Leaflets ordering Jews to register in east Ukraine city or be deported creating fear. Threat evocative of 1930s. Pro-Russian separatists say order isn’t real. But someone is trying to scare Ukrainian Jews. The question is: Who?

ukraine-mapUPDATED: (Washington, D.C.) — There is a deeply disturbing article in the USA Today that I encourage you to read and share with others. It reports that leaflets are being spread throughout the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk saying that government officials controlled by pro-Russian forces are ordering Jews to register with local authorities and pay a fee, or they could be deported and their assets could be confiscated.

Secretary of State John Kerry today called such actions “intolerable” and “grotesque.” But pro-Russian separatists flatly deny the allegations that they have been distributing leaflets requiring Jews to register. 

The leaflets exist. They’ve been spread all over the city of Donetsk. They’re even printed on official government stationary and they bear the signature of the mayor. But the mayor says he didn’t write it. So who did? Are they a hoax, or official policy?

One thing is clear: someone is targeting the Jewish people of Ukraine, trying to instill fear in them, and trying to get them to leave the country.

The threat left many of the 15,000 Jews of Donetsk ‘shocked and hysterical,’ the chief rabbi of the city told The Daily Beast in an interview on Thursday,” reports the Daily Beast. “He pointed out where one of the leaflets had been left on a tree outside his synagogue on Oktiabskaya Street. In all of his 20-year service in Donetsk, Rabbi Pinhas Vyshedski said, he could never imagine that anything as ‘cynical’ and ‘anti-human’ could ever happen to his community.”

Here’s the latest:

That said, given the long history of virulent anti-Semitism in the region, there is reason to be concerned for the safety of the roughly 200,000 Jewish people in Ukraine.

Consider recent headlines:

As I write about in The Auschwitz Escape, Adolf Hitler made similar legal moves against the Jewish people in the early 1930s, separating them out from the rest of the population. We know where it led — the Final Solution and the gas chambers a few years later. We cannot yet say where the leaders of Donetsk are going with this, but clearly such moves bode ill.

Please pray for the Jewish people in Crimea and throughout Ukraine, for safety and protection and for the Lord to truly bless them amidst this crisis and beyond.

Please also pray for Israeli leaders and other Jewish leaders as they determine how to respond to these developments, should they prove to be true. Is it possible that soon Israel will have to begin airlifting Jews out of Ukraine? If that happens, the Christian community must stand with the Jewish people and help in every way.

Here’s one of the key news reports that set off the international furor:

Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine

By Oren Dorrell, USA Today, April 17, 2014

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 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.

Donetsk is the site of an “anti-terrorist” operation by the Ukraine government, which has moved military columns into the region to force out militants who are demanding a referendum be held on joining Russia.

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 report.

Pushilin acknowledged the flyers were distributed by his organization but he disavowed their content, according to the web site Jews of Kiev, Ynet reported.

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 flyer 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 bein g 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.

Michael Salberg, director of the international affairs at the New York City-based Anti-Defamation League, said it’s unclear if 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 sceptre 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.”

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

68% of Americans fear a “nuclear holocaust” here in U.S. if Iran is permitted to build nuclear weapons, exclusive poll finds.

MEME-nuclearholocaust-America(Netanya, Israel) — Americans do not only fear that a nuclear-armed Iran would try to bring about a “Second Holocaust” by annihilating all six million Jews in the State of Israel.

They also fear Iranian leaders would try to bring about a “nuclear holocaust” inside the United States of America.

During an interview on Fox News on Sunday with anchor Shannon Bream, I  shared more of the results of the new polling Tyndale House Publishers and I conducted through McLaughlin & Associates, a nationally-respected polling firm.

Gearing up for the release of The Auschwitz Escape, and trying to understand how Americans’ fears of a “Second Holocaust” affects their views of current geopolitical issues, we asked 1,000 likely U.S. voters the following question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: ‘If the U.S. and our allies do not take decisive action, and the Iranian regime is permitted to build nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, the Iranian regime will one day attempt to attack the homeland of the United States and bring about a nuclear holocaust’?”

