Media, politics, and Jewish migration from East Europe amid the military crisis in Ukraine, 2014–2015
Topics: Main Topic: Identity and Community, Diaspora, Conflict, Politics, Russian-Speaking Jews, Jewish Identity, National Identity, Internet
Abstract: Over the course of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the identity of the global Russian-speaking Jewish community was put to the test. The conflict in Ukraine marked the first time in the history of Russian-speaking Jews that every expression, blog or Twitter post, and opinion article were recorded on the World Wide Web. This readily available data enables us to reconstruct the information climate that surrounded Russian-speaking Jews. The present article explores the sway of this climate on the political discourse of Jewish elites in Ukraine, Russia, and Jewish Russian-speaking diasporas between 2014 and 2015. Our findings suggest that identities of these groups are multilayered, but not hierarchical. Moreover, the elites’ common ethno-cultural Jewish identity coexists with distinct political affiliations. The allegiance of minorities to host societies is a well-known phenomenon. However, its mechanisms have yet to command sufficient research interest. Is it fear, prudence, genuine attachment to the country of residence, or other factors that stand behind the minorities’ commitment? This paper fuses thematic maps with content analysis to show that the “infosphere” is a key to understanding the position of Jews toward host regimes and their co-ethnics in other nation-states.
Topics: Main Topic: Other, Diaspora, Politics, Conflict, Jewish - Non - Jewish Relations, Nationalism, National Identity
Abstract: Two questions arise when the role of a diaspora in crisis is considered. Do diasporas embody an internal threat to the security of the nation state? And why do some efforts to use diasporas as a tool of international politics succeed while others fail? In this paper, the Ukrainian 2014-2015 crisis involving Russia is analyzed in order to suggest answers to these questions. I examine the political reactions of the Jewish political Diasporas in Ukraine and Russia toward the crisis.