Stories appearing on several Ukrainian Web sites claim Israel has brought around some 25,000 Ukrainian children into the country over the past two years in order to harvest their organs.
The claim, which was made by a Ukrainian philosophy professor and author at a pseudo-academic conference in Kiev five days ago, is the latest expression of a wave of anti-Semitism in the country.
Jews, Israel and anti-Semitism have become a major motif of the presidential election campaign in Ukraine, with some figures making anti-Semitic statements and others condemning them. Some candidates, including a Jew and someone whose rivals claim is Jewish, blame a third rival - Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko - for bringing anti-Semitism into the race.
"Ukraine's political system is a parody of democracy," Russia's Chief Rabbi, Berel Lazar, said.
Vyacheslav Gudin told the estimated 300 attendees of the Kiev conference a detailed story about a Ukrainian man's fruitless search for 15 children who had been adopted in Israel. The children, Gudin said, had clearly been taken by Israeli medical centers, where they were used for "spare parts." Gudin said it was essential that all Ukrainians be made aware of the genocide Israel was perpetrating.
The conference, some of whose participants belong to a Slavic-rights movement, also featured two professors who presented a book blaming "the Zionists" for the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s as well as the country's current condition.
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