Last Word On Jews In Russia

At least until the issue arises again. Over to Alex Mercouris:

… I do not agree that the two big revolutionary parties in tsarist Russia, the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Social Democrats were under Jewish ideological influence. I do not know what “Jewish ideology” is. Anyway the Socialist Revolutionaries had their origins in the far left Russian terrorist groups and movements of the 1860s and 1870s such as the People’s Will which were emphatically Russian and not Jewish (a disproportionate number of their members were the children of Orthodox priests). As for the Social Democrats the influence here was German not Jewish and the first important Russian Marxist and the founder of the Russian Social Democrats, Georgy Plekhanov, was emphatically a Russian not a Jew.

There was a disproportionately large number of Jews amongst the senior leaders of the Russian Social Democrats (less so amongst the Socialist Revolutionaries), a fact by the way that strongly refutes the view of widespread anti semitism amongst the Russian lower classes, but the Social Democrats were never a Jewish dominated party and as is well know the Jewish socialist party in tsarist Russia known as the Jewish Bund was refused admission into the Social Democrats when it insisted on maintaining its independent organisation and identity.

As for it being a well known fact that the USSR had institutionalised anti semitism, that is a widely held opinion rather than a fact. Certainly it is an opinion that is difficult to reconcile with the first decades of the Soviet government. Three of Lenin’s closest associates in the Bolshevik party and in the Soviet government, Zinoviev, the head of the Comintern and the party chief in Petrograd, Sverdlov, the first Soviet head of state and Kamenev, Sverdlov’s successor, were Jewish. Lenin’s first Foreign Minister and subsequent Defence Minister, Trotsky, was Jewish. So was Lenin’s Finance Minister during the NEP period Sokolnikov.

As for Stalin one of his closest associates Kaganovich was Jewish, the wife of his other close associate, Molotov, Polina Zhemchugina, was Jewish and a minister in the Soviet government in her own right, as was the second wife of his dreaded secret police chief, Yezhov. Of Stalin’s other officials, his longest serving Foreign Minister, Litvinov, was Jewish as was one of his other secret police chiefs, Yagoda, and one of his wartime Marshals, Chernyakhovsky. As is well know Stalin also employed extensively important Jewish cultural figures to propagandise his policies, first and foremost the film director Sergei Eisenstein and the writer and publicist Ilya Ehrenburg.

As for the Doctors’ Plot, the motivations for it are obscure and it is far clear whether those who were arrested were arrested because some of them were Jews or (which is actually more likely) because all of them were doctors and there happened a disproportionate number of senior doctors at that time in the USSR who were Jews. If it was intended as the start of an anti semitic campaign (for which there is in fact no evidence in anything Stalin himself ever said) then it must be considered a complete failure because it achieved no resonance amongst the wider Soviet public and was immediately abandoned after Stalin’s death when all the persons arrested were released and rehabilitated.

There is no doubt that a shift did take place after the Six Day War in 1967 with Soviet hostility to Israel resulting in a number of deeply unpleasant anti semitic individuals on the fringes of the Soviet political and literary establishment coming out of the woodwork and tensions between the USSR and Israel and the effect of Jewish emigration causing tensions between Jews and the Soviet authorities to an extent that had simply not been the case before. However I personally would not describe even this period as one of “institutionalised anti semitism” as any comparison with the genuinely institutionalised anti semitism of pre Second World War central and eastern Europe shows.

Counter-argument via Leon Leontz:

I would like to offer a brief discourse into the causation link between the anti Semitism in Russia on one hand and the fall of the Czarist Russia and the collapse of the USSR on the other. The pogroms and the Black Hundreds instigated by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Czar fomented revolutionary movement among the Jewish youth who took the ideas of Marx and transformed them into two basic political movements: Socialist Revolutionary Party and RSDRP, both ideologically dominated by the Jews.
The WWI was obviously a catalyst but the Communist Revolution wouldn’t have happened, hadn’t the Czar antagonized and revolutionized the most politically active and somewhat wealthy part of the Jewish population in Russia. Moving 50 years forward to the Israeli victory in the Six Days War of 1967, when anti Semitism has greatly increased in the USSR, dropping the regular 50% Jewish enrollment in the Moscow State University to a meager 5% and then even less, when defending a dissertation, getting a good job, etc., has become very difficult, the Jewish refusnik and dissident movement has generated internal instability and inspired the West to economic and political sanctions. This, together with the resulting Jewish brain drain to the West, was a major factor of the USSR’s collapse. I would estimate the number of Jews in Russia closer to 220k, which is still very small, less than 0.2% and I would agree with Adomanis that Putin is certainly not anti Semitic, so it won’t be a factor in any ffuture problems of Russia. The WWII, was single handedly won by the USSR, the US and UK were a minor nuisance at best, sometimes to Russians, sometimes to Germans. The decisive factor in the second half of the war was the total air superiority USSR had over german Luftwaffe due to MIGs and LAs invented by Gurevich and Lavochkin, respectively, both Jewish.

