life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Overland Park, Kansas and Donetsk, Ukraine

What do these two places have in common?

They both witnessed events that sent shivers of fear down the collective spine of the Jewish world. Two events, thousands of miles apart, but both on the eve of Passover, the Festival of Freedom, the defining moment in the history of the Jewish people.

In Kansas we saw a modern evil. A lone gunman, a white supremacist who has been very vocal in his anti Semitism, shot and killed two people at a Jewish community center, then shot and killed a third person outside a nearby Jewish assisted living facility, Village Shalom. How sad he chose to make war at a place named "Peace". Ironically, none of the victims was Jewish.

In the Ukraine . . . It feels like we have stepped back in time. Back to the 1930's and 1940's.

The Ukraine is in the middle of political turmoil. A leader deposed. Territory seized by Russia. Unrest, protests, a country where there is no peace.

In Donetsk, pro-Russian separatists have taken over government buildings and have declared a "people's republic." Their leader, Denis Pushilin, has set up a temporary government, in defiance of the central Ukrainian government.


On Tuesday, the first day of Passover, near the town's main synagogue, masked men handed out pamphlets, purportedly signed by Pushilin, in which it was written that all Jews over 16 must report to the Donetsk Regional Administration Building and pay a $50 fee to register themselves and all their property. Failure to do so will result in revocation of citizenship and deportation.

Clearly evocative of the Nazi era.

Pushilin has denied any involvement with the pamphlets. No one seems to know who was responsible for this.

Scary.


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