ANTISEMITISM IS ALIVE AND WELL IN DONETSK,
When Jewish congregants left the synagogue after Passover prayers, masked men were waiting. They handed out leaflets ordering the city's Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee "or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated.” The man whose name appears on the leaflets, Denis Pushilin, chairman of "Donetsk's temporary pro-Russian government," denied any connection to the leaflet or its distribution.
The leaflet begins "Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality" and states that all people of Jewish descent over 16 years old must report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and "register." The leaflet even described which documents Jews should provide: "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." A registration fee of $50 was also required.
Olga Reznikova, 32, a Jewish resident of Donetsk, said she never experienced anti-Semitism until now. "It's serious. The text reminds me of the Nazi fascists in 1941.”
The Jewish community in Donetsk issued a statement saying the leaflet "smells like a provocation." Chief rabbi of nearby Dnipropetrovsk, Shmuel Kaminezki boldly stated, "Jews will not do what the letter says."
Michael Salberg of the Anti-Defamation League, said it's unclear whether the leaflets were issued by the pro-Russian leadership or a splinter group. But he said the Russian side has used the specter of anti-Semitism in a cynical manner. Russia and its allies in Ukraine have issued multiple stories about the threat posed to Jews by Ukraine's new pro-Western government in Kiev.”
"The message is…Jews are the default scapegoat throughout history for despots.