Will Ukraine’s real anti-Semite please stand up?

Demonstrators march in support of Kremlin-backed plans for the Ukrainian province of Crimea to break away and merge with Russia, in Moscow, Saturday, March 15, 2014. A poster depicts photos of a WW II German prisoner of war and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Atsenyuk, and says “Your project is doomed, grandson”

Synagogue vandalism, Molotov cocktails, attacks on Jews. To hear the list of recent anti-Semitic reports out of Ukraine, one might be forgiven for thinking the country is a hotbed of Jew hatred.

However, many of the country’s Jews believe that the attacks are being blown out of proportion, or even engineered, by the Kremlin in a bid to foster trouble and topple Kiev’s quavering new government.

In conversations with The Times of Israel this weekend, this was the scenario painted by Ukraine’s Jewish leadership, including its chief rabbis.

Less than one-tenth of 1% of the population of Ukraine is Jewish, but by the amount of ink devoted to the community in mainstream press during the current political turmoil, one could easily think it numbers millions, rather than the (possibly inflated) 350,000 it claims.