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Putin Discusses Ukraine with Netanyahu

By DEBKAfile & YnetNews.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have discussed "current issues in bilateral cooperation and on the international agenda, including progress in talks on the Iranian nuclear program," Putin's website reported.

Reportedly on Netanyahu's request, the two leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine, which Israeli politicians have been steering clear of, concerned possible security threats could arise if relations with Moscow were to suffer. The Russian leader "pointed out that the sharp escalation of the crisis is the result of Kiev's irresponsible policy, which disregards the lawful rights and interests of the country's Russian-speaking citizens." He stressed "the inadmissibility of the current regime's use of armed force to suppress public protests in southeastern Ukraine."

According to Putin and pro-Russian activists in the Ukraine, the current government in Kiev is illegal and disregards the political wants and desires of Ukraine's ethnic Russians, and Russian speaking citizens. Putin said that Ukraine's current show of force in the East against pro-Russian militias was invalid. The two leaders agreed to continue regular exchanges to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Donetsk Leaflet: Jews Must Register or Face Deportation

By YnetNews.com

A leaflet distributed in Donetsk, Ukraine calling for all Jews over 16 years old to register as Jews marred the Jewish community's Passover festivities Monday (Passover eve), replacing them with feelings of concern. The leaflet demanded the city's Jews supply a detailed list of all the property they own, or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated.

Donetsk, a Ukraine province with 4.3 million people - 10% of Ukraine's population - and 17,000 Jews, is home to much of the country's heavy industry, and is thus the biggest prize of the eastern regions where pro-Russian separatists have captured government buildings in the past week.

The leaflet, signed by Chairman of Donetsk's temporary government Denis Pushilin, was distributed to Jews near the Donetsk synagogue and later in other areas of the city where pro-Russians activists have declared Donetsk as an independent "people's republic," defying an ultimatum from Kiev to surrender.

The leaflet was written in Russian and had Russia's national symbol on it, as well as the Donetsk People's Republic insignia. "Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality," the flyer began, "due to the fact that the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported Bendery Junta," a reference to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement which fought for Ukrainian independence at the end of World War II, "and oppose the pro-Slavic People's Republic of Donetsk, (the interim government) has decided that all citizens of Jewish descent, over 16 years of age and residing within the republic's territory are required to report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and register."

The leaflet detailed what type of documents the Jewish citizens would need to supply: "ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles."

If the message was not made clear enough, the leaflet further stipulated the consequences that would come to those who failed to abide by the new demands: "Evasion of registration will result in citizenship revoke and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property." To add insult to injury, the leaflet demanded the Jews pay a registration fee of $50.

According to Alex Tenzer, a Kiev native and one of the directors of the National Association of Immigrants from the Former USSR in Israel, said: "The Jewish-Ukrainian leadership supports Ukraine's new government, but it's hard to tell whether the leaflet is valid or simply a provocation. Anyway, the material is very anti-Semitic and reminds me of the kind of material distributed by the Nazis in WWII."

Emanuelle Shechter, from Israel, received a copy of the leaflet via WhatsApp from his friends in Donetsk. "They told me that masked men were waiting for Jewish people after the Passover eve prayer, handed them the flyer and told them to obey its instructions."

Olga Reznikova, a member of Donetsk's Jewish community, told Ynet that "we do not know if the leaflet was spread by pro-Russian forces or someone else, but it did manage to create quite a fear. This reminds me of texts from darker times. Other members of the Jewish community I spoke with are not afraid, but it is unpleasant.

"I do not intend to register, I am 32, I have lived in Donetsk my entire life and have never had to deal with anti-Semitism until I laid eyes on this piece of paper. Though I take it very seriously, I am uncertain of its authenticity."

Jenia from Israel, who also received the letter from a Jewish acquaintance, said "the Jews in Donetsk are uncertain of anything; it is unclear who is responsible for the leaflet and who controls the city at the moment. "We don't feel safe like we used to because of the political instability in the area; there isn't a legitimate president or sovereign. Currently Donetsk is ruled by a junta."