By an institutionalized anti Semitism I do not mean that all Jews who were hired before 1967, were suddenly fired. What I mean is that enrollment in MGU and Fiztech and other prestigious universities went from 50% to 1% in one year, VAK threw out 90% of dissertations defended by Jews, while before the percentage of rejections was about 1-2%, it was difficult to find a good research job and Jews were music teachers with a talent to be top notch performers. To prove my point, those who emigrated to US became University professors, highly paid musicians, top notch engineers. Many world famous mathematicians never became academicians even though they got Fields medals (equivalent of math Nobel) . When they emigrated, they became the world leading professors at the top Universities. Many average Jews with University degrees couldn’t find a job or couldn’t publish. I had 6 publications in the most prestigious Soviet math journals, solving a long standing problem in math, by the age 19, but my scientiic advisor was told I will never be admitted to a graduate school, a Jew to be admitted to a graduate school had to be a Communist party member, so I left for US, even though I was not really Jewish, just a Jewish last name, of which I am very proud and I never said to anybody that I wasn’t, so they always assumed that I was, good for me, to be considered Jewish is a great honor. My advisor, has recommended that I get a ffirst prize award for my discovery and publications and he was told to never present people with such last names for awards anymore. In US, I found out that I did not have to work very hard to get a Ph.D. and a tenured position as a professor. It was also very easy to publish. Money was never a problem, not for a second. Just had to live in a concrete jungle and drive a car everywhere. Even Gentiles who had a scientiic position at that time, 1967-1985 would tell you the Jews were discriminated against, even though they still had disproportionatey high percentage of intellectual jobs. In the math olympiad in Moscow, 50-60% of all awards were given to Jews, despite the fact that only 2% of moscovites were Jewish, but in Kiev it was almost none. Apparently, anti Semitism was stronger there. A friend of mine told me, his papers were always lost in Kiev olympiad until he moved to Moscow and became the USSR champion in the 10th grade math. Another Jewish friend of mine, solved a famous open problem, but wasn’t confirmed in his dissertation defence, when he emigrated to US, he got a tenure at an Ivy league school very shortly. Israel Gelfand, arguably the greatest 20th century mathematician, did not become an academician until 1990, he was routinely blocked by the anti Semitic establishment in the Academy of Sciences, as well as the score of other Jews who solved Hilbert problems such as Arnold, Gelfond (not Gelfand), etc. I think to deny there was persecution/discrimination of Jews in 1967-1985 is the same as to deny the Holocaust. Everybody who lived through it remembers.


  1. Leon Lentz says:

    USSR had institutionalized anti Semitism during 1948-1953 and 1967-1985 years, some assert 1938-1941 to a lesser extent. Denying it based on other years’ relative tolerance is foolish, just as denying that there was a Holocaust by pointing out that the Jews are OK in today’s Germany. You completely undermine your credibility by doubting the obvious. Any Jewish person who was an adult during some of the years of 1967-1985 will tell you that. We also have numerous written testimonies and statistics: in Math Dept. MGU, there were 50% of Jewish students accepted in 1966, 10% in 1967 and 2-3% in later years. Ask any Jewish mathematician who is a professor in US and lived through some of these years, read Sergey Novikov’s memoirs. Your ignorance is foolish if not malicious.

  2. Leon Lentz says:

    My aunt, who was not Jewish, worked for the ministry of education and she told us about all the anti Semitic restrictions placed on accepting Jewish students to prestigious Universities. There were defended dissertations most of which never were affirmed by VAK. Professors of MGU were trained how to identiy and flunk Jews. A friend of mine was given to prove Chebyshev prime number distribution theorem on the entrance exam, which is very difficult even for a Ph.D. in this area, but he did prove it, the examination Professor did not know if the proof was correct and went to consult [AK Edit: REDACTED], the chief anti Semite at the acceptance commission. That student got a”C” enough not to let him in. Anybody who lived at that time and was unemployed and Jewish would tell you stories of trying to find a job and being told that they need engineers but don’t need you, personally. Anybody who would deny that there was an institutionalized anti Semitism in 1967-1985 is either a rare semiretarded ignoramus or a malicious anti Semite himself.

