He calls his troops “the Blue Helmets of Maidan,” but brown is the color of the headgear worn by Delta — the nom de guerre of the commander of a Jewish-led militia force that participated in the Ukrainian revolution. Under his helmet, he also wears a kippah.
|"Delta" in Kiev|
Delta, a Ukraine-born former soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, spoke to JTA Feb. 27 on condition of anonymity. He explained how he came to use combat skills he acquired in the Shu'alei Shimshon reconnaissance battalion of the Givati infantry brigade to rise through the ranks of Kiev’s street fighters.
He has headed a force of 40 men and women — including several fellow IDF veterans — in violent clashes with government forces.
Several Ukrainian Jews, including Rabbi Moshe Azman, one of the country's claimants to the title of chief rabbi, confirmed Delta's identity and role in the still-unfinished revolution.
As platoon leader, Delta says he takes orders from activists connected to Svoboda, an ultra-nationalist party that has been frequently accused of anti-Semitism and whose members have been said to have had key positions in organizing the opposition protests.
I don’t belong [to Svoboda], but I take orders from their team. They know I’m Israeli, Jewish and an ex-IDF soldier. They call me ‘brother,’" he said.The call him "brother".... Why doesn't that surprise me? Not even a little bit.
He doesn't like Svoboda because they are 'inconsistent', not because of anti-semitism."What they’re saying about Svoboda is exaggerated, I know this for a fact. I don’t like them because they’re inconsistent, not because of [any] anti-Semitism issue.”
Are we talkin' brothers in hatred?
So.....whaddya think?The commanding position of Svoboda in the revolution is no secret, according to Ariel Cohen, a senior research fellow at the Washington D.C.-based Heritage Foundation think tank.“The driving force among the so-called white sector in the Maidan are the nationalists, who went against the SWAT teams and snipers who were shooting at them,” Cohen told JTA.
Still, many Jews supported the revolution and actively participated in it.