Rabbi of Donetsk says antisemitic leaflet is a provocation

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Fragment of the leaflet distributed in Donetsk

Many people were shocked about the news that armed and masked men in Donetsk handed out leaflets wherein they ordered all Jews in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk to register with the pro-Russian separatists or face deportation, that was pasted near the local synagogue in Donetsk. Given that we do not live in Russia, where truth is obviously not the main concern, we wanted to find out what has happened. Now we contacted the office of Rabbi Pinchas Vishedski of Donetsk to ask him whether he could give us additional information on this event. Kindly his office gave us the following statement:

“Yes, we received it late evening on 15th of April. You can find the copy in attachment.

But this letter was a provocation and the man whose signature you can see on the letter, Denis Pushilin, totally disproved these words yesterday… He stated on TV that it wasn’t a letter from Donetsk Republic and they do not have any problems with Jews. Our local governance and Security Service of Ukraine will take care of this situation and will do everything to find the people who distributed these letters… and we trust them. It is safe here for all Jews.”

So, obviously those leaflets were not official statements. There is no immediate danger for the Jewish community in Donetsk.

It is possible that some of the ‘tourists’ thought it was funny. We can only speculate. Let’s be relieved that our brothers and sisters face no danger of losing their belongings to any invaders. We wish them a peaceful Passover.

On April 16, Novosti Donbasa reported on a notice bearing the stamps of the self-proclaimed ordering all Jews in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk to register with the pro-Russian separatists or face deportation has been pasted near the local synagogue. The leaflet bore the stamps of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk and was signed by its self-styled people’s governor Denis Pushilin. It orders all Jews over the age of 16 to register at the government building, which has been occupied by pro-Russian insurgents in defiance of Kyiv rule. Jews would also have to pay a registration fee of $50 before May 3 and list all real estate and vehicles owned, Israel news reports.

Natascha Romer, edited by Alya Shandra

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