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Reports of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and Hungary

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Flyer from Donetsk

Flyer from Donetsk

Two news reports involve the recrudescence of anti-Semitic activity in eastern Europe.

The first involves those anti-Semitic fliers in Donetsk, the Ukraine, advising Jews to register with Russian-separatist authorities. John Kerry denounced the fliers, and the story was on the NBC Nightly News last night.

But several accounts question the authenticity of the fliers, and even Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League has suggested that they are an act of provocation in a tumultuous situation. The Forward quotes Foxman:

“We have seen a series of cynical and politically manipulative uses and accusations of anti-Semitism in Ukraine over the past year,” said Mr. Foxman. “The perpetrators and their targets are opposing politicians and political movements, but the true victims are the Jewish communities. We strongly condemn the anti-Semitic content, but also all attempts to use anti-Semitism for political purposes.”

Earlier in this crisis, pro-western forces in Kyiv were shown to have anti-Semitic attitudes; this time it’s pro-Russian forces alleged to have them. The Jerusalem Post also casts doubts on the claim.

Eduard Dolinsky of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee said that the flyers appeared to be a provocation, but it was impossible to say who was responsible.

The local Jewish community “tried to find out who was behind this with no success. No one took responsibility,” he said. “We don’t have evidence.”

Rabbi Pinchas Vyshetsky, a resident of Donetsk, also called the flyers a provocation and theorized that it could be the work of “anti-Semites looking to hitch a ride on the current situation.”

John Kerry landed on the fliers as grotesque and frightful yesterday.

In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable; it’s grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable. And any of the people who engage in these kinds of activities, from whatever party or whatever ideology or whatever place they crawl out of, there is no place for that. And unanimously, every party today joined in this condemnation of that kind of behavior.

Note: Kerry also cited threats to members of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Even the Forward is a wee cynical:

[Kerry] was soon joined by human rights groups and politicians, including Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who said in a statement that the fliers were “a sad reminder of the ongoing importance and blessing of having a strong homeland for the Jewish people in the State of Israel.”

Remember, this is for fliers whose authenticity is still in doubt.

Far more concerning is a story the Forward posted two days ago on the situation facing Hungary’s Jews following recent elections that cemented the power of the mainstream chauvinist right and boosted the radical, explicitly-anti-Semitic right, to 20 percent of the vote.

With this election, [the party] Jobbik, whose leaders have depicted Hungarian Jews as a threat to national security, became Europe’s most successful ultranationalist faction. Its members will serve in a parliament dominated by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, leader of the conservative Fidesz party, who was re-elected for a third term. But Orban and his party, Fidesz, pose their own challenges to Hungary’s Jews.

The Forward has been covering the rise of anti-Semitic sentiment in Hungary, where 80 percent of the country’s Jewish population was exterminated during the Holocaust.

A friend challenges:

“This same story and others like it give me pause when reading your frequent talking point about the dysfunctional psychology of American Jews who insist on seeing themselves as victims and outsiders, in need of an Israel, when in fact they are truly privileged and at the center of power. True enough in America–but America is not the world. If I were a Hungarian Jew, I’d probably feel like the option of emigration to Israel is something I’d want in my back pocket, even if I was an Hungarian patriot fighting the good fight. And that would not be dysfunctional psychology.”

Here is something else worthy of note in the Forward piece. Reporter Daniella Cheslow describes what it is about the Hungarian right that gives it a fascist, not merely a right-wing color:

In a recent article in the Guardian, Princeton University political scientist Jan-Werner Mueller described Hungary under Orban as a “Russia-leaning rightwing government… that is inching ever closer to [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin’s ideal of governance.”
Like Russia, Hungary under Orban asserts the state’s responsibility for Hungarian minorities in neighboring countries, disquieting Romania and Slovakia, where they constitute a majority in several districts bordering Hungary. Twenty-five percent of Hungarians live outside the country, mostly in these districts, and for the recent election, Orban used his parliamentary supermajority to give these nonresident Hungarians the right to vote. They returned the favor by backing him heavily.

Meanwhile, the party’s 2009 slogan, “Hungary for Hungarians,” made ethnic minorities living in Hungary, including Jews and Roma, uneasy. Orban has made a point of not supporting Western sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea. And his anti-liberal policies on issues such as gay and lesbian rights also echo Russia’s posture more than Western Europe’s.

Well, “Like Russia,” yes. But what other country asserts that kind of jurisdiction, and not just over those in neighboring countries but, like, everywhere? The short answer to my friend’s challenge is that the best guarantee for safety is that minority rights everywhere must be protected, including the Roma and those Russian Orthodox Christians. I too might want a second passport if I were in Hungary. But, I’d hope, not to another intolerant society.

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60 Responses

  1. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride on April 18, 2014, 11:35 am

    Those who follow European (not just Mideast or Israeli) political developments have noticed that there is a current resurgence of “Zionism” (ethnic nationalism) in all of Europe. There is no telling how far it may go. Jewish Zionists are of course in a weak position with regard to opposing it.

    Once this chemistry gets going — conflicts among competing ethnic nationalisms — it is very difficult to stop it from escalating. One provocation leads to another. It’s very much an ego thing. Every group has its “Bible” and its good reasons for doing whatever it wants in defense of its sacred ethnic territory and interests.

    • JeffB
      JeffB on April 18, 2014, 2:03 pm

      @seanmcbride

      Jewish Zionists are of course in a weak position with regard to opposing it.

