The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism, and the Realities of Jewish Bolsheviks

Occurring frequently in Nazi propaganda, the term Judeo-Bolshevism suggested a complete identity between Communism and the alleged Jewish world conspiracy that was a staple of anti-Semitic fantasy. In A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism, Paul Hanebrink provides a history of this idea, whose roots lie deep in the 19th century, and which led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Jews even before the founding of the Nazi party. The myth, however, grew out of two undeniable realities: the overrepresentation of Jews in the ranks of the Soviet Communist party and other revolutionary movements, and the horrors of Soviet Communism. In his review, Gary Saul Morson takes Hanebrink to task for glossing over these realities:

[S]o far as I know, none of the Jewish Communists was acting as a Jew. One reason this fact is so important is that the idea of Judeo-Bolshevism rested upon the lie propounded in the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion—the most widely circulated anti-Semitic tract in history—that world leaders are actually fronts for the hidden elders and knowingly act to ensure their domination of the world. Since Bolsheviks themselves proclaimed their aim was world revolution, all that was needed was to describe the Bolsheviks as working for the elders.

That is entirely false, and not only because there were no such elders. Bolshevik Jews—not just Leon Trotsky and the Comintern leader Grigory Zinoviev—did not consider themselves to be acting as Jews or for the Jews. The Hungarian Communist leader Mátyás Rákosi, one of the “little Stalins” ruling Eastern Europe after World War II, was, although Jewish, given to anti-Semitic remarks. . . . The Judeo-Bolshevik myth notwithstanding, it was precisely by repudiating their Jewishness that these Jews became Communists. . . .

Central to Hanebrink’s argument, [however], is his rejection of . . . any characterization of Soviet and Nazi horrors as comparable. . . .

And yet, notes Morson, some Jews themselves were among the first to acknowledge the similarities between the two evil regimes:

The Soviet Jewish novelist and journalist Vasily Grossman is usually considered the first person to describe the Holocaust, which he witnessed taking place in Nazi-occupied Soviet territory. With no illusions about Nazism, he, too, equated the two regimes in his famous novels Forever Flowing and Life and Fate. What particularly appalled him was the Soviet collectivization of agriculture, which took the lives of at least 10 million people, half of whom died in a deliberate campaign of forced starvation. . . . The first paragraph of The Harvest of Sorrow, Robert Conquest’s 400-page classic account of this “war in the countryside,” explains: “We may perhaps put this in perspective . . . by saying that in the actions here recorded, about twenty human lives were lost for, not every word, but every letter, in this book.”

Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: Anti-Semitism, Bolshevism, Communism, History & Ideas, Nazism, Soviet Union, Vasily Grossman

Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security