(CNN) - U.S. officials Thursday denounced what one called a "grotesque" leaflet ordering Jews in one eastern Ukrainian city to register with a government office, but the Jewish community there dismissed it as a "provocation."
The fliers were handed out by masked men in front the main synagogue in Donetsk, where pro-Russian protesters have declared a "People's Republic," Jewish leaders there said. The document warned the city's Jews to register and document their property or face deportation, according to a CNN translation of one of the leaflets.
Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" that a respected Jewish leader in Ukraine showed him a photograph of one of the leaflets. He called the document "chilling."
And in Geneva, where diplomats held emergency talks on the Ukrainian crisis, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the leaflets "grotesque" and "beyond unacceptable."
But the Jewish community statement said relations between the Jews of Donetsk and their neighbors were amicable, and the self-proclaimed head of the "People's Republic," Denis Pushilin, denied any connection to the fliers.
Pushilin told CNN the handwriting on the flier wasn't his, and the title attached to his name was not one he uses. It wasn't clear who had distributed the leaflets, but the chief rabbi of nearby Dnipropetrovsk said, "Everything must be done to catch them."
"It's important for everyone to know its not true," said the rabbi, Shmuel Kaminezki. "The Jews of Donetsk will not do what the letter says."
The reports come as Ukraine's Western-backed interim government has been struggling to contain uprisings by pro-Russian political movements in several eastern cities, with both sides invoking the historical horror of Nazism in their disputes. Pyatt told CNN that radical groups may be trying to stir up historic fears or create a provocation to justify further violence.
"It's chilling. I was disgusted by these leaflets," Pyatt said. "Especially in Ukraine, a country that suffered so terribly under the Nazis, that was one of the sites of the worst violence of the Holocaust. To drag up this kind of rhetoric is almost beyond belief."
http://i.imgur.com/PJVX7Ee.jpg for the full photo gallery
Conspiracy theories and religion are probably related psychologically. When we feel forces that are out of our control we assume a natural force like a cabal or some supernatural force controlling things. Anti-Semitism is the conspiracy theory that Jews are controlling our lives to their benefit and our loss. God and religion fills in wherever no conspiracy theory fits. We will create amazing theories to explain any knowledge vacuum. The need to explain has advanced us dramatically, but also yields these silly manifestations of our over fertile imaginations.
The sad part is, some use this vulnerability to actually control other people. Ironic that the imagined control of a hated group can be used to control the group doing the hating.
Hopefully this was just an isolated incident...
A great blog post would be to uncover the actual beginning of the U.S. and Israel alliance. I strongly believe that it goes beyond mere politics and is steeped in our nations Judeo-Christian history.
I really like the idea of taking any random current local, national, or international news event and just seeing what the bible has to say about that particular subject; if anything.
I blog at http://isthatinthebible.com
This gives me So MANY ideas for next April Fools day.
These leaflet are not only chilling, they are reprehensible. This is an expression of the worst in humanity.
It's sounding like a situation of those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This could get very bad very fast.
given Russia's anti-gay stance, I wonder they did not distribute leaflet ordering GLBT to register with a government office.
someone is trying to make ugly war uglier.
I could imagine Russian agents making up such a leaflet and attributing it to the Kiev government, given Russia's recent propaganda. But for either party to make up such a leaflet and attribute it to pro-Russian forces makes no sense at all, so I cannot say if it is real or a hoax.
I don't think it is right to pick out any people for persecution, but I do believe that the world body trying to give the Jews a homeland was one of the biggest mistakes in Human history. We will never quit paying for that mistake.
Why should the Jews not have a homeland?
Why did the world steal it from other people?
Perhaps you need to go study history.
Why, don't you know how Israel was created? I do.
History gets distorted when you read while wearing your Bible goggles.
That is a problem for sure.
From what I've studied, it also appears that Hitler and Churchill (before the war started) had proposed "giving" Madagascar to the Jewish people as a new homeland (it was controlled by the British at the time). The offer was declined by whatever group was representing the Jews at that time.
America could have given them Montana, Giving them other people's houses was not a good idea. I think it is bad that they were persecuted in Germany and Russia but I don't think the League of Nations made the right decision. Driven by guilt instead of sound judgment didn't seem to work.
But, if you can't get along with your neighbors after 66 years then it may not be the neighbors.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me. – Martin Niemöller
History is not to be taken lightly...
These leaflets are chilling. As a victim of anti-Semitism decades ago that killed many members of my own family, I oppose their message and the terror and attempt to take away freedom that they represent. History has been the judge of an earlier murderous and bigoted doctrine from an evil fascist dictator who I will not even name.
If any of the leaflets ended with the words:
"Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
Be free of Judaism and other supersti.tions.
