Leaflets warn Ukrainian Jews to register, or face deportation

Ukrainian Army Standoff with locals

 (CNN) — U.S. officials Thursday denounced what one called a “grotesque” leaflet ordering Jews in one eastern Ukrainian city to register with a government office, but the Jewish community there dismissed it as a “provocation.”

The fliers were handed out by masked men in front the main synagogue in Donetsk, where pro-Russian protesters have declared a “People’s Republic,” Jewish leaders there said. The document warned the city’s Jews to register and document their property or face deportation, according to a CNN translation of one of the leaflets.

Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” that a respected Jewish leader in Ukraine showed him a photograph of one of the leaflets. He called the document “chilling.”

And in Geneva, where diplomats held emergency talks on the Ukrainian crisis, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the leaflets “grotesque” and “beyond unacceptable.”

But the Jewish community statement said relations between the Jews of Donetsk and their neighbors were amicable, and the self-proclaimed head of the “People’s Republic,” Denis Pushilin, denied any connection to the fliers.

Pushilin told CNN the handwriting on the flier wasn’t his, and the title attached to his name was not one he uses. It wasn’t clear who had distributed the leaflets, but the chief rabbi of nearby Dnipropetrovsk said, “Everything must be done to catch them.”

“It’s important for everyone to know its not true,” said the rabbi, Shmuel Kaminezki. “The Jews of Donetsk will not do what the letter says.”

The reports come as Ukraine’s Western-backed interim government has been struggling to contain uprisings by pro-Russian political movements in several eastern cities, with both sides invoking the historical horror of Nazism in their disputes. Pyatt told CNN that radical groups may be trying to stir up historic fears or create a provocation to justify further violence.

“It’s chilling. I was disgusted by these leaflets,” Pyatt said. “Especially in Ukraine, a country that suffered so terribly under the Nazis, that was one of the sites of the worst violence of the Holocaust. To drag up this kind of rhetoric is almost beyond belief.”

The leaflets were handed out on Tuesday, during the Jewish holiday of Passover, the Jewish community statement said. They stated that registration was required because Jewish leaders had supported the “nationalists and bandits” in Kiev, where a popular revolt ousted pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February.

“All citizens of Jewish nationality over age of 16, living on territories of Donetsk People’s Republic, have to register with DPR commissioner of nationality before May 3rd, 2014 at the Donetsk Regional Administration, room 514, registration fee is $50,” read a photographed copy of the leaflet translated by CNN. “Must have in person $50 cash, passport, all available IDs, and documentation of ownership of real estate and transportation.”

The men also hung posters with the same message, it said.

“Who is behind this is an open question,” Rabbi Pinkhas Vishedski said in the statement. But he said the act was a provocation “and should be treated accordingly … full stop and end of topic.”

Provocation or not, the U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League condemned their distribution and what it called their “cynical and politically manipulative” exploitation of anti-Semitism.

“We are skeptical about the flier’s authenticity, but the instructions clearly recall the Nazi era and have the effect of intimidating the local Jewish community,” ADL Director Abraham Foxman said in a written statement.

Pyatt said that in Kiev, where the Jewish community is a vital part of political life, there is “no sympathy for this approach.”

“It’s almost inconceivable that this kind of thing could be happening in the 21st century,” Pyatt said.

And Kerry said all parties at the Geneva talks unanimously condemned anti-Semitism and other forms of religious intolerance.

“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,” he said.

CNN Correspondent Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
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23 comments

  • Robert Hardy

    Gee! I’ve heard of this before! But, no, that was in World History class – some little Austrian guy ran that. What was his name? Oh, yeah, Adolph Hitler – some kind of Socialist…Oh! National Socialist! THAT’S IT!

    Well. nothing to worry about. No parallel at all.
    Vladimir Putin is just a plain old Socialist.

    Riiiiiight.

    • Dustin Cavanaugh

      Holy bad conjecture batman. Hitler was also a Christian are all Christians anti semitic now? Open up your eyes. The US is backing the illegal overthrow of the Ukranian president. How many drone strikes have you seen Putin launching? Those 40,000 troops have how many deaths? Sheep like you are going to get all of us killed with your mindless conjecture and inability to form a thought on your own. Russia is not the bad guy here. Look in the mirror.

      • gloriastutsman

        You are a pig History has not taught you anything. Get the hell out of my country you don’t belong here. Go live with the pigs in Russia.

      • Dustin Cavanaugh

        History has taught me plenty. Funny you speak so badly of Russia. How about Germany? History has taught me to look at the present and make a comparison. History taught me that George Bush’s father Prescott Bush helped finance the Nazis. History has taught me to read between the lines and father infirmation from multiple sources. As I said, in the last 4 years who has the deadlier track record? In the last 4 years who is the one that has committed mass surveillance on the world on an unheard of level and lied to congress about it? In the last 4 years who has been the most violent. Anti-semitic propaganda aimed to smear the pro-Russians at a time where the Ukranians from the east are losing footing? The US endorsing a country revolting and illegally overthrowing their president for vetoing something within his power that the US and its allies dont agree with. Thats the democratic way right? Thats the Obama way. “You voted wrong. That needs to CHANGE.” Putin is not scared of Obama and the US cant bully the world forever. All large empires eventually fall. Now I reverse the question. What has history taught YOU?

      • Robert Hardy

        Sir, you claim “History has taught me plenty. -. How about Germany? History has taught me to look at the present and make a comparison..”

        OK. Let’s make some comparisons .
        20 September 1938 – Germany under Hitler annexed the Sudetenland (western Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic) to protect ethnic Germans.
        2008 – Russia under Medvedev (Putin) “recognized” the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia (national territory of Georgia).
        2014 – Russia under Putin annexed Crimea (Ukrainian territory).

        30 September 1938 – As a result Hitler concludes “Munich Pact” with Neville Chamberlain to guarantee “Peace in our time.” = APPEASEMENT
        2014 – Obama & Kerry “phone it in” with displeasure RE: Putin’s move in the Crimea. = APPEASEMENT.

        Where it leads:
        1 September 1939 Germany Invades Poland, under cover of Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, signed 23 August 1939. this treaty also secretly divided up Eastern Europe into “spheres of influence” opening the door to “territorial and political rearrangements” of this area.
        17 September 1939 – the USSR took the eastern half of Poland.

        Yes, you claim, “History has taught me plenty.”
        Did you LEARN anything?

      • Dustin Cavanaugh

        lol you are one of those people who make comparisons where comparisons arent there to be made. The United States is a terrorist nation and everyone but North America knows it. Why dont you look elsewhere than here for your information? The US has a smear campaign going on against Russia and idiots like you are allowing them to have this puppet show. Obama has done absolutely nothing he promised and has lied repeatedly. His word holds no value. He financed the savage syrian rebels and nearly started a war for no reason and without complete evidence of wrongdoing. He continues to order drone strikes without remorse for the civilians who die and Al Qaeda as seen in recent times is doing just fine. Pakistan recently scolded the us for launching a drone strike ruining their peace talks. As I said the US has become a terroristic nation making people here at home afraid and people elsewhere afraid. When Obama asked for change I had no clue he was talking about the constitution.

      • Dustin Cavanaugh

        Let me also remind you that Crimea wanted to be part of Russia and after a revolt illegally overthrew the president Ukraine is lucky Russia didnt demolish them then because they had every right to. What happens in this country when you try to overthrow the president? Funny we think its ok there though because its not here. Typical American imb*ciles. There are only 14 million j*ws left and they are not a threat you would have to be a m*ron to think Russia would do something like that during this time where they are in the spotlight and tensions are high. If you truly understand history then stop repeating it. Hitler was known for repeatedly lying and so is Obama. How about that comparison. I voted for the piece of trash in 2008 so I definitely remember a good amount of the lies. Closing guantanamo, close government loopholes, withdraw troops. He even said Bush oversteps congress too much and its an issue then does the same thing. Putins views are bothersome at times but at least he is honest about them. Cant forget Obama protecting Holder in Fast and Furious. How about Hilary lying about Benghazi? They love our country so much they repeatedly lie to the people.

      • Robert Hardy

        RE:”Let me also remind you that Crimea wanted to be part of Russia”

        1.) How much do YOU trust the Facio-Comrade Putin to really accurately count the vote?
        How sad that The Great Patriotic War was lost by giving the Motherland to the likes of Vladimir Putin!
        2.)When did you move in with Edward Snowden?

  • Gloria Stutsman

    What do think would happen from an ass hole like Putin. He should be shot dead like a dog that he is.

  • Dr. Michael James Parmer

    It happens all over again. they will try to kill us. We will survive. They will be dead. We will celebrate with a feast! And time goes on for us as it has for 3500 years.

  • cathy g. bradford

    for pete sakes= Putin iS a mad man. dangerous and america/eu/can stop him from terrorizing .stopping fearing him.. get Hilliary Clinton on the band wagon -shes got courage AND guts to kick his $%^&..

    • Dustin Cavanaugh

      It’s sad. You believe everything you hear from the media with no questions asked. You know nothing of Putin other than what the American media allows you to know. Do you even know why the annexation of Crimea is happening? The violence was over until the US and the butthurt European Union failed to recognize a legitimate vote by the people who live there. It’s obvipus you dont even know the who, the what, the where, and the why. I dont agree with many of Putin’s personal views but at least he doesnt lie about them to get votes. The US is a nation of hypocrites, greedmongers, and liars. These days we can add idiots to it. America is getting stupider in comparison to the rest of the wirld so now we seek to use force because military intelligence truly is a paradox.

  • James R. Baker,M.D.

    Sad to say, I no longer believe anything I hear.
    Benghazi,Weapons of Mass Destruction,McNamaras book,
    Obama’s statements all make me a doubter.
    Putin is a master at geopolitics.We have no equal.As usual,
    our next elections will be on personality,popularity,gender,anything
    but honesty,ability.
    Hilary -tell us of gunfire at the airport,Benghazi,calling Putin
    Hitler

    Bush,Cheney-explain weapons of mass destruction.
    JEB-explain Florida presidential election.
    Obama has been emasculated after Obamacare,Shovel Ready
    Infrastructure.
    Sad indeed,the last 100 years.

  • Vasu Murti

    The real cause of anti-semitism: Christians put Paul ahead of Jesus!

    ZedMont writes on the Daily Kos:

    “The Christianity you see today is not the Christianity practiced by Jesus’ apostles. It is the Christianity that was unknown until the self-appointed ‘apostle’ Paul invented it, based on his personal, unwitnessed conversations with a vision of the resurrected Jesus, some seven years after the crucifixion.”

    Agreed. Paul was never one of Jesus’ original apostles: he never met Jesus nor knew him in life during his earthly ministry.

    The scribes and the Pharisees, Jesus claimed, “have neglected the weightier matters of the Law; justice and mercy and faith.” (Matthew 23:14,16-23; Luke 11:42, 20:45-47)

    This is painfully obvious when contrasting Paul’s pronouncements on the Law with those of Jesus.

    The most-repeated argument against biblical vegetarianism I’ve gotten from Christians is that they claim they are no longer under Mosaic Law, because the apostle Paul referred to his background as a former Pharisee and his previous adherence to Mosaic Law (with its dietary laws, commandments calling for the humane treatment of animals, etc.) as “so much garbage.” (Philippians 3:4-8)

    Nothing in the synoptic gospels suggests a break with Judaism. Jesus was called “Rabbi,” meaning “Master” or “Teacher,” 42 times in the gospels. Jesus’ ministry was rabbinic. Jesus related scripture and God’s laws to everyday life, teaching by personal example. Jesus engaged in healing and acts of mercy. Jesus told stories or parables — a rabbinic method of teaching.

    Jesus went to the synagogue (Matthew 12:9), taught in the synagogues (Matthew 4:23, 13:54; Mark 1:39), expressed concern for Jairus, “one of the rulers of the synagogue” (Mark 5:36) and it “was his custom” to go to the synagogue (Luke 4:16).

    Jesus called himself “Son of Man.” The prophet Ezekiel was addressed by God as “Son of Man.” (Ezekiel 2:1) In Hebrew, “son of man” (“ben adam”) was a synonym for “man.” Psalm 8:4 uses it in plural. Simon (Peter) referred to Jesus as “a man certified by God.” (Acts 2:22)

    Both John the Baptist and Jesus were considered prophets by the people. (Matthew 11:9, 21:11, 21:26, 21:46; Mark 6:15, 11:32; Luke 7:16, 7:26, 9:19, 24:19; John 4:19, 6:14, 7:40, 9:17)

    Jesus placed himself in the tradition of the prophets before him. (Matthew 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24, 13:33; John 4:44)

    Jesus frequently compared his ministry to the ministries of Noah, Lot and Jonah. (Matthew 10:15, 11:24, 12:39-40, 16:4, 24:37-39; Luke 10:12, 11:29,32, 17:26-29,32)

    Jesus began his ministry by teaching the multitudes not to “give what is sacred to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before swine.” (Matthew 7:6) Dogs, like swine, were considered foul and unclean by the Hebrew people. (Deuteronomy 23:18; I Samuel 24:14; II Kings 8:13; Psalm 22:16,20; Matthew 7:6; Luke 16:21; Revelations 22:15) These words were used by the children of Israel to describe the neighboring heathen populations.

    When sending his disciples out to preach, Jesus instructed them not to go to the gentiles, but to “go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5-6) When a Canaanite woman asked Jesus to heal her daughter, he replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel…It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” (Matthew 15:22-28)

    Jesus regarded the gentiles as “dogs.” His gospel was intended for the Jewish people. Even the apostle Paul admitted that the gospel was first intended for the Jews, and that the Jews have every advantage over the gentiles in this regard (Romans 1:16, 3:1-2).

    When a scribe asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment in the Torah, Jesus began with “Hear O Israel, the Lord, thy God, is One Lord.” This is the Shema, which is still heard in every synagogue service to this day.

    “And you shall love the Lord with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength…And you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus concluded.

    When the scribe agreed that God is one and that to love Him completely and also love one’s neighbor as oneself is “more important than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices,” Jesus replied, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 22:36-40; Mark 12:29-34; Luke 10:25-28)

    In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus himself said:

    “Do not suppose I have come to abolish the Law and the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill…till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. Whoever, therefore, breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven…unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-20)

    Jesus also upheld the Torah in Luke 16:17:

    “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for the smallest portion of the Law to become invalid.”

    Nor do these words refer merely to the Ten Commandments. Jesus meant the entire Torah: 613 commandments. When a man asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus replied, “You know the commandments.” He then quoted not just the Ten Commandments, but a commandment from Leviticus 19:13 as well: “Do not defraud.” (Mark 10:17-22)

    Jesus’ disciples were once accused by the scribes and Pharisees of violating rabbinical tradition (Matthew 15:1-2; Mark 7:5), but not biblical law. At no place in the entire New Testament does Jesus ever proclaim Torah or the Law of Moses to be abolished; this was the theology of Paul, a former Pharisee who never knew Jesus, but who used to persecute Jesus’ followers. Paul openly identified himself not as a Jew but as a Roman (Acts 22:25-26) and an apostate from Judaism (Philippians 3:4-8)

    Sometimes Christians cite Matthew 7:12, where Jesus says “Do unto others…” and this “covers” the Law and the prophets.

    But Jesus was merely repeating in the positive what Rabbi Hillel taught earlier.

    Hillel was asked, “What is Judaism?”

    He replied: “What is hateful to you, do not do unto others. That is Judaism. All the rest is commentary.”

    No one took Hillel’s words to mean the Law had been abolished — why should we assume this of Jesus?

    If Jesus really came to abolish the Law and the prophets, Simon (Peter) would not have resisted a divine command to kill and eat both “clean” and “unclean” animals (Acts 10), nor would there have been a debate in the early church as to what extent the gentiles were to observe Mosaic Law (Acts 15).

    When Paul visited the church at Jerusalem, James and the elders told him all its members were “zealous for the Law,” and that they were worried because they heard rumors that Paul was preaching against Mosaic Law (Acts 21).

    None of these events would have happened had Jesus really come to abolish the Law and the prophets!

    Jesus not only repeatedly upheld Mosaic Law, he justified his healing on the Sabbath by referring to commandments calling for the humane treatment of animals!

    While teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, Jesus healed a woman who had been ill for eighteen years. He justified his healing work on the Sabbath by referring to biblical passages calling for the humane treatment of animals as well as their rest on the Sabbath. “So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham…be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” Jesus asked. (Luke 13:10-16)

    On another occasion, Jesus again referred to Torah teaching on “tsa’ar ba’alei chayim” or compassion for animals to justify healing on the Sabbath. “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” (Luke 14:1-5)

    Jesus compared saving sinners who had gone astray from God’s kingdom to rescuing lost sheep. He recalled a Jewish legend about Moses’ compassion as a shepherd for his flock:

    “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? Who among you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?

    “And when he has found it,” Jesus continued, “he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home,he calls together his friends and neighbors saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

    “I say to you, likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance…there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Matthew 18:11-13; Luke 15:3-7,10)

    Paul, on the other hand, said if anyone has confidence in Mosaic Law, “I am ahead of him” (Philippians 3:4-8).

    Would that mean Paul places himself ahead of Jesus, who said he did not come to abolish the Law and the prophets?

    Would that mean Paul places himself ahead of Jesus, who said whoever sets aside even the least of the laws demands shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17-19)?

    Would that mean Paul places himself ahead of Jesus, who taught that following the commandments of God is the only way to eternal life (Mark 10:17-22)?

    Would that mean Paul places himself ahead of Jesus, who said that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for the smallest portion of the Law to become invalid (Luke 16:17)?

    Paul may have regarded his previous adherence to Mosaic Law as “so much garbage,” but it should be obvious by now that JESUS DIDN’T THINK THE LAW WAS “GARBAGE”!

    If Christians revere Paul’s words over those of Jesus, then “Christianity” really is “Paulianity”.

    Bertrand Russell referred to Paul as the “inventor” of Christianity.

    I’m not saying Christians should all be circumcised and following Mosaic Law. The Reverend Andrew Linzey, the foremost theologian in the field of animal-human relations and author of Christianity and the Rights of Animals (1987), rejected such an approach in a 1989 interview with the Animals’ Agenda.

    I’m merely saying that Christianity for the past 2000 years has been based on a misunderstanding. Christians aren’t really following Jesus. They’re following Paul.

      • Robert Hardy

        Speak for yourself and keep to the point. People of all faiths need not embrace Judaism to not be anti-semitic..

        And the subject of the article is not Christianity, but oppression leading yo persecution and genocide. For further examples of similar lines of thought, check out the Islamic cultures and the Koran.

  • Dustin Cavanaugh

    Which charge? Obama being a liar doesnt take much and I even cited some examples. In regards to Putin being fair, lol. Need I remind you the Ukranian president was Russian? Was that vote rigged too? Is the mass amount of Russian supporters a lie? Most of Eastern Ukraine has loyalty to Russia and speak Russian. Western Ukraine not surprisingly has more loyalty to Europe. Anyways as far as this goes this article nor any other cites Putin as the one encouraging Anti-semitism but rather Pro-Russian Ukranians and a decent amount of them. Even then the Pro-Russians claim no ties and if they are bold enough to attack military bases why would they lie about this? Do you even realize the claims you are making have no evidence to back them up? And the smear campaign against Russia isnt new. Obama has been furious since Russia granted Sn*wden asylum and Snowden did to the US what the US did to us. He has every bit of confidential information about every government official and law enforcement officer in the country and used their own technology to get it. If anything happens to him all of it will be leaked. He has the US by the b*lls by putting the shoe on the other foot. Its ironic and plenty motivation for the US to launch a smear campaign against Russia.

  • Robert Hardy

    You have not cited anything. You doggedly rattle off the same line without evidence – that’s propaganda, not proof. You are at best a Russophile, wholly in Putin’s pocket, or a fool unable to do his own research.

    • Dustin Cavanaugh

      “If you like your plan you can keep your plan” “I will close guantanamo bay” “I will have all troops out of Afghanistan by 2014″. I gave you plenty of examples and considering im on a phone I do not need to go digging for something easily acquired by you with a quick google search. I also made it clear I dont agree with many of Putins views so I am not this “Russophile” you speak of lol. Also your last statement shows you arent even capable of comprehending what the other guy said. He was stating what he believes is the cause of anti-semitism in the first place. I say this to him because he has a head on his shoulders and will understand. I have had my concerns about Paul as he us the obe said to have written “Romans”. In Romans it says follow the emperor and the law because they are ordained by God. Very convenient for population control. Also obviously questionable as this would mean Hitler, Stalin,and even Kim Jong Ill are ordained by God. No you are only supposed to follow the law of God. If the law of the land contradicts the law of God you follow the law of God. Romans in the New Testament is the biggest joke i’ve ever seen. It is out of place. Jesus was not like todays Christians. He from what is historically known was actually a good man. Modern Christianity is pure evil and oppressive. Of the Abrahamic religions I only respect Judaism. I myself am stronglt agnostic in regards to religion.

    • Dustin Cavanaugh

      And since you want to be a hypocrite let me add that Putin was not the one blamed in this article. As a matter of fact it cannot clearly point a finger at anyone. Stating recent history in regards to Obama’s lies is not propaganda as I said a quick google and even youtube search in many cases can bring these events up. Propaganda is what the media is doing to Russia. Thats propaganda. Painting Putin as some uncaring dictator. Well we are hundreds of thousands in front of Russia in regards to prison population. Why dont you look at news around the world instead of just here. Try speaking to non-americans from all over the world. You are a sad man who can only argue by making assumption after assumption with nothing backing it up. Perhaps if you actually made an argiment than “hurr durr you are wrong and a Russophile” and actually asked me which claim you want proof of I would find it for you. As I said I am on mobile. I dont have time to be texting a history lesson complete with citations but I. always leave you with enough info to do your own fact checking. You however still have not made an argument nor have you made a counter-argument to any of my claims. You just repeatedly deflect.

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