Staunton, February 14 – Given the Putin regime’s revival of anti-Western imperial chauvinism, the belief of a Western conspiracy against Russia, archaic values, and the cult of the past and especially the great victories of the Russian state in the past, Igor Eidman says, it is no surprise that it is reviving state anti-Semitism to hold all this ugly construction together.
Otherwise, the Moscow commentator says, this collection of notions might collapse of its own weight and leave Russians without an explanation of why we who are so good live so poorly. As so often in the past, the Russian state is again blaming Jews for what is going on (newtimes.ru/articles/detail/201143).
“Anti-Semitism is again in service to the state,” Eidman says. “True, this is in an extremely specific form” in which “official propaganda divides Jews into ‘useful ones’ and ‘ungrateful ones.” The first are Putin supporters like the Rotenbergs and Solovyevs; the second, are the opposition which involves the liberal Jewish intelligentsia.
“’Useful’” Jews are allowed to do many things, to steal, to engage in propaganda, and to excel in showbusiness as long as they periodically swear their loyalty to the regime. But they must never speak out against the Kremlin or express any doubts regarding the “official ‘religion of Victory’ or they will immediately be denounced as ‘ungrateful.’”
“The new anti-Semitism is based on the denigration of Jews and on forcing them to be grateful,” the commentator continues. “Jews must be grateful and swear their loyalty to ‘the Russian state’ which saved them from Nazism” according to the regime. In this construction, they are stripped of their rights to protest about anything.
“The good Jew in Putin’s Russia is an eternally grateful Jew who every time when he is beaten in the face replies ‘Thanks to the Russian power, its leaders and Comrade Putin personally that they saved me from the Holocaust.’” And “’useful’” Jews like Solovyev help to denounce them just as some Jews did to others in Nazi-created Jewish ghettos.
“The latest example of the new anti-Semitism,” Eidman says, “is the ugly persecution on Russian television and radio of the remarkable violinist and initiator of the open letter of musicians against political repressions in Russian, our comrade in the anti-Russian movement of the Russian speakers in Germany, Misha Nodelman.”
Those attacking his role in the protest movement invariably recall his national origin and demand that he remain silent about Putin because of Russia’s role in saving the Jews from the Nazis in World War II. That demand, Eidman says, is inappropriate in any number of ways as he knows from his own family history.
“I, Igor Eidman, a Jew according to the fifth line of the Soviet passport not only feel toward the Russian-Soviet empire no gratitude but sincerely hate it. It did not save my ancestors but persecuted and destroyed them. State anti-Semitism in Russia existed for centuries and stopped only for brief times after the February 1917 revolution and in Gorbachev’s perestroika.”
But this ugly set of views and practices has again proved itself to be “more living than all the living.”
“The USSR did not save the Jews from the Holocaust but was one of the guilty parties in this.” Stalin opened the way for Hitler’s rise to power by his policies in Germany in the early 1930s and then made an alliance with him, something that “unleashed the second world war during which the overwhelming majority of victims of the Holocaust were killed.”
Members of Eidman’s own family were killed or fought to defend the USSR against the German invasion, but no one talks about showing any gratitude to them for their actions. And they should be, rather than as now acting as if the Russians saved the Jews and that as a result the Jews must be grateful or be denounced if they are not.