Washington Post columnist compares Putin-supporting American Jews to Stalinists
“Has anyone written an article comparing the American Jews who support Moscow and Putin today with those who supported Stalin in the 1930s?” columnist Isaac Stone Fish tweeted on Wednesday.
Has anyone written an article comparing the American Jews who support Moscow and Putin today with those who supported Stalin in the 1930s?— Isaac Stone Fish (@isaacstonefish) January 16, 2019
Articles on the great Russian boogeyman are ten a penny in 2019, but why Fish – who is Jewish – thought this particular niche needed to be filled is anyone’s guess. Accusations of anti-Semitism and poor foresight flowed on Twitter. The columnist was called out by journalist Glenn Greenwald, who is also of Jewish descent.
“Here's a Washington Post columnist taking one of the central tenets of Nazism – that Jews harbored covert loyalty to Moscow – and urging US media outlets to investigate and expose the US Jews of today guilty of similar allegiance to Moscow,” he wrote. “This is real, unadorned anti-semitism.”
Here's a Washington Post columnist taking one of the central tenets of Nazism - that Jews harbored covert loyalty to Moscow - and urging US media outlets to investigate and expose the US Jews of today guilty of similar allegiance to Moscow. This is real, unadorned anti-semitism: https://t.co/synARTIx7J— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 18, 2019
Fish doubled down, claiming that “Many Jews – and other intellectuals – in the 1930s did support Stalin” and arguing that “Many Jews today are surprisingly sympathetic towards Putin.”
Name calling — in this case, anti-semitism — is lazy reasoning. 1. I’m Jewish. 2. Many Jews — and other intellectuals — in the 1930s did support Stalin, especially before we knew what he actually did. 3. Many Jews today are surprisingly sympathetic towards Putin.— Isaac Stone Fish (@isaacstonefish) January 18, 2019
Fish did not back up his claims. Stalin did enjoy some support from communists in the West during the 1930s and beyond, like the Communist Party USA, who before liberalizing in the latter half of the decade worked towards building a “Soviet America.” Its members, however, were drawn from multiple faiths, many of them seeing the party as an alternative to the capitalism that led to the Great Depression.
However, accusations of Jewish loyalty to communism were indeed a core tenet of Nazi ideology. Adolf Hitler saw Marxism as a Jewish plot to subjugate Germany, and accused the Bolshevik revolutionaries of serving “Jewish international finance.”
Given the heavily loaded historical context, commentators were perplexed at Fish’s tweet.
Does it feel strange to Jewish and believe in anti-semitic conspiracy theories about a Jewish fifth column? I guess you must have skipped that class at Hebrew school.— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) January 18, 2019
??????? What are you getting at, Isaac?— Robert Kapp (@twerpsichore) January 16, 2019
I'm hardly a Stalin apologist but considering the major powers in the 1930s I feel like you've drawn a bead on the wrong target.— Alexis Rose (@Lilikura) January 17, 2019
there was definitely a guy who did some work like that. I can't remember his name but he wrote a whole book. I think it was called "my struggle"— Michael (@mikeljnola) January 18, 2019
Fish then tripled down, calling Putin-supporting Jews “the useful idiots of our generation compared with the NYC-based former shtetlnicks who saw Stalin as a savior.”
The useful idiots of our generation compared with the NYC-based former shtetlnicks who saw Stalin as a savior.— Isaac Stone Fish (@isaacstonefish) January 16, 2019
The ‘useful idiot’ phrase has been frequently used in the Russiagate era to talk about people who dare to question the mainstream narrative.
With no substantial proof of ‘Russian collusion’ or ‘Russian meddling’, something else is needed to sell stories on the ‘scary Russians’. To that end, comparing the Russians of today with the villains of the past is one schtick that the mainstream media seemingly never gets tired of.
I think the real question is: why are there Jews on the left and why do reactionary pundits today, as they did in the 1930s, smear the left as Putin/Stalin stooges?Also, "NYC-based former shtetlnicks" lol— David Elliot Berman (@_DavidBerman) January 18, 2019
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