By Paul Goble
In the late 1940s, Joseph Stalin formed the Anti-Zionist Committee of Soviet Society whose Jewish members advanced his thesis that “Zionism is fascism,” a claim the Soviet dictator felt would be especially credible or at least influential because of the crimes against humanity Jews had suffered under the Nazis.
These “’useful Jews,’” Alesandr Yakovenko says, “traded on their national membership in the interests of anti-democratic regimes and against the interests of their own people,” an action that under the totalitarian regime in place at the time they could avoid only at the risk of imprisonment or worse (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5A380170D5151).
Now, and with less of a threat hanging over them, the Russian commentator continues, the Putin regime is making use of Russian Jews who are prepared to cooperate with it to charge that Ukraine is now a fascist state. The most prominent representative of this group, Yakovenko says, is Moscow television host Vladimir Solovyev.
“Until 2014, Solovyev did not hide his Jewishness, but he also did not mention it every time he appeared on the air.” But after the Crimean Anschluss and the Russian invasion of the Donbass, he has mentioned his background all the time and spent 30 to 50 percent of his on-air time attacking Ukraine.
Like those of the Anti-Fascist Committee of the 1940s, Solovyev is very much “’a useful Jew’ in the service of a dictatorship.” Those who did this 70 years ago were acting in the service of the Soviet dictatorship; Solovyev and his ilk are doing so in the service of the Putin dictatorship.
In his statements, Solovyev makes three false arguments: First, he insists that the small group of extremists in Ukraine is typical of all Ukrainians. Second, he “lies that in present-day Ukraine anti-Semitic Nazi attitudes dominate” even though Jews serve in prominent positions in Kyiv. And third, he says Bandera has been christened a national hero, even though that isn’t true.
To promote these falsehoods, Yakovenko continues, Solovyev has on his show people who are prepared to do what he is doing, including Yevgeny Satanovsky, Yakov Kedmi, ad Avigdor Eskin, and, “speculating on the theme of the Holocaust, presents the war in Ukraine as a struggle between good (Putin) and absolute evil (Ukraine and its American backers).
By mixing all these things together, the Russian commentator says, Solovyev and his friends seek to blame the West and not just the Nazis for the Holocaust, to claim that “exclusively the USSR and Stalin personally” won the war over fascism, and, what is especially obscene, to suggest that the conflict between Putin’s Russia and the West is “a continuation of the struggle with Nazism which it turns out Putin is now conducting.”
Putin in fact and not the West is the one who has made friends with Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Asad, all of who have elevated anti-Semitism and the destruction of Israel to “the rank of official policy.” But “that is something that “’useful Jews’” like Solovyev “prefer to close their eyes to.
Solovyev displays many aspects of a megalomania that is fed by his appearances on television. He is “sincerely convinced that he better than anyone” is able to understand all aspects of human activity.” And he now constantly develops “his favorite idea that the Russians are the Jews of today” and have taken “the baton” from the Jews to march forward.
One could dismiss the megalomania of Solovyev as his personal problem, Yakovenko concludes; but his efforts to promote hatred of the West, Ukraine and the Russian opposition is something else. “It is a crime,” one made more horrific than otherwise because he uses “the greatest tragedy of the Jewish people” to advance the cause of the latest Russian dictator.