“Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine”
Too bad it isn’t illegals they’re ordering to register. Otherwise, we might be able to get our government to condemn this. And actually mean it.
Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to “register” with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Ukrainian and Israeli media.
Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website.
The leaflets bore the name of Denis Pushilin, who identified himself as chairman of “Donetsk’s temporary government,” and were distributed near the Donetsk synagogue and other areas, according to the reports.
Pushilin acknowledged that fliers were distributed under his organization’s name in Donetsk but denied any connection to them, Ynet reported in Hebrew.
Emanuel Shechter, in Israel, told Ynet his friends in Donetsk sent him a copy of the leaflet through social media.
“They told me that masked men were waiting for Jewish people after the Passover eve prayer, handed them the flier and told them to obey its instructions,” he said.
The leaflet begins, “Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality,” and states that all people of Jewish descent over 16 years old must report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and “register.”
It says the reason is because the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported Bendery Junta, a reference to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement that fought for Ukrainian independence at the end of World War II, “and oppose the pro-Slavic People’s Republic of Donetsk,” a name adopted by the militant leadership.
The leaflet then described which documents Jews should provide: “ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles.”
Consequences for non-compliance will result in citizenship being revoked “and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property.” A registration fee of $50 would be required, it said.
Olga Reznikova, 32, a Jewish resident of Donetsk, told Ynet she never experienced anti-Semitism in the city until she saw this leaflet.
“We don’t know if these notifications were distributed by pro-Russian activists or someone else, but it’s serious that it exists,” she said. “The text reminds of the fascists in 1941,” she said referring to the Nazis who occupied Ukraine during World War II.
The Jewish community in Donetsk issued in a statement saying the flyers distribution “smells like a provocation.”
“Who is behind this is an open question,” Rabbi Pinkhas Vishedski said in the statement, according to CNN. Vishedski said they are a provocation “and should be treated accordingly … full stop and end of topic.”
Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, the oldest pro-Israel group in the USA, said the leaflets should be seen in the context of a rising tide of anti-Semitism across Europe and the world, and that it should prompt a strong response from the White House.
“This is a frightening new development in the anti-Jewish movement that is gaining traction around the world,” Klein said.
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt called the leaflets “the real deal,” and not representative of the Ukraine’s government in Kiev.
Secretary of State John Kerry called the incident “grotesque.”
Would that be the same John Kerry who has consistently berated Israel and spoken of its recalcitrance, aiding those who paint it as an apartheid state? The same John Kerry whose progressive allies here in the US have been engaging in almost ritualized hate of Jewish organizations on university campuses? The same John Kerry who was appointed Secretary of State by a President who spent 20-years listening to his spiritual mentor blame Jews for the plight of poor blacks, who spoke glowingly of Edward Said and other terrorists, and who has welcomed — and defended — the Muslim Brotherhood, whose stated goal is the destruction of the West? The same John Kerry whose party embraces with reverence people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, both of whom have shown the same kind of anti-semitic streak as the Klan who once ran their party in the South? The same John Kerry who shares an ideological kinship with Jimmy Carter, who has yet to find a repulsive despot he wouldn’t fluff, or turn down an opportunity to paint Israel as a “racist” state?
I’ll tell you what is “grotesque”: it’s that the left — with Obama as its figurehead — who has overtaken our government has sent the signal worldwide that Jew hatred, in the course of the Greater Good, is perfectly okay, be it through divestment or through going after “big banking,” etc. And they have been aided by the leftists in academia, who stir up anti-Zionism, along with all the self-hating Jews who vote Democrat in order to assure the cosmopolitan Jew haters that they’re sufficiently nuanced in their thinking to recognize the repugnance of their own heritage.
Never again? Perhaps.
But that doesn’t mean that some leftist or nationalist movement in need of demons won’t attempt to use the Jews as its scapegoat. And I wouldn’t count a lick on the US, in its current state, to stop them.
Michael Salberg, director of the international affairs at the New York City-based Anti-Defamation League, said it’s unclear whether the leaflets were issued by the pro-Russian leadership or a splinter group operating within the pro-Russian camp.
But the Russian side has used the specter of anti-Semitism in a cynical manner since anti-government protests began in Kiev that resulted in the ousting of Ukraine’s pro-Russian former president Viktor Yanukovych. Russia and its allies in Ukraine issued multiple stories about the the threat posed to Jews by Ukraine’s new pro-Western government in Kiev, Salberg said.
Those stories were based in part on ultra-nationalists who joined the Maidan protests, and the inclusion of the ultra-nationalist Svoboda party in Ukraine’s new interim government. But the threat turned out to be false, he said.
Svoboda’s leadership needs to be monitored, but so far it has refrained from anti-Semitic statements since joining the government, he said. And the prevalence of anti-Semitic acts has not changed since before the Maidan protests, according to the ADL and the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, which monitors human rights in Ukraine.
Distributing such leaflets is a recruitment tool to appeal to the xenophobic fears of the majority, “to enlist them to your cause and focus on a common enemy, the Jews,” Salberg said.
And by targeting Donetsk’s Jews, they also send a message to all the region’s residents, Salberg said.
“The message is a message to all the people that is we’re going to exert our power over you,” he said. “Jews are the default scapegoat throughout history for despots to send a message to the general public: Don’t step out of line.”
And despotism comes from totalitarianism, which is the natural endpoint of leftist politics. Whether it’s racial collectivism or some other form, the necessity to purify the citizenry on the road to Utopia is a common theme. One that Bill Ayers, a guy from Obama’s neighborhood, took quite seriously, to boot.
Is this just a provocation? Possibly. But history teaches us we best take the threat seriously. Which is why the left so often needs to whitewash or rewrite history in the first place.