The embattled city of Donetsk, Ukraine celebrated the Jewish holiday of Passover this week with the ancient tradition of antisemitism. Someone, it's
currently unclear who, posted notices around the city telling Donetski Jews,
All citizens of Jewish nationality over the age of 16 who live on the territory of the sovereign Donetsk Republic must before May 3, 2014, appear before the Donetsk Republic commissar for nationality affairs in Room 514 of the government's offices. The cost of registration is 50 US dollars.
That this event coincides with Passover may not be a coincidence. Passover celebrates the legendary escape of the Jewish people from Egypt, which, if historical, is the oldest case of antisemitism. Jews celebrate passover by gathering with family, praying, and eating Matzah, a kind of bread-cracker hybrid which ancient antisemite tradition claims is made from the blood of Christian boys. However, many moderate antisemites today believe that such stories are not factually correct, but merely serve to remind believers that Jews must be feared and hated. Given the long history of Judiasm, antisemitism and Passover, it only makes sense that antisemites would celebrate Passover with the persecution of the Jews.
The tradition of antisemitism seen here has a rich cultural history. Archaeologists have found evidence of antisemitism dating back to hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, and it has been continuously practiced to some extent ever since. Antisemitism can range from the banning of synagogues to clothing restrictions to restrictions on residence to outright massacres, and in extreme cases systematic murder. Some critics have condemned antisemitism for being " is prejudice, hatred of, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish religion or heritage" (Source: Wikipedia), but others respond that antisemitism is a rich and diverse culture that should not be painted with one brush.
One such person is Artem Oleksiy, an official of the self-declared Donetsk Republic. "We have a long tradition of antisemitism.", he told News from Rockettopia. "This new requirement that Jews register with the government is simply an expression of our rich cultural heritage. We are proud to be bigots." When asked if the Jew Registration Drive would lead to the establishment of ghettos, voting restrictions, and laws about Jewish-owned businesses, Oleksiy dismissed such claims nonchalantly. "Absurd. Those plans are not to be released to the public for three months yet."