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    WaPo Writer Tweet Revives Nazi-Era Claims of Jewish Allegiance to Moscow

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    In the midst of a widening gap between Moscow and Washington, as the US prepares for great power confrontation with Russia and China, as the Russiagate probe continues unabated, investigating any-and-everything Russian as potentially suspicious, one journalist decided that now was the time to accuse US Jews of standing out as defenders of Moscow.

    Now that writer is being pilloried from all corners of the political spectrum.

    In the early 20th century, Jews were a common target of slander, especially for nationalists and anti-communists, who suggested they were naturally traitors to their countries. After the Soviet Union was formed, that theory took on the form of so-called "Judeo-Bolshevism," the idea that Jews were secretly communists in the employ of Moscow. Some of the worst atrocities of the modern era, namely the systematic murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis and their allies, hinged on this portrayal of Jews as servants of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

    Why Washington Post contributing columnist Isaac Stone Fish felt the need to revive that trope in 2019 is indeed puzzling — most all because Fish himself is Jewish.

    But it seems no good chauvinist trope goes wasted in times of national crisis, and with Moscow once again Bad Guy Number One in the halls of American power (and the editorial rooms of the Post), the old tropes are the best ones, it seems.

    "Has anyone written an article comparing the American Jews who support Moscow and Putin today with those who supported Stalin in the 1930s?" Fish asked on Twitter on Wednesday.

    Of course, he never explained why he suspected such; he just referenced "The useful idiots of our generation compared with the NYC-based former shtetlnicks who saw Stalin as a savior," adding, "Certainly not saying that it is only Jews, by any means — just remarking on their prevalence in this space."

    However, it was later revealed that Fish had made these comments immediately after an argument with Jewish RT reporter Dan Cohen about claims Fish made in a previous article about China having one million Uighurs in internment camps. Fish responded by challenging Cohen's Jewish credentials, effectively suggesting Cohen didn't know how to identify a new Holocaust in motion when he saw it, and then Fish made the above subtweet, never mentioning Cohen or the spat, which had nothing to do with Russia or Putin anyway, aside from that Cohen works for RT.

    ​​Observers were quick to point out that big accusations demand big evidence. If there are, indeed, a "prevalence" of US Jews siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin in some given debate (and why, exactly, is that something that needs to be investigated?), then it shouldn't be too difficult to name them.

    In such a political environment as the US presently faces, not only with the growing confrontation with Russia but also the rising power of white supremacists inside the US, who have held large rallies chanting Nazi slogans like "you will not replace us" and "Jews will not replace us" that aim specifically at Jewish people, it seems extremely irresponsible for a journalist — even a Jewish one — to be throwing around such dog whistles as this.

    Some readers thought pointing out the comparison in rhetoric was timely, including a headline and cover image by noted neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer about progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is also Jewish (although, as far as we know, not demonstrably pro-Russia).

    ​Others felt it necessary to give Fish a history refresher — again ironic, since he calls US jews modern day "shtetlniks," who were one of the primary victims of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a propaganda pamphlet distributed in the early 20th century that alleged a secret Jewish world order.

    ​Another reader noted the not-so-subtle accusation of disloyalty, sometimes expressed as a charge of being a "fifth column" of an invading army, i.e. the locals who rise up and side with the invaders.

    ​Others just let Bernie do the talking for them.

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    Tags:
    fifth column, antisemitism, journalist, accusations, tweets, xenophobia, Washington Post, Vladimir Putin, Joseph Stalin
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