      As opposed to say 100 years ago when Jews were in a terrific moral position with regard to opposing it and that didn’t make a damn bit of difference? Ultimately what Israel has done is made sure is that opposing it is no longer a matter of life and death. Jewish Zionists can effectively oppose it rather easily:

      a) They have influence and power
      b) If (a) fails they they negotiate safe passage to countries that take in Jews.
      b’) Because Israel exists (b) works a lot better than it used to.

      That strikes me as a far better plan than being able to write really good letters when these sorts of issues pop up.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride on April 19, 2014, 9:36 am

        JeffB,

        The fact that the Jewish establishment, because of its embrace of Jewish nationalism (Zionism), has lost the intellectual and moral authority to oppose ethnic and religious nationalism in the United States and Europe (and everywhere else) doesn’t strike you as rather a significant historical development?

        For how much longer do you think that that establishment will be able justify its two-track and self-contradictory policies — ethnic and religious nationalism for itself and liberal universalism for everyone else?

        Also: what would be the fate of Israel in a world in which ethnic and religious nationalism were running rampant in the West? Can you do the math? Why would ethnic and religious nationalist states in the West continue to support Israel?

      • JeffB
        JeffB on April 19, 2014, 2:50 pm

        @Sean

        longer reply below

        The fact that the Jewish establishment, because of its embrace of Jewish nationalism (Zionism), has lost the intellectual and moral authority to oppose ethnic and religious nationalism in the United States and Europe (and everywhere else) doesn’t strike you as rather a significant historical development?

        No. I don’t think Jews are that significant in moving the history of the west. They are very colorful bit players but they aren’t the central movers and shakers, Christians are.

        For how much longer do you think that that establishment will be able justify its two-track and self-contradictory policies — ethnic and religious nationalism for itself and liberal universalism for everyone else?

        I don’t think the Jewish establishment supports liberal universalism anymore. I think Judaism has moved to a more nuanced position as a result of the Holocaust and Israel. The Holocaust disproved the promise of liberal universalism. Zionism offered Jews an alternative of becoming a nation like any other. America has an aggressively assimilationist non-ethnic model which isn’t universalistic which is offering another alternative.

        Also: what would be the fate of Israel in a world in which ethnic and religious nationalism were running rampant in the West? Can you do the math? Why would ethnic and religious nationalist states in the West continue to support Israel?

        The same reason countries support Israel now: an alliance with Israel is currently in their national self interests. A national Jewish country fits much better into a world where states have broken up into nation states: Copt state, Maronite state, Hashemite state, Alawite State, Palestinian muslim state…. a Jewish state just becomes one in the mixture. In a uniform world of Arab states i.e. states that use a linguistic and not a religious / ethnic identification is a soup in which Israel cannot survive through the centuries. The collapse of the Ba’ath and its replacement with Islamic and ethnic identities is a huge break for Israel.

        As for the West. The West while it is struggling to become post national is still quite national. France is still French, Spain is Spanish, Germany is German….

      • hophmi
        hophmi on April 19, 2014, 6:24 pm

        I’m sorry, Sean, were you depending on Israel to save the West from itself?

        You keep missing the point. Israel embodies many positive Western values. But the Jews left Europe because they were tired of dealing with European psychoses and tired of being the victims of European problems. So if Europe decides to return to fascism, it will be very sad, but the Jews either won’t be there, or will have a place to go.

        So I’m not exactly sure why you’re going on about your newfound obsession with Zionist having the “moral authority” to oppose nationalism in Europe. In the first place, Zionists do not lack any moral authority, and in the second, should the West go back to being overtly ethnically and religiously nationalist instead of covertly nationalistic as it is now, Israel will still be Israel, away from the Europeans and their problems, and people like you and your problems.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride on April 20, 2014, 8:24 am

        hophmi,

        I’m sorry, Sean, were you depending on Israel to save the West from itself?

        No one is expecting Israel or Jews to “save” the West from itself. The point is that if the Jewish establishment embraces ethnic and religious nationalism for itself it will no longer be able to object in an effective political way to every other ethnic and religious group in the world — and especially in the United States and Europe — from going down the same path.

        If the aggressive pursuit of ethnic and religious nationalist interest is good for one group, it’s good for all groups. Everyone gets to play or no one gets play.

        A world in which “Zionism” (messianic ethnic nationalism) triumphs for everyone could easily turn into the worst possible nightmare for Jews — they could lose their position of security and prosperity in the West while finding Israel surrounded by hostility from the entire world. Imagine a situation in which Israel’s economc and political relations had broken down with everyone — Israel vs. “the nations.”

        (Actually, numerous biblical prophets have already imagined it — this scenario seems to be hardwired into the cultural DNA of important streams of Jewish culture.)

        Most Jews would probably miss the tolerant and modern democratic West of the latter 20th century if Zionist attitudes among all ethnic and religious groups do indeed manage to prevail the world. Matters are currently trending that way.

  2. hophmi
    hophmi on April 18, 2014, 11:40 am

    “The short answer to my friend’s challenge is that the best guarantee for safety is that minority rights everywhere must be protected, including the Roma and those Russian Orthodox Christians.”

    Thank you for posting this in general.

    Protecting minority rights everywhere is a desiderata, not a reality yet. And that’s sort of the point. We don’t live in a perfect world.

    • seafoid
      seafoid on April 18, 2014, 12:22 pm

      Minority rights tend to be well protected in the OECD, other than in Israel.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius on April 18, 2014, 2:09 pm

      ”Protecting minority rights everywhere is a desiderata, not a reality yet. ”

      Actually, minority rights are pretty good in most Western nations. Are they flawless? No. But they’re still pretty good, and the principle that all citizens are equal before the law is by and large respected.

