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Haaretz has published a short article reporting concerns raised by a Rabbi in Kiev about the safety of the local Jewish community in the present political upheavals.

Ukrainian Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, called on Kiev's Jews to leave the city and even the country if possible, fearing that the city's Jews will be victimized in the chaos, Israeli daily Maariv reported Friday.

"I told my congregation to leave the city center or the city all together and if possible the country too," Rabbi Azman told Maariv. "I don't want to tempt fate," he added, "but there are constant warnings concerning intentions to attack Jewish institutions."

Edward Dolinsky, head of the umbrella organization of Ukraine's Jews described the situation in Kiev as dire, telling Maariv "We contacted Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman requesting he assist us with securing the community."
What is or is not going on in the present needs to be set in the long historical context of Jewish life in Ukraine.
Jewish communities have existed in the territory of Ukraine from the time of Kievan Rus' (one of Kiev city gates was called Judaic) and developed many of the most distinctive modern Jewish theological and cultural traditions such Hasidism. While at times they flourished, at other times they faced periods of persecution and antisemitic discriminatory policies. Before World War II, a little under one-third of Ukraine's urban population consisted of Jews[7] who were the largest national minority in Ukraine.
In the period between WW I and WW II when Ukraine became part of the USSR there was a series of anti-Jewish pogroms. During WWII Ukrainian nationalist in Western Ukraine chose to cooperate with the Nazi occupiers and some of them were instrumental in facilitating the activities of the holocaust. Of course the Jewish population was decimated. There has been substantial emigration to Israel. Israel estimates the present Jewish population of Ukraine at 250,000.

The political situation began to become tense in 2012 when the right wing party Svoboda gained enough votes to win seats in the parliament. Svoboda has been listed by the World Jewish Congress as being neo-Nazi. There are other right wing nationalist groups who haven't gain standing in parliament.

The Russian government has been making claims that the movement which has toppled the government of president (former?) Yanukovych is under the control of right wing fascist organizations. While that seems to be a political exaggeration, that does seem to be a part of the political mix.

Given the history, it doesn't seem unreasonable for Jews there to have a heightened sense of anxiety about the situation. It is one thing to watch as a very complex and confused situation unfolds.  

Originally posted to Richard Lyon on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 01:12 PM PST.

Also republished by Elders of Zion.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A very valid concern (26+ / 0-)

    The BBC (who I trust on objective coverage) lists the head of Svoboda ("Freedom") Party as one of the leaders of the protest / opposition. They write:

    Previously known as the "Social-National Party", Svoboda promotes itself as a fervent defender of traditional Ukrainian culture and language against foreign influence - and is seen by some as a fascist organisation.

    Mr Tyahnybok, who insists that Svoboda is neither xenophobic nor anti-Semitic, was expelled from parliament in 2004 for proclaiming that a "Muscovite-Jewish mafia" controlled the country.

    In addition, the "Right Sector," which apparently is the faction of the street protests most involved in violence against people and property, is described as "mostly of young men with right-wing views"

    Nicolai N. Petro writing in The Nation also notes that the parliamentary opposition "has relied on ultraradical and openly neo-Nazi groups to achieve the kind of political control that it probably could not achieve through the ballot box."

    I find all this troubling. I don't know enough to declare the movement "anti-Semitic," but also am not ready to jump on what seems to be a bandwagon of "it's a popular movement, so it must be progressive and democratic."

  •  It's difficult.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Toyotabob7, Jay C, OIL GUY

    to take baseless news seriously, particularly when it comes from a news organization like Haaretz. Dredging up seventy year old history for the purpose of fear-mongering about genocide is irresponsible. Honestly, think about it. By this argument, one could make the case that black people should be in fear for their lives any time they cross the Mason Dixon line, on account of the history of black lynchings in the southern United States - lynchings that have not been widespread since the 60s.*

    The perpetrators of the pogroms are either dead or geriatrics. Barring the protestors getting ahold of a device that can create a zombie apocalypse, I think the Jewish minority is as safe as any other ethnic group in a tense and unstable political environment. And until Jews have a legitimate reason to fear for their safety - i.e. the protestors calling for the extermination of the Jewish communities, or attacks being reported specifically on Jews - it's messed up to scare them into thinking otherwise.

    *Don't bring up Florida. I know that it's open season on blacks down there. My point still stands.

    TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

    by Le Champignon on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 01:41:08 PM PST

  •  A perspective from a Jewish-Ukranian historian (9+ / 0-)

    I have extracted a part of what I found to be an interesting
    address to Jews of the world. I interpret it as a sympathetic understanding of the injustice felt by Ukrainians, and the desire to stand beside them. The author suggests that the government, not the protesting factions are to blame for aggression toward Jews.

    "And it always happened that we have always lived side by side with the Ukrainians but very rarely with them. This was due to their land belonging to anyone but them. Lithuania and Poland, Austria and Hungary, Romania and Czechoslovakia, the USSR and the Third Reich – empires and republics, monarchies and tyrannies, they had all been united in one thing: that the people of this land must remain silent and obedient. And we had followed our natural instinct of self-preservation and tried to always be on the side of the strong, on the side of the government."

    'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

    by janis b on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 01:57:59 PM PST

  •  From the JTA (8+ / 0-)

    Apparently the cleric is concerned there will be backlash because of the appearance of supporting the now discredited regime

    The community “is very split on the issue of the protests,” said Meylakh Sheykhet, Ukraine director for the Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union. “Generally speaking, the young generation of Jews, just like other young Ukrainians, support this revolution. But the older generation of Ukrainian Jews, the ones who grew up and were educated in the Soviet system, they are not in support. They are very pro-Russian.”
    Read more:

    In Ukraine protests, young Jews are marching with ultranationalists  Read more:

  •  I should say that the further east (8+ / 0-)

    one goes in the European Union, the less the EU's ruling class (western European, for the most part) seems to worry about keeping a lid on ultra-nationalism and fascism. I think much of it boils down to sheer cynicism and racism on their part: who cares about those faraway foreigners, who are barely civilized anyhow. Let them do their thing; what do we give a shit, as long as the dough keeps rolling in.

    What the EU's masters would not countenance in Italy or Czech Republic, they might tolerate in Bulgaria or Greece. Their lethargic response to the rise of the Golden Dawn in Greece seems to indicate that this is indeed so. Certainly, it was more important to them that the Troika get its pound of flesh than to ensure a livable Greece.

    So in Western Europe, the EU would not dream of cutting a deal with the likes of Svoboda. But Ukraine is far enough away from France and Germany that they just might do it, especially if there is no other way to put together a functional government. Ukraine's not even part of the EU. They might decide that they can easily keep any collateral damage Svoboda might inflict off their doorstep. If, say, Latvia has problems, what is it to them?

    That would be a fatal mistake, of course, but in their hurry to get this thing off the ground they might make it.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 02:47:56 PM PST

  •  Oh, boy. (6+ / 0-)

    I hadn't heard about this and find it very disturbing.    Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 02:49:36 PM PST

  •  Yes (9+ / 0-)

    The danger is real.

    The protester bloc includes members of Svoboda or "Freedom Party" which is surprisingly mainstream in Ukraine for a Fascist party. Svoboda leaders are outspoken anti-Semites.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 02:51:04 PM PST

    •  Hard to See a Winner (9+ / 0-)

      In this contests -- it's certainly not likely to be the Ukrainian people. We're hearing the same reductionist rhetoric from the U.S. media that we heard in 2004 and 2005 during the "Orange Revolution." Unspoken is the real story:

      The E.U., World Bank and IMF have once again destabilized a country on the periphery of Europe by trying to enforce austerity and free market "reforms" on an already weakened system.

      In this case, they ended up driving the elected government into the arms of Russia. And it's now be driven back in uncertain directions by a protest movement that has a strong Fascist element.

      Blame Frau Merkel and the neoliberal cabal that runs the international finance orgs for this one. Nice work, shitheads.

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 02:56:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So the skinheads won. (8+ / 0-)

    I hate to do it, but those still unsure about what Svoboda/Right Sector translate to for the common man might want to go check out the most popular Serbian/Russian Stormfront threads. Yeah I said it.

    Here, you will see pics of the blue and yellow draped bodies of their 'martyrs'

     (which you can also find on all major MSM slideshows of the topic...not to mention linked to right here in Ukraine tagged diaries)

    juxtaposed with pics of the same gang, same dress/hat/etc lounging around in their 'backstage' hovels wearing their white power and Svoboda armbands, wrapped in White Power blankies with white power flags on the walls...

    "New heroes of Ukraine" I believe is the thread topic.

    Really, and even after Honduras, Lybia, Syria; I have to ask again:


  •  Jews in Ukraine (5+ / 0-)

    The grandfather of Yulia Tymoshenko was Jewish:

    Abram Kelmanovych Kapitelman (Ukrainian: Абрам Кельманович Капітельман, was born in 1914); after graduating from Dnipropetrovsk State University in 1940 Kapitalman was sent to work in Western Ukraine, where he worked "one academic quarter" as the director of a public Jewish school in the city of Sniatyn.

    •  which is always enuf to justify hate-mongering by (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      charliehall2, kyril, debedb

      any group looking to profit.

      •  Yup the Joos got blamed for the Bolshevik (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, mettle fatigue

        Revolution even though there was only a single Jew -- Trotsky -- in a leadership role.

        •  Trotsky was an atheist with no jewish self-identi- (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, charliehall2, svboston

          fication who happened to have jewish parents. But see? we remember him as "a jew" anyway.  That's the residue of racism, a worldwide history-long phenomenon that isn't solely in the past anywhere. The right to be oneself irrespective of outward society's definitions is a right that doesn't actually exist yet.

          Seems to me  anti-semitism anyplace in europe, or some form of racism anywhere (i consider it that because it IS the outward society making a group definition and targetting all the individuals in the group it just defined) is inevitable anytime a population has come to believe that mass impoverishment and death are imminent unless populational pressure on resources is "alleviated".

          (BTW, iirc there were a good many revolutionist jews if of lesser stature or perhaps less home-grown: germany had equalized the status of Jews as nearly full citizens in the approx mid 19th century, and the entry into universities and professions and middle class that resulted of course led to the leisure for philosophical thought about how society could be made better for more of society. not just 'cafe society' either. ...  and there's always emma goldman, also self-identified as atheist, and remembered as a Jew. even 'tho of course anarchists decline to hold public office even if offered.  it's how the rest of the world defines us that matters in the shadow of the gallows, not how we define ourselves.  so far, anyway.)

  •  The EU recently passed a resolution against (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    janis b, Lawrence

    Svoboda's ethnic focus.  Since the revolution is centered around the desire to gravitate toward the EU and away from Russian dominance, anti-semitism  amongst the parties that are rising in power right now will be looked down upon and likely squelched. Indeed, Svoboda has taken pains to deny any antisemitic leanings, which are as convincing as the GOP in the US denying latent racism in their ranks. Still, there will be no pogroms (as the Russians have been warning in order to drum up sympathy for Yanukovych's crew) as long as an EU direction is being attempted.

    UDAR is the most liberal of the parties in the opposition now and rising quickly in popularity due to Klitschko's popularity (he's the current WBC heavyweight champ), and Svoboda is the least liberal, as well as the least popular. The most popular of the current ascendant parties is Yulia Tymochenko's Batkivshchyna, a social democratic party that would be comparable to the Dems, ie, center-right.

    The concern of the Jews in Eastern Europe regarding persecution is never without cause, but for them to align with Russia in this matter is foolhardy.  Better for them to align with the most liberal of the forces that are looking to align with the EU.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

    by nailbender on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 05:19:09 PM PST

    •  EU resolutions have seldom (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, corvo

      moved ant hills, much less mountains.

      •  I don't know (0+ / 0-)

        EU is throwing more weight on trade deals.  Sloppy and klugy, but undeniable effect.

        •  If they are willing to ease up on the austerity (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that would likely have some leverage, but resolutions are meaningless.

          •  Do you deny that the opposition would like, (0+ / 0-)

            eventually, to gain membership in the EU?  If the answer is "yes" or even "probably," then how they deal with Svaboda's ethnic orientation is pretty damn important and that resolution is something they all are very aware of.  Even Svaboda, who has taken pains to make the correct pronouncements, unlike, say France's National Front or even the German NPD, get that point because they are, foremost, intent on disassociating from Russian dominance.

            "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

            by nailbender on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 06:05:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are people who would like EU membership (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              protectspice, kyril, corvo

              They aren't necessarily The Opposition. Right now nobody is in charge and in power. What the future direction of the country and who will be leading it is yet to be determined. You seem to think that is already a settled matter. I doubt that it is.

              •  I didn't say it was settled, I say it's what they (0+ / 0-)

                want. It's explicit in their rhetoric.  

                Yes, obviously all is in flux and there are more actors involved than even those close to the action are aware of. I'm just pointing to some of the underlying currents that can't be ignored.

                "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

                by nailbender on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 06:47:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You choice of currents (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  is highly selective.

                  •  I haven't said that Svaboda isn't a problem. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    And certainly, when things are in a chaotic state as they are there now, any number of bad things can go down.  But Ukrainians want out from under Russia, by and large, and persecuting Jews will work against that desire; and efveryone, including Svaboda (given their recent walking back of their ethnic rhetoric), understands that.

                    Otoh, if I had relatives in that country, Jewish or otherwise, I'd be worried right now.