...I think we know how is writing them.
Stow the insults for a change, Dalahast. Not that we expected any better from you. Par for the course, sadly.
Some of your posts are just as chilling.
I have never seen you make a post without insults. When somebody gives you a taste of your own medicine, you sure do not like it.
Dalahast/AE, I thought you might at least have the guts and decency to apologize for your awful remark. Apparently not.
I think that you are merely a coward. Good bye.
Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
I'm sorry you are offended when I compare your anti-religious bigotry against Christians to the anti-religious bigotry of Jews perpetrated by the cowards mentioned in the article.
But I don't see the difference. The Nazis opposed Christians and Jews, and had plans to exterminate both.
And amputees. Don't forget that. Because God won't heal them.
God loves amputees. Just because Bob sees them as inferior or lacking doesn't mean they are.
And Bob doesn't. But the OT does. So there's that.
The OT describes people that didn't like amputees or disabled people.
I know amputees and disable people that testify that God loves them.
Dala, I'm sorry, but you've officially removed any doubt at this point – you are a complete idiot. Comparing atheism to racism is extremely offensive and idiotic.
You are free to believe whatever you want and I support that right. I do not support your right to mentally abuse your children through childhood brain-washing. That is not remotely similar to racism, you idiot.
I'm not comparing atheism to racism. What?
I'm calling a guy who happens to be an atheist a bigot for what he writes about people of differing beliefs systems.
I know most atheists are not racists.
I don't use childhood brainwashing.
I never said racism! I said bigotry against religious belief.
I DON'T THINK THERE IS ANY CORRELATION BETWEEN ATHEISM AND RACISM.
But some atheists are definitely bigots. And some mentally abuse children. And some are idiotic.
You compared the racism going on in Ukraine to an atheistic website. That is comparing racism to atheism. But you've developed a consistent habbit of making ridiculous claims and then denying what you said, so nothing new here.
Being against brain-washing / religion is not the same as racism.
No. That is not what I meant. I never even said "racism" or implied anything about race.
I meant that Bob posting hostile and demeaning things abut the Christian religion and people is similar to that flier that state hostile and demeaning things about the Jewish religion and people.
I'm against brain-washing/religions, too. And I'm against racism.
"But you’ve developed a consistent habbit of making ridiculous claims and then denying what you said, so nothing new here."
YOu mean EXACTLY like you are doing now?
I never called Bob a racist. If I did, show me where.
It is the Jewish RACE that has been historically persecuted, not the religion. You think Jews who don't practice the religion get a pass? I don't think so.
The Jewish people are not just 1 race. There are African Jews who have a different racial makeup than European Jews.
Any way, I never said anything about race. I believe Bob's bigotry is against religion.
A racist bigot and a religious bigot are still both bigots.
There is a major difference between the two. People don't get to choose their race. They do get to choose whether or not to mentally abuse their children. If being against the mental abuse at the core of religion makes me a bigot, I don't apologize.
You can choose to be Jewish, or not.
That is why we have Jewish people that are of different races.
I'm also against all religion that mentally abuse their children.
That doesn't make us bigots.
Really? My girlfriend is a quarter Jewish and an atheist. I can't wait to tell her that she can choose to be half Jewish, 100% Jewish or 0% Jewish.
Is she African-American like my Jewish friend Ryan? Most people don't think he is Jewish, because he is of a different race than a majority of Jewish people.
I applied for a job recently. They asked me to indicate my race:
– Native American
– Asian/Indian subcontinent
– Pacific Islander
– Two or more races
A Jewish person can be any of those.
You're straying further and further from the point. The situation in the Ukraine is about the Jewish ethnicity, not the religion.
The people that made the leaflets are probably the same race as the people that are Jewish.
[Voice over announcer]
On his quest to always, always be thought of as right, Dalahast has merely succeeds at being thought of as silly and deliberately disingenuous.
[Voice over ends]
I'm wrong often. But that doesn't mean Bob is right about me being superst.itious or SeaVik is right about me saying Bob is a racist.
"And amputees. Don't forget that. Because God won't heal them."
Actually God will heal them Greg. When their life here is over God will most certainly take care of those that belong to him.
kev: that is nothing but conjecture
jewish can refer to either a race or a religion.
Why is that so hard to understand?
Question everything. The USA and their allies have employed a legion of disinformation agents to manipulate public opinion.
So has every country that has ever existed. Is there a point?
Don't think it's the US behind this bit of propaganda.
That rings a bell.
Back in March, Hillary Clinton said that the tactics used in Crimea by Russia are reminiscent of those that were used in Europe by Nazi Germany.
Uh oh ...
I agree...uh oh...
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.