      Which is more than can be said for Israel, where minority rights are very poor, and growing poorer almost by the week.

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont on April 18, 2014, 11:48 am

    Foxman: “We strongly condemn the anti-Semitic content, but also all attempts to use anti-Semitism for political purposes.”

    Glory be! Next year in Jerusalem! Of course, I’m not sure what he means. Or of whether he means it at all. The constant repetition, by Zionists, of the story of the holocaust seems to me rather close to using antisemitism for political purposes.

    And someday will Foxman condemn the use of anti-Palestinianism for political purposes?

  4. American
    American on April 18, 2014, 12:07 pm

    Kerry perfect example of politicans trained to react like Pavolv’s dogs—-hear the word Jews– immediately yell anti semitism. Without even bothering to investigate the true story.

    Anyone keeping with this is aware that the Ukraine leaning vr the Russia leaning Jews in the Ukraine are both on their megaphones hurling accusations of –Ukraine supporters are anti semitic vr Ukraines who favor Russia are anti semitic. This has been going on for a while with numerous news reports of the various Rabbis for each side dennouncing either the Ukraine or Russia as anti semitic.

    Muddy the waters once again by inserting Jews into the split among Ukrainians over to be a EU Ukraine or a Russian Ukraine. This is bs, this conflict is not about the Jews. And I would not be surprised if it was one of the pro or con Russia Jewish group who circulated this phony Jewish sign up call to get attention, knowing it would generate anti semitism howls hopefully against whichever side they are against. This exactly how they get in trouble and make Jews ‘a factor’ in conflicts, by trying to use tribal tools in political conflicts and in this case that tool is the anti semitism accusation the pro and con Ukraine or Russia Jews are using for and against the Ukraine and Russia.

    Russia and Ukraine at war — among the Jews anyway – The …
    jstandard.com/content/item/russia_and_ukraine_at…jews…/30365‎

    Apr 4, 2014 – The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has pitted Jewish leaders from both countries against each other, touching off a … in post-revolutionary Ukraine and accused Russia of threatening the security of Ukrainians Jews……

    • American
      American on April 18, 2014, 1:21 pm

      PS
      Its also worth noting that in one news report one Jewish Rabbi , head of some Jewish org in the Ukraine , which one I cant remember, said the anti semitic accusations being thrown back and forth are ridiculous. I tend to think from what I’ve read he is right.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield on April 18, 2014, 6:01 pm

        Yes, it’s a side issue. But both sides know there are big political dividends in accusing the other side of anti-Semitism if the accusation can be made to stick.

      • ritzl
        ritzl on April 18, 2014, 9:59 pm

        @Stephen Shenfield- Great point. And you have to ask who the dueling accusers are trying to influence to get those “dividends.”

        Is it just so apparent to everyone at this point? That this manipulation of US politics becomes a lever for every/anyone else to use as they see fit for their own (non-US) interests? Are the Israel Lobby manipulators in the US that mercenary? Apparently so, on all counts.

        A few months back there was a story here (iirc) about Morocco courting AIPAC to help it “manage” the international blowback for its ongoing occupation of Spanish Sahara (archaic?).

        Israel’s gift to the world is violence, chaos, and the complete evisceration of all post-WWII IHL progress – including and especially, “Never Again!”

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on April 19, 2014, 11:57 am

        I’d recommend an article by Keith Gessen in the current London Review of Books which reports from Ukraine with some emphasis on the fact that, as Stephen says, everyone wants to label the opposition ‘fascist’ – accordingly many on both sides are keen to have Jewish support. Gessen refers to Joseph Broksky as representative of the strand of Jewish opinion which urged Ukraine to stay with (culturally superior) Russia and notes that at present the anti-Russian Right Sector, quite widely suspected of anti-Semitism, is forming a Jewish division in Odessa, already 8 strong. There’s an element of propagandist comedy in all this but it’s significant that even in that place and in this time the dire events of WW2 continue understandably to give people who are Jewish a special kind of moral significance, even authority.

      • American
        American on April 19, 2014, 12:18 pm

        From USA Today:

        “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 me of the fascists in 1941,” she said referring to the Nazis who occupied Ukraine during World War II.”

        Who gains from using Jews and phony anti semitism. Well no one actually except the H-Industry and Israel.
        There are two possible sources of this hoax—Ukraine loyalist Jews using it against Russian loyalist Jews or visa versa to sway them to their side.
        Or a Non Jewish group using the anti semitism card to try and pick up more Jewish citizens for their side.
        I am curious if anyone will actually find the source of the hoax.
        Whoever did it needs to be exposed.

  5. amigo
    amigo on April 18, 2014, 12:09 pm

    “We strongly condemn the anti-Semitic content, but also all attempts to use anti-Semitism for political purposes.Foxman.

    Chutzpah or what.

  6. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka on April 18, 2014, 12:11 pm

    A friend challenges:

    “…If I were a Hungarian Jew, I’d probably feel like the option of emigration to Israel is something I’d want in my back pocket, even if I was an Hungarian patriot fighting the good fight. And that would not be dysfunctional psychology.”

    …The short answer to my friend’s challenge is that the best guarantee for safety is that minority rights everywhere must be protected, including the Roma and those Russian Orthodox Christians. I too might want a second passport if I were in Hungary. But, I’d hope, not to another intolerant society.

