Ukrainian Chief Rabbi Urges Jews To Be Vigilant
The chief rabbi of Ukraine has issued a warning to the Jews in his country: Be vigilant, stay away from the protests and avoid the center of Kiev.
Rabbi Yaacov Dov Bleich addressed the delicate situation of Ukraine’s 200,000-strong Jewish community during an interview on WABC Radio’s “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.”
Bleich said he told the Jewish community to “stay away from points of danger, stay away from the center where demonstrations were taking place.”
“We have a very, very large community of young families with children who are living in Kiev,” he said. “There is no question about it: The Jewish community needs to stay vigil[ant] and see what is going to be.”
Bleich continued: “Jews are members of civil society in Ukraine. We are a minority. We have been living there peacefully throughout the last 22 years of Ukrainian independence. We want to continue. The community is developing. We want to feel safe. We want to feel protected. We don’t want to have to worry about attacks no matter where they are coming from or who is orchestrating them.”
Bleich was asked about some reports of extremists among the ranks of the Ukrainian opposition.
The rabbi affirmed the majority of the protesters are “grassroots, regular everyday old people from Ukraine that were fed up with living in a corrupt society, and they came out to protest against it to try to make change and they were successful in making change.”
“That’s the majority,” he maintained. “They are not anti-Semites. They are not right-wing nationalist neo-fascists or Nazis the way the Russians are trying to paint them.”
Bleich said, however, there is an element among the opposition, including some within the nationalist Svoboda party, “who [have] among its rank-and-file members nationalists, some of them are neo-Nazis or neo-fascists, people who are not embarrassed to say they hate Jews. … They are a minority. They are there.”
Over the weekend there was a report in the Israeli Maariv newspaper that a Ukrainian Chabad rabbi, Moshe Reuven Azman, called on Kiev’s Jews to flee the country.
Bleich, however, said that he spoke to Azman and that the comments were taken out of context. Bleich says Azman simply told the women and children of his congregation to avoid the city center or leave Kiev if necessary.
“It was not a question of evacuating the city or evacuating the Jews from Ukraine,” Bleich told Klein.
What Is The FCC Up To?
While some have been speculating about the intent of a Federal Communications Commission survey of U.S. newsrooms, entirely unreported is that the agency’s former “diversity czar” spelled out how collecting such data can be used to regulate the news media.
Last May, the FCC contracted an outside firm to conduct a “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” which would collect information from private newsroom employees on demographics, editorial view, selection of news topics, management style and more.
Following public outcry regarding the study, the FCC this week announced it will scale back the survey. There are reports that the new version of the study will collect data on demographics of newsroom employees and ownership of news media companies.
The intent of such a study can perhaps be divined by the writings of Mark Lloyd, who served as FCC’s associate general counsel and chief diversity officer from 2009-2012.
Lloyd was also a senior fellow at the heavily influential Center for American Progress, or CAP, and served as a consultant to George Soros’s Open Society Institute.
Lloyd co-authored a 2007 CAP study titled “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.”