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April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Anti Semitism’

2 Tortured Bodies Found Dumped in Slaviansk, Ukraine

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Two dead men whose bodies were marked with signs of “brutal torture” were found dumped near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk, according to numerous media reports.

One has yet to be identified.

Israeli-American journalist Simon Ostrovsky was kidnapped on Monday by armed gunmen working for the self-declared separatist mayor of Slaviansk. He is being held hostage in the eastern Ukranian city, now under pro-Russian rule. Mr. Ostrovsky, who works for the HBO-owned Vice News media outlet, has not been seen or heard from since his capture.

The second was allegedly identified in a preliminary investigation as that of Volodymyr Rybak, a member of the ruling Ukrainian Batkivshchyna party. Mr. Rybak was kidnapped last Wednesday by terrorists in Horlivka. His body was found in the Seversky-Donets River. Mr. Rybak served as a local council member in the town of Horlivka, near Donetsk.

Although the identification has yet to confirmed, Ukrainian interim President Oleksander Turchinov said in a statement to media that at least one of the bodies appeared to be that of Mr. Rybak. Turchinov called for an anti-terrorist operation to be relaunched in Ukraine.

Despite efforts by fellow journalists to determine his status and condition, journalist Simon Ostrovsky has not been seen since.

The Israeli government did not respond to phone calls and an email from The Jewish Press asking for a comment on the situation.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at a briefing on Monday, that the U.S. believes “there’s a strong connection between Russia and the armed militants that we’ve seen in eastern Ukraine and Crimea and other places… what we see in the photos that have been, again, in international media, on Twitter, and publicly available, is that there are individuals who visibly appear to be tied to Russia. We’ve said that publicly a countless number of times.”

Psaki added that Secretary of State John Kerry had called on Russia to speak out against the seizing of journalists and other innocents as hostages.

Eyewitness Report from Ukraine: ‘You Can Feel the Tension in the Air’

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

DRUZHKOVA, UKRAINE – Tensions continue to mount in eastern Ukraine, as no obtainable solution is in sight. Reports of casualties continue to stream out of the provinces in dispute, and the residents of Ukraine don’t know what new reality they may encounter on a daily basis.

Most Ukrainians talk of a link to the West, but those in the east of the country feel a part of Russia. The Ukrainian Government has engaged in military action to maintain the entirety of its sovereign territory, a move which has brought to the escalation in violence and the rise in the death toll. As the two governments continue to wage battle, it seems the main question is how the Ukrainian residents of the east really view themselves; are they western Russians or eastern Ukrainians? Sergey Ovechinikov, a former resident of the eastern Donetsk Province talked to Tazpit News Agency about what he experienced in the past weeks and where he believes eastern Ukraine is headed.

Sergey lives in Cyprus and often visits his family who reside in the city of Druzhkovka, in northern Donetsk Province. “Everyone is expectant of some development; you can feel the tension in the air. I saw people erecting barricades in the city. I never thought I would see anything like this in my city. No one knows who is manning the barricades, some are locals, but they are surely organized by someone”

Sergey is apprehensive of the precarious security situation in the streets, describing a situation which is on the threshold of anarchy. “You get the sense the people really want to fight; some of the people manning the barricades are armed. There is currently no police force in the city. They withdrew, and there is a Russian flag flying over the police headquarters. All government buildings have Russian flags flying from them.”

Sergey points out that not all the residents of the area wish to become Russian citizens. Some have expressed objection to the flying of the Russian flags. “People have different opinions,” explains Sergey, “The streets seem to say that everyone wants to join Russia, but I don’t think everyone wants to make this move. Those who oppose unifying with Russia are afraid to voice their opinions, as they are the minority. Most of the population is Pro-Russian. At a situation close to war another view point is not relevant and no one wants to hear it. It seems like the region is on the brink of a civil war.”

Regardless of their political aspirations, all fear the pending economical collapse. “Everyone fears that their factories will shut down and they will lose their jobs.  The Ukraine Hryvnia has plummeted, and there is no fuel for heating in the area,” says Sergey.

