Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Stalinist Jew-hatred after the Six Day War


From Ch 3 of A Lethal Obsession by Robert Wistrich [2010]

....The Six-Day War transformed the periodic but isolated diatribes into a long and intensive anti-Semitic campaign without parallel in the history of the Soviet Union.34 After 1967, the USSR began to flood the world with a constant flow of anti-Zionist propaganda whose intensity far exceeded its earlier broadsides against the ideological heresies of Trotskyism, Titoism, or Maoism. Only the Nazis in their twelve years of power had ever succeeded in producing such a sustained flow of fabricated libels as an instrument of their domestic and foreign policy. This post-Stalin Soviet offensive did not admittedly aim at the expropriation, expulsion, or extermination of Soviet Jewry. But under the guise of anti-Zionism, the rulers in the Kremlin could continue Stalin’s legacy, expressing more openly a primitive anti-Semitism officially proscribed by Marxist-Leninist ideology.35 The Great Russian chauvinism popularized by Stalin gradually began to reconnect with the older xenophobic traditions of late czarism.36 The USSR was gradually being transformed under Brezhnev into a cross between Russian state fascism and National Socialism. The hollow shell of official Marxist-Leninist verbiage was being filled with old-new prejudices whose sources went as far back as the counterrevolutionary pogroms of 1905.37

The Communist crusade to delegitimize Israel began on the morrow of Israel’s lightning victory over Moscow’s Arab allies. This crushing defeat of three Arab states was a severe blow to Soviet prestige as an anti-American superpower and to the reputation of its armaments. Soviet diplomatic representatives and domestic media in the USSR immediately accused the Israelis of “behaving like Nazis.” On July 5, 1967, Communist Party general secretary Leonid Brezhnev, speaking to graduates of the military academies gathered at the Kremlin, bluntly stated that “in their atrocities it seems they [the Israelis] want to copy the crimes of the Hitler invaders.”38 From this point it became almost obligatory to slander the State of Israel and its Jewish inhabitants as imitators of the Nazis, ardent advocates of “racism,” “barbarians,” “pirates,” “vandals,” and “practitioners of genocide.” All the clichés, images, and trigger words like Blitzkrieg, Herrenvolk, Gauleiter, concentration camps, and SS executioners would be mobilized on a massive scale for the benefit of foreign as well as Soviet domestic audiences.

The Nazi metaphor linked to the charge of Zionist racism assumed a central place in the Soviet effort to defame Israel, Zionism, and the Jewish people. Yuri Ivanov, one of the “Jewish experts” at the higher levels of the party apparatus, insisted that Jewish nationalism was no less racialist than Nazism. In his Beware! Zionism! (1969), he maintained that Zionist “superiority” was confined solely to the cunning use of corruption, media control, and news distortion on a global scale to achieve its pernicious ends. Zionists were the sworn enemies of the Soviet Union and the Communist movement. Ivanov “enriched” Soviet Marxism with a “dazzling” new insight into Zionism: It was now defined as “the ideology, the ramified system of organization and the political practice of the big Jewish bourgeoisie that has merged with the monopolistic circles of the USA and other imperialist powers. Its basic content is militant chauvinism and anti-communism.39

Ivanov was one of a new breed of anti-Zionist publicists, which included Yevgeny Yevseyev (author of Fascism Under the Blue Star), Vladimir Bolshakov, Vladimir Begun, Dmitri Zhukov, and Lev Korneyev, who would adapt Marxist-Leninist ideology to official requirements. In their narrative, Zionism resembled a great invisible power whose octopus-like tentacles extend into every sphere of politics, finance, religion, and the communications media in capitalist countries. It was an international Mafia, controlled by big Jewish bankers and financiers, who had a vast intelligence service at its disposal. The villainy of the big Jewish bourgeoisie and Zionism had no equal in history. The Zionists themselves were, however, by no means only Jews. According to Yevgeny Yevseyev, writing in Komsomolskaya Pravda (October 4, 1967), they numbered as many as twenty to twenty-five million people in the United States alone, where they owned most of the news agencies (80 percent) and much of the industry (43 percent), and exerted a decisive influence over banking, law, journalism, and the professions. Such writing, in the best anti-Semitic tradition, combined wholly spurious statistics with a truly stunning and servile mediocrity. In these diatribes, the classic Nazi fantasy of a Western world controlled and manipulated by Jewish high finance resurfaced as if there had never been a Holocaust, let alone a life-and-death struggle of the Soviet Union against German fascism.

Zionism in the official Soviet dispensation was merely a cover for the Jewish bourgeoisie “to enhance its position in the economy of the largest capitalist states … and in the capitalist system as a whole.”40 According to Vladimir Kiselev, writing in 1977, the ultimate objective of Jewish capital was to exploit its special kinship relations to achieve world domination through control of the international banking system. This was plainly an old-new version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, revived in pseudo-Leninist disguise. Another Soviet journalist, the prolific Lev Korneyev, added his own gloss. He believed that the American Jewish capitalists were well on their way to achieving their sinister aim, since the military-industrial monopolies in the United States were to a large degree already “controlled or belong to the big pro-Zionist bourgeoisie.”41 Many of the oil companies allegedly fell into this category. So, too, did McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed Aircraft, “controlled” by Lazard Frères & Co., a finance empire “founded … by bankers of Jewish origin.”42 Although such major financial institutions as the Rockefeller Chase Manhattan Bank were hardly Jewish, in Soviet propaganda they would invariably be described as “crypto-Zionist.” In this way, Korneyev and his ilk could maintain that Zionism “controls and directly owns 158 of the 165 largest death corporations in the West.” The main point was to identify Jews as controlling the “warmongering” industrial-military complex.43 Beyond the substitution of the word “Zionist” for “Jew,” there was little to differentiate this fifth-rate Communist hack literature from earlier Nazi or fascist productions.

Soviet versions of the Protocols dwelt on the “superprofits” of the big Jewish bourgeoisie whose real aim was to bring about a supergovernment under its own control. Israel was seen as an important connecting link in this vast design of the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Lehmanns, and Lazard Frères. But the key role belonged to the “Zionist Corporation,” understood as a complex network of interlocking parts with tentacles in every single area of business, politics, the media, culture, and religion. The metaphysical concept that drove this well-oiled machine and cemented the “cosmopolitan Mafia” was the Judaic concept of the chosen people.44 This distinguishing mark of Judaism was presented by Soviet publicists as the ideological-religious mask for expanding Jewish power and its desire for world domination. Particularly striking was the Communist attempt to present Jewish chosenness as a racist doctrine of anti-goyism (hatred of Gentiles) obligating Jews to ruthlessly exploit, humiliate, and kill all non-Jews who refused to submit to their dictates. This was a blatantly anti-Semitic fabrication drawing on the long tradition of anti-Talmudic vilification in Christian Europe.

In his Judaism and Zionism (1968) Trofim Kichko had denounced with special vehemence the “chauvinistic idea of the God-chosenness [bo-goizbrannost] of the Jewish people, the propaganda of messianism and the idea of ruling over the peoples of the world.”45 This “dogma,” according to Kichko and other anti-Zionist ideologues, had been the justification for Israeli “criminality,” responsible for the “extermination” of Palestinian Arabs and “hatred towards other peoples.” Vladimir Begun’s Creeping Counterrevolution (1974) developed this Soviet hate propaganda in classical anti-Judaic language. Describing the Bible as “an unsurpassed textbook of bloodthirsti-ness, hypocrisy, treason, perfidy and moral degeneracy,” Begun wrote that Zionist “gangsterism,” too, had “its ideological roots in the scrolls of the ‘holy’ Torah and the precepts of the Talmud.”46 Judaic messianism was nothing but “a specific version of ultra-imperialism, an international trust of capitalists exploiting the world.”47 Such Soviet propaganda had a considerable resonance in the Arab world, especially among more secular client-states such as Syria.

