Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Russian-Backed Militants Oppose "Zombie Zionists" and "Jewish Junta" in Ukraine Amid Rise in Russian Anti-Semitism

Yulia Tymoshenko, a former Ukrainian prime
minister currently running for president,
"completely hides" her Jewish ancestry,
according to a recent Russian TV
documentary that one report says is part
of a new anti-Semitic campaign.
Pro-Russia militants have vowed in a TV program to oppose "zombie Zionists" in Ukraine, according to the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, which called the broadcast anti-Semitic.

The development comes amid reports of an upsurge of anti-Semitism in pro-Kremlin media stories and Russian government support for far-right Russian groups active in Ukraine.

Three unidentified pro-Russia militants promised a "powerful blow" against "zombie Zionists" in an inaugural broadcast Sunday of a new pro-Russia TV channel in Sloviansk, a city in eastern Ukraine under control of pro-Kremlin gunmen, according to this statement Monday from the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.

The congress, an umbrella group of Jewish groups in the ex-Soviet states, said it was one of the first broadcasts on the new station launched after gunmen backed by "Russian military experts" seized a local TV transmission tower and took Ukrainian TV off the air.

The broadcast (seen here on YouTube) features the logo and website of a pro-Russia group called the "People's Liberation Movement."

The group's website home page features this post about a so-called "Jewish junta" it says controls Ukraine.

Another post claims "a bunch of rich Jew-Scientologists" runs Ukraine's government.

After the broadcast, the channel aired a lecture by the late Konstantin Petrov, a retired Russian general who headed an "anti-Semitic Russian nationalist-Stalinist neopagan sect," the Jewish congress said in its statement.

Russian TV "Discloses" Politicians' Jewish Roots

The developments occur amid what the Jewish Daily Forward said in this story Tuesday is a new Kremlin effort to embrace the "dark forces of the Russian ultra-right," including "using anti-Semitism as an ingredient in the anti-Ukrainian campaign."

"The Kremlin is spreading the line that the Ukrainian leaders are Jews."
- David Fishman, director of Jewish studies at Russian State University of the Humanities

"The Kremlin's attempt, back in late February and March, to paint the new Ukrainian regime as Nazi and anti-Semitic has failed. It didn't pick up much traction in world public opinion," the New York-based newspaper's story said.

"So now the Kremlin is spreading the line that the Ukrainian leaders are Jews. Or at the very least, servants and lackeys of Jews. The intended audience is no longer international; it is domestic."

The story's author is David Fishman, director of Jewish studies at Moscow's Russian State University for the Humanities and a Jewish history professor at the New York-based Jewish Theological Seminary.

Fishman cited a Russian TV documentary in late March that portrayed former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is now running for president, as a back-stabbing criminal and embezzler who had secretly ordered assaults and killings.

The documentary culminated with the "disclosure" that Tymoshenko has Jewish ancestry, which she "completely hides. But for many, it is no secret that the father of this woman with a hair-braid -- Viktor Abramovich Kapitelman -- has Jewish roots."

"This is a coup, a coup perpetrated 
by Zionists." 
- speaker at pro-Russia rally in Ukraine

"The implication," Fishman wrote, "was that now, in light of that fact, her pattern of lies, theft and murder all made sense."

The same news program aired a similar documentary a few days later on Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatseniuk. "He is a Jew on his mother's side and is one of the 50 most famous Zionists in Ukraine," the documentary said.

This line was echoed at a recent pro-Russian demonstration in Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, Fishman said. One speaker spoke about the mass protests that drove pro-Moscow Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych from power in February.

"Let's see how many Ukrainians have come to power. Yatseniuk?" the speaker asked. The crowd called out: "He's a Jew!"

The speaker listed other Ukrainian politicians, adding their alleged Jewish names: "What about Klitchko-Ettinson, or Yulia Kapitelman?" Someone yelled, "She's a Jew!" The speaker continued, "This is a coup, a coup perpetrated by Zionists."

The crowd burst into applause.

Return of Czarist-Era Black Hundred

Especially disturbing, Fishman wrote, is the sudden appearance in eastern Ukraine of a virulently anti-Semitic far-right Russian group called the Black Hundred, the reincarnation of a czarist-era group that incited pogroms against Jewish people.

Logo of the Black Hundred (Chernaya Sotnya).
The virulently anti-Semitic far-right Russian
group is reportedly supported by the Kremlin
and active in pro-Russia protests in Ukraine.
In March, Ukrainian security detained a Black Hundred member, Anton Raevskii, after he set up a camp in Ukraine to train pro-Russia militants in hand-to-hand combat and called on trainees to attack the Ukrainian military and Jewish people, Fishman wrote.

Raevskii, whose arms are tattooed with Nazi symbols, was deported to Russia.

"Putin has decided to wage his war on Ukraine with the help of paid volunteers from the Black Hundreds," Fishman wrote.

Fishman doesn't provide sources for his claims that the Kremlin orchestrated the anti-Semitic media reports or pays Black Hundred members, but other accounts have said Russian media, increasingly under the Kremlin's tight grip, has cranked up jingoistic and anti-Semitic rhetoric in its Ukraine coverage.

This BBC story in March said Russian state TV host Dmitry Kiselov, who is known to be close to the Kremlin, and other pro-Kremlin Russian journalists have lately run several reports highlighting the purported Jewish roots of government critics or making otherwise anti-Semitic comments.

The trend reflects a "shift in Russian public national politics towards openly anti-Semitic rhetoric," the story quoted the website saying.

Israel's Cursor Info news site said in this item Friday that the "Nazi" Black Hundred "acts openly in modern Russia and is supported by Russian authorities." The group is now active in pro-Russia protests in eastern Ukraine, the story said.

The news comes amid reports of violent attacks on Roma (Gypsy) people in Sloviansk, the rebel-held city where the anti-Semitic broadcast occurred, and mounting evidence that the Kremlin supports far-right groups in Ukraine and elsewhere.

See also
7 signs of Russia's far-right turn
4 myths about the Ukraine crisis, Crimea and NATO