Wednesday, May 6, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Mystery of Ukraine’s anti-Semitic pamphlet

By
From page A13 | April 23, 2014 |

The headline shouted, “All citizens of Jewish nationality!” The document ordered all Jews over the age of 16 to register or face deportation, calling them “hostile to the Orthodox Donetsk Republic.”

The words stunned Jewish residents of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on the first night of Passover, when masked men carrying a Russian flag started handing out sheets with the chilling announcement to community members as they left the synagogue. “Evasion of registration,” it warned, “will result in revocation of citizenship and . . .  confiscation of property.”

Was the threat real? Was it a hoax? Was it an effort to intimidate Jews, to smear pro-Russian activists?

The fliers bore the seal of the “Donetsk People’s Republic,” an entity just announced by Moscow loyalists trying to break away from Ukraine’s pro-Western government in Kiev. It accused the Jews of supporting the “Junta” in Kiev, and therefore being disloyal to the Donetsk separatists. It was signed Denis Pushilin, the leader of the Donetsk “Republic,” but Pushilin denies he had anything to do with it.

Until now there is no sign that anyone intends to enforce the apparent decree. Still, it would be wrong to dismiss the incident and the flier as a meaningless forgery.

Both sides in the dispute between Ukraine and Russia have accused the other of anti-Semitism, and they have each called the other fascists. The truth is that anti-Semitism has a long history there.

It is no accident that the Jews are caught in the middle.

Jews have lived in Ukraine and Russia for more than a thousand years. After hundreds of generations, you would understand why they feel they live in their country and have a right to participate in civil life. But many in the community urged the young people to stay out of the demonstrations on either side, lest Jews become yet again the convenient scapegoats.

Many did not heed their elders’ advice and joined the protests. Still, no one is blind to the reality. Whatever the provenance of the fliers, these are tense times for members of Donetsk’s 17,000-strong Jewish community, and there is nervousness among Ukraine’s 300,000 Jews. Jews have been an integral and important part of Russia and Ukraine, producing masterpieces of literature, science, philosophy and art. But also enduring brutality.

A local rabbi said the last time he saw a message like this one was in 1941, when Nazi armies occupied Donetsk. It is painful, he told a reporter, to be used by “cynical politicians” who see Jews “as an instrument of their political games.” Secretary of State John Kerry called it “grotesque.”

It has happened before. Many times.

This is the part of the world that gave us the word “Pogrom,” the periodic riots against Jews that produced massacres, destruction of property and widespread, fear. In the 17th century, Cossacks killed thousands of Jews. Pogroms never ended. When the Nazis came, they killed some 900,000 Jews in what is Ukraine today with the help of pockets of local supporters amid widespread anti-Semitism.

The Soviet era did not bring the end of anti-Semitism. Official purges accused the Jews of disloyalty and “cosmopolitanism.”

Many Jews have sided with the new government in Kiev, joining the movement that seeks to bring an end to endemic corruption, and create a more Western-oriented Ukraine, with less meddling from Russia. Moscow has painted the new government in Kiev as dominated by anti-Semitic fascists.

It does contain a minority of nationalist extremists called the “Right Sector.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed Ukraine’s Jewish community is threatened by an upsurge of anti-Semitism, another possible excuse for Russian intervention. Jewish leaders responded saying the rise of anti-Semitism is much more noticeable in Russia than in Ukraine.

The Jews of eastern Ukraine, where the population tends to be more pro-Russian, are caught in the middle.

Jews make up less than 1 percent of Ukraine’s population, but they again find themselves forced into the center of inflammatory controversy. They don’t know why the pamphlet suddenly appeared. Who were the masked men distributing them? Were they anti-Semites, seeking to bully the Jews in the tradition of Cossacks? Were they Kiev loyalists wanting to make the Russian backers look dangerous? Was it someone trying to stir up instability?

With each side charging the other is dominated by anti-Semitic fascists, the one source of comfort is that the charge is an accusation they both deny, rather than a boast and an official source of pride.

Frida Ghitis writes about global affairs for The Miami Herald. Readers may send her email at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 6 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • The MisterApril 23, 2014 - 7:13 am

    Reported evidence shows emails between the US State Department and the Anti-Defamation League (a Jewish/Zionist organization) who conspired to create and distribute these anti-Jewish fliers. So many times we find that "hate crimes" against Jews were in fact staged and perpetrated by Jews. (Same with other radical, Saul Alinsky-modeled groups.) The US State Department has also been shown to be planting agent provocateurs in the Ukraine to create conflict... in the exact same way that the CIA has toppled so many democratically elected governments around the world and installed brutal dictators controlled by the US. Is it okay with you that our government overthrows leaders and governments in foreign lands? If so, then why? Because we can? Might makes right? Is it because our world police force must fight terrorism? Like the terrorist YOU are until you successfully get your pat-down or x-ray at the airport? Like the terrorist YOU are carrying a few ounces of breast milk or nail clippers on an airplane? Like the terrorist YOU are when some corrupt sheriff says you are? This country and the weenies that populate it just make me sick!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895April 23, 2014 - 7:47 am