Soviet anti-Semites such as Vladimir Begun worked to revise the traditional Marxist-Leninist interpretation of Judeophobia as a reactionary tool of the ruling classes. In their new interpretation, the prerevolutionary Jew-baiting of Polish, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian peasants and the czarist pogroms of 1881 and 1905 were metamorphosed into a populist class struggle against merciless Jewish usurers. Dmitri Zhukov, reviewing Begun’s work in the mass circulation Ogonyok, fully supported the proposition that anti-Semitism was a spontaneous reaction of the oppressed classes to “barbarous exploitation by the Jewish bourgeoisie.”48 Thus, the Black Hundred pogromshchiki of the early twentieth century found themselves rehabilitated seventy years later as precocious heralds of a Russian (national) socialist order.

Communist bigotry found a resounding echo in the United Nations at a Security Council session on September 25, 1971. Soviet ambassador Yakov Malik replied to the Israeli representative’s remarks about Soviet anti-Semitism with a vicious diatribe against the “chosen people” and “long-nosed” Jews.

Don’t stick your long nose into our Soviet garden. History shows that those who have stuck their noses into our garden have usually lost them…. The Fascists considered that the ideal was the Aryan with his blue eyes and blond hair. I do not know what the external signs are with the Zionists; but their racist theory is the same that the Fascists advocated towards all peoples…. The chosen people: is that not racism? What is the difference between Zionism and Fascism, if the essence of its ideology is racism, hatred towards other peoples? The chosen people. The people elected by God. Where in the second half of the twentieth century does not hear anyone advocating this criminal absurd theory of the superiority of one race and one people over others? Try to justify that from the rostrum of the United Nations. Try to prove that you are the chosen people, and the others are nobodies….

I must only regret that some political leaders—including those in the city [New York] in which we find ourselves—under the influence and pressure of the Zionists, because of mercantile and electoral considerations, follow on the leash of the Zionists and support them by every means.49

The USSR publicly encouraged such equations of Zionism with anti-Semitism, fascism, and Nazism at the United Nations. Indeed, as early as 1965, the Soviets had formally proposed that Zionism be linked to colonialism, racism, and other imperialist evils. They rejected the proposal by the United States and Brazil that anti-Semitism be condemned as part of the UN General Assembly’s initial draft convention to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. A further escalation occurred in March 1967 at the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. The Soviet delegate did not shrink from attacking his American counterpart (Morris Abram) for “obeying the orders of the Zionists and the Jews of America” and allegedly “serving two masters.”50 These anti-Semitic aspersions of dual loyalty against American Jews were made at a time when the USSR was deliberately inciting both Egypt and Syria against Israel. In 1967 the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc (except for Romania and Cuba) broke off diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, lining up unreservedly with Israel’s enemies. Between 1967 and 1973, the USSR greatly intensified its domestic and foreign propaganda against Zionism, which rose to new heights of vituperation.

One symptom of this anti-Jewish escalation was the reproduction in 1972 in the Soviet Embassy journal in Paris, URSS, of extracts from a 1906 pamphlet issued by the pogromist czarist organization Soyuz Russkii Narod (Union of the Russian People): The one change in the text was, of course, to substitute the word “Zionist” for “Jew.” The original brochure had been called The Jewish Question, or The Impossibility of Granting Rights to Russian Jews. The Soviet Embassy article, entitled “The School of Obscurantism,” consisted of various fabricated quotations from czarist and other anti-Semitic sources designed to prove that Zionism was based on a goy-hating Judaic religion that claimed divine sanction to massacre Gentiles.51 On April 24, 1973, a Paris court found the French publisher of URSS (the Communist deputy mayor of Nanterre) guilty of public slander and incitement to racial discrimination, hatred, and violence. During the trial a Catholic witness, Rev. Braun, aptly commented: “Unfortunately the text we are studying today is reminiscent of the worst fabricated theories of Der Stürmer and other sheets distributed by the Nazi propaganda. It stupefied me, for in it I found the identical falsifications which have been exploited in all antisemitic publications, whether recent or old.”52

The anti-Semitic propaganda contained in the URSS journal was no anomaly. It fused the made-in-Russia tradition of the Protocols with Nazi and Communist influences to substantiate the fantasy of a well-organized Jewish drive for world supremacy.53 An imaginary national conflict between Russians and Jews was being fabricated and transformed into a confrontation between cosmic forces of good and evil that assumed an apocalyptic significance.54 The age-old suspicion of Jews as a malevolent power anchored in muzhik (peasant) popular traditions, in Russian Orthodoxy as well as in the state bureaucracy, was reactivated on an unprecedented scale to do battle with the forces of “international Zionism.” Once more, as in czarist Russia, the destructive power of “international Jewry” could be highlighted—this time as a force responsible for subversion within the USSR, including the encouragement of liberalism, Freemasonry, and intellectual dissent.

The Brezhnev years also saw the emergence of such fanatical anti-Semites as Valery Emelianov, an Arabist lecturer from the Oriental Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, who would later become a Pamyat propagandist. In a memorandum of January 10, 1977, submitted to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Central Committee, Emelianov claimed that the United States was in the hands of a “Zionist-Masonic” government, led by President Jimmy Carter. The U.S. president was supposedly under the thumb of the B’nai B’rith “gestapo,” a philanthropic organization said to be engaged in worldwide espionage rather than antidefamation work. In lectures given during this period to Soviet audiences, Emelianov liked to warn of a deadly Zionist-Masonic (zhidoma-sontsvo) plot aiming to achieve world mastery by the year 2000.55 This obsession with a vast network of secret (Jewish Masonic lodges) aiming at penetrating party, government, and ideological institutes was yet another link to the anti-Semitic worldview of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Nazi leadership. According to Emelianov, the “Zionists penetrate into the goy’s midst through the Masons.” Every Mason is “an active informer of the Zionists.” After the mid-1970s the theme of the Zionist-Masonic conspiracy, hitherto restricted to the fringes, began to appear much more widely in official Soviet publications. Since the fall of Communism, this classic anti-Jewish theory of the Jewish-Masonic plot has continued to flourish in Russian neo-Slavophile, neo-pagan, and Orthodox Christian-nationalist circles.

For Soviet-era anti-Semites like Emelianov, Freemasonry provided the vital fifth column of Gentile support in a world where Jews were decidedly short on manpower.56 The Masons were paving the way for Zionism (which already dominated the Western economy) to achieve global hegemony. “The Zionists base themselves on the Judaic-Masonic pyramid, controlling 80 per cent of the economy in the capitalist countries and 90-95 per cent of the information media,” Emelianov wrote.57 Hence, the apocalyptic war against “the Zionist-Masonic danger” threatening the Soviet Union required a “merciless struggle.” Emelianov even suggested deportation of Jews to remote areas of the Soviet Union in the event of a war with the West. He argued that the mass emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel should have removed the last Russian illusions about their true loyalties: “They have emigrated from Socialism to Fascism under the blue star of David. Is this not a threatening warning of the possibility of an even greater mass betrayal… if a new military situation arises?”58

Emelianov recommended the creation of a worldwide anti-Zionist and anti-Masonic front to expose the “crimes” of Judaism and to unmask the Western campaign for human rights and other fronts used by American capitalist interests. Freemasonry was nothing but a “screen for the ‘chosen ones’”—the representatives of finance capital who sought unrestricted mastery in the “free world.”59

Emelianov’s last work, De-Zionization, published in 1980 by the Palestine Free Press in Paris, revealed a strong neo-pagan influence. The Christianization of Russia, he argued, had been part of “an international Zionist plot.” It was the deep cause of all Russian disasters. Judeo-Christianity had undermined the Slav race (“the backbone of the Aryans”)—the “greatest creative force” in antiquity.60 Christianity was nothing but a Jewish secret weapon for weakening the Slav master race, according to this Russian reconstruction of the Aryan myth. Jews were an anti-Aryan “criminal genotype of a hybrid character,” the result of crossbreeding “in the criminal world of the black, yellow and white races.”61 Emelianov’s semi-delirious ravings (reminiscent of Nazi pamphleteering) did not prevent him from achieving a certain following as the Soviet system began to disintegrate from within.