  • 68.1% agreed they fear a nuclear holocaust inside the U.S.
  • 23.3% disagreed
  • 8.6% said they did not know

Here are some of the other results of the poll we discussed:

The big question remains: Will President Obama and the leaders of the P5+1 international powers be able to use diplomacy and sanctions to truly force Iran to dismantle and abandon its uranium and plutonium development programs and all its efforts to build nuclear weapons?

If so, that would be a great blessing to the peace of the world.

But if they cannot force Iran to change course, nearly seven-in-ten Americans say they are deeply concerned that Iran’s ayatollahs and mullahs to use nuclear weapons to kill millions of Americans here inside the homeland.

A sobering thought, to be sure.

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Exclusive poll: 80% of Americans fear a “Second Holocaust.” I discussed this today on CBN. (See poll details, and video of interview.)

MEME-SecondHolocaust(Virginia Beach, Virginia) — This morning I appeared on the Christian Broadcasting Network to discuss The Auschwitz Escape.

I shared the research I did for the book, and talked about the true stories that inspired the novel — specifically, the four heroes who actually did escape from the Nazi death camp 70 years ago this spring.

You can watch the full interview by clicking here.

During the interview, I also shared more of the results of the exclusive new polling we conducted through McLaughlin & Associates, a nationally-respected polling firm. We asked 1,000 likely U.S. voters the following question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: ‘If the world does not take decisive action, and the Iranian regime is permitted to build nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, the Iranian regime will one day attempt to annihilate the State of Israel and bring about a Second Holocaust’?”

  • 80.2% of Americans agreed and said they fear a “Second Holocaust.”
  • 16.1% disagreed.
  • 3.7% said they did not know.

To me, this is a stunning number. It indicates that Americans do not see the history of the Nazi Holocaust as some kind of ancient history. Across the board, Americans of all ages, income groups, ethnic groups, religions, political ideologies and regions of the country are deeply concerned that a “Second Holocaust” may be coming if world leaders do not take decisive action to stop Iran before it is too late.

This is the second poll question and answer we have released this week. The first indicated that 72% of Americans now view Vladimir Putin and the Russian government as a “clear and present danger to the U.S. and Israel.”

In the days ahead, we will release more of the polling data.

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Experts Fear Nuclear Famine: “A Disaster So Massive in Scale that No Preparation is Possible”

nuke-famine

At last count, there are eight countries in the world that have officially designed, developed and tested nuclear weapons. Another two (Israel and Iran) deny they have built or are building such weapons, but the probability that Israel has them and that Iran is building them is believed by members of the international community to be extremely high.

That being said, it’s only a matter of time before a madman at the helm in any of these ten nuclear-armed states decides to push the button. With the global economy in shambles, the world’s super powers mobilizing military assets, and hundreds of trillions of dollars in unservicable debt soon to be realized by the financial community, how long before history rhymes with previous large-scale events that culminated in the fall of the Roman empire or the World Wars that  devastated tens of millions of lives in the 20th century?

War, it seems, is inevitable. Not just because of the many problems faced by mankind, but because of the nature of mankind itself.

Whether that war is a widespread nuclear conflict involving the world’s super powers, or a more limited event in the middle east involving Pakistan and India, according to a new report published by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, a nuclear engagement (even a limited one) would lead to widespread destruction across planet earth, with at least 2 billion people at risk of starvation or death.

The kicker? The effects will be so long-lasting, according to the author of the study, that there’s pretty much nothing we can do to survive it:

The threat of nuclear war has been embedded in global consciousness since the invention of the atomic bomb. Most fears are focused on blast radius and radioactive fallout; but the long-term effects of a nuclear conflict could be far more concerning.

According to new research from the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility, a phenomenon known as “nuclear famine” is keeping experts up at night. The study estimates that more than 2 billion people are at risk.

Its author, Ira Helfand, says even a limited nuclear war could lead to “the end of civilization.”