    Absolutely right. And I’d go one further, and say that anyone who would value the existence of an Jewish-state-as-backup, but who also doesn’t fight for the complete liberation and freedom of the Palestinians is committing a grievously evil and bigoted act, because he would be saying that the suffering of Palestinians in Palestine is acceptable if it prevents suffering to Jews in Hungary. The notion that one people must be made to suffer so another can benefit is, it seems to me, a core bigoted concept, and the only way that one could solve that dilemma is to provide for the safety of all.

  7. lysias
    lysias on April 18, 2014, 12:15 pm

    Given how welcoming to immigrant Jews contemporary Germany is, and given how closely related Hungarian culture is to German, if I were a Hungarian Jew contemplating emigration, it would be Germany I would be thinking of moving to.

    The fliers in Donetsk sure look to me like a CIA-inspired provocation.

    • Ellen
      Ellen on April 18, 2014, 12:35 pm

      Difficult to say. CIA or Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. Answer might be in who benefits from creating the hysteria behind these flyers? Who’s agenda does it serve?

      As they advise registering with the Russian separatist authorities (I mistakenly thought it to be the other way around as MSN reports were not clear on that point) sounds like it serves only the US agenda. This explains why the ADL, etc are uncharacteristically minimizing this “event.”

    • hophmi
      hophmi on April 18, 2014, 1:05 pm

      “The fliers in Donetsk sure look to me like a CIA-inspired provocation.”

      You don’t need the CIA to find antisemites in Ukraine.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka on April 18, 2014, 1:54 pm

        “You don’t need the CIA to find antisemites in Ukraine.”

        How is that relevant in any way? lysias didn’t say, “Look! an antisemite in Ukraine! That person must be a CIA plant!” Had lysias said that, then your comment might be relevant.

      • Keith
        Keith on April 18, 2014, 5:54 pm

        HOPHMI- “You don’t need the CIA to find antisemites in Ukraine.”

        Right you are, Hophmi. Victoria Nuland and Bernard-Henri Levy found a lot of them in Maidan square and encouraged them to overthrow the elected government, promising full Western support. As ye sow, so shall ye reap!

    • Keith
      Keith on April 18, 2014, 6:31 pm

      LYSIAS- “The fliers in Donetsk sure look to me like a CIA-inspired provocation.”

      It would appear that the fliers are part of a Western psyops campaign, most likely a proactive attempt to try to blame Putin and Russia for incidents of anti-Semitism likely caused by the neo-Nazis the US put into power in Kiev. Anti-Semitism is a sideshow and a distraction. The US destabilized the Ukraine and organized a Putsch for geopolitical reasons. The apparent reasons were to both prevent increased Ukrainian/Russian cooperation, and to scuttle increased Russian/European cooperation. The media disinformation campaign is the absolute worst that I have seen since the empire dismembered Yugoslavia for geostrategic reasons.

      When a Democrat makes war or destabilizes there is NO opposition, and the media marches in lock step. The empire is on a rampage, determined to lock in global hegemony during a brief window of opportunity. This is an extremely risky gambit. Obama is a much more effective warmonger than Bush.

      I have two links, if you are interested. The first is to a Counterpunch article by Mike Whitney which summarizes the situation quite well.
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/15/is-putin-being-lured-into-a-trap/

      The second is to a brief video by Michael Hudson, an economist at the University of Missouri who wrote “Super Imperialism: The Origin and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominence,” and more recently “Finance Capitalism and its Discontents.” He is so upset by the situation in the Ukraine that he becomes visually agitated during the interview. Make no mistake, the empire is on a war footing and this is extremely serious.
      http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/michael-hudson-investigation-finds-former-ukraine-president-not-responsible-for-sniper-attack-on-protestors/#more-161088

      • Boomer
        Boomer on April 18, 2014, 7:20 pm

        Yes, “The media disinformation campaign” is amazing. Full-court press. Reminds me of the days before we invaded Iraq. But why, I wonder? It seems disproportionate. I guess the folks calling the shots don’t believe in proportion. “Extremism in the cause of X is no vice,” as it were. But what X here could be important enough to trigger all this sound and fury?

    • Fritz
      Fritz on April 19, 2014, 12:03 am

      Due to EU regulations every Hungarian, Jewish or Christian or atheist, is free to live in all member states of the EU. Actually many Hungarians are living in Berlin, Jewish intellectuals also as Peter Nadas, György Conrad, Imre Kertesz.

      • Mexico Occupado
        Mexico Occupado on April 19, 2014, 7:28 pm

        From my personal experience, it seems that it is not particularly easy to live as a public anti-Zionist Jew in Berlin due especially to the Germany-Israel “special relationship”. My favourite example of this is the assistance Germany gives to Israel in the form of gifted or discounted nuclear weapons-capable submarines.

        There is also huge pressure on non-Jewish Germans to be publicly silent about Israel even if they oppose most of its politics and are reasonably aware of the difference between Judaism and Zionism — this makes open conversations difficult with them.

        To be clear I had no real experience with Jewish Hungarians living there.

  8. seafoid
    seafoid on April 18, 2014, 12:42 pm

    Jobbik is an odious party and clearly antisemitic. Using this to get jews to israel is wrong. Israel is a mess. I suppose Jobbik could channel hoph and say the world is not perfect. That is the problem with institutionalised bigotry. The bedfellows.