    AK Edit (2015/01/23): I got the following message from the daughter of the target of Leon Lentz’s accusations above. Since those accusations are apparently unfounded slander, I have removed all references to his name. Please note that “Leon Lentz” is an emotionally unbalanced troll who was banned from this blog long ago for repeated personal attacks on other commentators.

    My father [AK Edit: REDACTED]
    1) never been AntiSemite
    2) never been at the acceptence commission at any University, including
    MGU, after 1967; since he worked at MGU only for 1/2 staff and such people
    DO NOT PARTICIPATE in the acceptance comissions. At 1967 he was 30 years
    old :before that he could participate in such commissions, but at that
    times he was not an important person, since he became later Doctor of
    Science (the second degree, Dr. Hab in the West) and the Professorship.

    So this is a direct lie.

    I will not comment this note of L.Lentz, but if this person really
    exists, I afraid, he is from ill mentally Fermatists who hated my
    father since he disproved their wrong proofs of theorems, and this note
    is a revenge of a madman who was not able to prove the Riemann
    hypothesis or Fermat last theorem (all such proofs tested my father)
    and tried to ruin the reputation of professor [AK Edit: REDACTED]. But all
    such accusations are easily reflectable by facts:

    — [AK Edit: REDACTED] never could accept/reject anybody who tried to enter the
    university since he never been in the acceptance committee;
    — [AK Edit: REDACTED] never been Anti semite since he never claimed about it:
    this accusation is simply rough words which everybody can tell about
    everybody; unfortunately scot-free.
    I think, if you have doubts about [AK Edit: REDACTED] in this direction, you
    should ask about it the former Jewish students of [AK Edit: REDACTED], prof.
    [AK Edit: REDACTED] from Los Angeles University and Dr. [AK Edit: REDACTED]

  3. Somewhat off topic here, but on the subject of the Sino-Triumphalist, at least one guest on the Coast to Coast AM radio program Dr. John Apsley (admittedly out there) said that China’s ‘cities and highways to nowhere’ might actually be filled with re-settled Japanese refugees in the event one of the Fukushima reactors now teetering goes off and contaminates Japan. Admittedly it seems very wacko considering Japan and China have been enemies for centuries, and China’s already had some modest rioting here and there — one could imagine what would happen if 50-80 million Japanese showed up…but…just something to consider, maybe those cities weren’t just built in a frenzy of crazed real estate speculation.

    • At least one new Chinese city is being built solely to establish dominion over contested waters and islands offshore which are jointly claimed by China and other countries.

  4. Branko Stojanovic says:

    Great video on subject

  5. It is impossible to understand USSR’s policies affecting its Jewish population without a grounding in the Soviet nationality politics in general. Stalin’s treatment of the Jews was indeed different from that in other groups, but it was so in a different way that you may think. The Soviet Union at a time of crisis and raised security concerns during the Great Retreat after the Socialist Offensive developed its brand of xenophobia. It henceforth greatly distrusted any individual or group which had cross-border ethnic ties to large populations of ethnic kin outside its control. It therefore, about half way through the Great Purge, begun to disproportionally targeted such populations for repression. These would be Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Finns, etc. There was also at least one exception — the Jews. Albeit the most glaring example of a Soviet nationality with ethnic kin outside Stalin’s reach they were, for whatever reason, not repressed in a similar manner to that of Poles, etc.

    So then what we have in Stalin’s final years and the Doctor’s Plot are signs, signals, that the Jews would no longer be an exception, but that they too would now experience something the other diaspora nationalities had already gone through starting with 1937. Fortunately Stalin died before this could take place.

    Keeping this in mind, that when Stalin made an exception for the Jews, it was to spare them treatment he unleashed on others that were in a similar position, and that when he targeted them for repression it was under a rationalization that was not Jewish-specific, but diaspora nationality-specific it is a little strange to talk of “institutionalized anti-semitism” in the Stalin era. I think it is correct to say that Stalin-era USSR instituted policies which were objectively anti-semitic in their effect, (as it after all instituted policies that were anti-Polonian, anti-Latvian, etc and even anti-Russian for that manner) but that does not mean these were driven by anti-semitism.

