The Soviet Roots of Anti-Zionist Anti-Semitism

Nearly every theme now commonplace in attacks on the Jewish state—that Israel practices “apartheid”; that Zionism is a form of racism, colonialism, and imperialism; that Zionists collaborated with the Nazis; and that Jews exaggerated the horrors of the Holocaust in order to gain sympathy for Zionism—can be found in Soviet anti-Zionist propaganda carefully cultivated by the KGB and its predecessors. This rhetoric, writes Izabella Tabarovsky, can be traced back at least to the Slansky trial in 1952, when Stalin purged the Czechoslovakian Communist party of mostly Jewish high-ranking members, if not further back than that. She writes:

By the 1960s, the Soviets’ anti-Zionist propaganda arsenal widened thanks to a book, Judaism without Embellishments, by Trofim Kichko. A deeply anti-Semitic tract featuring Der Stürmer-like cartoons, it proposed that Judaism, with its concept of Jews as a chosen people, was an inherently racist religion and linked it to American “imperialism” and Israeli “colonialism.” One of the cartoons showed a stereotypical Jewish capitalist licking a boot with a swastika painted on it. . . .

The anti-Semitic nature of this campaign was appalling. The main authors contributing content—many of whom had direct links with the KGB and top party leadership—relied heavily on anti-Semitic tropes borrowed directly from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Some in the group were closet admirers of Hitler and Nazism and used Mein Kampf as both a source of “information” about Zionism and inspiration for their own interpretations. . . .

The Soviets didn’t limit themselves to fighting Zionism within their borders. An enemy such as this one had to be fought on multiple fronts, including through information warfare abroad. Here at their disposal was a powerful state-owned media apparatus [that] published numerous newspapers and magazines with a combined circulation of tens of millions of copies per year in English, German, Spanish, Hindi, French, Arabic, and other languages. . .  .

Arab-language anti-Zionist literature was an important part of Soviet propaganda directed at the Middle East, [and] served as source material for Mahmoud Abbas’s 1982 Ph.D. dissertation, [which] replicates some of the mainstays of the Soviet anti-Zionist campaign, including those concerning supposed Zionist collaboration with the Nazis during the Holocaust and casting doubt on the number of Holocaust victims.

As for the argument that there is a clear distinction between “left-wing” and “right-wing” anti-Semitism, Tabarovsky also notes:

Among the organizations that rose to prominence as perestroika lifted controls over civil society [in the 1980s] were the virulently anti-Semitic Pamyat (Memory) and Otechestvo (Homeland), which blended fascist and neo-Nazi ideas with a particular form of Russian ethnic ultra-nationalism. Some of their leaders were the same ideologues who had manufactured the Soviet anti-Zionist campaign.

Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Mahmoud Abbas, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Soviet Union

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy