SLAVIANSK – Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said on Tuesday they were holding an American-Israeli journalist in the city of Slaviansk and the online news site Vice News said it was trying to secure the safety of its reporter Simon Ostrovsky.
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The president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress narrowly escaped with his life on Monday after he was targeted in an assassination attempt in central Kiev.
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A local rabbi said the last time he saw a message like this one was in 1941, when Nazi armies occupied Donetsk. It is painful, he told a reporter, to be used by “cynical politicians” who see Jews “as an instrument of their political games.” Secretary of State John Kerry called it “grotesque.”
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“As a Jew, what impacts me is how the anti-Semitism that prevailed in that part of the world seems to still be in the gut of some people in that community,” said Jack Rosen, president of the American Jewish Congress.
“Sixty eight years hasn’t changed much,” said Rosen, whose parents were Holocaust survivors.
I think 68 years have changed the world quite a bit, but deeply seeded beliefs and attitudes toward Jews have been distributed across space and down through generations. Anti-Semitism remains a pervasive presence in contemporary political life. Not only in Ukraine or across the arcs of the Arab and Muslim worlds have cultural communications and actions laid out this truth, but even from the heartland of the most inclusive of democratic open societies, the Untied States of America, has come this expression of ever vacuous rage.
(Reuters) – The suspect in the Passover Eve killings of three people at two Jewish community centers near Kansas City is a former Ku Klux Klan leader with a history of spewing vitriol against Jews, law enforcement officials said on Monday.
In numbers – Incidents x (character + intensity) / place + time — what does anti-Semitism look like spatially?
What is the character of the spillover into an aggregated bigotry, the sort signaled by the canard, “What starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews”?
Journalists better funded than I — my beat is broadband; my most cherished resource is my library — may be urged to look into this question about now because the answers may presage greater conflict (or be used to head it off) encouraged by an appeasing diminishment of the significance of anti-Semitic acts, rhetoric, and tactics.
. . . Ukraine’s prime minister, anxious to maintain U.S. support against Russia, issued a statement accusing Moscow and told a U.S. TV channel he would find the “bastards” responsible.
The righteous of the world — of any creed, ethnicity, race, or religion — need to know more about this kind of hatred NOW, post-WWII, post-Holocaust, and its distribution and intensity in the industrialized world.
In the developing world, if South Sudan may be representative of that, tribal genocide would seem to go unabated, well noted, and yet barely addressed with either martial or poetic (intellectual, attitude-changing) force.
That too needs greater attention, energy, and focus.
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