    • Leon Lentz says:

      The Jews were the most sympathetic group to the ideas of socialism. My Grandfather was Jewish and a chemistry professor in Poland with millions made by his parents in textile factory business. He gave it all up and moved to Moscow just to help with the industrialization, he has become one of the world’s renowned chemists but gave up the wealth and luxury for rather foolish idealism.Stalin did not spare the Jews as compared to other ethnicities hostile to his rule, there were simply much less hostility among them toward the regime than among ethnic Russians or any other group. The doctor’s plot indicates pure anti Semitism. In general, I am amazed at the ignorance of remarks here concerning the Jews. It seems some knowledge of other affairs is present in some cases, but the inormation about the Jews is taken decidedly from anti Semitic sources or just off the wall.

  6. Leon Lentz says:

    My Own Last Word: Living in America I am amazed at the degree of idiotic misconceptions Americans have about Russia, it is a mixture of malicious deliberate propaganda, abysmal ignorance and ill will in general. I was told how lucky I was to live in America where I can express my opinion, have plumbing, hot water and being able to freely choose my religion, to be able to travel and choose my girlfriend not approved by the KGB. I am equally appalled at the ill will and ignorance of posters here on such elementary things about USSR as an institutionalized anti Semitism. Apparently, nobody lived there at that time or gave a damn enough to read about it. Thousands of books written on it, read Dovlatov, Brodsky, Rubina, any Jewish dissident. The ignorance of AK about it is appalling. To know details about Ivan the Terrible and Old Russian history and yet not know that Jews were routinely denied employment, education, admitssions to Universities, promotions, etc. solely on the fact they were Jewish, to invent contrived arguments to defend anti Semitism and present it as something else, isn’t it what the US media is doing to Russia?
    Imagine a Jewish person who escaped from Auschwitz and he enters an intellectual discussion with people who say that not only Holocaust did not happen but Hitler was a fictional cartoon character invented by Zionists. This is how ridiculous AK et al position is. Read literature guys, talk to witnesses who lived then in the USSR and were a concerned party. In Kentucky, I was once asked at a party whether there is a Moon in Russia and I said that it was but it is small and red. I was taken seriously. Some children on the street asked me once where I was from and .wanted to know whether I drove there all the way from Russia. Many Americans did not think I was Russian, they thought I was born in Russia but from American parents because I did not look any different from the rest of the people. Finally, one of my colleagues made a tongue in cheek announcement in his class that all Shakespeare’s plays were not written by Shakespeare, but by another person, with the same name, who lived at the same time and looked the same. This announcement was taken seriously as an interesting new fact. Intellectually, I think the Holocaust denial and USSR institutionalized anti Semitism denials are of the same kind, an abysmal lack of common sense and elementary knowledge of history. I have a colleague at a University with whom I frequently have a lunch at the University cafeteria because he teaches labs for my lectures. Despite my numerous denials he is still convinced that Stalin- like arrests did not happen during my life time, that under Brezhnev one could criticize the regime and not be arrested, that dissident inmates ran in the dozens, may be hundreds, not millions. I think I would have to give up hoping there are open minded people on either side willing to learn the truth rather than learn enough facts to attempt to pull another ignoramus to their camp.
    Intellectually, I am afraid this is just as closed minded place as La Russophobe. They love Hitler, US, Estonian and Ukrainian anti Semites and Hitler collaborators. You guys love USSR no matter what and both dislike the Jews. La Russophobes would tend to blame Jews for Bolshevism, Da Russophiles would blame them for betraying Mother Russia to the West.

    • Indeed I am just like La Russophobe, that is why I not only allow you to comment but publish one of your comments alongside Alex Mercouris’.

    • Andrei Geim was not admitted to his chosen University twice becaus of his Jewsih sounding surname, but then he switched to Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT). Also in Universities in Ufa there were a lot of jews from Soviet Ukraine which couldn’t get hight education closer to home becaus eof anti-semitism of educational institutions there.

    • I don’t think that DaRussophile is somehow antisemitic. I even remember that somewhere in his “bio” Anatoly mentioned that his surname has Ashkenazi roots – remark which hardly would be made by antisemitic person.