                    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

                    by nailbender on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 07:10:28 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  It's symbolic, of course, but symbolism is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DavidMS, Lawrence

        paramount in situations like this (thus, Klitschko the pugilist's prominence).  And the opposition knows that if it wants to lead the country to a more euro centric path - including the possibility of eventually becoming a member of the EU - then antisemitism will have to become anathema.

        Keep in mind that the subtext to everything that is going on right now is the Regions Party's eschewing of the EU in favor of Russia, and the popular anger at that move.

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

        by nailbender on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 05:52:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nationalism and Eurocentrism (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DavidMS, kyril, corvo, limpidglass

          don't necessarily mix. At this point there is not a The Opposition. There is a mix of groups who had the common goal of getting rid of the president. Now that that is effectively accomplished, it remains to be seen on what will happen. You are trying to shove a chaotic situation into a picture of tidy predictability. I think that is at best simplistic.

          •  Also simplistic is the prospect of pogroms there. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The subtext for all that's going on is the desire of the majority of the country to hew to the EU rather than to their old Russian overlords.  This is Svaboda's main desire as well as the more liberal members of the Opposition (which, if it didn't exist, certainly performed a miracle this last week!), and letting antisemitism gain any kind of a foothold will squelch that, regardless of how symbolic an EU resolution is.

            Yes, it's chaotic and anything can happen (including agents provocateurs manufacturing a pogrom for a Russian "I told you so" opportunity), but the underlying narrative is a gravatational pull to the West, where freedom is more prevalent and corruption less so.

            "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

            by nailbender on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 06:25:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, they can join the EU and have a golden dawn (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Lyon, corvo

      Just like Greece.

      "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

      by Paleo on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 05:59:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  pragmatically (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    janis b, DavidMS, corvo

    Israel is seen as pro prior government, since the new Ukraine government took over, Israel has been very proactive in establishing trade and travel agreements with the now discredited government.  Visa free travel, free trade agreement, among them.  Some of the concern for Ukrainian Jewry may be due to that.  

    Human trafficking, prostitution of Ukrainian women to Israel,  is a frequent topic in Ukrainian press.  Not helpful.  Moldovan organ trafficking is also a nexus of anti Israel rhetoric.  

    second, vulnerable minority populations in troubled political times tend to support the power in place.  In South Africa, the large Jewish elder, established population supported Apartheid, and the younger Jewish population supported Mandela.

    Ukrainian politics has been sullied by anti-semitism, but Ukraine has Jewish mayors of major cities and MPs in Parliament, across the various governments over the last two decades.

    Anti Jewish atrocities , scapegoating, pogroms, are all features of Ukraine and Jewish history, tragically.  Ukrainians know this better than we. Currently, the Jewish Ukrainians are a vibrant and free community, and proudly nationalist community and participants in Ukrainian life.  

    •  From what I've read, many South African Jews (0+ / 0-)

      opposed apartheid and supported moderate and liberal opposition parties such as Helen Suzman's Progressive Party. I've met several Jews from South Africa over the years, both older and younger, and none of them supported apartheid, although some were fearful of the ANC and anti-apartheid backlash. These were people who left the country and came to America, so they may not represent a typical cross section of South African Jews.

      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 11:07:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some very brave people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        did speak out, Ronnie Kasirils, Helen Suzman, and there was organized opposition to Apartheid  in the community, against the opposition of community leadership.  

        •  Nadine Gordimer was another. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

          by Radiowalla on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 07:59:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  that isn't what I've read. (0+ / 0-)

          Do you have a reference that describes the leadership support for apartheid?

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 08:00:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here are two (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Not so much support, but non involvement, was the position of the leadership.  We must remember that the Nationalist party was very Pro Nazi and anti-semitic, controlling emigration quotas, so the leadership didn't want to be identified as undesirable troublemakers.

            Here's a sensitive piece from the JTA, Like Ukraine and Israel, it is was an old vs. young divide.  Community leaders didn't want to antagonize their host country, and the young burned for justice


            Many of the Jewish students who led in the struggle against apartheid left South Africa some time ago because they felt there was no future here.
            “One of the lesser sins of apartheid was that it took our children away from us,” said veteran community leader Mervyn Smith, president of the African Jewish Congress. “Think of what our Jewish community would have been like with them here.”
            Large-scale Jewish emigration during the apartheid years left South Africa’s Jewish community with some serious problems today. It is a relatively old community, and the financial burden of caring for the elderly often falls on the local community. Families are split up around the world, with many members having immigrated to places like Australia and Israel.
            Owen Futeran, a former chairman of the Board of Deputies, said the legacy of apartheid-era South Africa’s cozy relations with Israel still reverberates today, harming Israel’s reputation in the post-apartheid era among South Africa’s people and government.
            Read more:

            Another text that might be useful


            Gideon Shimoni

            “Most detached and objective observers would agree: although there is nothing in this record deserving of moral pride, neither does it warrant utter self-reproach. From a coldly objective historical perspective, this was characteristic minority group behaviour – a phenomenon of self-preservation, performed at the cost of moral righteousness. The record also shows that on the whole, the community’s leaders, lay and religious, acted consciously, but with deep pangs of conscience, although whether this at all qualifies as a morally redeeming factor will no doubt remain a point of contention.”
            The point is that the Board of Deputies of Jewish Organization in South Africa advocated a position of non involvement, for fear of antagonizing the host government, although many individual Jews fought against Apartheid bravely, but also, many simply left, emigrating to the UK and US, unable to reconcile their principles with those of their elders.

            in 1985, the Board of Deputies, did issue a position statement on civil rights for South Africans.

            •  Here's another (0+ / 0-)
              JOHANNESBURG — Since the fall of apartheid, South African Jewry has struggled mightily with two specters from its past. Its central body, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, worked happily with the apartheid regime, even as that regime violated the civil liberties and human rights of many Jews who were key figures in the anti-apartheid struggle. And Israel’s secret and wide-ranging arms and security ties with apartheid-era South Africa, in violation of a United Nations Security Council ban, enjoyed that same board’s full backing until the day apartheid died.
              Read more:
  •  Haaretz is Zionist (0+ / 0-)

    They are going to be naturally biased towards encouraging Jewish migration to Israel.  Is there increased risk for the Ukrainian Jewish Community?  Yes.  Is it time to pack bags?  Who knows.  

    I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

    by DavidMS on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 06:49:12 PM PST

    •  What an astoundingly ridiculous thing to say (8+ / 0-)

      seriously? So the local rabbi is warning his congregation to get out of the city, and it's because Haaretz is trying to get them to emigrate? Is there any basis for this other than your own bias?

      Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

      by dhonig on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 06:57:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Israel has never had a shortage (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        debedb, corvo

        of immigrants from Ukraine.

      •  I am pointing out that we all have our biases (0+ / 0-)

        The Israelis for ideological reasons have always felt that those of us who are Jewish and don't call Israel home and don't ever plan to are somehow misguided at best.  

        There is nothing wrong with emigration, I am just cautioning against alarmist rhetoric and panic.  Ukraine is undergoing a political upheaval and its important for minorities to be careful.  However I'd hate to see the end of the Ukrainian Jewish community particularity after so many of its younger members fought for Ukrainian Independence at the barricades.  

        JTA makes some serious allegations:

        One country, three chief rabbis: Such is Ukraine following Moshe Reuven Azman’s election to the post. Critics of the Sept. 11 vote — who include most of the country’s rabbis and dozens of secular activists — said Azman’s election as Ukraine’s chief rabbi was primarily intended to increase media magnate Vadim Rabinovich’s influence over President Viktor Yuschenko.

        It may be the case that Azman's relationship with the impeached president is doing the talking.  

        I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

        by DavidMS on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 07:12:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this diary. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

    by JNEREBEL on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:09:52 PM PST

  •  As Always, FOLLOW THE MONEY (0+ / 0-)

    who are the pro-Putin people in the Ukraine? who are the Oligarchs?

    religion is more or less irrelevant here.

    it's wayyyy more about who is attempting to run the country (the western part) WIYHOUT the consent of the people.

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 03:52:43 AM PST

  •  Tne Flip Flopping Here is Hilarious (0+ / 0-)

    Now, all of a sudden Russia (Putin) has immense credibility regarding what is happening in the Ukraine?

    Hah hah hahhhh! How utterly absurd.

    what of the journalists murdered in Russia the last 10-15 years? Chechnya? Putin is a disaster; many in Russia want him gone.

    so the notion whatever he spews about the Ukraine is to be automatically believed, not vetted in any way, it a total load of nonsense.

    The xenophobia here is really coming out now.

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 04:01:20 AM PST

  •  Given that we don't care about (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, protectspice, whizdom

    Christians in Syria (safer under Assad than under Our Guys) or women in Iraq (freer under Saddam than under Our Guys), why should we care about Jews in Ukraine?

    Dammit, I do wish this were snark.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 04:17:35 AM PST

  •  Probably not. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And they'll likely be safer in the new Ukraine than in Putin's increasingly autocratic and nationalist Russia.

    For deeper insight into the situation in the Ukraine, I refer to the following comment of mine:

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 05:42:46 AM PST

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