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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What can we as humans do to help alleviate antisemitism in areas of eastern Ukraine now in revolt against Kiev?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25804 points ) April 17th, 2014

This news makes me greatly heartsick. The Jewish citizens in the city of Donetsk have been ordered by some authority to register themselves and declare all their possessions. It honestly horrifies me.

I personally have a difficult time understanding hate.

Are there steps we as thinking, acting human beings can take wherever we are to help our fellow humans who are suffering under this fearful tyranny?

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30 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

As humans HERE, most of our options are limited. Antisemitism, as with other bigotries should be fiercely denounced whenever it rears its head, and believe me, the opportunities in THIS country doggedly persist.

JLeslie's avatar

I hope it isn’t true. That part of the world certainly has some pretty bad history with antisemitism. Christians are also dealing with threats in parts of the middle east, which horrifies me also. All we can do is either send in peace keeping soldiers or demand America open her doors to the Jews. There aren’t that many in that area, we can handle allowing them to come here. Many might not want to leave though of course, because that is their home.

I guess they perceive the Jews as being on the wrong side so they are being segregated and treated differently.

I think it could happen anywhere, it doesn’t surprise me, but again I hope it is not true. As Jews I don’t think we are surprised by things like this, just horrified.

janbb's avatar

“When will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn.”

I’ve got little else to add.

Cruiser's avatar

Using Kerry’s word…this is indeed “grotesque” and no surprise to me. My wife is Jewish and that makes my son’s Jewish and in my WASP town anti-Semitism is alive and well here in the Chicago suburbs. My kids are lucky in that our last name is very German and they can fly under the radar but the reports I here are truly disheartening. How kids learn this behavior at this day and age is beyond me.

@janbb The real question is will they ever change?

dappled_leaves's avatar

I just posted a comment about this on a different thread, so will repeat myself here a little.

There is more to this story than just some anti-Semitic flyers. Putin has been telling his own people that the current government in Ukraine is made up of Nazis (seriously, he is calling them Nazis). This is intended to create anti-Ukrainian sentiment, not anti-Semitic sentiment. The point is that Nazis are villains. He hopes that this will justify any violent actions done by Russians in Ukraine.

So, for pro-Russia groups to distribute flyers that look like they were made by the Ukrainian government saying that Jews should be registered – this is not surprising. It serves Putin, by promoting his contention that the Ukrainian leadership is evil and should be removed. The point still being: the Russians think that Nazis are bad, not good. Meanwhile, in Ukraine, the leadership does not know the source of the content of the flyers. The whole thing is a propaganda campaign.

Here is a recent story about this manipulation.

What I don’t understand is why this story is being reported so badly in the west. I think people just like to read headlines.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’ve been following this story all day.

At this point, I’m ready to step in to the Ukraine to eliminate the “pro-Russian forces” supposedly behind this. There is some talk that this was a “move made to provocate”. If so, I’m thoroughly provoked.

cazzie's avatar

DON’T believe everything you READ!!! this is crap, bullshit propaganda. they can’t work out which side this is coming from…. as in who is blaming whom… but this a nothing more than an attempt to rile international feathers. It’s bullshit.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@dappled_leaves I am not quite sure I understand your post well. This is from the linked article in the OP:

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 reports.

These registration instructions are coming from the pro-Russian militants in Donetsk. The instructions are not coming from Ukrainian authorities in line with Kiev.

I recognize the media may not be reporting what is going on with complete accuracy, but this seems pretty clear.

The article you linked appeared previous to the reports of the leaflets demanding Jews register themselves with the new pro-Russian government.

cazzie's avatar

@SpatzieLover fine, be provoked, but if you don’t know where this bullshit is coming from how do you know which side to attack. Use your brain. These assholes are fucking with everyone. Because they can. Calm the fuck down.

cazzie's avatar

they LOOK like they are from one source… Guess why?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@cazzie Who said I wasn’t calm? I think you’re reading into something that isn’t there. Bugger off.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@cazzie What? Your words are inflammatory. Are you suggesting we look the other way while our fellows must live in fear? Your use of foul language does not serve you.

cazzie's avatar

I’m not the one stating they are ready to march into enemy territory.

cazzie's avatar

No no no… I’m saying.. don’t let it make you react because this has been designed exactly for that reason.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie I’m hoping you’re right. Like I said in my first answer, I question the validity of this report. It’s so classic Nazi that it seems trite, but you never know. Crazy shit still happens.

cazzie's avatar

Think about it. Really…. This is a tract designed to target a very specific demographic. It will obviously get out in the public area and attract attention….. INTERNATIONAL attention. Who has the most to gain by this? This is NOT face value. There is something behind this.

cazzie's avatar

Hey, I live in a country still scared by occupation. I know, very intimately, what the Nazis did. I also know what passive aggressive looks like and how things are easily manipulated. It is in somebody’s interest to attract as much disdain and public derision as possible on behalf of this situation. Just don’t be a muppet. I may end up eating my words, then fine, but I just want everyone to think first.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I am writing while I see others writing, too, so I don’t know if this will have any bearing on the conversation.

It is possible that the leaflets were distributed by a disreputable source close to the government in Kiev. It is also possible that they are what they say they are.

The whole incident is as Sec. of State Kerry stated, “Grotesque.”

cazzie's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Exactly, ... but we must not give them the credence they are begging for. This is the cheapest of shots, and the lowest of blows. Can we all agree on that? I only hope that they find the actual source, but I doubt it.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Yes, the leaflets have his name on them, and they were “distributed in his organization’s name”. However, from the same article that you linked, “Pushilin denied any connection to them.” and the leaflets were handed out by men in masks. It’s impossible to know who is responsible for creating them.

The upshot is – no one knows who printed the leaflets, no one is actually at the address to take registrations or collect $50 from anyone. Jewish people of Donetsk are worried, because it is now an independent republic, separated from Ukraine, and run by pro-Russia revolutionaries. These are turbulent times in that region, so everyone has cause to be worried. But I think it is extremely hasty for anyone to take what they hear in that region at face value. And we should avoid rushing to any action until we do know what is going on. Because whatever action that is… it will probably play into the strategy of someone we don’t support.

cazzie's avatar

Thank you, @dappled_leaves I felt like I was shouting into an empty room. Especially because certain facebook messages were deleted.

janbb's avatar

@dappled_leaves Agreed. But whoever is using or abusing anti-semitism, it is still devastating that this is a tactic that is used.

And @cazzie maybe shouting rather than reasoned discourse is not effective. I dunno…..

SpatzieLover's avatar

@cazzie I don’t consider the Ukraine “enemy territory”.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@janbb I agree. I have no words to describe people who could use this history as a political tool.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Thank you, @dappled_leaves, for your explanation. I have a clearer understanding of your thoughts and what you are expressing.

cazzie's avatar

Yes… sorry about my disgust, but I couldn’t understand how people didn’t recognise this as the blatant manipulation it is. again… I overestimate.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

A pretty good article from the Washington Post can be read here. It cautions against assumptions.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Thanks, I hadn’t seen that one before. Again, it strikes me that if each side is accusing the other of being Nazis, as if that is the worst thing they can call someone, it is premature to think there is a credible threat to Jews in the region.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@dappled_leaves While we don’t have conclusive evidence to the source, the antisemitism is real, and that is disheartening to say the least.

As I stated in the OP, I simply do not understand hate.

Symbeline's avatar

I found this.

Even if it isn’t true, and some kind of hoax, the fact that someone thought this was a good idea is still scary. Messing with people like that really isn’t cool.

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