Friday, September 28, 2018

As in Soviet Past, Russian Anti-Semitism ‘Masked’ Under Criticism of Israel, Eidman Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 27 – Just like its Soviet predecessor, the present-day Russian regime promotes enemies of various kinds to rally the population to its side; and as in the past, Moscow is turning to “the most tested” candidate for this role, the Jews, under cover of attacks on the State of Israel, Igor Eidman says. 

            Other enemies having proven incapable of doing the job, the Russian commentator says, the Russian state and its media are making anti-Semitism “a fashionable propagandistic trend,” restoring in the persons of media stars like Solovyev, Satanovsky and Kedmi “a new anti-Zioinist committee” to do so (

                Their repeated and increasingly harsh and direct attacks on Israel and their implicit attacks on Jews as the enemy constitute “the most hard-core Black Hundreds anti-Semitism” by exploiting “old prejudices” about the supposedly nefarious Jews and their hostility to all things Russia and Russian, Eidman continues.

            The only difference from the past, he suggests, is that “the detonator of the anti-Semitic company instead of the traditional blood libel” is the Jewish attack on a Russian plane in which Russian military personnel died.  “I fear this is only the beginning,” Eidman says. 

            Unfortunately, there are at least three pieces of evidence which suggest he is unlikely to be wrong unless the Kremlin is criticized and held to account for what it is doing. First, Eidman is hardly alone in pointing to the fact that Russia today could easily re-establish a Soviet-style Anti-Zionist Committee. See, for example,

                Second, a Russian historian has suggested that his countrymen should be “proud” of the cooperation that existed between Stalin and Hitler that allowed for the participation of Poland ( and

            In the past, Russian historians and commentators have presented the alliance between the two dictators as a forced measure that won Moscow time to prepare for an inevitable German invasion. Now, one is prepared to say that forming an alliance with the Nazis was not a lesser evil but a greater good – and that Russians should view its consequences with pride.

            Nationalist and extremist attitudes, the group says, are “adapting to new historical conditions,” and because of this, they are again growing, as a result of several factors including “the growth in protest activity over pension reforms, the tax burden and inflation,” all things Russians want to blame on someone.

            Moreover, the report says that “the unceasing confrontation with the West, the new sanctions wave against Russia and also harsh information pressure are strengthening ‘defensive attitudes.’ As a result, there has been a strengthening of ideas about the dramatic ‘loneliness,’ and isolation of Russia and also hostility to ‘outsiders.’”

            All these things have generated increases in anti-Semitism in Russia in the past. Tragically, they appear to be doing the same thing once again. 

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