Odessa’s Jews are prepared to evacuate should the violence in the western Ukrainian city get significantly worse, several community leaders told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
Odessa’s Jewish community numbers some 30,000, down from nearly 40 percent of the city’s population before the Holocaust.
Running street battles between pro-Russian and nationalist forces claimed dozens of lives in the Black Sea port this weekend, culminating in the burning of dozens of pro-Russian protesters in the city’s trade union building on Friday evening.
The Odessa bloodshed came on the same day that Kiev launched its biggest push yet to reassert its control over separatist areas in the east, hundreds of kilometers away, where armed pro-Russian rebels have proclaimed a “People’s Republic of Donetsk.”
While Jewish community leaders are unanimous in asserting that the violence is unconnected to the Jewish community and that they do not feel specially targeted, they agreed that, should the situation deteriorate, it would be easy for the spillover to affect their constituents. Read more from this story HERE.
Why Ukraine Should Matter to All of Us
DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA. Next March was set to be the time to elect a new leader for Ukraine.
Since the corrupt presidency of Viktor Yanukovych was brought to an end by the Ukrainian people and Russia responded by forcibly reintegrating Crimea, the election had to be brought forward to three weeks from now. The success of these elections will have reverberations that echo not through just the rest of Europe but anywhere where democracy is prized over sheer might.
The 20th century was shaped by America’s response to two totalitarian ideologies that came from Europe and which saw democracy as their sworn enemy. First there came Adolf Hitler who took authoritarianism to new heights with his Nazi party ideology of racial purity, Lebensraum – “living space” for his Third Reich, and the systematic extermination of target groups, Jews, Catholics, homosexuals or the disabled.
Then there came the very similar, albeit class-based, ideological threat of the Soviet Union and her satraps. With an ideology that saw the perfection of mankind as occurring through creation of the Communist state, the USSR was at its core committed to the direct or indirect destruction and subversion of all democratic systems.
But then, after forty years of ‘Cold War’ on November 9th 1989 came the breach of the Berlin Wall and on Christmas Day two years later, the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union. Thus was declared the End of History and the victory of the West. Read more from this story HERE.