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Jews in the Soviet Union: 1941 to present

The Anti-Zionist Campaign


Cartoon from Gudok...



The portrayal of Jews...



"The Tentacles..."



"The New Prayer"...



Many cartoons...



"Israel" is shown...



Two examples...



Two of dozens...


IN OPPOSITION TO "IMPERIALIST" British policy, the Soviet Union initially supports the establishment of a Jewish state in 1947. But after Israel allies itself with the West, the Soviet Union, in its search for a position of power in the Middle East, changes sides. At home, traditional suspicions against Jews as a national group also shape attitudes towards Israel and Zionism.

The already tense relationship deteriorates significantly after the Six Day War of June 1967. The decisive victory of Israel over its Arab neighbors, the political allies of the Soviet Union, is felt as a major debacle. In August 1967, a propaganda campaign is unleashed in the Soviet media denouncing Zionism and Israel. No distinction at all is made between Zionists and Jews.

In order to discredit the policy of Israel, anti-Semitic stereotypes dating back centuries appear in political cartoons, books and television programs. Anti-Semitic allegations of a "Jewish world conspiracy" are revived in phrases like "the global international Zionist network," active "behind the scenes" attempting to "establish world control" and supported by "smart dealers in politics and finance." The international broadcasts from Radio Moscow for months assail "Zionism" as the greatest danger to world peace.

Particularly vicious is the equation of Zionism with Nazism, a theme introduced by the Soviet Union in a session of the United Nations as early as October 1966. This propagandistic assault could have been effective only because the general public never obtained information about the fate of the Jews under the Nazi occupation.

Elsewhere in the communist bloc, anti-Semitism is used for political purposes as well. In the summer of 1968, the Polish authorities blame a conspiracy of "International Zionism" for the widespread political unrest. After an overt anti-Semitic campaign, practically all the remaining Polish Jews, most of them life-long communists, are dismissed from their jobs and forced to leave the country.



Many classic anti-Semitic elements...



Postcard...


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