The world as a whole should be alarmed and enraged, at the current anti-Semitic propaganda being distributed in the Ukraine by the People’s Republic of Donetsk, a militant group. During World War ll over 900,000 Ukrainian Jews were massacred; almost 70 years later, there is real fear that history will repeat itself.
Current Situation: The current reality for Jews in the Ukraine is terrifying. On April 20th (2014), world news reported that Jews were being urged to flee the Ukraine. One particular article, written by Marco Giannangeli for Express News, focuses on a Holocaust survivor who says that all Jewish people should leave the Ukraine at once. The Jewish people of the Ukraine are being ordered to register their religion and property. Failure to do so results in citizenship revocation. This is absolutely horrifying and unimaginable after the atrocity of the Holocaust. The world cannot stand idly by and allow this to happen. Religious persecution is intolerable.
The Leaflet: If you haven’t read the leaflet that was distributed, it is reminiscent of the Nazi propaganda of World War ll. According to the Jewish Press, a portion of he leaflet reads as follows: “ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles. Evasion of registration will result in citizenship revocation and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property. A registration fee of $50 is required.” Reportedly, all Jewish citizens over 16 years of age are “required” to register. You may read the entire leaflet here.
Countless reports have surfaced concerning other anti-Semitic incidences since the beginning of the year in the Ukraine. Jewish stars and swastika’s being painted on homes, violent attacks, firebombing of a synagogue, and the recent leaflet are just a few examples. Anti-Semitic graffiti was reportedly sprayed on a Holocaust memorial outside of Alexandria as well. The Jewish Press states, “Most were violent attacks. Several were aimed at Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries and a few were life-threatening.” The world is outraged. I am outraged. What can you and I do to help? Keep reading.
Take Action: Do you believe that if you know about an atrocity and do nothing, that you are responsible for complacency? That is my belief. As the tension in the Ukraine rises, I have asked myself how I can help in this situation. According to Express News , Jewish Ukrainians are allegedly seeking advice on repatriation to Israel. With all of the political upheaval, the Jewish people in the Ukraine are in need of food, heating, and medical assistance. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee provides assistance that is sorely needed. Americans can make donations or even volunteer in some cases.
Efforts are also being made to ease the process for Jews who wish to leave the Ukraine by the Ministerial Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Israeli National News, reports that a number of local Jews have already expressed a desire to emigrate to Israel. Americans must express a strong interest in the plight of the Ukrainian Jews. As a U.S. citizen, let your representatives know that this is an issue of urgency and top priority to you. We cannot stand by in good conscience and allow a repeat of the past. No matter your religion or world views, civilian human life is at stake. This isn’t a Ukrainian crisis, it’s a world crisis and should be addressed as such.