In a response to a request by a Ukrainian Jewish website, Pushilin, the interim government's regional chairman, confirmed that the flyers were distributed by his organization, but denied any connection to the leaflet's content.


Amid Hamas Rampage, Jerusalem Police Bar Jews from Temple Mount

By DEBKAfile, IsraelNationalNews.com, AFP & YnetNews.com

Several hundred Palestinians, most of them radical Hamas and Al Tahrir activists have been barricaded in the Al Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount, Jerusalem since early Wednesday. They have been pelting police with rocks and firebombs piled up inside the mosque overnight. So far, police units have not tried to break up the disturbance by storming the site, after barring access to the compound for Jewish Passover pilgrims. Clashes earlier spread to the Old City.

Knesset member Moshe Feiglin (Likud) slammed the latest rioting incident on the Temple Mount, calling Israel's control over Judaism's holiest site a "failure."

"Over the last five days, the Temple Mount has not been occupied by the Jordanian army, but by a division of Hamas," Feiglin said. "The failure of the police to control events the Temple Mount is, in fact, the failure of political leadership in keeping the heart of Jerusalem [intact]. Continuing to drag our feet [on the issue] will result in history remembering the Israeli government and its leader as having abandoned the Temple Mount to the Hamas regime," he added.

According to Feiglin, placing a special unit of Israeli police at the site to specifically prevent riots is the "response is required to maintain our sovereignty over the Temple Mount and Land of Israel as a whole."

Dozens of Palestinian Arab terrorists rioted against police at the Temple Mount on Wednesday, after Jews were allowed to visit Judaism's holiest site in light of the Passover holiday. On Monday, just hours before Passover began, Hamas Islamists rioted on the Mount, waving Hamas flags and "not allowing Jews and tourists into the Mount," according to activists.

"Hundreds of Jews who came to the Temple Mount for Pesach were astonished to find a police representative standing at the entrance gate and announcing that the Mount had been closed off to Jews after Hamas had taken over the Mount and threatened violence against any Jews who enter," the Temple organizations reported in a news communiqué Monday.

Feiglin's words echo statements by Temple Institute International Director Rabbi Chaim Richman, who told Arutz Sheva that recent events show Israel's policies regarding the Mount are a "national catastrophe. In the middle of Jerusalem there is a city-state with diplomatic immunity where the enemy flag is unfurled and where plans are being made to attack Jews... that is absolutely unspeakable," Richman said Wednesday.

"They keep parroting this meaningless mantra that 'the Temple Mount is in our hands', when everyone knows Jordan is sovereign there," he added, referring to the Waqf Islamic trust which administers the site and is run by the Jordanian government.

Asked how rioters had managed to "smuggle" Hamas flags and mounds of rocks onto the heavily-policed site, Rabbi Richman echoed previous accusations by Temple Mount activists that "the police are either working with them [Islamists] or they are just the most bungling, emasculated, Keystone cops in the world."

He pointed out that Muslim worshippers "have it both ways", as Jews are categorically forbidden from ascending the Temple Mount during Muslim holidays, and then subject to bans on Jewish festivals as well. Ultimately, however, he stressed that the responsibility for ensuring Jewish rights on the Temple Mount - and preventing Hamas violence there - lies with the Prime Minister.

"Netanyahu condemns Abbas for not condemning Monday's shooting attack and for incitement - but he's playing games because he allows the incitement from the Temple Mount and he does absolutely nothing!" he challenged.

The fact that Israeli authorities are caving into Islamist violence and are not allowing Jewish prayer on Judaism's holiest site "is a national catastrophe," he said. "In the middle of Jerusalem there is a city-state with diplomatic immunity where the enemy flag is unfurled and where plans are being made to attack Jews... that is absolutely unspeakable. They keep parroting this meaningless mantra that 'the Temple Mount is in our hands', when everyone knows Jordan is sovereign there," he added, referring to the Waqf Islamic trust which administers the site and is run by the Jordanian government.

The Temple Mount is the former site of the two Holy Temples of Jerusalem, as well as the Islamic Al Aqsa complex, built on the ruins of the Jewish temples. Despite its status as the holiest site in Judaism Jewish visits are extremely limited, including restricted visiting hours and a ban on prayer or any other form of non-Muslim worship. Those who are deemed to have broken the rules are often arrested and sometimes subjected to an indefinite ban from the site. Temple Mount activists say this amounts to capitulation to Islamist groups who have threatened - and often carried out - violence in a bid to keep Jews from the site.

Jordanian Information Minister Mohammad Momani told the state-run Petra news agency "Legal, humanitarian and ethical duties of the UN Security Council and the international community require that they stop Israeli escalation and violations committed by Jewish radicals at Al-Aqsa, Such actions as well as Israel's insistence on supporting radical groups provoke Muslims around the world, create more instability in the region and violate international laws."

The Mount was closed to Jews - but not Arabs - after the rioting, causing outrage from local politicians. "We need to make order out of the chaos which erupts at the site every holiday," Jerusalem's Deputy Mayor, Dov Kalmanovitz, stated to Arutz Sheva Wednesday. "I already expect Arabs to throw stones tomorrow at the Western Wall. We should teach the Arabs a lesson for once and close it for them [too]."

Israeli police, in an attempt to appease the Muslim Waqf which was left in charge of the compound after the 1967 Six Day War, ban Jews from praying or performing any other form of worship.

Jordan recently threatened to revoke its 1994 peace treaty with Israel over a historic debate in the Knesset about providing full religious freedom at Judaism's holiest site. Under the peace treaty, Jordan controls Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount falls under this category, despite being Judaism's holiest site and the site of the two Jewish Temples, and the Muslim world has been adamant about keeping it in Muslim hands.


UK: Outrage as 'Neo-Nazi' Store Opens in Jewish Neighborhood

By Reuters

A clothing store favored by Neo-Nazis has provoked outrage after opening up in the heart of Britain's Jewish community. German clothing brand Thor Steinar opened its first UK store in Finchley, north London, yards away from the office of the Chief Rabbi, and not far from the headquarters of the Islamic Association.

The brand is popular among Neo-Nazis and other fascist groups, and heavily features Nordic symbols often associated with white supremacy. Its original logo featured runes placed together to resemble the insignia of the Nazi SS.

It is illegal to wear Thor Steinar products in the German parliament, as well as in state assemblies in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxony, and several German soccer clubs have banned it from their stadiums as well.

The decision to open in Finchley has been branded "deliberately provocative" by local Jewish and Muslim residents, who have called for the shop to be closed, according to the Daily Mail. Ben Glickman , 43, told the paper that he was concerned the new store could actually stoke anti-Semitism and racism in the area.

"It is disgraceful that this store has opened in a such a prominent Jewish area of London, and with so many other ethnic minorities that make up the area. It is a deliberately provocative act. As a result of the store being advertised on a neo-Nazi website, it is likely also that it would attract far-right hooligans to the area. This is extremely worrying."

Jewish organizations were quick to condemn the store. "It is a disgrace that someone is allowed to sell these items in the UK that glorify the worst atrocity in our history. This is banned in Germany so why is it legal here?" asked the head of Britain's Zionist Federation, Alan Aziz.

A spokesperson for the Community Security Trust, which combats anti-Semitism and provides security for the Jewish community said the shop was "not welcome. This is a multi-cultural area with very few problems from racism and neo-Nazism and the like... the sooner it moves on the better."

But the shop's owner Zsolt Mogyorodi dismissed the furor and insisted that the only reason he opened it in the area was due to the large Eastern European community in the area, many of whom like the brand. "I'm really upset about this. I have lots of black people friends. I've got lots of Indian friends. I'm not Nazi. I'm not racist," he insisted.


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