Donetsk rabbi, protesters reject anti-Semitic leaflet as “provocation”

By Alex Lantier
21 April 2014

In Donetsk, the Jewish community and pro-Russian forces protesting against the US puppet regime in Kiev have rejected as a fraud an anti-Semitic leaflet distributed by an anonymous group and attributed to the anti-regime Donetsk People’s Republic.

In language directly recalling the measures implemented by the Nazis against the Jewish people in the years before the Holocaust, the leaflet demanded that Jews in Donetsk register themselves and their property with the pro-Russian authorities and pay a $50 fee or face deportation and persecution.

The chief rabbi of Donetsk, Pinchas Vishedski, denounced the leaflet as a “provocation.” He said, “We are not taking this out of proportion. It did not come from some organization …We called on the security service of the country and the police and we asked them to take care and find out who made it.”

The leaflet was also denounced by the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic, led by Denis Pushilin, which has occupied local state administration buildings in Donetsk.

“This is the method Kiev has used,” Pushilin said. “The leaflets say they are from the People’s Republic about Jews—all these are provocations. They have no basis at all.”

These comments refute the attempts of US officials to turn the leaflet into an asset in a propaganda campaign to smear pro-Russian protesters and prop up their puppet regime in Kiev, which is based on fascist groups with deeply anti-Semitic politics.

In line with comments by US Secretary of State John Kerry, US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt had declared, “Everything we’re hearing suggests this is the real deal, and that it is coming from someone on the ground there among these radical groups.”

Given the widespread reports that Donetsk residents viewed the leaflet as a fake and a provocation, one can only conclude that Pyatt’s comments had ulterior motives. They served the function of creating an alternative media story to the open and intimate ties of the pro-Western Kiev regime to fascist groups such as the Right Sector militia and the Svoboda party, which openly praise Nazi-era Ukrainian fascist groups that participated in the Holocaust, and whose leaders have issued public attacks on Jews.

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