bounds of mainstream Ukrainian discourse.

But this story gets weirder. Because it turns out that the Ukrainian lawmaker who made these comments, Igor Miroshnichenko, did so not in Parliament but on his Facebook wall. Which is shitty, but still kind of like … come on guys. Are you just looking to fight with Ashton Kutcher?

The most disturbing aspect of the story was the reaction from the Ukrainian ministry, which claimed that there is nothing wrong with calling Kunis the female version of a “dirty Jew,” because the word is in their dictionary. Which you know, maybe change your dictionary? Or not! We have tons of terrible words in our dictionary, but we don’t allow politicians to bandy them about on social networking sites without consequences.

See: the question here is whether the words in question express hate and bigotry and were used in that context, not whether they are in a book of words that exist.

And the fact that the ministry is allowing this sort of rhetoric from its parliament members and justifying the hate speech is the most telling piece of information in this whole story.

Well, that and the fact that Mila Kunis is apparently Jewish. Who knew? Also, from Googling, we just found out she and Ashton might be moving to London, which we believe is nearer to the Ukraine than America is, so be careful out there, Ms. Kunis!