Russian fascism had already emerged as a significant intellectual trend by the 1970s.62 In the armed forces, anti-Semitic beliefs were indeed widespread, with the “imperialist” Western world perceived as being ruled by Zionists. In army circles, as on the “New Right,” within the nationalist core of the Communist Party (and in dissident fascist groups centered around the samizdat publication Veche), hatred of the West, Great Russian nationalism, and Nazified anti-Semitism were fusing together in an unholy trinity. The ex-naval officer Ivan Shevtsov’s two very popular anti-Semitic novels, published in 1970 (and compulsory reading in the armed forces), In the Name of the Father and the Son and Love and Hate, enjoyed official Politburo backing. They provided an insight into the flavor of this Soviet mutation in the direction of National Socialism. In the first novel, world Jewry, led by Zionists, has already obtained control of American imperialism and is busy secretly infiltrating the life cells of all the countries in the world, “undermining from within all that is strong, healthy and patriotic.” Agents of Zionism like “Judas Trotsky” and his followers are shown to be part of the same subversive strategy that eventually will lead to the noxious penetration of liberal ideas, modernist art, and pornography from the West into the Soviet Union.63

In Shevtsov’s second novel, the Jewish villain Nahum Hotzer is depicted as a sadistic pervert, drug peddler, and murderer who kills his own mother for money and dismembers the body of a beautiful Aryan teenager, after first seducing her and turning her into a dope addict. Other characteristics in this popular novel include treacherous Jewish scientists ready to sell Soviet nuclear weapon secrets to the United States and a Russian hero murdered by Jewish colleagues for wishing to reveal that Albert Einstein had plagiarized the theory of relativity. Shevtsov’s “aesthetic” division of humanity into racially pure, blue-eyed, fair-haired Russians and diabolical dark-haired Jews is one more indication of how deeply the Nazi anti-Semitic poison had infiltrated the political culture of Soviet Communism. Russian television programs like Skupshchki dush (Traders of Souls), first shown on January 22, 1977, which branded persecuted Jewish activists as “soldiers of Zionism within the Soviet Union,” provided particularly graphic examples of the new genre. Such films and novels denigrated Jews as congenital traitors, deliberately appealing to the basest instincts of the population and actively sowing hatred of Soviet Jews.64

Pseudo-historical works that depicted all the activities of Jews in Russian and Soviet history as dangerously subversive offered a more academic version of the same poison. But throughout the Soviet media, the message of Zionist ideological subversion, of Jews as a fifth column, and of international Jewry as a vast intelligence-gathering apparatus threatening the socialist fatherland, were widely popularized. Zionism was consistently depicted as the “enemy of the Soviet people,” seeking to overthrow Soviet power.65 There were times when the struggle against the “Zionist enemy” seemed to be placed on a par with the war of survival waged by the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1945.

This mountain of vilification against Israel and Zionism was a testimony to the mythical power with which it was credited. Zionist influence and omnipotence was deemed to have a cosmic dimension, truly satanic in character. Diabolical talents were attributed to the Zionist movement as it perfidiously moved to achieve domination over all other peoples and nations in keeping with the biblical concept of the “chosen people.” At least until Mikhail Gorbachev’s ascent in 1985, such propaganda relentlessly focused on the idea of Jewish chosenness and global hegemony as the master plan of Zionist devils in human form.66

The roots of Zionist Satanism, according to such anti-Semitic writings, lay in the Jewish religion and its racist postulates. Valery Skurlatov, for example, categorically asserted that “the racist concept of Judaism had served as a prototype of European racism.”67 According to Skurlatov—one of the leading neo-pagan nationalists during the Soviet era—the preservation “of the purity of their blood was proclaimed as the most sacred obligation of Jewry” while “the despised goyim were useful only as ‘speaking tools’ or slaves.”68 The ultimate aim of Zionist doctrine, as in the case of Nazism, was “to realize world domination.”69 At the same time, in the shorter term, it served to justify Israeli aggression throughout the Middle East and the repression of Arabs in the Jewish state.70 According to Radio Moscow, “Everyone who believes in Zionism admits that a non-Jew in the Jewish State is a sub-human.”71 This was typical of the Goebbels-like incitement that characterized the Soviet media.

As part of its massive disinformation offensive directed at Africa, Radio Moscow told its listeners on October 4, 1967:

It is known that the ruling circles of Tel Aviv justify their aggressive policy by the policy of the “chosen people”—which in plain words means racism. It would seem that a people who suffered from Hitler’s Nazi theory should hate racism, but the leaders of Israel have adopted racism, this extremely reactionary ideology of imperialism as their own. The theory of the Israelites being the chosen people is now being energetically spread…. It is well known that the Israeli extremists despise the people of Africa … consider them to be second-class people.72

The goal of Communist indoctrination aimed at the Third World was to build support for Soviet foreign policy in Africa and Asia, which included the isolation of Israel. The constant visual and verbal comparisons in the Soviet media between Israel and South Africa were especially important for Moscow’s campaign to win influence in black Africa. Thus, according to Radio Peace and Progress in a broadcast on October 15, 1975, it was monopoly circles representing Zionist organizations who “invest their capital in the economy of the South African Republic and together with the local businessmen, control various branches of industry and agriculture.”73 The South African Zionists, it was alleged, were “highly interested in preserving the regime of exploitation in the South of the continent.”74 The South African diamond billionaire Harry Oppenheimer was a special target of this “new” Soviet-style anti-Semitism exported to the Third World. The Moscow-based Asia and Africa Today described Oppenheimer (a Jewish convert to Anglicanism) as the uncrowned king of South Africa, “a secret patron of the Zionist community in South Africa.”75 Repeatedly, the point was made that behind the Pretoria–Tel Aviv nexus lay the interests of the “rich 120,000 strong Jewish community of South Africa, which has amassed huge capital by exploiting the native population.”76 The “pious” among them have assumed “the key positions in economy and trade and obtain great profits from the system of racial inequality that reigns in that country.”77

Emphasizing the South African connection became an integral part of Soviet efforts to portray Zionism as a Trojan horse for Western imperialism and racism in the Third World.78 Israel, it was claimed, existed in order to ensure the subversion of the Afro-Asian and Arab liberation movements. It was an integral part of the neocolonialist ambitions of world imperialism and a cover for American infiltration into Africa, though it had also developed its own plans for exploiting the continent’s natural resources.79 Naturally, only the most corrupt methods were employed by the money-grabbing Zionists. Thus Israelis in Africa were reviled by Moscow for “selling untested and unproven vaccines … having the effect not so much of curing the patient’s ailments as of emptying his pockets.”80 Far from being altruistic experts, Israeli technicians and advisers were depicted as permanently engaged in subversive activities against African countries. In propaganda directed to the Third World, Israelis would usually be shown as deliberately sowing dissension between Africans and Arabs in line with a broader imperialist conspiracy.81

Russian and Arab efforts to persuade more and more African states to break off relations with Israel finally bore fruit at the end of 1973. The Soviets intensified their campaign against the “close military cooperation” between Pretoria and Tel Aviv in these years. According to Moscow, both countries pursued identical “racist policies” and had a common ideological outlook. Both Israel and South Africa (unlike the USSR) favored territorial expansionism and had fought against Third World national-liberation movements, and they were jointly developing nuclear and chemical weapons. The constant twinning of apartheid and Zionism by Communist propagandists proved to be one of their more effective methods for infiltrating and influencing Third World, and especially African opinion.

The ferocity with which the Soviet Union pursued its campaign of abuse against Zionism was undoubtedly aggravated by the sympathy the Israeli victory of 1967 had aroused among Soviet Jews. For the first time, Zionism came to be seen as a comparable problem to that of other nationalist movements the Soviets (like their czarist predecessors) had consistently repressed. Anti-Zionism provided a valuable ideological instrument for containing what the Soviet government now saw as a serious competitor for the loyalties of its “Jewish nationality.” The campaign against the Zionists was also a means for discouraging national liberation movements among the other subject peoples of the USSR.82 The anti-Semitic component in this “black” propaganda was clearly devised to sow suspicion and division abroad. In Eastern Europe, as we have seen, Zionist conspirators were blamed for dissident trends in Poland and Czechoslovakia. In America and Europe, Jews who opposed Soviet policies were defamed as Zionist agents, while in the Third World (above all in Africa), with its sensitivity to issues involving Western imperialism, race, and color, Zionism was damned as part of a diabolical neo-colonialist plot. Soviet propaganda would therefore leave no stone unturned in its efforts to artificially transform Zionism into a “racial problem.”83 Moreover, in its broadcasts to the Muslim world, Radio Moscow was particularly extreme, entertaining its listeners with invented horror stories about Arabs being used as human targets by Israeli soldiers, Arab women being raped, and lurid accounts of atrocities against Palestinians, the destruction of whole villages, and the arrests and torture of innocent civilians—all of these actions being presented as a normal part of “the theory and practice of Zionism.”84

This was the backdrop to the November 10, 1975, vote on UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 (72 in favor, 35 against, and 32 abstentions) that determined that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” The vote was widely perceived as being a victory for Soviet strategy against the West, while at the same time demonstrating Arab oil power and the great voting strength of Third World countries in the United Nations (including many Muslim nations).85 At the same time, virtually all Western countries strongly opposed the resolution, with U.S. ambassador Daniel P. Moynihan adopting a particularly outspoken attitude in condemning Soviet and Arab libels against Zionism.86 Among the more eloquent journalistic responses was that of British literary critic Goronwy Rees, who noted that the UN resolution was passed on the thirty-seventh anniversary of the horrifying Nazi pogrom known as “Crystal Night”:

There were ghosts haunting the Third Committee that day; the ghosts of Hitler and Goebbels … grinning with delight to hear, not only Israel, but Jews denounced in language which would have provoked hysterical applause at any Nuremberg rally…. And there were other ghosts also at the debate; the ghosts of the 6,000,000 dead in Dachau and Sachsenhausen and other extermination camps, listening to the same voices which had cheered and jeered and abused them as they made their way to the gas chambers. For the fundamental thesis advanced by the supporters of the resolution, and approved by the majority of the Third Committee, was that to be a Jew, and to be proud of it, and to be determined to preserve the right to be a Jew, is to be an enemy of the human race.87

Writing in the “Observer” column of the International Herald Tribune, Russell Baker also evoked the Nazi specter and the Soviet embrace of Hitlerism:

Hitler must have had a good laugh down in hell last week when the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed antisemitism by a large majority. After thirty years in odious repute the old dictator’s theory of what made the world go wrong has finally been declared the collective wisdom of the higher-minded nations of the planet. The sweet irony of it, of course, was that the Soviet Union was right out in front…. The last time Russia embraced Hitler was in the non-aggression pact on the eve of World War II. By signing it, Stalin gave the Nazis the security they needed to march into Poland, a march that eventually led to the deaths of 20 million Russians…. The Soviet government has been so helplessly mired in political cynicism for so long that one has to come to take it for granted…. But rehabilitating Hitlerism—surely there were some things they wouldn’t do. There weren’t.88

Such moral indignation had some weight in the West at the end of 1975, but its impact was questionable in the longer term. Once Zionism was officially declared by the United Nations to be a synonym for racism, the Soviet Union and its Arab allies (each with their separate and distinct agendas) could remorselessly escalate their efforts to blacken Israel’s reputation. On the other hand, the collapse of the USSR, the dissolution of the Communist bloc, and the repeal of the UN “Zionism-Racism” resolution in 1991 were decisive blows exposing the “Tower of Babel” of falsifications and lies on which the USSR had built its foreign policy. In the 1990s one million Soviet Jews came to Israel once Gorbachev had opened the gates—a resounding victory over Soviet totalitarianism.89

Yet there was a darker side to the neo-Stalinist legacy that survived the death of Soviet Communism. One symptom of this poisonous heritage was the apartheid analogy with Zionism, which constituted an integral part of Soviet “anti-imperialist” policy. It was a totalitarian fiction that would be eagerly adopted by much of the Western New Left starting in the late 1960s, despite its tainted origins. The Trotskyists, for all their uncompromising anti-Stalinism, became the most enthusiastic propagators of this Soviet falsification and avid purveyors of the “Zionist-racist” mythology. The Trot-skyite Left (with Jews prominent in their ranks) not only systematically slandered Israel as a racist state but also unabashedly mobilized the Holocaust in the service of their anti-Zionist dogmas. Like the Soviet “revisionists,” they did not so much deny the Holocaust but rather accused the Zionists of collaborating with the Nazis in implementing it—a no less horrendous and baseless charge—which enabled them to reinforce the fabrication that Zionism had always been intrinsically racist and evil.90 Soviet disinformation further bequeathed to the Western Left (including its more liberal wings) an utterly spurious portrayal of Zionism as the outgrowth of Judaic chosenness. The racist hubris of self-definition as a “chosen people,” called by God to rule over colonized peoples, was mendaciously attributed in the USSR both to Jewish theology and Zionist ideology. These fictions provided employment for a whole army of propagandist hacks. In the 1970s, the PLO as well as Arab governments joined forces with the USSR and its Communist allies to spread these noxious lies about Zionism as a dangerous twin brother of “racism,” “imperialism,” and “militarism” and a spearhead of world reaction.91

The apartheid libel concerning Israel has probably been one of the Soviet Union’s most toxic legacies to the West, the United Nations, and the Arab-Muslim world. It transformed Zionism (and by implication Jews and Judaism) into an inhuman ideology and the foundation of a state policy that supposedly divides the world into Jews (a “chosen people”) and goyim (inferior beings designated to be slaves). The “God-chosen Jews” have in effect followed in the footsteps of Nazi Germany and South Africa. This Soviet anti-Semitic fabrication, intended from the outset to delegitimize, isolate, and reduce Israel to pariah status, has proven remarkably successful in the international arena during the past forty years. It also provided, among other things, a basis for recent academic and trade boycott resolutions in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Norway; for continuing UN-sponsored conferences and meetings like the notorious Durban anti-Semitic spectacle of 2001, which—under the umbrella of “anti-racism”—openly fostered hatred of Jews.92 Equally, it has contributed to envenoming the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at every conceivable level.

In apartheid South Africa, it needs to be said, 90 percent of the black population was disenfranchised and lacked fundamental civil rights—a situation of minority rule with some parallels in the Arab world but certainly none in Israel.93 Apartheid was a form of draconian discrimination enshrined in harsh race laws that were strictly applied—including the banning of sexual relations between whites and nonwhites. Nothing remotely similar has ever existed in Israel. Nor is there any analogy between the poverty-stricken Bantustans reserved as separate “homelands” for blacks under apartheid and Israel’s temporary control of Palestinian areas for security reasons pending negotiations to resolve the conflict. Foolish statements by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, by certain UN officials, and some Arab spokesmen deliberately ignore the huge differences in history, context, and democratic ethos between Israel and apartheid South Africa.94They strengthen the feeling that the term “apartheid” is simply being utilized (as it was in Soviet propaganda) in a purely pejorative and abusive sense in order to defame the Jewish state.

“Apartheid,” in its original South African setting, literally meant the keeping apart of the races (sexually, socially, politically) by a long list of legal prohibitions: They included separate housing, separate areas governed by pass laws, separate bus seats, whites-only beaches and benches—all of which would be unconstitutional in Israel.95 Hence, the South African system, in total contrast to Israeli democracy, was built not on equality but on racial hierarchy and purity. Equally absurd is the designation “apartheid wall” for Israel’s security fence. The barrier was not put there to separate the so-called Jewish race from Arabs, but to stop Palestinian suicide bombers from infiltrating Israel within the green line in order to murder Israeli civilians. This had nothing whatsoever to do with apartheid. Like other absurd analogies that pillory Israel as a racist or Nazi state, the myth of Zionist apartheid is yet another dark legacy of neo-Stalinist anti-Semitism bequeathed to a confused and disoriented Western world.




From Ch 3 of A Lethal Obsession by Robert Wistrich [2010]





....The Six-Day War transformed the periodic but isolated diatribes into a long and intensive anti-Semitic campaign without parallel in the history of the Soviet Union.34 After 1967, the USSR began to flood the world with a constant flow of anti-Zionist propaganda whose intensity far exceeded its earlier broadsides against the ideological heresies of Trotskyism, Titoism, or Maoism. Only the Nazis in their twelve years of power had ever succeeded in producing such a sustained flow of fabricated libels as an instrument of their domestic and foreign policy. This post-Stalin Soviet offensive did not admittedly aim at the expropriation, expulsion, or extermination of Soviet Jewry. But under the guise of anti-Zionism, the rulers in the Kremlin could continue Stalin’s legacy, expressing more openly a primitive anti-Semitism officially proscribed by Marxist-Leninist ideology.35 The Great Russian chauvinism popularized by Stalin gradually began to reconnect with the older xenophobic traditions of late czarism.36 The USSR was gradually being transformed under Brezhnev into a cross between Russian state fascism and National Socialism. The hollow shell of official Marxist-Leninist verbiage was being filled with old-new prejudices whose sources went as far back as the counterrevolutionary pogroms of 1905.37



The Communist crusade to delegitimize Israel began on the morrow of Israel’s lightning victory over Moscow’s Arab allies. This crushing defeat of three Arab states was a severe blow to Soviet prestige as an anti-American superpower and to the reputation of its armaments. Soviet diplomatic representatives and domestic media in the USSR immediately accused the Israelis of “behaving like Nazis.” On July 5, 1967, Communist Party general secretary Leonid Brezhnev, speaking to graduates of the military academies gathered at the Kremlin, bluntly stated that “in their atrocities it seems they [the Israelis] want to copy the crimes of the Hitler invaders.”38 From this point it became almost obligatory to slander the State of Israel and its Jewish inhabitants as imitators of the Nazis, ardent advocates of “racism,” “barbarians,” “pirates,” “vandals,” and “practitioners of genocide.” All the clichés, images, and trigger words like Blitzkrieg, Herrenvolk, Gauleiter, concentration camps, and SS executioners would be mobilized on a massive scale for the benefit of foreign as well as Soviet domestic audiences.



The Nazi metaphor linked to the charge of Zionist racism assumed a central place in the Soviet effort to defame Israel, Zionism, and the Jewish people. Yuri Ivanov, one of the “Jewish experts” at the higher levels of the party apparatus, insisted that Jewish nationalism was no less racialist than Nazism. In his Beware! Zionism! (1969), he maintained that Zionist “superiority” was confined solely to the cunning use of corruption, media control, and news distortion on a global scale to achieve its pernicious ends. Zionists were the sworn enemies of the Soviet Union and the Communist movement. Ivanov “enriched” Soviet Marxism with a “dazzling” new insight into Zionism: It was now defined as “the ideology, the ramified system of organization and the political practice of the big Jewish bourgeoisie that has merged with the monopolistic circles of the USA and other imperialist powers. Its basic content is militant chauvinism and anti-communism.39



Ivanov was one of a new breed of anti-Zionist publicists, which included Yevgeny Yevseyev (author of Fascism Under the Blue Star), Vladimir Bolshakov, Vladimir Begun, Dmitri Zhukov, and Lev Korneyev, who would adapt Marxist-Leninist ideology to official requirements. In their narrative, Zionism resembled a great invisible power whose octopus-like tentacles extend into every sphere of politics, finance, religion, and the communications media in capitalist countries. It was an international Mafia, controlled by big Jewish bankers and financiers, who had a vast intelligence service at its disposal. The villainy of the big Jewish bourgeoisie and Zionism had no equal in history. The Zionists themselves were, however, by no means only Jews. According to Yevgeny Yevseyev, writing in Komsomolskaya Pravda (October 4, 1967), they numbered as many as twenty to twenty-five million people in the United States alone, where they owned most of the news agencies (80 percent) and much of the industry (43 percent), and exerted a decisive influence over banking, law, journalism, and the professions. Such writing, in the best anti-Semitic tradition, combined wholly spurious statistics with a truly stunning and servile mediocrity. In these diatribes, the classic Nazi fantasy of a Western world controlled and manipulated by Jewish high finance resurfaced as if there had never been a Holocaust, let alone a life-and-death struggle of the Soviet Union against German fascism.



Zionism in the official Soviet dispensation was merely a cover for the Jewish bourgeoisie “to enhance its position in the economy of the largest capitalist states … and in the capitalist system as a whole.”40 According to Vladimir Kiselev, writing in 1977, the ultimate objective of Jewish capital was to exploit its special kinship relations to achieve world domination through control of the international banking system. This was plainly an old-new version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, revived in pseudo-Leninist disguise. Another Soviet journalist, the prolific Lev Korneyev, added his own gloss. He believed that the American Jewish capitalists were well on their way to achieving their sinister aim, since the military-industrial monopolies in the United States were to a large degree already “controlled or belong to the big pro-Zionist bourgeoisie.”41 Many of the oil companies allegedly fell into this category. So, too, did McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed Aircraft, “controlled” by Lazard Frères & Co., a finance empire “founded … by bankers of Jewish origin.”42 Although such major financial institutions as the Rockefeller Chase Manhattan Bank were hardly Jewish, in Soviet propaganda they would invariably be described as “crypto-Zionist.” In this way, Korneyev and his ilk could maintain that Zionism “controls and directly owns 158 of the 165 largest death corporations in the West.” The main point was to identify Jews as controlling the “warmongering” industrial-military complex.43 Beyond the substitution of the word “Zionist” for “Jew,” there was little to differentiate this fifth-rate Communist hack literature from earlier Nazi or fascist productions.



Soviet versions of the Protocols dwelt on the “superprofits” of the big Jewish bourgeoisie whose real aim was to bring about a supergovernment under its own control. Israel was seen as an important connecting link in this vast design of the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Lehmanns, and Lazard Frères. But the key role belonged to the “Zionist Corporation,” understood as a complex network of interlocking parts with tentacles in every single area of business, politics, the media, culture, and religion. The metaphysical concept that drove this well-oiled machine and cemented the “cosmopolitan Mafia” was the Judaic concept of the chosen people.44 This distinguishing mark of Judaism was presented by Soviet publicists as the ideological-religious mask for expanding Jewish power and its desire for world domination. Particularly striking was the Communist attempt to present Jewish chosenness as a racist doctrine of anti-goyism (hatred of Gentiles) obligating Jews to ruthlessly exploit, humiliate, and kill all non-Jews who refused to submit to their dictates. This was a blatantly anti-Semitic fabrication drawing on the long tradition of anti-Talmudic vilification in Christian Europe.



In his Judaism and Zionism (1968) Trofim Kichko had denounced with special vehemence the “chauvinistic idea of the God-chosenness [bo-goizbrannost] of the Jewish people, the propaganda of messianism and the idea of ruling over the peoples of the world.”45 This “dogma,” according to Kichko and other anti-Zionist ideologues, had been the justification for Israeli “criminality,” responsible for the “extermination” of Palestinian Arabs and “hatred towards other peoples.” Vladimir Begun’s Creeping Counterrevolution (1974) developed this Soviet hate propaganda in classical anti-Judaic language. Describing the Bible as “an unsurpassed textbook of bloodthirsti-ness, hypocrisy, treason, perfidy and moral degeneracy,” Begun wrote that Zionist “gangsterism,” too, had “its ideological roots in the scrolls of the ‘holy’ Torah and the precepts of the Talmud.”46 Judaic messianism was nothing but “a specific version of ultra-imperialism, an international trust of capitalists exploiting the world.”47 Such Soviet propaganda had a considerable resonance in the Arab world, especially among more secular client-states such as Syria.