Fear seems to be the primary sentiment expressed about the future in the region. “People fear that the new Ukrainian government will hunt down those are generating the pro-Russian actions. There are street battles between pro-Russian activities and pro-Ukrainian nationalists, although the majority here is hostile to anything Ukrainian – the flag, national anthem, state symbols and language. I think east Ukraine will never unify with the rest of the country,” concludes Sergey.

Ukraine’s future is shrouded in uncertainty, but it is clear the current course of change is unalterable. One is only left to hope the violence will not be the main actor in this change of scenes.

Israeli-American Journalist Held Hostage in Ukraine

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

An Israeli-American journalist has been kidnapped in Ukraine and is being held by separatists there, according to a report by the HBO-owned online news site Vice News.

Pro-Russian separatists were quoted Tuesday in the report, admitting they were holding reporter Simon Ostrovsky in the city of Slaviansk.

The news was announced by the self-declared mayor of the city, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, who held a news conference and told reporters “his men” were holding an American journalist with Israeli citizenship.

Ponomaryov did not specifically name Ostrovsky. But other journalists working in the area told Reuters that a group with him had been grabbed by the mayor’s men on Monday, and later freed. Unlike the rest, however, Ostrovsky was not released.

BBC journalist Graham Phillips uploaded a YouTube video documenting his efforts to track down Ostrovsky.

In the video, Phillips is heard requesting information about ‘Simon, Simon journalist’ from the self-declared mayor. Ponomaryov gruffly responds in guttural Russian that Ostrovsky will not be released any time soon. The footage is shaky because the cameraman is being knocked around by the numerous armed military guards, who are brandishing AK-47s as they threaten the news team. It is clear that Ostrovsky is being held hostage, and that his life is likely in danger – at best.

In some ways, the entire nightmarish scene brings to mind the hostage crisis years ago in Uganda. All the other journalists were let go – but the American with Israeli citizenship was held.

The kidnapped journalist has produced stories on Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and the situation in Judea and Samaria.

For the past several weeks he has been covering the crisis in Ukraine. The last time he was heard from, he posted a tweet on the Twitter social networking site during the separatist mayor’s news conference on Monday. In that post, he commented that a woman working with the mayor’s group had “called us all liars” and asked for donations to pay for the funerals of ‘militants’ killed the previous day in a clash.

Missouri’s Jew-Hating Mayor Quits (Video)

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

The mayor of the Missouri hometown of the Passover Eve murdered has resigned after saying he agreed with some views of the suspected killer of three people at Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City, Kan.

Marionville, Mo. Mayor Dan Clevenger offered his resignation at a special Board of Aldermen meeting on Monday night after the aldermen had voted 4-1 to start impeachment proceedings against the mayor.

Residents who attended the meeting overwhelmingly called for his resignation or impeachment following his outrageous anti-Semitic comments made in response to the arrest of Frazier Glenn Miller, charged with the murders.

Clevenger, who was elected earlier this month, said he “kind of agreed with him on some things, but I don’t like to express that too much.”

Several years earlier he had offered a more robust endorsement of Miller in a letter sent to a local newspaper. He told the Springfield News-Ledger on Monday that he regrets writing the letter to the Aurora Advertiser about ten years ago, “I am a friend of Frazier Miller helping to spread his warnings. The Jew-run medical industry has succeeded in destroying the United State’s workforce.”

Clevenger also spoke of the “Jew-run government backed banking industry turned the United States into the world’s largest debtor nation,” KSPR News reported.

Miller, who also goes by the name Frazier Glenn Cross, has been charged in the fatal April 13 shootings of a man and his 14-year-old grandson outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kan., and a woman outside the nearby Village Shalom retirement community.

Marionville resident Debbie Sallee told television station KOLR, “No matter what his personal beliefs are, he portrayed those on his interview as the Mayor of Marionville. And we are getting feedback from the community and the nation that if we elect a man like that to be our mayor of our city, that we must be like that, too, and that is very important people know that is not our city.”

Clevenger insisted that he is not a white supremacist and that he has “no doubt” he could fairly represent a Jewish resident.

The town’s local website  notes that that are churches for Catholics, Mormons, Baptists and Methodists, among other Christian groups. It is not known if there is a single Jew living in the town, but census records show there are no blacks there.

President Barack Obama need not apply as a neighbor. The town voted 72 percent for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

Not surprisingly, Missouri bills the town as “the home of the white squirrels.”

JTA contributed to this report.

Jews Ordered to ‘Register’ in Donetsk, Ukraine

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

It is said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  For some Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on this Passover holiday of “freedom,” concern and even fear is lurking in their thoughts, making them wonder about the lessons of the past.

On the first day of Passover this week, three armed men in the eastern Ukrainian province of Donetsk distributed flyers warning Jews to “register” themselves and their assets with the new pro-Russian government, according to the novosti.dn.ua website.

The flyers were handed out next to a synagogue as people were leaving following holiday prayers. They read as follows:

“Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality,

Due to the fact that the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported (Stepan) Bendery Junta, and oppose the pro-Slavic People’s Republic of Donetsk, [the interim government] has decided that all citizens of Jewish descent age 16 and older, residing within the territory of the republic, are required to report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and register by May 3.

(Ed. Note: Stepan Bander was a Ukrainian nationalist leader in Kiev who fought with Nazi Germany in the 1940s against Soviet troops before switching sides and taking up arms against the German occupation.)

“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. Evasion of registration will result in citizenship revocation and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property. A registration fee of $50 is required.”

Pro-Russian separatists are occupying the building where the Jews were told the register.

The flyer was written in the Russian language and bore the symbol of Mother Russia at the top of the page and that of the Donetsk People’s Republic at the bottom. It was allegedly signed by Denis Pushilin, chairman of the Donetsk interim government but no ink signature is seen on the paper.

Donetsk was recently declared an independent “people’s republic” by pro-Russian activists. In response to a query by a Ukrainian Jewish website, Pushilin confirmed the flyers were indeed distributed by his organization. However, he was quoted by the tvrain.ru news site on Wednesday as denying any connection to the content, and called the flyers a ‘provocation.’

Nevertheless, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky told Voice of Israel government radio on Wednesday that aliyah from the Ukraine is likely to double by the end of 2014.

The flyer – authentic or not – constitutes the 17th anti-Semitic incident to have taken place in Ukraine since the beginning of 2014. Most were violent attacks. Several were aimed at Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries and a few were life-threatening. Five took place in Kiev alone, according to statistics gleaned from the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism (CFCA) website.

A reader on the Israel Matzav blog warned in a number of posts that the situation in Ukraine is becoming extremely dangerous for Jews.

Wisely, a Jewish resident of Donetsk told Ynet that she does not intend to register, although she said that she had never encountered any form of anti-Semitism until she saw the flyer. “Though I take it very seriously, I am uncertain of its authenticity,” she said.

Kansas Shooting Suspect a White Supremacist, Indicted for Murder

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The Missouri-born suspect charged in a pre-Passover shooting spree that left three dead outside two Kansas Jewish centers is a known white supremacist, media report.

Frazier Glenn Cross (aka Frazier Glenn Miller), 73, was charged with one count of first degree premeditated murder and one count of capital murder in connection with the shootings that took place on Sunday near Kansas City, Kansas.  He had three weapons in his possession when he was taken into custody on Sunday, according to police, after shooting at five people, none of whom he knew.

Of those, 14-year-old Reat Griffin Underwood and his grandfather, family practitioner Dr. William Lewis Corporon, 69, were both Methodists. Reat was heading for an audition for a play to be held at the Jewish community center. Occupational therapist Terri LaManno, 53, a Roman Catholic, was on the way to visit her mother at the assisted living center.

Police investigators say the shooter’s actions were “unquestionably determined” to be a hate crime,” Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass told reporters. While sitting in the back of a police vehicle after his arrest, Cross was seen in a video filmed by CNN affiliate KMBC shouting, “Heil Hitler!”

Those who know Cross told CNN that he has ‘made no secret of his racist views, writing letters to newspapers and inviting people to white supremacist meetings at his home.’

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) watchdog organization reported that Cross was the founder and former ‘Grand Dragon’ of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and the paramilitary White Patriot Party.

Also according to the Center, Cross is a “raging anti-Semite” who has called Jews “swarthy, hairy, bow-legged, beady-eyed parasitic midgets” in posts on online forums advocating the extermination of Jews.

But although he was convicted on weapons charges and for plotting to murder SPLC founder Morris Dees, Cross spent only three years in prison. And he’s been publishing ‘The Aryan Alternative’ tabloid regularly, without interference, since 2005.

(Note the difference in how American ‘justice for all’ is meted out to a convicted would-be assassin such as Cross, and a Jewish spy for the allied nation of Israel, the man named Pollard.)

The abbreviated prison term for Cross came as the result of a plea bargain arranged with federal prosecutors in exchange for testimony against 14 white supremacists in Arkansas at a sedition trial in 1988.

(The plea bargain arranged with federal prosecutors for Pollard was suddenly abrogated at the bench during sentencing without warning, with no explanation and after Pollard had already fulfilled his part of the deal. He was instead sentenced to life in prison on a one charge of passing classified information to a friendly allied nation. The crime carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison – Pollard is now entering his 29th year.)

Cross appeared in court on Tuesday in a wheelchair wearing an anti-suicide garment to face the charges of murder: the first, for killing a boy and his grandfather outside the Jewish community center. Neither victim was Jewish. As he heard the other accusation for killing a woman visiting her mother at the nearby Jewish assisted living facility, he learned that in this case he had also failed: nor was his third victim a Jew.

Aliyah Up by 14 Percent in First Three Months of 2014

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Aliyah to Israel increased by 14 percent from January to the end of March, with the most impressive numbers coming from Russia and France, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Russia led the aliyah number list with 899 new immigrants, followed by France with 802.

One veteran French immigrant told The Jewish Press that despite the flight to Israel from France, plagued by violent anti-Semitism, there is a far greater exodus of Jews to the United States and Canada.

The third largest source of new immigrants so far this year is the United States, from where 203 arrived, and another 23 came from Canada.

The total number of new immigrants for the first three months of this year is 3,623.

Building of WWII Statue Begins in Budapest as Jews Protest

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Members of the Jewish community were among the demonstrators protesting the construction of a controversial monument to the Hungarian victims of the German occupation, implying that the Hungarian government bore no responsibility for the death of Jews.

Work on the statue began Tuesday in downtown Budapest, according to Klubradio, a news station known to be critical of the government. The protest was held that evening adjacent to the U.S. Embassy building, with protesters carrying signs saying the memorial is “a falsification of Hungary’s history.”

The Freedom Square monument, due to be completed in May, will pay tribute to “all Hungarian victims with the erection of the monument commemorating the tragic German occupation and the memorial year to mark the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust,” according to the Hungarian Government Information Center.

The Jewish community has argued that the memorial removes any responsibility from the Hungarian government of that time for the death of Hungarian Jews.

Along with the Jewish community, the protesters included Hungarian opposition politicians and civil activists.

Construction was halted before the general elections, held over the weekend, due to the opposition of the Jewish community.

Andras Heisler, president of the Hungarian Jewish community, told Klubradio that the start of construction was a surprise to the leadership of the Jewish community, coming just days after the  elections in which the ultranationalist Jobbik party garnered 23 percent of the vote — an increase of 6 percent from four years ago.

Following Sunday’s elections, Jewish community leaders congratulated the winning Fidesz party, notably its leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/building-of-wwii-statue-begins-in-budapest-as-jews-protest/2014/04/09/

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