Is Ukraine’s New Prime Minister a Jew?
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A few days ago I received an email sent out to a number of people that proclaimed excitedly that the new interim prime minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, is a Jew. The evidence presented in support of the assertion was this sentence on his Wikipedia page: “He was born to in a family of Jewish-Ukrainian professors of the Chernivtsi University.” The fact that he says that he is now a Ukrainian Greek Catholic, also noted on the Wikipedia page, was discounted by the sender of the email as simply a matter of convenience for him.
My own view is that people should not be evaluated based upon who their antecedents were or are but upon who they are. I expressed that view with my poem, “Against Birthism,” some time ago:
I think that people should be assessed
On individual worth,
Not, as is all too often done,
On accident of birth.
Not everyone thinks that way, though. In 2009 a political opponent of Yatsenyuk, Uzhgorod Mayor Sergey Ratushniak according to Interfax News Agency said, "Impudent Jew Yatsenyuk, who was successfully serving to thieves, who are at power in Ukraine, is using criminal money to plow ahead towards Ukraine’s presidency.”
Anti-Jewish feeling is still strong among many Ukrainians, not in a small part for the genocidal policies imposed upon them by Joseph Stalin, many of whose top henchmen were Jewish. Even though the post-Communist, Vladimir Putin-run Russia has reflected Russia’s own anti-Jewish backlash from the Bolshevik era, the most ardent of current Ukrainian nationalists tend to lump Russians and Jews together as alien meddlers in Ukraine:
“There is a need for Ukraine to be finally returned to Ukrainians” from the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia that runs Ukraine today.”
Nationalist leader Oleh Tyahnybok spoke those words in a speech ten years ago. Most recently he was one of the key figures along with Yatsenyuk in the ouster of President Viktor Yanyukovich. Politics, as they say, makes strange bedfellows.
Returning to the title question, more than raw emotion or political demagoguery can be behind the labeling of Yatsenyuk as a Jew. Orthodox Jews, as it turns out, agree with Mayor Ratushniak that regardless of the religion that he currently professes, Yatsenyuk is a Jew. With them, accident of birth is everything. His mother was a Jew so he’s a Jew as they see it.
The Larger Perspective
This bloodline-based view, of course, is very far from the Christian position. As a professed convert to Christianity, Yatsenyuk should be embraced.
Within the entire context, however, there are, indeed, reasons to be wary of Yatsenyuk’s profession of the Christian faith. First, there is the local context of Ukraine. The Jewish Virtual Library reports that since the fall of the Soviet Union, 80% of Ukraine’s Jews have left the country. This is a truly remarkable exodus, taking place, as it has, in little more than two decades. That same Jewish web site states, “Many Ukrainian citizens still distrust Ukrainian Jews and believe that the Jews’ primary loyalty is to the Jewish people and not to the Ukrainian nation.” The formerly large Jewish community, descended mainly from ancient Khazaria, is now down to only .2% of the population of Ukraine according to the CIA’s World Fact Book. All indications are that anyone with political ambition who openly professes to be Jewish would face quite an uphill climb.
Then there is the larger historical context. Here is the Wikipedia definition for something that has been a rather widespread practice for a long time: “Crypto-Judaism is the secret adherence to Judaism while publicly professing to be of another faith; practitioners are referred to as ‘crypto-Jews’ (origin from Greek kryptos - κρυĻτός, 'hidden').” The practice is often excused as the natural response to forced conversion or expulsion from the country such as occurred in Spain. The “force” motivating the “conversion” can be less draconian, however. It can simply be social pressure, of the type we currently see in Ukraine. Even in Spain, there is a bit of a chicken and egg problem when it comes to the question of forced conversion and crypto-Judaism. The Spanish Inquisition began in 1478 and the expulsion order came in 1492. A major motive for the Inquisition was that many actual Jews, of the same group that had frequently acted as a fifth column within Christian Spain in their struggle with the Moors for control of the Iberian Peninsula, had risen to positions of power and influence within the church and the state by pretending to be Christians.
Unfortunately for Mr. Yatsenyuk, his accident of birth, his heritage, places him almost automatically under a cloud of suspicion when he says that he is a Christian. The heritage goes back much farther than the 15th century, as well. The following is from page 159 of Gilad Atzmon’s The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics:
Both in Exodus and The Book of Esther, the author of the text manages to predict the kind of accusations that would be leveled against Jews for centuries to come, such as power-seeking, tribalism and treachery.
As in the Holocaust religion, in the Book of Esther it is the Jews who believe in themselves, in their own power, in their uniqueness, sophistication, ability to conspire, ability to take over kingdoms, ability to save themselves. The Book of Esther is all about empowerment. It conveys the essence and metaphysics of Jewish power.
Within that context, the practice of crypto-Judaism for the purpose of power seeking falls under the larger and more serious category of treachery. Anyone who might tend to doubt the treachery charge is invited to read my article, “The Zionist Mentality and Method” or to study the Lavon Affair or the assault on the USS Liberty. Anyone familiarizing himself with those episodes will be much more inclined to believe the allegations that Jewish treachery was behind the James Forrestal and John Kennedy assassinations and the outrage of 9/11.
Perhaps the most important context in which to examine the ethnicity of Arseniy Yatsenyuk is that of the rivalry between the United States and Russia, while looking at who really runs things in each country. Russia under Putin appears to be coming to grips with the damage to its society wrought by the excessive power wielded in the country by the Jews. As such, Russia may be described as in its post-Two Hundred Years Together period, referring to Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s two-volume work that has still not been made available to the English-speaking world. For its part, the United States has never been more in Jewish thrall than it is currently. Ukraine lies right at the fault line between a post-atheist-Communist Russia that is returning to its Christian roots and the clearly Jewish-dominated U.S. Empire.
When we bear that in mind the intercepted telephone conversation between U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffry Pyatt and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in which Nuland uttered the obscenity directed at the European Union takes on added significance:
Pyatt: I think we're in play. The Klitschko [Vitaly Klitschko, one of three main opposition leaders] piece is obviously the complicated electron here. Especially the announcement of him as deputy prime minister and you've seen some of my notes on the troubles in the marriage right now so we're trying to get a read really fast on where he is on this stuff. But I think your argument to him, which you'll need to make, I think that's the next phone call you want to set up, is exactly the one you made to Yats. And I'm glad you sort of put him on the spot on where he fits in this scenario.
Nuland: I think Yats is the guy who's got the economic experience, the governing experience. He's the... what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know. I just think Klitsch going in...he's going to be at that level working for Yatseniuk, it's just not going to work.
Pyatt: Yeah, no, I think that's right. OK. Good. Do you want us to set up a call with him as the next step?
Nuland: My understanding from that call - but you tell me - was that the big three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was going to offer in that context a... three-plus-one conversation or three-plus-two with you. Is that not how you understood it?
Nuland, whose family name was originally Nudelman, is the wife of prominent neocon Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), noted for the 2000 document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” that speaks wistfully about the inevitably slow pace of massively increased military mobilization and a more aggressive foreign policy, primarily in the Middle East, in the absence of “a new Pearl Harbor.” In the intercepted phone call Nuland reveals a certain closeness to “Yats,” with whom she has clearly been in contact and who is her choice for the position that he currently holds. The call also reveals that in our meddling in the Ukraine we have also been cultivating the nationalist firebrand, Oleh Tyahnybok, apparently upon the theory that anyone would be better than the pro-Russia elected president Yanyukovich, though Nuland wants him “on the outside” advising. This playing with fire is reminiscent of the same sort of thing that we have done in Syria and Libya.
When I was well into this essay, on Wednesday, March 6, evidence of just the sort of treachery we are talking about came to light with respect to developments in Ukraine. A second important telephone call has been intercepted and put on the Internet. In this case it is between the foreign minister of Estonia, Urmas Paet, and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton. In that telephone call Paet reveals that the fatalities among anti-government demonstrators in Kiev and the ones among police were likely caused by the same provocateurs:
Paet: "All the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides, policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides. ... Some photos that showed it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it is really disturbing that now the new coalition they don't want to investigate what exactly happened. So there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition."
Ashton: "I think we do want to investigate. I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh."
Paet: "It already discreditates (sic) this new coalition."
Indeed it does, but continuing the same “treachery” theme, while the news of this important new phone intercept was reported in the British mainstream press, U.S. mainstream news coverage the first day was confined to brief online mention in the magazine New Republic. On the second day, CNN and Reuters had stories confirming that the phone tape was completely authentic but with an accompanying statement from Paet that his words didn’t mean what they clearly seem to mean. With those small exceptions, this important news has been blacked out by a national press that has been busy whipping up anti-Russian and anti-Putin fervor and support for the odd lot now running Ukraine.
To our knowledge, the major U.S. news organs have made no mention at all of interim Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s ethnic or religious affiliations. Should they do so one can be virtually certain that he will simply be blandly called a Ukrainian Greek Catholic. As we have seen, one who might suggest otherwise is not necessarily bigoted or rigidly Orthodox; rather, he is prudent.
March 7, 2014