  9. lysias
    lysias on April 18, 2014, 12:59 pm

    Firedoglake: Pamphlets In East Ukraine Calling For Jews To Register Appears To Be Hoax

    Appears to be signed by “people’s governor” of “Donetsk People’s Republic” Denis Pushilin (or is that Putilin?). Anybody know anything about this guy?

  10. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield on April 18, 2014, 1:09 pm

    I just prepared a translation:

    Independent Donetsk Republic
    Chief Headquarters

    Respected citizens of Jewish nationality:

    In connection with the fact that leaders of Ukraine’s Jewish community have supported the Banderite junta in Kiev and are hostile toward the Orthodox Christian Donetsk Republic and its citizens, the Chief Headquarters of the Donetsk People’s Republic has decreed as follows:

    All citizens of Jewish nationality older than 16 years who reside on the territory of the sovereign Donetsk Republic are required by May 3, 2014 to appear before the acting commissar for nationality affairs in the building of the Donetsk Regional Administration Room 514 for registration. The cost of registration is US $50.

    Have with you the sum of US $50 to pay for registration, your passport for entry of a note on religious confession, documents on the composition of your family, and also documents establishing your legal ownership of any real estate or means of transportation.

    Those guilty of avoiding registration will be deprived of citizenship and forcibly expelled from the republic with confiscation of property.

    Your People’s Governor Denis Pushilin

    “Nationality” is used here in the (post-)Soviet sense of ethnic affiliation, although in para 3 the author refers to Jews as a religious confession. Pushilin denied having anything to do with the document and also said that he has never called himself a “people’s governor.” So it appears to be a provocation, though we don’t know by whom or for what purpose (it would be easy to come up with several divergent hypotheses).

    The so-called independent Donetsk republic probably no longer exists. At any rate government buildings in Donetsk have been recaptured by forces loyal to Kiev.

    It is true that Ukraine’s Jewish leaders have expressed support for the “Banderite junta in Kiev” and no doubt that helps to protect Jews in central and western Ukraine, but at the cost of endangering Jews in the southeast. The best strategy would be to say nothing and try to remain as inconspicuous as possible.

    • seanmcbride
      seanmcbride on April 18, 2014, 1:26 pm

      Stephen Shenfield,

      So it appears to be a provocation, though we don’t know by whom or for what purpose (it would be easy to come up with several divergent hypotheses).

      It is true that Ukraine’s Jewish leaders have expressed support for the “Banderite junta in Kiev” and no doubt that helps to protect Jews in central and western Ukraine, but at the cost of endangering Jews in the southeast. The best strategy would be to say nothing and try to remain as inconspicuous as possible.

      *Too many* available divergent hypotheses, I would say at this point — there are numerous candidates for “persons (groups) of interest.” But one does note that this seems to be a polished and sophisticated provocation — one which points to the capabilities of a professional intelligence service.

      The speed with which John Kerry jumped on this incident without bothering to do due diligence is curious.

      With regard to Jews getting involved in violent conflicts among ethnic groups in Europe and Russia — highly dangerous, to say the least. The best advice: keep as low a profile as possible.

      • puppies
        puppies on April 19, 2014, 5:13 am

        @sean mcbride – “The best advice: keep as low a profile as possible.”
        That’s certainly the best Zionist advice. Or also (no real difference) Jewish-nationalist. Not one fit for full citizens of any country.

      • lysias
        lysias on April 19, 2014, 6:00 pm

        John Kerry, the head of the department in which Victoria Nuland is a high-ranking official.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride on April 19, 2014, 6:36 pm

        lysias,

        John Kerry, the head of the department in which Victoria Nuland is a high-ranking official.

        A reasonable speculation based on current available information: the recent antisemitic hoax in the Ukraine was a neocon false flag op, designed to escalate tensions and conflict between the United States and Russia, and possibly undertaken without the approval or knowledge of Barack Obama. That is a possibility. (But I make an effort never to jump to conclusions in these cases.)

        It’s pity that more voices in the mainstream media didn’t raise the same questions about the 9/11 anthrax attacks, which reeked of false flag manipulation then and even more so now.

    • JeffB
      JeffB on April 18, 2014, 1:31 pm

      @Stephen Shenfield

      It is true that Ukraine’s Jewish leaders have expressed support for the “Banderite junta in Kiev” and no doubt that helps to protect Jews in central and western Ukraine, but at the cost of endangering Jews in the southeast. The best strategy would be to say nothing and try to remain as inconspicuous as possible.

      Couldn’t disagree more. Jews have gotten repeatedly screwed by trying to stay neutral and thereby annoying both sides in disputes: the Reformation being a wonderful case in point.

      I suspect Putin does not want Jews out of Eastern Ukraine, but if given the pro-Kiev alignment of most Jews that’s what Russia decides the right person to be calling the plays for Jews is Netanyahu. Jews have quality leadership now, there is no reason for this diaspora type thinking of keep your head down and hope the cossacks don’t come. Netanyahu / Israel is doing a good job creating asset relays for Ukrainian and Russian Jews with means. They are handling this situation diplomatically. Israel is holding off on arming Georgia, Russia is holding off on arms for Iran/Syria. The Jews of Ukraine are mildly pro-Kiev. They have leverage, they have Jews’ best interests at heart.

      This is one of the many examples of what a state buys us. Same as if some government were targeting Americans abroad the USA State Department, CIA, Pentagon … often helps.

      • talknic
        talknic on April 19, 2014, 6:19 am

        @ JeffB “Jews have quality leadership now, t..”

        A) Netanyahu is not the leader of Jews, he’s the Israeli leader. No more, no less. B) Any leadership continuing illegal settlements, continuing to illegally sell illegal Israeli settlers land in non-Israeli territory illegally acquired by war, is quite simply a moron!

      • eljay
        eljay on April 19, 2014, 7:14 am

        >> … the right person to be calling the plays for Jews is Netanyahu.

        Who made him King?

        “The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water…”

        Not valid then, not valid now.

      • JeffB
        JeffB on April 19, 2014, 9:47 pm

        @Eljay —

        Who made him King?

        The Jewish people as elected by the good chunk of them who live in the Jewish state. No one else has remotely the same level of buy-in.

      • American
        American on April 19, 2014, 8:20 pm

        ” Jews have gotten repeatedly screwed by trying to stay neutral and thereby annoying both sides in disputes: the Reformation being a wonderful case in point. “….jeffb

        You are wrong. Because anti semitism and ‘the Jews” as a group have now been throw into the mix is exactly why they should keep their heads down or out of it ”as a group”. No more pronouncements about Jews taking this side or that ‘as a group’ or trying to rally Jews as a ‘group’ for one side or another.

        Jews can act as ‘individuals’, independently on which ever side and talk to each other all they want but for them or Rabbis to be trying to insert the Jews as a ‘politcial block’ or party in this is not smart.
        Because however this thing goes the winners or losers might be inclined to go for anyone who was against them and identifiable ‘group’s are the easiest ones to pick out and on.

      • JeffB
        JeffB on April 20, 2014, 6:28 am

        @American

        I’m going with what I said. Jews tried your approach in times past and it was a disaster. Jewish agitators from both directions end up on either side and regardless of who wins Jews get blamed for rabble rousing. In this case they make their play and likely they come out fine having proven their loyalty to Ukraine (on the Ukrainian side) and having proven their loyalty to Russia (on the Russian side). This is very much how Jews in America became white people.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on April 19, 2014, 10:32 pm

        “‘The best strategy would be to say nothing and try to remain as inconspicuous as possible’ Couldn’t disagree more. Jews have gotten repeatedly screwed by trying to stay neutral and thereby annoying both sides in disputes”

        Surprisingly, I’m with you there. Each Ukrainian Jew should decide what sort of Ukraine s/he wants and join the groups agitating for that sort of Ukraine.

        But
        “The Jews of Ukraine are mildly pro-Kiev. They have leverage, they have Jews’ best interests at heart. ”
        is the sort of attitude that will get them into trouble. They should (both morally and prudentially) have the best interests of all Ukrainians at heart.

      • JeffB
        JeffB on April 20, 2014, 6:30 am

        @Roha

        They have leverage, they have Jews’ best interests at heart. ”
        is the sort of attitude that will get them into trouble. They should (both morally and prudentially) have the best interests of all Ukrainians at heart.

        The “they” in that sentence was the Israeli leadership not the Jews of Kiev.

    • seanmcbride
      seanmcbride on April 18, 2014, 1:56 pm

      Stephen,

      There is currently a great deal of interesting speculation about who might have been behind the Ukrainian antisemitic leaflet on Daily Kos:

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/17/1292733/-Jews-Ordered-to-Register-in-Eastern-Ukraine

      Most people agree that it was a false flag provocation — the main question, as usual: who benefits?

      One line of thought: those who are trying to demonize Russia and to push the United States into greater involvement in the Ukrainian mess are the lead beneficiaries. This leaflet pushes all the right buttons.

    • seanmcbride
      seanmcbride on April 18, 2014, 2:37 pm

      A few parties that are trying to push the United States into a confrontation with Russia over Ukraine:

      “Former Reagan Adviser Urges U.S. to Counter Russia with ‘Strength and Leadership’: Calls for Awakening of the West in speech” http://freebeacon.com/national-security/former-reagan-adviser-urges-u-s-to-counter-russia-with-strength-and-leadership/

      1. FPI (Foreign Policy Initiative)
      2. Kurt Volker
      3. McCain Institute for International Leadership
      4. neoconservatives
      5. Robert McFarlane
      6. Washington Free Beacon

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich on April 19, 2014, 3:02 am

      @ Stephen Shenfield,

      Thank you for your time and effort [translation]. Appreciated.

  11. Herb Glatter
    Herb Glatter on April 18, 2014, 1:29 pm

    U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Confirms Anti-Semitic Pamphlets Are ‘Real Deal

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/u-s-ambassador-to-ukraine-confirms-anti-semitic-pamphlets-are-real-deal/

  12. American
    American on April 18, 2014, 1:55 pm

    A not too OT to the Ukraine vr Russia to illustrate the ‘fracturing’ going on everywhere. Too involved to go long into but anyone can see the religious, ethnic and ideological splits and battles ‘within nations’ extending internationally and seeking comrades and aligning certain groups in one nation with groups of citizens in other nations and how that can have a fallout on the nations themselves.
    Here’s a good example:

    http://worldcongress.org/
    March, 7 2014
    World Congress of Families Calls On Pro-Family Groups Around the World to Pray for Ukraine; WCF Meeting in Kiev Planned for Summer 2014
    February, 4 2014
    Press Conference to Discuss World Congress of Families VIII, in Moscow, Russia, September 10-12, 2014

    This World Congress for Families (a US org) also supported by huge membership groups like Franklin Graham’s:

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/franklin-graham-endorses-vladimir-putins-anti-gay-crackdown#

    Franklin Graham Endorses Vladimir Putin’s Anti-Gay Crackdown Submitted by Brian Tashman on Friday, 3/14/2014 4:45 pm Add Franklin Graham to the growing list of Vladimir Putin’s American Religious Right cheerleaders. Religion News Service reports today that Graham defended the Russian leader in Decision Magazine, writing that his law on “homosexual propaganda” is “simply to protect children.”Graham says that Russia is a better model of godliness and morality than America because of the Obama administration’s “gay-lesbian agenda” that “is contrary to God’s teaching.”

