Ukrainian court reinstates diplomat who blamed Jews for World War II and posed with ‘Mein Kampf’ cake

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Ukrainian court ruling called for the reinstatement of a diplomat who was fired for making anti-Semitic remarks.

Israel has expressed its consternation over the ruling, saying it was “confused.”

Vasyl Marushchynets, then the Ukrainian consul in Hamburg, Germany, was dismissed last year after his social media posts came to light. Writing on Facebook, he blamed Jews for World War II and called for “death to the anti-fascists.” He also posed for photographs with a cake baked in the shape of Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf.”

Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and other senior Ukraine officials had condemned the comments.

However, the Kyiv court ruled Tuesday that the termination was illegal and ordered Maruschchynets’ reinstatement. Maruschynets also will receive thousands of dollars in missed wages.

Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine, Joel Lion, responded to the ruling in a letter posted Wednesday on Twitter.

“The State of Israel is confused by the decision of the Sixth Administrative Court of Appeal to reinstate Antisemitic Ukrainian diplomat Vasyl Maruschynets in his functions,” Lion wrote.

He added that Israel was “encouraged” by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s decision to appeal the ruling.

The ministry decided not to restore Marushchynets to his previous position, but instead will assign him to the Department for Countering Threats from the Russian Federation, according to the local news outlet 112UA.

Lion also called on the Ukrainian government to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism.