Jewish voices from Donetsk

20 06 2014

Avital Chizhik’s “Jewish Voices from the Frontlines of Donetsk” provides a ground level perspective on how that city has been transformed by the war in eastern Ukraine.

Fishman: on the anti-Semitic flyers in Donetsk

23 04 2014

In The Real Truth About Those Anti-Semitic Flyers in Donetsk, historian David Fishman provides an analysis of the flyers as an “act of political theater” consistent with a broader strategy of “playing the ‘Jewish card’.” Fishman is a professor of Jewish history and director of the Moscow-based Project Judaica.

A few quotes:

“With all the focus on the Donetsk incident, the conversation has missed the forest while being distracted by a single tree. During the past month, since the annexation of Crimea, the Kremlin has shifted its rhetoric and tactics in playing the “Jewish card.” It has embraced the language of classical Russian nationalism, going back to tsarist times, and has engaged the dark forces of the Russian ultra-right. That includes using anti-Semitism as an ingredient in the anti-Ukrainian campaign.

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Jewish leaders: Open Letter to Putin

5 03 2014

Ukrainian Jewish leaders have penned a strongly worded Open Letter to Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin. Signatories include leaders of the Association of Jewish Communities and Organizations of Ukraine (VAAD) Ukraine, the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, the Zionist Federation of Ukraine, the Jewish Council of Ukraine, the European Jewish Congress, head rabbis of the progressive and traditional Judaism communities in Ukraine, directors of centers for Jewish and Holocaust studies, and experts in monitoring and analysing xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

A few excerpts:

We are Jewish citizens of Ukraine: businessmen, managers, public figures, scientists and scholars, artists and musicians. We are addressing you on behalf of the multi-national people of Ukraine, Ukraine’s national minorities, and on behalf of the Jewish community. [. . .]

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Nakhmanovych: Open letter

3 02 2014

Historian Vitaliy Nakhmanovych, Museum of Kiev researcher and Executive Secretary of the Babi Yar Public Committee, in his Open Letter to Jewish Communities of the World:

“It’s a familiar scene for Kyiv today: hired thugs protected by the “agents of law enforcement” burn cars, attack passersby, and disappear into the night. Their expectations are simple: either the Jews believe that they have become victims of the “Bandera followers” and call for a stop to the Maidan “outrage,” or the Jews understand that they were chosen by the government for a scare and… call for a stop even louder, afraid of things becoming worse. [. . .]

“Lithuania and Poland, Austria and Hungary, Romania and Czechoslovakia, the USSR and the Third Reich – empires and republics, monarchies and tyrannies, they had all been united in one thing: that the people of this land must remain silent and obedient. [. . .] Read the rest of this entry »

Zisels: “To freedom, ours and yours”

27 01 2014

Joseph Zisels, head of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine (VAAD Ukraine) and leader of the Congress of National Communities of Ukraine, former political prisoner, from his speech at the People’s Assembly of Euromaidan during the Day of Dignity, December 15, 2013:

“Today the situation in Ukraine is very similar to 2004, for once more the same propaganda is being used against Euromaidan, against the united opposition, against all of us. They are trying to sow the seeds of conflict, to pit us one against the other, and to create an artificial standoff — national minorities against Ukrainians. But Ukraine and its people have changed in these years, in this short time. The Maidan has changed, not only thanks to the barricades, but in much greater ways — thanks to the people who are defending their dignity here. Read the rest of this entry »

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