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

Larwyn’s Linx: Answering THE Question

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Nation

Answering THE Question: The Deth Guild
“Compassionate Conservatism” … Kill It With Fire!: Ace
Maryland Knew a Year In Advance Obamacare Website was a Disaster: RWN

Senate Dems refuse to fund military pensions; illegals’ tax refunds win out: BPR
Website of Top House Republican Drops Opposition to Amnesty: Fred Bauer
House Cleaning on the Right: Erick Erickson

DOJ Demands Ability to Veto Parents’ Choice of School: Alec Torres
White House offers ridiculous opposition to Obamacare transparency bills: BPR
Chilling Interview with Trevor Loudon: Obama is a Leninist: Trevor Loudon

Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange not fiscally sustainable, lawmakers told: RWN
CT state police seek to question Vanderboegh in gun dispute : Anthony Martin
TX open carry incident leads to punishment of CCH holders: Bob Owens

Economy

More Job Market Malaise: Tom Blumer
How Bad Is Obama’s Jobs Record? Let’s Count The Ways: IBD
$ 830 Billion Later: Minority Report

Free markets create jobs not socialist “compassion”: Commentator
IRS to get ‘license to kill’ groups that oppose Obama agenda: Ernest Istook
Blue Cross: If GOP kills insurer bailout, it’ll mean single payer: Hot Air

Scandal Central

Trey Gowdy rips State Dept. over slow response in naming Benghazi terrorist groups: BPR
GOP Turns to Courts to Take On Obama: Roll Call
Darrell Do-Little and the Hapless Hans of the GOP strike (?) again.: SSI

Media

A Question for the Press: George Kelly
To the official of the Connecticut State Police who attempted to call me last night.: SSI
A Correction from Paul Krugman: Kevin D. Williamson

Great White Whale Harpooned. RINOs, Hot Air Hardest Hit: Emperor Misha
Odds & Ends: Updates to Unemployment, Rachel Maddow, Dog Turd Posts: Ace
POLL: WHO WILL HILLARY CLINTON SELECT FOR HER VEEP?: TAB

Compassionate Conservatives Are Confusing A Slogan With An Agenda: Ben Domenech
Judge Jeanine Scorches Obama For DOJ’s Partisan Politics: ‘Shame on You!’: Nice Deb
Texas movie theater cancels other movies to handle massive ‘Lone Survivor’ crowds: BPR

World

The Islamization of America in 2013: Pamela Geller
Obama’s Foreign Policy Taking Hits From All Sides As Dems Defect On Iran: Scoop
Christian Leader: Barack Obama Is ‘Paving the Way for the Antichrist’: GWP

Robert Gates inadvertently gives us a good look at @barackobama’s war insecurities.: Moe Lane
Rodman The Perfect Representative For Obama Diplomacy: RWN
Everyone But Muslims Shocked To Discover That Islam May Not Be A Religion Of Peace!: BCF

Sci-Tech (courtesy BadBlue Tech News)

Neiman Marcus Breach Could Be Part Of Larger Holiday Cyberattack On U.S. Retailers: Rip Empson
Brand Journalism: Embrace the Trend for Your Organization: Gini Dietrich
New Tactus Case Concept Brings A Disappearing Keyboard To The iPad: Chris Velazco

Cornucopia

NOT A HOAX: Hunter claims to have killed BIGFOOT, says he has body, DNA evidence to prove it!: Scoop
JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! or, “If you like your job, let’s HOPE you can keep your job.”: MOTUS
Terryfing GoPro footage of Hawaiian plane crash from inside the cabin: Aviationist

Image: JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! or, “If you like your job, let’s HOPE you can keep your job.”
Today’s Larwyn’s Linx sponsored by: Send a message to the Beltway elite: support Matt Bevin

QOTD: “The challenge of conservative governance in this era of the right’s muddled grappling with their ongoing philosophical disagreement will continue to create tensions between a faction that believes conservatism means doing the business of compassion more efficiently in pursuit of a vaguely defined public good, and one which believes it’s more important to restrain the warping effects of government and return the government to the role it occupied for most of American history, before LBJ set us on the path toward an unsustainable entitlement state… which was, if you think about it, entirely justified at the time if you adopted Gerson’s approach.

Here’s a hint: If your approach to conservative governance would justify the Great Society, it’s usually a sign you took a wrong turn somewhere. Maybe because the lights were all green.” —Ben Domenech

Doug Ross @ Journal

Are Jews preparing to build the prophetic Third Temple? The Washington Post examines that question today.

TempleMount(Washington, D.C.) — Are Israeli Jews preparing to build the “Third Temple” in Jerusalem in fulfillment of End Times Bible prophecy? If so, who is behind such developments? How are Muslim leaders responding? Could such a move trigger an apocalyptic reaction by the Muslim world against Israel in an already volatile environment?

Such are the questions I’ve explored in fictionally in novels such as The Last Days and The Copper Scroll and Dead Heat

But now such questions are being raised in an intriguing article in the today’s edition of the Washington Post, of all places.

