Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman gestures as he listens to his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz during a joint press conference on April 22, 2014 at the foreign ministry in Jerusalem. AFP PHOTO/GALI TIBBON
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Israel played down on Thursday suggestions that anti-Semitism in Ukraine is linked to Kiev's standoff with Russia, offering a more measured assessment than the Kremlin or the United States as it avoids taking sides in the East-West confrontation.Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman rejected a connection between the five months of unrest and the situation of Ukraine's 200,000 Jews.Anti-Semitism remains a feature of militant nationalism in both Ukraine and Russia.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry denounced as "intolerable" and "grotesque" the distribution in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk of leaflets during Passover last week that appeared to call on Jews to register with the self-declared new separatist authorities occupying local government offices.
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