The equation of Zionism with fascism, a frequent theme in the official Soviet media, “acquired an authoritativeness it did not hither to possess ” when it became the thesis of an article in the Communist Party daily Pravda, written by Vladimir Bolshakov, according to an analysis published here by the Institute of Jewish Affairs (IJA) in association with the World Jewish Congress.
The significance of the Bolshakov piece, titled “Fascism and Zionism; the roots of kinship,” lies in the fact that its author is a writer of considerable status in Soviet society and is thus representative of the mainstream view on Zionism, the analysis noted. Furthermore, “Pravda itself does not, as a rule, indulge in publishing articles or cartoons equaling Zionism with fascism or Nazism.”
The analysts found “particularly disturbing” Bolshakov’s implication of a “Zionist ‘fifth column’ in the countries of the world–first and foremost, presumably, in the USSR and the Socialist countries.” That was suggested by the writer’s allegation that Zionists view Jews throughout the world, no matter in which country they live, as obliged to support the State of Israel in every possible way and to remain loyal to it.
“This concept, Bolshakov claims, is reminiscent of the Nazi practice of recruiting ‘volksdeutsche’ to support the Father land,” the IJA report noted.
Other claims of a Zionist-fascist kinship cited by the author are alleged collaboration between Zionists and Nazis during World War II; common ideas of “racial purity”; the practice of “genocide” by Israel in Lebanon; and the role of Zionism, like fascism, as “a lackey of big capital and imperialism.”
AN ALL-OUT ATTACK
According to Bolshakov, a “co-ordinated anti-Soviet campaign” alleging anti-Semitism in the USSR, is being conducted by Israeli and Western radio stations broadcasting to the USSR by “international Zionism” — mainly its American branch — and by the White House. The intention behind this campaign is “to discredit the USSR’s nationalities policy and incite hatred of Socialis,” Bolshakov wrote.
He added that Zionism is being used by President Reagan in his “crusade” against Communism. But, according to Bolshakov, anti-Semitism does not exist in the USSR where it is forbidden by law and anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are not one and the same thing.
PURPOSE OF THE ARTICLE
One purpose of the Pravda article, the IJA analysts stated, was to deny the existence of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, although “a fairly large number of the arguments are in fact anti-Semitic devices — whether distortions or inventions.”
According to the IJA, the article also indicates that there has been a “downgrading” of the Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Public (AKSO), a body set up in April, 1983 amid much fanfare in the Soviet media. Its founders were “eight establishment Soviet Jews,” headed by a retired Red Army general, David Dragunsky.
The purpose of AKSO was to demonstrate that Zionist policies are rejected by “Soviet citizens of Jewish nationality.” But the fact that the Pravda article was written by Bolshakov, not Dragunsky “seems to be indicative of a continuing decline in AKSOs role.”
“In the original appeal by AKSOs eight founders it was said that the new organization was necessary for the anti-Zionist struggle to be waged ‘even more resolutely.’ One aspect of Bolshakov’s article seems to be that waging the anti-Zionist struggle ‘even more resolutely’ is too important a matter to be left to the Jews alone,” the IJA analysts concluded.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.