Soviet anti-Semites such as Vladimir Begun worked to revise the traditional Marxist-Leninist interpretation of Judeophobia as a reactionary tool of the ruling classes. In their new interpretation, the prerevolutionary Jew-baiting of Polish, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian peasants and the czarist pogroms of 1881 and 1905 were metamorphosed into a populist class struggle against merciless Jewish usurers. Dmitri Zhukov, reviewing Begun’s work in the mass circulation Ogonyok, fully supported the proposition that anti-Semitism was a spontaneous reaction of the oppressed classes to “barbarous exploitation by the Jewish bourgeoisie.”48 Thus, the Black Hundred pogromshchiki of the early twentieth century found themselves rehabilitated seventy years later as precocious heralds of a Russian (national) socialist order.



Communist bigotry found a resounding echo in the United Nations at a Security Council session on September 25, 1971. Soviet ambassador Yakov Malik replied to the Israeli representative’s remarks about Soviet anti-Semitism with a vicious diatribe against the “chosen people” and “long-nosed” Jews.



Don’t stick your long nose into our Soviet garden. History shows that those who have stuck their noses into our garden have usually lost them…. The Fascists considered that the ideal was the Aryan with his blue eyes and blond hair. I do not know what the external signs are with the Zionists; but their racist theory is the same that the Fascists advocated towards all peoples…. The chosen people: is that not racism? What is the difference between Zionism and Fascism, if the essence of its ideology is racism, hatred towards other peoples? The chosen people. The people elected by God. Where in the second half of the twentieth century does not hear anyone advocating this criminal absurd theory of the superiority of one race and one people over others? Try to justify that from the rostrum of the United Nations. Try to prove that you are the chosen people, and the others are nobodies….



I must only regret that some political leaders—including those in the city [New York] in which we find ourselves—under the influence and pressure of the Zionists, because of mercantile and electoral considerations, follow on the leash of the Zionists and support them by every means.49







The USSR publicly encouraged such equations of Zionism with anti-Semitism, fascism, and Nazism at the United Nations. Indeed, as early as 1965, the Soviets had formally proposed that Zionism be linked to colonialism, racism, and other imperialist evils. They rejected the proposal by the United States and Brazil that anti-Semitism be condemned as part of the UN General Assembly’s initial draft convention to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. A further escalation occurred in March 1967 at the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. The Soviet delegate did not shrink from attacking his American counterpart (Morris Abram) for “obeying the orders of the Zionists and the Jews of America” and allegedly “serving two masters.”50 These anti-Semitic aspersions of dual loyalty against American Jews were made at a time when the USSR was deliberately inciting both Egypt and Syria against Israel. In 1967 the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc (except for Romania and Cuba) broke off diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, lining up unreservedly with Israel’s enemies. Between 1967 and 1973, the USSR greatly intensified its domestic and foreign propaganda against Zionism, which rose to new heights of vituperation.



One symptom of this anti-Jewish escalation was the reproduction in 1972 in the Soviet Embassy journal in Paris, URSS, of extracts from a 1906 pamphlet issued by the pogromist czarist organization Soyuz Russkii Narod (Union of the Russian People): The one change in the text was, of course, to substitute the word “Zionist” for “Jew.” The original brochure had been called The Jewish Question, or The Impossibility of Granting Rights to Russian Jews. The Soviet Embassy article, entitled “The School of Obscurantism,” consisted of various fabricated quotations from czarist and other anti-Semitic sources designed to prove that Zionism was based on a goy-hating Judaic religion that claimed divine sanction to massacre Gentiles.51 On April 24, 1973, a Paris court found the French publisher of URSS (the Communist deputy mayor of Nanterre) guilty of public slander and incitement to racial discrimination, hatred, and violence. During the trial a Catholic witness, Rev. Braun, aptly commented: “Unfortunately the text we are studying today is reminiscent of the worst fabricated theories of Der Stürmer and other sheets distributed by the Nazi propaganda. It stupefied me, for in it I found the identical falsifications which have been exploited in all antisemitic publications, whether recent or old.”52



The anti-Semitic propaganda contained in the URSS journal was no anomaly. It fused the made-in-Russia tradition of the Protocols with Nazi and Communist influences to substantiate the fantasy of a well-organized Jewish drive for world supremacy.53 An imaginary national conflict between Russians and Jews was being fabricated and transformed into a confrontation between cosmic forces of good and evil that assumed an apocalyptic significance.54 The age-old suspicion of Jews as a malevolent power anchored in muzhik (peasant) popular traditions, in Russian Orthodoxy as well as in the state bureaucracy, was reactivated on an unprecedented scale to do battle with the forces of “international Zionism.” Once more, as in czarist Russia, the destructive power of “international Jewry” could be highlighted—this time as a force responsible for subversion within the USSR, including the encouragement of liberalism, Freemasonry, and intellectual dissent.



The Brezhnev years also saw the emergence of such fanatical anti-Semites as Valery Emelianov, an Arabist lecturer from the Oriental Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, who would later become a Pamyat propagandist. In a memorandum of January 10, 1977, submitted to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Central Committee, Emelianov claimed that the United States was in the hands of a “Zionist-Masonic” government, led by President Jimmy Carter. The U.S. president was supposedly under the thumb of the B’nai B’rith “gestapo,” a philanthropic organization said to be engaged in worldwide espionage rather than antidefamation work. In lectures given during this period to Soviet audiences, Emelianov liked to warn of a deadly Zionist-Masonic (zhidoma-sontsvo) plot aiming to achieve world mastery by the year 2000.55 This obsession with a vast network of secret (Jewish Masonic lodges) aiming at penetrating party, government, and ideological institutes was yet another link to the anti-Semitic worldview of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Nazi leadership. According to Emelianov, the “Zionists penetrate into the goy’s midst through the Masons.” Every Mason is “an active informer of the Zionists.” After the mid-1970s the theme of the Zionist-Masonic conspiracy, hitherto restricted to the fringes, began to appear much more widely in official Soviet publications. Since the fall of Communism, this classic anti-Jewish theory of the Jewish-Masonic plot has continued to flourish in Russian neo-Slavophile, neo-pagan, and Orthodox Christian-nationalist circles.



For Soviet-era anti-Semites like Emelianov, Freemasonry provided the vital fifth column of Gentile support in a world where Jews were decidedly short on manpower.56 The Masons were paving the way for Zionism (which already dominated the Western economy) to achieve global hegemony. “The Zionists base themselves on the Judaic-Masonic pyramid, controlling 80 per cent of the economy in the capitalist countries and 90-95 per cent of the information media,” Emelianov wrote.57 Hence, the apocalyptic war against “the Zionist-Masonic danger” threatening the Soviet Union required a “merciless struggle.” Emelianov even suggested deportation of Jews to remote areas of the Soviet Union in the event of a war with the West. He argued that the mass emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel should have removed the last Russian illusions about their true loyalties: “They have emigrated from Socialism to Fascism under the blue star of David. Is this not a threatening warning of the possibility of an even greater mass betrayal… if a new military situation arises?”58



Emelianov recommended the creation of a worldwide anti-Zionist and anti-Masonic front to expose the “crimes” of Judaism and to unmask the Western campaign for human rights and other fronts used by American capitalist interests. Freemasonry was nothing but a “screen for the ‘chosen ones’”—the representatives of finance capital who sought unrestricted mastery in the “free world.”59



Emelianov’s last work, De-Zionization, published in 1980 by the Palestine Free Press in Paris, revealed a strong neo-pagan influence. The Christianization of Russia, he argued, had been part of “an international Zionist plot.” It was the deep cause of all Russian disasters. Judeo-Christianity had undermined the Slav race (“the backbone of the Aryans”)—the “greatest creative force” in antiquity.60 Christianity was nothing but a Jewish secret weapon for weakening the Slav master race, according to this Russian reconstruction of the Aryan myth. Jews were an anti-Aryan “criminal genotype of a hybrid character,” the result of crossbreeding “in the criminal world of the black, yellow and white races.”61 Emelianov’s semi-delirious ravings (reminiscent of Nazi pamphleteering) did not prevent him from achieving a certain following as the Soviet system began to disintegrate from within.



