Jewish groups are speaking out against reports of anti-Semitic flyering in Ukraine.
Stories came out this week that a political group in the riot-ravaged area is prompting individuals to “register” themselves if they identify as Jewish.
The Anti-Defamation League condemned the appearance of the flyers in Donetsk, Ukraine, and called on all parties involved in the political conflicts in Ukraine to refrain from “cynical and politically manipulative” exploitation of anti-Semitism.
According to Ukrainian media, three armed and masked men handed out flyers the evening of April 15 on the first night of Passover on the letterhead of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. The flyers instructed Jews to register with the government or face deportation and confiscation of their property.
The leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, whose name appeared in the document’s signature, has publicly disavowed the flyer.
“We are skeptical about the flyer’s authenticity, but the instructions clearly recall the Nazi era and have the effect of intimidating the local Jewish community,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
“We have seen a series of cynical and politically manipulative uses and accusations of anti-Semitism in Ukraine over the past year,” said Foxman. “The perpetrators and their targets are opposing politicians and political movements, but the true victims are the Jewish communities. We strongly condemn the anti-Semitic content, but also all attempts to use anti-Semitism for political purposes.”
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the reports Thursday, saying, “Just in the last couple of days, notices were sent to Jews in one city indicating that they have to identify themselves as Jews. In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable — it’s grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable.”