For the last couple of weeks we have been hearing lots of scare-mongering about the Ukrainian Revolution being a bunch of "fascists" and "Neo-Nazis" from the Kremlin-financed media, the Kremlin itself, and even diarists on leftist websites. The intent of the propaganda seems to be to weaken support for the Ukrainian Revolution and lower resistance against Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Jewish Ukrainian leaders, however, are not buying it.
It started with Rabbi Yaacov Dov Bleich, who joined a call for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine:
Religious leaders in Ukraine including the country’s chief rabbi Yaacov Dov Bleich, an EJC executive member, have called on the international community to stop “a foreign invasion of Ukraine”.http://www.eurojewcong.org/...
Bleich, who is also president of the Jewish Federation of Ukraine, an EJC affiliate, joined the heads of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyivian Patriarchate, the Greek Catholic Church and the Lutheran, Baptist and Seventh Day Adventist churches in the statement.
The letter read: “Dear Brothers and Sisters in Russia! The Ukrainian people have only friendly, fraternal feelings toward the Russian people. Do not believe the propaganda that enflames hostility between us. We want and we will continue to build friendly and fraternal relations with Russia but only as a sovereign and independent state.”
It continued with the sole Rabbi in Crimea:
But he did not hold back. “As a rabbi I am in the public eye. I am not afraid to speak. I am a patriot of this country and I believe what is happening is an aggression on the part of Russia,” said Kapustin.http://www.eurojewcong.org/...
The rabbi was born in Russia but raised in Georgia. In 1991-2 he and his family fled to Ukraine as refugees. He subsequently studied in England and Israel, before returning to Ukraine.
“We are very poor and miserable, but it’s not a question of money, it’s a question of freedom,” said Kapustin.
A brave stance when one considers that the situation in Crimea is not exactly easy for pro-Ukrainian citizens right now and that pro-Russian militia members have hurled anti-Jewish slogans at reporters there...
And finally, a large group of Ukrainian Jewish leaders and citizens has written a letter that lambasts Putin's spreading of falsehoods and the invasion itself:
Ukraine Jewish leaders criticize Putin in open letterRead more: http://www.jta.org/...
March 5, 2014 5:36pm
(JTA) — A highly critical open letter to Vladimir Putin by leaders of Ukraine’s Jewish communities was published on the website of Ukraine’s Vaad yesterday.
The Vaad of Ukraine was established in 1991. Based in Kiev, it is an umbrella group that says it supports “265 Jewish organizations from 94 cities of Ukraine.”
The letter, written in Russian and co-signed by 21 Jewish leaders — including the Vaad leadership, an artist, an engineer, and others — excoriated Putin’s perceived hypocrisy and asserted the signers’ support of Ukrainian sovereignty “in the name of national minorities and Ukraine’s Jewish community.”
The letter takes both Putin and the Russian media to task for spreading blatant falsehoods... :
The Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine are not being humiliated or discriminated against, their civil rights have not been infringed upon. Meanderings about “forced Ukrainization” and “bans on the Russian language” that have been so common in Russian media are on the heads of those who invented them. Your certainty about the growth of anti-Semitism in Ukraine, which you expressed at your press-conference, also does not correspond to the actual facts. Perhaps you got Ukraine confused with Russia, where Jewish organizations have noticed growth in anti-Semitic tendencies last year....and concludes by telling Putin to mind his own business and leave Ukraine in peace:
Vladimir Vladimirovich, we highly value your concern about the safety and rights of Ukrainian national minorities. But we do not wish to be “defended” by sundering Ukraine and annexing its territory. We decisively call for you not to intervene in internal Ukrainian affairs, to return the Russian armed forces to their normal fixed peacetime location, and to stop encouraging pro-Russian separatism.http://maidantranslations.com/...
Vladimir Vladimirovich, we are quite capable of protecting our rights in a constructive dialogue and in cooperation with the government and civil society of a sovereign, democratic, and united Ukraine. We strongly urge you not to destabilize the situation in our country and to stop your attempts of delegitimizing the new Ukrainian government.
For some really good insight into Ukraine and the Euromaidan movement there I am going to refer to another American's excellent, reality-based diary, which sadly received far less attention than it deserves:
TUE MAR 04, 2014 AT 06:50 AM PSThttp://www.dailykos.com/...
[Updated] Gays, Jews, Nazis, and Ukraine
by another American