Helfand theorizes it could occur in stages. The first is climate change. Existing literature shows that a regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan could drastically affect temperatures throughout the world. A 2007 study published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics predicts that the soot created by such an event could reduce temps by 1.25°C per year for at least a half-decade.

This would wreak havoc on global crops.

The final stage of this catastrophe is starvation.

With his best guess, Helfand breaks the at-risk into three groups: (a) 870 million people already facing malnourishment, (b) grain-importing nations, and (c) the entire population of China. The first group gets more than 75% of its nutrition from grain, and a significant portion would not be able to afford higher prices.

Grain-importing nations, like South Korea, Japan, most of North Africa, and the Middle East, would be hard hit by trading partners who suddenly decide to stop exporting. Additionally, China’s 1.3 billion citizens would use up their rice and wheat reserves in a few months, and international hoarding may make open-market purchases impossible.

As Helfand has said: ”This is a disaster so massive in scale that really no preparation is possible. We must prevent this.”

With the vast majority of the world’s nations still unable to build the bomb, a blanket approach could work. ICAN pleads that the “very survival of humanity depends on nuclear weapons never being used.”

Fool.com via IPNNW Study

The nuclear-armed nations of the world didn’t just build these weapons so they can look at them. Sure, our leaders may claim these weapons are merely deterrents designed to prevent war, but the fact is, advanced weaponry has always been used for the purposes of conquering. Our modern era is no different.

We came dangerously close during the Cuban missile crisis in the early 1960′s. Cooler heads prevailed that day.

And even if starting a war is unintentional, it could happen. On at least one occasion, in 1983, the United States and Russia were literally minutes away from a full-scale confrontation under both country’s policies of mutually assured destruction. It turns out that was a false alarm – but the world was almost destroyed as a result. This is one of the incidents we know about, and given the secrecy behind such military operations, it’s quite possible that there have been more.

The bottom line is that we must assume these weapons will be used at some point – that should be a given. What we don’t know is the scale of the nuclear engagement. It could be that Russia, the United States, Israel, China and North Korea just start lobbing intercontinental ballistic missiles by the hundreds, in which case we’re all pretty much toast. Or, it could be a limited war, with the conflict in India and Pakistan finally coming to a head.

Whatever the case, even if those dropped bombs detonate thousands of miles away from you, there is a strong likelihood that you will feel the direct effects in the form of an almost immediate climate change, food scarcity, extreme price rises, and the riots and looting that are sure to follow.

As with any disaster, whether its a nuclear war, global financial collapse, or a natural disaster, we can fully expect the worst of the worst. As the IPPNW report notes:

We would have to expect panic on a far greater scale following a nuclear war, even if it were a “limited” regional war,  especially as it became clear that there would be significant, sustained agricultural shortfalls over an extended period.

It is probable that there would be hoarding on an international scale as food exporting nations suspended exports in order to assure adequate food supplies for their own populations.

Though the report suggests it is impossible to prepare for such an event, one could argue that survival is certainly possible.

Assuming we survive the nuclear impact and fallout because we live in a strategic location (or just got lucky!), your most immediate concerns would be food, water and self defense, all of which must be considered before such an event occurs if you intend to improve your odds of survival.

Surviving a nuclear winter will, of course, not be easy. According to the report, two billion people could die as a result – probably within a matter of months or a year. A similar scenario would play out should a disaster like a Super EMP weapon or solar flare take out our national (or global) power grid.

Regardless of the disaster, the aftermath, like any crisis or emergency, is survivable.

From the standpoint of preparedness, this means having long-term food stores and a preparedness plan to go along with them. You’ll first need to survive the initial “die-off” as millions of people search for food and resources. Then, when your own food stores run out, you’ll need to be able to produce your own by way of micro-farming and raising your own livestock.

What it will boil down to is adaptability. We can’t predict what will happen or what we will face. But understanding the potential threats, how to mitigate them when they occur, and the options we have available should our best laid plans fail gives us a much better chance of surviving disasters than just pretending like they can’t ever happen.


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You