    Wow! It's been reported and shown you say? What source are you relying upon?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterApril 23, 2014 - 8:23 am

    You almost got me on that one, RLW! How about YOU do a bit of research. If I take the time to detail out a response to you, you will once again dismiss it out of hand. But if you really have any amount of interest, then you will do the easy research yourself and you may even be convinced that all is not as it seems. Let us know what you find!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Danny BuntinApril 23, 2014 - 9:19 am

    @Mister: Well, I did a half a cup of coffee search, and came up with nothing. The past deeds of the US State dept is not proof of collaboration with the ADL in this case. You wrote a lengthy comment filled with accusations, but could not provide a tiny URL to back up the comments - why?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterApril 23, 2014 - 10:52 am

    Of course the DR doesn't allow url's... except for YouTube I guess. You can Google and find anywhere that the anti-Jewish leaflets have been proven a fake. I did easily find a report tying the ADL to these fake leaflets at Veterans Today. You know the FBI now refuses (effective last month) any reports of hate groups, etc., from the ADL, and given the various investigations of the ADL as violating civil rights and of its agent provocateurs inciting and staging violence domestically, the ADL conspiring to create and distribute these faked anti-Semitic leaflets is well within their modus operandi.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • patrickApril 23, 2014 - 12:32 pm

    DANNY-I also did the research and came up with zilch. but who are we to ague with the mister as he is never wrong---just ask him

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Cinco de Mayo event brings communities together

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

     
     
    Western Railway Museum plans special events

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2, 3 Comments | Gallery

     
    Kozak to take command of 349th AMW

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

     
    Solano events will mark National Day of Prayer

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Supervisors grant approval for internship program

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

     
    Solano marks Mental Health Month during May

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

     
     
    2 hurt in Fairfield freeway crash

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A6, 22 Comments

     
    Vacaville police announce training at outlet stores

    By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A6

    Doctor to discuss diabetes risks during free talk

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A6

     
    Frazier sets community coffee with new chief

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6

     
    Caltrans announces work on Highway 160

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

     
    Caltrans outlines work on Highway 29

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

     
    Comedies, dramas, documentaries hit screens this weekend

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

     
    Fairfield police log: May 4, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

    Fairfield police log: May 3, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Suisun City police log: May 4, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

    Suisun City police log: May 3, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Author, evangelist to address Writers Resource group

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A10

    CHP officer has close call with vehicle

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

     
     
    .

    US / World

    Obama picks Dunford as new Joint Chiefs chair

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Nigerian troops who fled Boko Haram now have them on the run

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Two decades after ‘Black Hawk Down,’ Kerry visits Somalia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Doubts raised about Islamic State’s claim in Texas attack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Forest Service chief expects busy firefighting season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Van Gogh work fetches over $66 million at New York auction

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Senate adopts GOP budget targeting ‘Obamacare’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

     
    US reprimands agents after man forgotten in San Diego cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Huckabee, the other man from Hope, opens 2016 bid

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

    60 bodies recovered in Nepal valley hit by quake, mudslide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Girl shoots self with father’s gun

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    FAA gives OK for farmers to utilize drones

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Living

    Today in history: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: May 6, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Case of date rape from 30 years ago preys on husband’s mind

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

     
    Horoscope: May 6, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

    Weeknight vegetarian: Peel a plaintain, elevate a taco

    By The Washington Post | From Page: B7

     
    Feeling peckish for pesto? Don’t limit yourself to basil!

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

     
    Miley Cyrus on Bruce Jenner, pink armpits, her new charity

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Singer Chris Brown’s battery case in Las Vegas dropped

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Bono and U2 set as sole guests on Friday’s ‘Tonight Show’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    Vacaville grad Hekking signs with Chargers as free agent

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

     
    Prep badminton: Rodriguez gets MEL win over Armijo

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

    Prep boys volleyball: VCS falls to Golden Sierra in finale

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

     
     
    Armijo boys tennis team falls 5-4 in playoffs to defending champs

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Prep swimming: Rodriguez boys win MEL title

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Armijo opens playoffs with 6-0 win behind Nadia Martinez hat trick

    By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Ryan Vogelsong pitches surging Giants to 6-0 win over Padres

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Local Report: Rodriguez boys swim to MEL title

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

    Conley comes back, leads Grizzlies past Warriors 97-90

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Raiders cut ties with 8 players

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Athletics release outfielder Cody Ross after short stint

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    San Jose beats Houston 1-0 in Dominic Kinnear’s return

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    With Wall out, Hawks beat Wizards 106-90 to even series 1-1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Suit filed against Pacquiao for not disclosing injury

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Manny Ramirez Jr vows to make own baseball name for himself

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Derby winner nears return to track for Preakness prep

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    NCAA’s new head of officials ready to make tough calls

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Former Raiders fullback Marv Hubbard dies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    49ers Bruce Miller charged with vandalism, not domestic case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Chavez shines in A’s 2-1 victory over Twins

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Raiders to cut ties with James Jones, Miles Burris

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Business

    Los Angeles sues Wells Fargo, alleging fraud by employees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    William Fay Carbine Sr.

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Lois G. Johnston (Lieb) (Bayard)

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6