    And then opposed by the international gay group who ‘s tactic is to make it anti US and use it aqs a political wedge in US politics :
    http://www.truthwinsout.org/pressrelease/2014/03/39716/
    “The WCF won’t cancel their Moscow conference but containing to call on them to do so will highlight their alliance with anti-US forces in Moscow and this in turn can be used as a wedge between them and the GOP.”

    When you take your ideology or religion or ethnic agenda ‘internationally’ as the zionist have done and now as various other groups; gays, religious, etc are doing and you also try to use it domestically as wedges in politics in your own country as well as those foreign countries and on top of that these ideologies and agendas are mostly a battle of minorities against majorities and visa versa then you have the makings of esculating them into real wars where one side, usually the minority totally loses in one nation or another.
    Need I say it for 1002th time?—ethnics and religion and single ideologies have no place in a nations foreign policy and the government should not be used to spread the ideology or agendas of ethnic or religious groups.

  13. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius on April 18, 2014, 2:00 pm

    ”I too might want a second passport if I were in Hungary”

    No need for another passport, since Hungary is a member of the EU which means that any Hungarian has the right to live and work in several liberal European democracies. That being the case, I highly doubt that many Hungarian Jews would consider taking up residence in the glorified ghetto that is Israel.

    Given a choice, only a minority of Jews have chosen to live in Israel. This has been the case since the dawn of Zionism.

  14. Whizdom
    Whizdom on April 18, 2014, 2:17 pm

    Ugly, old anti-semitism. I have traveled through the region, and find that many of the old school anti-Semites are vocal and enthusiastic zionists, in that they profess not to have any desire to harm Jewish persons, but dearly wish they would emigrate to Israel, the country established for their benefit, and leave their towns and villages, for their vision of ethnic purity.
    It makes reconciling “new-and-old-anti semitism” horribly difficult. In Britain in the ’30’s, many of the most pro-zionists were also horrible anti-Semites.

  15. doug
    doug on April 18, 2014, 2:22 pm

    Perhaps State, annoyed over Israel’s neutral position on the Ukraine, came up with this harebrained idea to induce Israel to align more with the US position? Given all the circumstances the idea the pamphlets were anything other than some sort of provocation is near ludicrous.

    EtoA: Recall Israel and Iran were two countries that didn’t support the UN vote against the Russian acquisition of Crimea.

  16. Elisabeth
    Elisabeth on April 18, 2014, 5:20 pm

    As to “the ongoing importance and blessing of having a strong homeland for the Jewish people in the State of Israel”, that is nonsense.

    We need to make sure that in each of our own countries we have generous laws dealing with refugees of ALL kinds of oppression. Otherwise we would have to set up and support separate homelands for oppressed or discriminated groups like Baha’i, Falun Gong, gays and lesbians, burakumin, women, Jehova’s witnesses and so on and so forth.

  17. ToivoS
    ToivoS on April 18, 2014, 5:55 pm

    The Treaty of Versailles is the treaty that keeps on giving. Those boundaries that define modern day Hungary were the result of that treaty and adjacent Hungarian provinces were given to adjacent countries as punishment and to weaken the German and Austro-hungarian states the West blamed for starting WWI.

    These were the decisions that were made back in 1919.

    Sudetan Germans assigned to an artificial entity made up of Czechs and Slovaks (though the vast majority identified as Austrians).
    Prussian city of Danzig physically separated from the rest of Prussia.
    Creation of Yugoslavia forcing Slovenia and Croatia (loyal subjects to the A-H empire) with Serbs (plus a Hungarian province).

    All three of these decisions resulted in horrible war. The first two resulting in the acceptance of the German people to rally behind Hitler’s war. I find it hard to believe that a government in Hungary at this late date is bringing is stirring this up today.

    But this whole Ukraine crisis is the result of short sited decisions made by Lenin in 1922 and Khruschev in 1954 regarding Ukraine’s borders. I do hope the Kerry and Obama are starting to realize the mess they have stirred up.

    • Mexico Occupado
      Mexico Occupado on April 19, 2014, 7:56 pm

      More specifically, the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye dealt with Austria, the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine with Bulgaria, the Treaty of Trianon with Hungary and the Treaty of Sèvres with the Ottoman Empire.

      Interwar Czechoslovakia also included a big piece of the northwestern Hungarian Empire which is now in exteme western Ukraine: Subcarpathia. (I assume this relates to Lenin’s 1922 “decisions”?; please enlighten me).

      The Hungarian part of Hungarian-Jewish identity is especially strong, even today, sometimes to extent of a kind of strange soft nationalism of the intelligensia: My younger cousin from Szolnok, Hungary recently said that my father was Hungarian, even though he is from Kosice (officially Kassa, in Hungarian Empire times) and identifes as Czechoslovak(-American). On the more positive side I saw a video the other day of an anti-Jobbik, pro-Jewish and Roma-Sinti (Gypsy) solidarity demonstration a few years back in Budapest: Did not see one Israeli flag flying… this would not be the case for something similar in Prague.