“A small but growing movement by Jewish activists demanding the right to pray at the site of their destroyed temple, in the heart of this disputed capital’s Old City, is creating a potentially explosive clash with the Muslim world, which considers the spot holy and bans Jews from public worship there,” opens the Post article.

Consider some of the extraordinary quotes that follow in the report:

  • “The Temple Mount is ours, and it cannot be argued about or negotiated. . . . It must be open for prayer at every hour, to every Jew,” says Uri Ariel, Israel’s minister of construction and housing.
  • “This place belongs to the Muslim people, and no others have the right to pray here,” says Sheik Azzam al-Khatib, “director of the Waqf, the Islamic trust that administers the site” who says ”the mosque is a unifying symbol for the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims.”
  • “If they [the Jews] try to take over the mosque, this will be the end of time,” Khatib warned. “This will create rage and anger not only in the West Bank but all over the Islamic world — and only God knows what will happen.”
  • “Every citizen of Israel should have the right to pray at their holy sites without harassment or being attacked,” says Miri Regev , a Members of the Israeli Knesset (parliament). “If Jews want to go up to the Temple Mount to pray, they should have that right.”

“A frequent visitor to the site is Rabbi Chaim Richman, a director of the Temple Institute, whose mission is to prepare for the building of the Third Temple where the Dome of the Rock now stands,” reports the Post. “He says he envisions a new temple rising toward the clouds, with underground parking, Internet connectivity, radiant heating for the sanctified floors (the priests, in accordance with Jewish law, will be barefoot), and a return of burnt offerings and animal sacrifice. In April, Richman’s Temple Institute moved to a large, renovated space in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, overlooking the Western Wall. The project was funded by Henry Swieca, the billionaire American investor, and his wife, Estee.”

“Inside, researchers and artisans have created silver trumpets, wooden lyres and three-pronged forks that would turn over burnt offerings,” the Post noted. “They sewed a priest’s robe with a breastplate of golden thread and 12 precious stones, as described in the Bible and representing the 12 tribes of Israel. There is a golden menorah and an ark for the covenants. And there are architectural plans. Evidence, Muslim leaders say, that proves that the Jews have literal designs on the mount.”

“This is not incitement,” Richman said. “Our mission is to kindle the spark of desire for the time when Jews are a light unto the world, and Muslims will agree it is time to rebuild, and all nations of the world will come to the Jews and ask them to rebuild.”

To read the full article, please click here.

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Was the Holocaust a myth? Iranian President Rouhani refuses to answer the question. Telling.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani being interviewed by Ann Curry of NBC News.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani being interviewed by Ann Curry of NBC News.

(Washington, D.C.) — Brace yourself. The Iranian “charm offensive” is about to go into overdrive.

Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, has arrived in New York City for meetings at the United Nations, and he is doing everything he can to convince U.S. and Western leaders that he comes in the name of peace, even as the centrifuges keep spinning, Tehran keeps enriching uranium, and the mullahs keep moving closer to an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Yet in recent days, Rouhani has made an important mistake. He was interviewed by NBC News and asked if he agrees with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Holocaust is a “myth.” Yet Rouhani dodged the answer. He couldn’t say no. He couldn’t part company with his Radical predecessor. He couldn’t admit what all the world knows, that the Nazi regime in German in the 1940s systematically murdered six million Jews, including 1.5 million Jewish children.

Well, Rouhani could have, but he didn’t. Rather, he dodged the question like the wolf in sheep’s clothing that he really is.

“I’m not a historian,” Rouhani replied. “I’m a politician.”

“If you watched the portion of Ann Curry’s interview with new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that aired last night during NBC Nightly News, you may have come away with the image of a reformer who wants to work with President Obama and vows never to build nuclear weapons,” reports the website, Mediaite. ”But a slightly different picture emerged in remarks shown this morning on the Today Show. Curry asked Rouhani point blank about comments his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, made in the past about the Holocaust being a ‘myth.’ She asked Rouhani, ‘Do you agree?’ The answer he gave may not exactly be comforting to Jewish people in America, Israel or anywhere else in the world. ‘I’m not a historian,’ Rouhani began. ‘I’m a politician. What is important for us is that the countries of the region, and the people, grow closer to each other and that they are able to prevent aggression and injustice.’”

“Curry did not press Rouhani for a firmer answer on that question, but rather went on to ask if he, like Ahmadinejad, wants to ‘wipe Israel off the map,’” Mediaite noted. “Again his answer avoided specifics in favor of generalities. ‘We do not seek war with any country,’ Rouhani responded. ‘We seek seek peace and friendship among the nations of the region.’ He took a similar tack when Curry asked about Iranian access to websites like Twitter and Facebook. Rouhani did not say specifically whether his government would remove its censorship, but rather that ‘people must have full access to all information world wide.’ Before signing off, Curry told Today’s Savannah Guthrie that Rouhani’s ‘non-answer’ about the Holocaust ‘will likely raise a lot of eyebrows.’”

As I’ve reported before (see here, here, and here), Rouhani is no moderate. He is a dangerous man trying to buy time for Iran to build not just one nuclear warhead, but an entire arsenal. He and his regime must be stopped before it is too late.


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog