Yesterday the internet almost had a full scale meltdown over a dubious story that the Ukrainian government had ordered Jews to “register.” Not surprisingly many drew parallels to the Holocaust and feared that Jews in Ukraine might be in genuine danger. A legitimate concern well supported by the history of Eastern Europe.

The understandable shock and outrage even found expression from US Secretary of State John Kerry who condemned the pamphlets as “grotesque.”

The only problem? It was all apparently a hoax.

The Donetsk Jewish community dismissed this as “a provocation,” which it clearly is. “It’s an obvious provocation designed to get this exact response, going all the way up to Kerry,” says Fyodr Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs. “I have no doubt that there is a sizeable community of anti-Semites on both sides of the barricades, but for one of them to do something this stupid—this is done to compromise the pro-Russian groups in the east.”…

So, in conclusion: the Jews of Donetsk and eastern Ukraine may have been asked by a leaflet to register, but it has not been enforced nor are any Ukrainian Jews registering themselves. If that changes, I’ll be all over it, but so far, you can breathe easy. No Holocaust 2.0 just yet.

A provocation, but by who?

As the Ukrainian government has denied involvement and the local Jewish community is unconvinced the government had anything to do with this who would try and paint the East Ukrainian political class as antisemitic? Might it be those trying to deflect attention from the antisemites in Kiev?