  18. anonymous14
    anonymous14 on April 19, 2014, 12:45 am

    I am a little dissapointed by Phil, and others, regarding the Ukraine, which has other implications. I have been reading this blog daily since pretty much the beginning, so….

    Why is it that the tone here regarding al Assad, Gadaffi and Libya when war was being prepared, and Putin and Russia, that now come straight from the sources from which no one here would believe a printed line without coroboration, for the tiniest moment, about the Israelis and Palestine, is valid? It is bizarre. The MSM lies through its teeth moment of every day about every single thing that it tells us to believe about Israel and the Palestinians. But becomes a mostly reliable source about the Ukraine, and the evil Putin and Russia?

    Can someone explain that to me????

    Or perhaps it’s tactical, in which case I defer. If not, in terms of the Ukraine I recommend a glance at:

    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/

    A pro Russian devout Orthodox Christian. Extremely well informed. And honorable, in muy atheist view. Which is to say, he tells the truth as he sees it.

  19. The JillyBeans
    The JillyBeans on April 19, 2014, 1:34 am

    This is typical in the black community too, where we have “civil rights” people and others who jump up to call things racist and apologize, etc. Unfortunately all it does is create and spread hysteria before anyone has a chance to confirm it’s veracity. Often it ends with the black community looking worse not better. It will be a blessing the day Jackson and Sharpton are gone and their pockyness no longer show up to make a buck off black community tragedies. I’m just thankful that the NAACP generally takes a restrained approach and refrains from unnecessarily embarrassing the whole lot of us.

    Yes, tragedies and threats should bind us and help us react, but we shouldn’t fall so easily to anger and terror, we only end up being someone’s useful idiot when we get so easily suckered.

  20. flyod
    flyod on April 19, 2014, 7:11 am

    build settlements and they will come

  21. JeffB
    JeffB on April 19, 2014, 2:36 pm

    @sean

    You are unable to see the forest for the trees: if Jews around the world are going to organize their politics around narrow ethnic nationalism and the aggressive pursuit of their ethnic self-interest, every other ethnic and religious group (especially in the United States and Europe) is free to play by the same rules.

    Well yes of course they have and they will continue to do so regardless of what Jews say or do.

    As a dedicated Jewish nationalist yourself, you have no basis on which to object to or complain about the ethnic or religious nationalism of any other group.

    Correct. Bu why would I care much about the ability to complain? What good would my complaining do?

    They will do whatever they please, no doubt often citing Israel and Zionism as a model and justification for their ethnic or religious nationalist beliefs, policies and actions.

    Or citing any of the other 100 some countries on the planet which have ethnic policies. Or citing any of the thousands of societies that have existed in history. I’m not sure why Israel / Zionism will mater much.

    Do you really not see where this is going? Zionism has opened up a major can of worms in Western culture and politics and left Diaspora Jews in a highly precarious position.

    I don’t think Zionism opened this can of worms for the west. I don’t think the can was ever closed but certainly vastly more important than Israel was the Reformation. The Reformation opened up the idea that Princes (governments) should be responsive to their people and there was a not a unified Christendom. To do this one needed a relatively unified people, a nation-state, rather than multi-national governments. Jews just aren’t that important.

    By the way, once again: where are you coming from on Mideast and Israeli politics? — in a general cultural and political way — I am not trying to pry in your private life:

    1. ethnic background?
    2. religious background?
    3. nation(s) of citizenship?
    4. political affiliations?
    5. position on the Iraq War?
    6. position on an Iran War?
    7. position on Israeli settlements?
    8. position on the Israel lobby?
    9. position on neoconservatives?
    10. position on ethnic and religious nationalism in general?

    OK short answers

    1) American, ethnically 3/4s Ukrainian 1/4 Russian 3-4th generation
    2) Jewish atheist.
    3) America
    4) Mainstream Democrat
    5) Favored the invasion but not the occupation. Something like the Biden plan was my preference.
    6) Support Obama’s policy of negotiations.
    7) Pro-settlement
    8) See the Israeli lobby as not much different than most American lobbies. Not a huge deal. I don’t like how hawkish the Israeli lobby has become as Israel has become more hawkish than American Jews. Between AIPAC and JStreet I’m probably 2/3rds JStreet, 1/3rd AIPAC.
    9) I think neoconservativism is the single most common foreign policy ideology in the Republican party. I most favor the old fashioned conservative “realistic” school of people like Nixon, Bush-41 or Obama. So I’m happy with where the Democratic party is on foreign policy mostly.
    10) I support the idea of nation-states. I think it is absolutely core to the ability for governments to be responsive to their population. I disapprove of empire and post-nationalism is just a leftwing colonialism.

  22. jayn0t
    jayn0t on April 19, 2014, 9:33 pm

    “…privileged and at the center of power. True enough in America–but America is not the world. If I were a Hungarian Jew, I’d probably feel like the option of emigration to Israel is something I’d want in my back pocket, even if I was an Hungarian patriot fighting the good fight. And that would not be dysfunctional psychology.”

    Are Hungarians inherently more racially oppressive than Americans? Is “anti-semitism” in Eastern Europe the result of backwardness? This is what we are implicitly taught, but it’s contradictory to oppose racial stereotyping in this way.

  23. hophmi
    hophmi on April 20, 2014, 10:18 am

    Sean, who does not like to jump to conclusions, has posted four times in this thread alone that he thinks neocons are responsible for the fliers. Does he have any proof at all for this allegation? Or is it another in a long string of accusing the Jews for whatever hatred is directed their way?

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