Rabbi of Donetsk Says Separatists are not anti-Semitic, Several Jews Killed in Bombing by Ukrainian Army

Rabbi of Donetsk Says Separatists are not anti-Semitic, Several Jews Killed in Bombing by Ukrainian Army

Off-Guardian, October 24, 2015 By Joshua Tartakovsky In light of the concern over the fate of the Jews residing in Donetsk, I paid a special visit to the Jewish community there at the end of April 2015 in a trip to Donetsk organized by Europa Objektiv, a German-Russian NGO whose goal is to provide journalists and writers with a closer view of the situation on the ground. At the thriving Jewish community center in Donetsk, a city ravaged by war and bombing, I had the opportunity to interview Rabbi Ari Schwartz, the dedicated rabbi of the community and a native of Odessa. Later on, I also spoke briefly with Mr. Alexander Kofman, the foreign minister of the Donetsk Republic, who is Jewish. At Rabbi Schwartz’s office in a one-on-one conversation in Hebrew, I had the opportunity to hear from the rabbi directly about the state of the Jewish community in Donetsk. Much to my surprise, the rabbi explained that despite the ongoing war, a lively Jewish community continues to operate with full community services provided along with a Jewish daily school and kinder garden. In the course of the interview I asked him about how the Jews of Donetsk are dealing with the ongoing war, whether enough is being is done to help them, and how does the local government treat the Jewish community. Rabbi Schwartz told me that I was the first journalist to come an interview with him and person. Here is the full interview. Joshua Tartakovsky: Is the rabbi from Donetsk originally or from Israel? Ari Schwartz: I grew up in Israel, but I am originally from Odessa...
Video: Drive Through Donetsk

Video: Drive Through Donetsk

In popular Western perception, Donetsk has been taken over by Russian forces and is vacant of local residents. A drive through Donetsk reveals a very different picture. Taken on April 21, 2015 by Joshua...
Footage from Stepanovka: A Town Heavily Destroyed by the Ukrainian Army

Footage from Stepanovka: A Town Heavily Destroyed by the Ukrainian Army

One who is exposed regularly to the Western mainstream media gains the impression or, in fact, the absolute knowledge, that Ukraine is defending itself from “Russian aggression.” My visit to Donetsk and its surrounding environment made it clear, however, that actually it is the people of Donbass who are being bombarded by the Ukrainian government. Their, supposedly, own government.  Who will defend the civilians of Donbass from their own government when it bombs them while receiving international impunity and support? Below is a video took of the town of Stepanovka in the Donetsk region on my visit there on April 21-23, 2015. Many homes were destroyed and their residents were killed. Is our media not failing us by not showing us these pictures and failing to notify us on the war crimes taking place in our name by the Western-supported Kiev...
Audio: The Taylor Report, CIUT.FM: Donetsk, A Defiant and Besieged City

Audio: The Taylor Report, CIUT.FM: Donetsk, A Defiant and Besieged City

Appearance on The Taylor Report, University of Toronto, with Phil Taylor, on CIUT 89.5 FM (Toronto) and www.ciut.fm Broadcast every Monday at 5 PM (Toronto time). Audio (duration: 00:29:22): http://www.radio4all.net/files/anonymous@radio4all.net/16-1-ADefiantandBesiegedCity.mp3 Link to audio:  http://www.radio4all.net/files/anonymous@radio4all.net/16-1-ADefiantandBesiegedCity.mp3 Summary (link):  Joshua Tartakovsky discusses the reality of the Western siege against the People of Ukraine, especially in the independent Donetsk, which he visited via a trip organized by Europa Objektiv, a Russian-German NGO. Tartakovsky’s great grandparents died in the 1941 massacre at Babi Yar –largest single massacre during WWII, killing at least 30,000 Jews, who were accused of being Bolsheviks. Also murdered were Russians and Polish. Tartakovsky points to double problem: (1) Mainstream media does not report the shelling that is happening in violations of the Minsk agreement and (2) EU and US are largely supporting a regime in Kiev that is killing its own citizens. It is a collective punishment that also cuts off medical services, pensions, and access to banks. Tartakovsky lists the three major demands of the Donetsk People: (1) Justice for the People (2) Cultural rights, esp. allowing Russian to speak Russian (3) Removal of the current regime in Kiev Tartakovsky fears that the escalating hatred resulting from atrocities and the difficult economic times will lead to war, extremism and incitement. Washington has been using very irresponsible methods and supports the most extreme elements in Ukrainian politics, especially since February of 2014, the Maidan Massacre. DC has to stop supporting and inflaming situation by trying to sabotage Minsk II. Washington is seeking to have a much wider conflict, probably because of financial, strategic and other...