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State Department Official Analyzes Soviet Anti-semitism

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Anti-Semitism in the Soviet satellite states–like anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union itself–is not based on anti-Zionism or Russian nationalism, but on the fundamental incompatibility between Communism and Judaism, according to an article in the forthcoming January issue of The National Jewish Monthly, published by B’nai B’rith.

The article was written by Morse Harvey, Chief of the U.S. State Department’s Division of Research for the USSR and Eastern Europe, who is also a lecturer on Soviet affairs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Communist hostility to Zionism and the traditional Russification policy toward domestic minorities have been given as the causes of Soviet anti-Semitism, but they are “the excuse, not the cause, ” according to Mr. Harvey.

“To fall into such an error in an attempt to evaluate a phenomenon like the Soviet-satellite anti-Jewish program, ” he writes in his article, “is to fail to appreciate the very essence of that program. The key point here is that there is complete incompatibility between Sovietism and any manifestation of such religious, social, or cultural characteristics as mark the Jewish community or any similar group.

“Unless Soviet-type Communism is to risk its own destruction it must, because of its very nature, treat as a mortal enemy any force–be it a religion, adherence to tradition, or a mere idea–that stands between it and complete mastery over the minds and wills of its subjects. It is no historical accident that the Kremlin and its puppets have taken on the extermination of Jewry; it is not because the Czars happened to have set a pattern for persecution of Jews, or because Slavs were traditionally hostile to the Jews living among them. The historical accident is the fact that the old regimes had similar programs,” the article points out.

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