  7. “Imagine a Jewish person who escaped from Auschwitz and he enters an intellectual discussion with people who say that not only Holocaust did not happen but Hitler was a fictional cartoon character invented by Zionists”

    Just lost your credibility there mate – routine bullshit Hitler comparisons = minus 1000 credibility points, & being Jewish cut’s you no slack these days I’m afraid…

    • leon lentz says:

      I am glad I have no credibility with somebody like you, who post comments devoid of any new ideas or any ideas.

  8. yalensis says:

    @Leon: You do make some good debating points (your statistics on enrollment, your anecdotes about dissertations at MGU, and so on, that all rings true), but you are NOT a very good debater, because you just lose it and start attacking people in the most vicious way the moment you encounter any disagreement. You order us to read books that we have already read and maybe don’t find so impressive because they are ideologically slanted.
    You are also quick to jump to wild conclusions. On previous blog I said a few words praising USSR for saving Jews from Nazi extermination, so you jumped to the conclusion I am a neo-Nazi. How can you be the great mathematician you say you are, and yet also be so illogical?
    Also, you are way off base when you jump to conclusion this is a pro-USSR blog. In reality, I believe I am the only sovok type who comments regularly on this blog and tries to defend legacy of USSR. Most of the others, including Anatoly, usually trash USSR as a failed state. Which, from your point of view, worked out great for you, because you had been able to emigrate (posing as a Jew, by your own admission), and find a good job and a better life in a more advanced country. Hence, why are you so bitter and angry now, all these years later? You should be smiling and happy as a lark.
    My advice to you, Leon: cool down and try to be civilized. The last thing the world needs is another angry man.

    • Dear Leon,

      I would also quickly add to Yalensis’s comment (with which I agree) that your evidence of “institutionalised anti semitism” in the later Soviet period seems to rest entirely on Soviet higher education policy. This has been discussed elsewhere on Anatoly’s blog including in a brief comment by me. Suffice to say as I said in that comment that as I heard myself on Radio Moscow overseas broadcasts in the 1970s and 1980s the Soviet authorities made no secret of their higher education policies and did not deny but on the contrary openly admitted that these adversely affected middle class people including disproportionately Jews and that this was defended at the time as part of a policy of making prestigious higher education institutions more accessible to young people from working class and rural families.

      I notice by the way that you mention the impossibility for you to join the Communist Party without a graduate diploma. The point is that here again the Soviet authorities actually had a policy at this time of recruiting for the party membership from amongst shop floor workers and farm workers, which again tended to work against more middle class people. Again this was a sharp reversal of policy from what it had been in Stalin’s time when the tendency had been on the contrary to limit the size of the party’s membership and to recruit disproportionately amongst the elite.

      Lastly, as I said in the last paragaph in my comment which Anatoly has been kind enough to reproduce, there is no doubt that after 1967 relations between the Soviet government and the Jewish community in the USSR got worse and that some deeply unpleasant people with anti semitic opinions took advantage of this. However that still does not translate in my opinion into anything that remotely resembles “institutional anti semitism” just as it in no way shows that there was widespread anti semitism amongst the mass of the Russian people (widespread anti semitism may have existed in some other places within the USSR such as parts of the Ukraine and possibly the Baltic States and this may account for the difference you mention in the situation between Moscow and Kiev but my comments have been about the official policy of the Soviet authorities and also specifically about Russia and Russians).

      A great deal more can be said about this subject. For example if the Soviet government was genuinely anti semitic then it is difficult to understand why it sought to discourage Jewish emigration instead of encouraging it (as the Nazis had done). In saying this I should make it clear that I do not agree with you that the brain drain caused by Jewish emigration was the main factor in the Soviet collapse. However the history of the Jews in Russia is an enormous subject about which we can argue for weeks and in view of this and since I recognise the sincerity and strength of your feelings on this question, which are clearly born from personal experience, I propose even though I disagree with you on many of your facts and arguments to close the subject at least from my end and to leave it at that.

      • leon lentz says:

        Only the Jews were discriminated against and there was a drastic change between 1966 and 1967. This debunks 90% of your arguments. Also, the greatest impact of state sponsored anti Semitism was denial of jobs to Jews, something you assume did not happen. The state anti Semitism certainly was kept a secret. This contradicts to all of your statements.