Russian fascism had already emerged as a significant intellectual trend by the 1970s.62 In the armed forces, anti-Semitic beliefs were indeed widespread, with the “imperialist” Western world perceived as being ruled by Zionists. In army circles, as on the “New Right,” within the nationalist core of the Communist Party (and in dissident fascist groups centered around the samizdat publication Veche), hatred of the West, Great Russian nationalism, and Nazified anti-Semitism were fusing together in an unholy trinity. The ex-naval officer Ivan Shevtsov’s two very popular anti-Semitic novels, published in 1970 (and compulsory reading in the armed forces), In the Name of the Father and the Son and Love and Hate, enjoyed official Politburo backing. They provided an insight into the flavor of this Soviet mutation in the direction of National Socialism. In the first novel, world Jewry, led by Zionists, has already obtained control of American imperialism and is busy secretly infiltrating the life cells of all the countries in the world, “undermining from within all that is strong, healthy and patriotic.” Agents of Zionism like “Judas Trotsky” and his followers are shown to be part of the same subversive strategy that eventually will lead to the noxious penetration of liberal ideas, modernist art, and pornography from the West into the Soviet Union.63



In Shevtsov’s second novel, the Jewish villain Nahum Hotzer is depicted as a sadistic pervert, drug peddler, and murderer who kills his own mother for money and dismembers the body of a beautiful Aryan teenager, after first seducing her and turning her into a dope addict. Other characteristics in this popular novel include treacherous Jewish scientists ready to sell Soviet nuclear weapon secrets to the United States and a Russian hero murdered by Jewish colleagues for wishing to reveal that Albert Einstein had plagiarized the theory of relativity. Shevtsov’s “aesthetic” division of humanity into racially pure, blue-eyed, fair-haired Russians and diabolical dark-haired Jews is one more indication of how deeply the Nazi anti-Semitic poison had infiltrated the political culture of Soviet Communism. Russian television programs like Skupshchki dush (Traders of Souls), first shown on January 22, 1977, which branded persecuted Jewish activists as “soldiers of Zionism within the Soviet Union,” provided particularly graphic examples of the new genre. Such films and novels denigrated Jews as congenital traitors, deliberately appealing to the basest instincts of the population and actively sowing hatred of Soviet Jews.64



Pseudo-historical works that depicted all the activities of Jews in Russian and Soviet history as dangerously subversive offered a more academic version of the same poison. But throughout the Soviet media, the message of Zionist ideological subversion, of Jews as a fifth column, and of international Jewry as a vast intelligence-gathering apparatus threatening the socialist fatherland, were widely popularized. Zionism was consistently depicted as the “enemy of the Soviet people,” seeking to overthrow Soviet power.65 There were times when the struggle against the “Zionist enemy” seemed to be placed on a par with the war of survival waged by the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1945.



This mountain of vilification against Israel and Zionism was a testimony to the mythical power with which it was credited. Zionist influence and omnipotence was deemed to have a cosmic dimension, truly satanic in character. Diabolical talents were attributed to the Zionist movement as it perfidiously moved to achieve domination over all other peoples and nations in keeping with the biblical concept of the “chosen people.” At least until Mikhail Gorbachev’s ascent in 1985, such propaganda relentlessly focused on the idea of Jewish chosenness and global hegemony as the master plan of Zionist devils in human form.66



The roots of Zionist Satanism, according to such anti-Semitic writings, lay in the Jewish religion and its racist postulates. Valery Skurlatov, for example, categorically asserted that “the racist concept of Judaism had served as a prototype of European racism.”67 According to Skurlatov—one of the leading neo-pagan nationalists during the Soviet era—the preservation “of the purity of their blood was proclaimed as the most sacred obligation of Jewry” while “the despised goyim were useful only as ‘speaking tools’ or slaves.”68 The ultimate aim of Zionist doctrine, as in the case of Nazism, was “to realize world domination.”69 At the same time, in the shorter term, it served to justify Israeli aggression throughout the Middle East and the repression of Arabs in the Jewish state.70 According to Radio Moscow, “Everyone who believes in Zionism admits that a non-Jew in the Jewish State is a sub-human.”71 This was typical of the Goebbels-like incitement that characterized the Soviet media.



As part of its massive disinformation offensive directed at Africa, Radio Moscow told its listeners on October 4, 1967:



It is known that the ruling circles of Tel Aviv justify their aggressive policy by the policy of the “chosen people”—which in plain words means racism. It would seem that a people who suffered from Hitler’s Nazi theory should hate racism, but the leaders of Israel have adopted racism, this extremely reactionary ideology of imperialism as their own. The theory of the Israelites being the chosen people is now being energetically spread…. It is well known that the Israeli extremists despise the people of Africa … consider them to be second-class people.72







The goal of Communist indoctrination aimed at the Third World was to build support for Soviet foreign policy in Africa and Asia, which included the isolation of Israel. The constant visual and verbal comparisons in the Soviet media between Israel and South Africa were especially important for Moscow’s campaign to win influence in black Africa. Thus, according to Radio Peace and Progress in a broadcast on October 15, 1975, it was monopoly circles representing Zionist organizations who “invest their capital in the economy of the South African Republic and together with the local businessmen, control various branches of industry and agriculture.”73 The South African Zionists, it was alleged, were “highly interested in preserving the regime of exploitation in the South of the continent.”74 The South African diamond billionaire Harry Oppenheimer was a special target of this “new” Soviet-style anti-Semitism exported to the Third World. The Moscow-based Asia and Africa Today described Oppenheimer (a Jewish convert to Anglicanism) as the uncrowned king of South Africa, “a secret patron of the Zionist community in South Africa.”75 Repeatedly, the point was made that behind the Pretoria–Tel Aviv nexus lay the interests of the “rich 120,000 strong Jewish community of South Africa, which has amassed huge capital by exploiting the native population.”76 The “pious” among them have assumed “the key positions in economy and trade and obtain great profits from the system of racial inequality that reigns in that country.”77



Emphasizing the South African connection became an integral part of Soviet efforts to portray Zionism as a Trojan horse for Western imperialism and racism in the Third World.78 Israel, it was claimed, existed in order to ensure the subversion of the Afro-Asian and Arab liberation movements. It was an integral part of the neocolonialist ambitions of world imperialism and a cover for American infiltration into Africa, though it had also developed its own plans for exploiting the continent’s natural resources.79 Naturally, only the most corrupt methods were employed by the money-grabbing Zionists. Thus Israelis in Africa were reviled by Moscow for “selling untested and unproven vaccines … having the effect not so much of curing the patient’s ailments as of emptying his pockets.”80 Far from being altruistic experts, Israeli technicians and advisers were depicted as permanently engaged in subversive activities against African countries. In propaganda directed to the Third World, Israelis would usually be shown as deliberately sowing dissension between Africans and Arabs in line with a broader imperialist conspiracy.81



Russian and Arab efforts to persuade more and more African states to break off relations with Israel finally bore fruit at the end of 1973. The Soviets intensified their campaign against the “close military cooperation” between Pretoria and Tel Aviv in these years. According to Moscow, both countries pursued identical “racist policies” and had a common ideological outlook. Both Israel and South Africa (unlike the USSR) favored territorial expansionism and had fought against Third World national-liberation movements, and they were jointly developing nuclear and chemical weapons. The constant twinning of apartheid and Zionism by Communist propagandists proved to be one of their more effective methods for infiltrating and influencing Third World, and especially African opinion.



The ferocity with which the Soviet Union pursued its campaign of abuse against Zionism was undoubtedly aggravated by the sympathy the Israeli victory of 1967 had aroused among Soviet Jews. For the first time, Zionism came to be seen as a comparable problem to that of other nationalist movements the Soviets (like their czarist predecessors) had consistently repressed. Anti-Zionism provided a valuable ideological instrument for containing what the Soviet government now saw as a serious competitor for the loyalties of its “Jewish nationality.” The campaign against the Zionists was also a means for discouraging national liberation movements among the other subject peoples of the USSR.82 The anti-Semitic component in this “black” propaganda was clearly devised to sow suspicion and division abroad. In Eastern Europe, as we have seen, Zionist conspirators were blamed for dissident trends in Poland and Czechoslovakia. In America and Europe, Jews who opposed Soviet policies were defamed as Zionist agents, while in the Third World (above all in Africa), with its sensitivity to issues involving Western imperialism, race, and color, Zionism was damned as part of a diabolical neo-colonialist plot. Soviet propaganda would therefore leave no stone unturned in its efforts to artificially transform Zionism into a “racial problem.”83 Moreover, in its broadcasts to the Muslim world, Radio Moscow was particularly extreme, entertaining its listeners with invented horror stories about Arabs being used as human targets by Israeli soldiers, Arab women being raped, and lurid accounts of atrocities against Palestinians, the destruction of whole villages, and the arrests and torture of innocent civilians—all of these actions being presented as a normal part of “the theory and practice of Zionism.”84



This was the backdrop to the November 10, 1975, vote on UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 (72 in favor, 35 against, and 32 abstentions) that determined that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” The vote was widely perceived as being a victory for Soviet strategy against the West, while at the same time demonstrating Arab oil power and the great voting strength of Third World countries in the United Nations (including many Muslim nations).85 At the same time, virtually all Western countries strongly opposed the resolution, with U.S. ambassador Daniel P. Moynihan adopting a particularly outspoken attitude in condemning Soviet and Arab libels against Zionism.86 Among the more eloquent journalistic responses was that of British literary critic Goronwy Rees, who noted that the UN resolution was passed on the thirty-seventh anniversary of the horrifying Nazi pogrom known as “Crystal Night”:



There were ghosts haunting the Third Committee that day; the ghosts of Hitler and Goebbels … grinning with delight to hear, not only Israel, but Jews denounced in language which would have provoked hysterical applause at any Nuremberg rally…. And there were other ghosts also at the debate; the ghosts of the 6,000,000 dead in Dachau and Sachsenhausen and other extermination camps, listening to the same voices which had cheered and jeered and abused them as they made their way to the gas chambers. For the fundamental thesis advanced by the supporters of the resolution, and approved by the majority of the Third Committee, was that to be a Jew, and to be proud of it, and to be determined to preserve the right to be a Jew, is to be an enemy of the human race.87







Writing in the “Observer” column of the International Herald Tribune, Russell Baker also evoked the Nazi specter and the Soviet embrace of Hitlerism:



Hitler must have had a good laugh down in hell last week when the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed antisemitism by a large majority. After thirty years in odious repute the old dictator’s theory of what made the world go wrong has finally been declared the collective wisdom of the higher-minded nations of the planet. The sweet irony of it, of course, was that the Soviet Union was right out in front…. The last time Russia embraced Hitler was in the non-aggression pact on the eve of World War II. By signing it, Stalin gave the Nazis the security they needed to march into Poland, a march that eventually led to the deaths of 20 million Russians…. The Soviet government has been so helplessly mired in political cynicism for so long that one has to come to take it for granted…. But rehabilitating Hitlerism—surely there were some things they wouldn’t do. There weren’t.88







Such moral indignation had some weight in the West at the end of 1975, but its impact was questionable in the longer term. Once Zionism was officially declared by the United Nations to be a synonym for racism, the Soviet Union and its Arab allies (each with their separate and distinct agendas) could remorselessly escalate their efforts to blacken Israel’s reputation. On the other hand, the collapse of the USSR, the dissolution of the Communist bloc, and the repeal of the UN “Zionism-Racism” resolution in 1991 were decisive blows exposing the “Tower of Babel” of falsifications and lies on which the USSR had built its foreign policy. In the 1990s one million Soviet Jews came to Israel once Gorbachev had opened the gates—a resounding victory over Soviet totalitarianism.89

Yet there was a darker side to the neo-Stalinist legacy that survived the death of Soviet Communism. One symptom of this poisonous heritage was the apartheid analogy with Zionism, which constituted an integral part of Soviet “anti-imperialist” policy. It was a totalitarian fiction that would be eagerly adopted by much of the Western New Left starting in the late 1960s, despite its tainted origins. The Trotskyists, for all their uncompromising anti-Stalinism, became the most enthusiastic propagators of this Soviet falsification and avid purveyors of the “Zionist-racist” mythology. The Trot-skyite Left (with Jews prominent in their ranks) not only systematically slandered Israel as a racist state but also unabashedly mobilized the Holocaust in the service of their anti-Zionist dogmas. Like the Soviet “revisionists,” they did not so much deny the Holocaust but rather accused the Zionists of collaborating with the Nazis in implementing it—a no less horrendous and baseless charge—which enabled them to reinforce the fabrication that Zionism had always been intrinsically racist and evil.90 Soviet disinformation further bequeathed to the Western Left (including its more liberal wings) an utterly spurious portrayal of Zionism as the outgrowth of Judaic chosenness. The racist hubris of self-definition as a “chosen people,” called by God to rule over colonized peoples, was mendaciously attributed in the USSR both to Jewish theology and Zionist ideology. These fictions provided employment for a whole army of propagandist hacks. In the 1970s, the PLO as well as Arab governments joined forces with the USSR and its Communist allies to spread these noxious lies about Zionism as a dangerous twin brother of “racism,” “imperialism,” and “militarism” and a spearhead of world reaction.91



The apartheid libel concerning Israel has probably been one of the Soviet Union’s most toxic legacies to the West, the United Nations, and the Arab-Muslim world. It transformed Zionism (and by implication Jews and Judaism) into an inhuman ideology and the foundation of a state policy that supposedly divides the world into Jews (a “chosen people”) and goyim (inferior beings designated to be slaves). The “God-chosen Jews” have in effect followed in the footsteps of Nazi Germany and South Africa. This Soviet anti-Semitic fabrication, intended from the outset to delegitimize, isolate, and reduce Israel to pariah status, has proven remarkably successful in the international arena during the past forty years. It also provided, among other things, a basis for recent academic and trade boycott resolutions in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Norway; for continuing UN-sponsored conferences and meetings like the notorious Durban anti-Semitic spectacle of 2001, which—under the umbrella of “anti-racism”—openly fostered hatred of Jews.92 Equally, it has contributed to envenoming the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at every conceivable level.



In apartheid South Africa, it needs to be said, 90 percent of the black population was disenfranchised and lacked fundamental civil rights—a situation of minority rule with some parallels in the Arab world but certainly none in Israel.93 Apartheid was a form of draconian discrimination enshrined in harsh race laws that were strictly applied—including the banning of sexual relations between whites and nonwhites. Nothing remotely similar has ever existed in Israel. Nor is there any analogy between the poverty-stricken Bantustans reserved as separate “homelands” for blacks under apartheid and Israel’s temporary control of Palestinian areas for security reasons pending negotiations to resolve the conflict. Foolish statements by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, by certain UN officials, and some Arab spokesmen deliberately ignore the huge differences in history, context, and democratic ethos between Israel and apartheid South Africa.94They strengthen the feeling that the term “apartheid” is simply being utilized (as it was in Soviet propaganda) in a purely pejorative and abusive sense in order to defame the Jewish state.

“Apartheid,” in its original South African setting, literally meant the keeping apart of the races (sexually, socially, politically) by a long list of legal prohibitions: They included separate housing, separate areas governed by pass laws, separate bus seats, whites-only beaches and benches—all of which would be unconstitutional in Israel.95 Hence, the South African system, in total contrast to Israeli democracy, was built not on equality but on racial hierarchy and purity. Equally absurd is the designation “apartheid wall” for Israel’s security fence. The barrier was not put there to separate the so-called Jewish race from Arabs, but to stop Palestinian suicide bombers from infiltrating Israel within the green line in order to murder Israeli civilians. This had nothing whatsoever to do with apartheid. Like other absurd analogies that pillory Israel as a racist or Nazi state, the myth of Zionist apartheid is yet another dark legacy of neo-Stalinist anti-Semitism bequeathed to a confused and disoriented Western world.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7trXEFcZimVZV9wYjQyZmVYdzg/view?usp=drivesdk










No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments