Regardless of who distributed fliers in eastern Ukraine ordering all Jews to register with local authorities, the pamphlets had a disturbing symmetry with pre-Holocaust conditions in a part of the world where Jews have historically been persecuted and anti-Semitism remains rampant, says Michael Salberg.
"It was extraordinarily disturbing," the director of international affairs for the Anti-Defamation League told John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV. "This is a manifestation, an escalation of a longstanding problem in the region, The Ukraine, Russia, parts of Europe, where the political use of anti-Semitism is part of businesses usual. There have been times in Ukrainian politics when political operatives will accuse a political opponent of being a Jew, even if they're not. There have been times more recently when political opponents will accuse a candidate or the other party of being an anti-Semite. This is playing the Jew card."
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One encouraging development, Salberg said, was a joint statement
issued by the foreign ministers of the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and the European Union denouncing the use of anti-Semitism in the situation in Ukraine. But Salberg said that message needs to be reinforced continually by the United States, Europe and, particularly, by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"President Putin has, in fact, said that anti-Semitism is wrong, and expressions of anti-Semitism are wrong. We need to hear it more often, we need to hear it more clearly, and we need to hear it in much closer proximity to the manifestations," Salberg said. "Now, the fact is that these are Ukrainians that are involved in these expressions. Nonetheless, Russia has put itself into a part of Ukraine and [he] should be speaking out forcefully."
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