    • Leon Lentz says:

      I think you misread me, I never said I am a great mathematician, neither did I say what anything else you attribute to me, like being an angry man is a figment of your imagination. I pray tell me what book have you read about Soviet anti Semitism in 1967-1985? How many? I bet you have read none, despite your assertions on the contrary. I did not emigrate posing as a Jew, just about everything else you say is perverted. I left on International agreement between US and USSR (Helsinki). There is no point to debate with you because everybody, millions who lived at these times in USSR know the truth and nothing will penetrate your skull, no matter what you read or hear.

    • leon lentz says:

      @Yalensis:Concerning your last comment: I am actually not against USSR. It would have been just fine if it continued as under Khruschev and adopted a Chinese model of today or New Economic Policy of Lenin. The Brezhnev’s establishment anti Semitism is what was the final blow and resulted in its collapse. USSR had in the beginning a better educational system and intellectual superiority over the West until the influx of European Jewish scientists during around WWII time. USSR had a unique opportunity but it squandered incredible intellectual, technical and natural riches and ended up in extreme poverty in the 90s until Putin somewhat corrected the problem.

  9. amspirnational says:

    American anti-Zionists who use appropriate terms such as “dual loyalists” are frequently described as anti-semites. This is the culmination of several generations wherein the “mainstream” Jewish community,(dissdents excepted and often labeled “self-hating”) has devolved to identification with Israel as a necessary expression of Jewish identity, together with a confined reading of events of the Second World War designed to maintain sympathy for the Zionist project.

    It is east to be labelled as “anti-semitic” in such a climate, but thankfully in less effective
    manner of late.

  10. yalensis says:

    I want to add a point about American meddling in Soviet internal affairs, in the context of the Cold War (in post-Stailn period). After Israeli military victory in 6-day war of 1967, USA and Israel consolidated their strategic relationship in Middle East. Israel also signed on to American strategic goals in Cold War, which was to destroy Soviet Union, using whatever means necessary. Soviet Jews became a pawn in this great game. Americans pretended to care about their “human rights” and lured them to emigrate, supposedly to Israel. In reality, with a few exceptions, only the lower-class Jews emigrated to Israel (to become cannon-fodder for the settler movement), whereas the more qualified ones made a beeline for America.
    By engaging in this act of geo-political meddling against the Soviet Union, the America/Israel alliance achieved in a two-fer: (1) they brought in more warm bodies to Israel, which became the settler movement, purpose of which was to squat on Palestinian land and help crowd out Palestinians; and (2) they damaged the Soviet Union by draining it of its brains. I agree with Mercouris that this brain-drain was not harmful enough to cause eventual collapse of USSR, but it probably was contributing factor. Having said that, I don’t think Soviet Union was harmed at all by losing some of those “dissident” artists and poets like Brodsky and so on, whose work was pretty lousy anyway. But losing so many scientists and mathematicians definitely hurt. Even more so than capitalist societies, socialist societies are really dependent on their intelligentsia to keep things running smoothly.

    • Leon Lentz says:

      I can mention hundreds of names of the most brilliant mathematicians and physicists who came to Israel ffrom Russia. That has raised Israel’s standards of living significantly. The brain drain in the USSR resulting from Jews fleeing anti Semitic establishment and the corresponding international sanctions is the main reason for the collapse of the USSR. Due to the talent of Russian Jews, Israel is the most innovative per capita country in the world with one of the highest concentration of scientists.. To summarize: Yalensis article above is ignorant, false and deliberately distorting the truth, i.e. wherever he knows what the truth is, he distorts it, and whenever he doesn’t, he just happens to be randomly blabbering. I looked at his profile where he is depicted with outstretched hand and barefooted, isn’t it a fitting picture of a mental poverty of an anti Semite, pretending to be fair? Or is he a even a hermaphrodite as his garb suggests?

      • yalensis says:

        @Leon: [In a stern yet non-threatening voice]: You may attack ME all you wish, but you may NOT attack my avatar. He is quite touchy about that sort of thing. And he’s not a hermaphrodite, he’s just a tad confused about his sexuality. (Note Verse #5 where he inexplicably rejects the advances of the beautiful maiden.)
        FYI for my avatar I decided to download this image, it’s a very famous illustration to Longfellow’s poem “Excelsior”. Alpinist for sure is wearing inappropriate garb, I grant you that: a tunic and ballet slippers instead of the usual warm parka and hiking boots. But Longfellow was trying to make an important point about the tragic glory of the human quest to go “ever higher”:

        The shades of night were falling fast,
        As through an Alpine village passed
        A youth, who bore, ‘mid snow and ice,
        A banner with the strange device,
        His brow was sad; his eye beneath,
        Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
        And like a silver clarion rung
        The accents of that unknown tongue,
        In happy homes he saw the light
        Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
        Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
        And from his lips escaped a groan,
        “Try not the Pass!” the old man said:
        “Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
        The roaring torrent is deep and wide!
        And loud that clarion voice replied,
        “Oh stay,” the maiden said, “and rest
        Thy weary head upon this breast!”
        A tear stood in his bright blue eye,
        But still he answered, with a sigh,
        “Beware the pine-tree’s withered branch!
        Beware the awful avalanche!”
        This was the peasant’s last Good-night,
        A voice replied, far up the height,
        At break of day, as heavenward
        The pious monks of Saint Bernard
        Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
        A voice cried through the startled air,
        A traveller, by the faithful hound,
        Half-buried in the snow was found,
        Still grasping in his hand of ice
        That banner with the strange device,
        There in the twilight cold and gray,
        Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
        And from the sky, serene and far,
        A voice fell, like a falling star,

        C’mon, Leon, you HAVE to admit that this is a really cool poem…
        And P.S. you really need to get your own avatar so you don’t have that silly green pattern next to your name. If you scour the internet, I bet you could find an appropriate image, like maybe this one:

        • Jennifer Hor says:

          Lovely poem by Longfellow.

          When pursuing an idealistic quest, the last things on most youths’ minds as they pack their rucksacks and then race to the airport are to buy super-strength condoms, check the laws on rape and its definition in the countries they have to pass through and keep up to date on which country has what kind of extradition treaty with the US. That is why the traveller was conflicted.

          • yalensis says:

            Ha ha, clever allusion, Jennifer! Never thought of Julian Assange as being the “beautiful youth” carrying the “Excelsior” banner., but that might as well be his theme song now. And, BTW, on some blog discussions of this poem, some readers don’t understand the English word “device” in its older meaning, so they think the alpinist youth is carrying an “Excelsior” brand palm pilot, or something like that. Which would be very apropos of Julian!
            P.S. I read the “horse” poem you linked, “The Man from Snowy River”. It’s a great poem! Although I was rooting for the ponies to get away…

    • leon lentz says:

      How do you know Brodsky’s work was lousy? Do you even know Russian? Is it also possible that you are sore because it takes about 300 Gentiles like you to do what one Jew can do? That’s about the ratio of Ashkenazi Jews/per Nobel vs. Gentiles per Nobel? There is a theoretical possibility that a monkey typing randomly can come up with Brodsky’s quality work, after about a million of years trying, but not you. So why don’t entry level Gentiles like you just accept the notion that Jews are more intelligent people than you or yours and respect that?

    • leon lentz says:

      Yalensis, to understand Brodsky’s poetry, one needs to be a bit above 6th grade middle school reading/comprehension level. This may come as a surprise to most Americans. I found your picture in your profile a bit hermaphrodite, could it be that your brain size/butt size ratio of about .000001 prevents you from appreciating a poetry above the 6th grade level?

  11. Moscow Exile says:

    Discrimination against Jews in the USSR notwithstanding, many who emigrated tio the USA, often as minors, seem to have made a bee-line for post Soviet Russia.

    I have lived in Russia since the very early ’90s and most of my United States colleagues here in the ’90s seemed to be Jewish; in fact, most of them told me that they were. I don’t know why they though it important for them to do so.

    No sluggards at spotting viable business opportunities, I am sure very many Soviet Jewish immigrants to the USA saw the main chance in Yetsin’s Russia. I recall how the first coffe house chain in Russia (Хофе Хаус – was founded by a United States Jewish husband and wife team, each partner having emigrated to the USA from Brezhnev’s Russia as small children.

    And of course, there’s Ms Gessen, she who despises all things Russian with a passion but nevertheless has chosen to return and live there. Gessen used to wax lyrical when a resident of the USA about anti-semitism in Russia and how “evreika” (Jewess) was stamped in her old Soviet international passport under “nationality”, albeit that Ukrainians, Tatars, Bashkirs, Estonians etc., etc. also had their national identity stamped in their passports as well. Then came the day when the nationality section of the new post-Soviet Russian international passport was done away with. When that happened, Gessen had already moved back to Russia as a US journalist in order to pour her bile on the place that she hates so much from where the action actually happens. And guess what: Gessen started bleating in the Moscow Times about how she felt that with the removal of “Jewess” from her Russian passport (she has dual US and Russian citizenship) the Russian state had “stolen her identity”.

    You just can’t win with some folk.

    • What is really annoying is that these absurd flip flops are never used to foist these monkeys by their own petards. It’s like with Daniel “my oil production and price forecasts are always wrong wildly” Yergin who is the go to expert on the oil industry by the media. This is simply laughable, they are better off tossing a coin or asking some random person on the street.

    • Leon Lentz says:

      Apparently you found somebody Jewish you did not like. Big deal!. I found Gentiles who ate human brains, like Jeffrey Dahmer. And why even talk about him? People like you with their pettiness are a lot more unsavory than the character you just described.

  12. Well, Shuvalov is the number 3 man in Russia whose jewish experience might be similar to that of Charles Lindbergh. I’d seriously wager that the semitic influence in Russia is headed downward.

    If jewish researchers win Nobel Prizes, I say good for them, maybe they deserve it. Barack Obama and Al Gore? I have some doubt. Those who claim superiority of the semitic influence however need to educate themselves:

    • Obviously Jews are far less heavily represented within the Russian government today than they used to be but one important Russian official who is Jewish at least on his father’s side is Mikhail Fradkov who was for a time Putin’s Prime Minister and who now heads the Russian intelligence service the SVR.

      PS: Anatoly, there has been a reply from the Guardian. I have sent you the details via Facebook.

  13. Speaking of Russia and the U.S…here’s a parody of what would happen if Russia and China started copying U.S./NATO policy and interventionism:!/2012/07/russia-passes-border-patrol-agent-brian.html

  14. Leon Lentz says:

    To AK:
    I agree with your views on modern Russia (to a point) and I think you have a grasp on modern Russian politics. However, you have no clue about the USSR. Both, Western propaganda and the official Soviet literature are highly prejudicial. You can’t research USSR as if it were some sort of archeological dig. The people who lived there are still alive and they know the truth. E.g. German low education figures are not the result of a discrimination but of their rural locations. On the other hand, telling there was no state anti Semitism is a joke which nobody in Russia who is over 40 would believe. Even such a hardcore anti Semite scum as Solzhenitsyn acknowledges this. In math, there is such a thing as the law of large numbers and the central limit theorem. In layman’s terms it says that it is sufficient to get data from a few dozen samples to get an accurate information about the whole population, provided samples are random. Certainly, hundreds of cases is more than enough. So, one’s life experience is more than sufficient and it beats reading charts and statistics. I would read Russian samizdat and books published by the Russian emigres who left in the 70s and .80s.

  15. To claim that Jews were a persecuted class at least before 67 where I imagine it was due to them being perceived as a subversive class within the USSR that has more to do with Zionism than there Jewish character when there was a shift from state authority to largely Jewish organised crime in the 70’s is pretty laughable.

    Although not exclusively they were the main driving force who were supported the pre 1917 Marxist terrorism not just in Russia but internationally seeking to undermine with the Tzar with allegations of engineered pogroms that were a result of anti-Marxist terrorist operations, organised crime that had as booming prostitution and white slave industry and usury who were supported mainly by Britain and other countries as a geo-political weapon to undfermine the Russian state.

    It is post Soviet era due to establishment and government funded organisations and NGO like NED funded Memorial that conducts Soviet research in Russia and exhibitions that is trying to promote Stalinism and the USSR as a Russian nationalist movement.

    The latest thing is to equate the Soviets with the Nazis to the point they secretly worked on the Holocaust together that makes as much sense as Stalin created a man made famine in Ukraine that exclusively targeted the Russia-Soviet leaning East not nationalist West that makes zero sense given the geo-political climate at the time.

  16. I didn’t wish to ask for a last word to the last word to “the last word,” but I couldn’t stay indifferent about this:

    In 1920 WS Churchill penned an article where he said: ….. look at the miserable state of Russia, where of all countries in the world the Jews were the most cruelly treated,…..

    How much truth is in this statement?

    • Truth in a Winston Churchill quote? Well I don’t know. England ethnically cleansed its Jews in the 13th century, so I don’t know how exactly is it that Russia gets the medal for the cruelest treatment of Jews?

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