For Jewish Anti-Semites, A Cautionary History Lesson

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May 12, 2024

4 min read

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How the traitorous Jew who helped bring Stalin to power discovered that a Jew is a Jew is a Jew.

One of the most shocking observations of our post-October 7 world is that a small but very vocal minority of Jews have chosen to act as defenders for the murderers and kidnappers of our people.

Groups such as IfNotNow and Jewish Voices for Peace encourage further attacks on Israel by justifying and defending Palestinian terrorists and vilifying supporters of Israel.

They collaborate with our enemies by using their Judaism as a banner to support their anti-Israel stance. These people display external symbols of Judaism, such as wearing a kippah or a tallit. They proclaim their Jewish names and perversely use narratives of their own families’ persecution to defend the current-day persecutors of the Jews.

Sadly, they have a precedent in Jewish history, and examining one of their predecessors provides insight into their inevitable downfall.

Grigory Zinoviev’s Misplaced Loyalty

Grigory Zinoviev

Grigory Zinoviev, raised Hirsh Apfelbaum (1883-1936), was one of the top three members of the Communist Party. Although he is not as well-known as his contemporary Leon Trotsky, he was a major power player in the Communist movement. He was one of Vladimir Lenin’s closest associates, and used his talents as an orator to support the revolution within the Soviet Union and abroad.

In fact, when Lenin was unwell at the end of his life and could not deliver the Central Committee’s reports to the 12th and 13th Party Congresses (the equivalent of the US State of the Union Address), Zinoviev was appointed to speak in his place.

During Lenin’s final illness, Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev, and Joseph Stalin formed the Troika, taking over the rulership of the Communist Party. According to Trotsky, Stalin’s appointment as Lenin’s successor was due to Zinoviev’s initial recommendation.

Zinoviev spent his life building the regime that would utterly destroy the Soviet Jewish community.

As far as his fellow Jews, Zinoviev did not use his influence to help them. He spent his life building the regime that would utterly destroy the Soviet Jewish community.

Yet, for all of his devotion to the cause and his role in giving Stalin the leadership position, his idealism would reveal itself to be naive. At the end of the day, as far as the enemies of the Jews were concerned, a Jew is a Jew. Member of Troika, Lenin’s confidante orator of the Communist movement – it was all irrelevant when he was no longer needed.

The end began in 1925 when the Troika started to fall apart. With manipulations and deception, Stalin gained total control over the Soviet Union. In December 1934, Stalin had Zinoviev and Kamenev and their closest associates arrested, accusing them of murdering Sergei Mironovich Kirov. Zinoviev was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky. (credit: WIKIPEDIA)

In his letters to Stalin from prison, Zinoviev still retained his loyalty to Stalin. “I... stare at your portrait in the newspapers… thinking: my dear ones, look into my heart, and surely you will see that I’m no longer your enemy, that I am yours, body and soul...”

This loyalty was misplaced. In August 1936, Zinoviev and his associates were brought to trial on new charges. Despite Stalin’s promise to spare their lives in exchange for an admission of guilt, after Zinoviev and his co-defendants were found guilty on August 24, Stalin gave orders that they be executed that very night.

A Jew is a Jew is a Jew

The painful message of Zinoviev’s end to the Jews who support our enemies is clear. Sure, Hamas and Palestinian supporters welcome your support and will stand arm-in-arm with you as you both stand against Israel. But, as Zinoviev discovered, when they are done using you and your idealism, the antisemites will turn against you just as they fight against your Jewish brothers and sisters. A Jew is a Jew is a Jew.

But Zinoviev’s story has not ended yet.

There is another message that can be learned from Zinoviev. It is a message of hope that perhaps even people who actively endanger Jewish lives can see.

As the executioners were dragging him from his jail cell to be killed, Zinoviev pleaded with them to call for Stalin, confident that Stalin would save him. Laughing in his face, they responded, “Stalin? Stalin is the one who told us to kill you!”

Color portrait of Zinoviev by Yuri Pavlovich Annenkov

In his final moments, when the edifice he had spent his life building crumbled before his eyes, Zinoviev saw the truth. Facing the firing squad, he raised his hands to the heavens and shouted, “Shema Yisrael!” With his last words, he returned to his God and his people.

In his death, he demonstrated that although the Jewish soul may be muted, the spark within remains.

A version of this op-ed originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post.

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Robert Whig
Robert Whig
2 days ago

It is shameful that so many Jews were Bolsheviks. Another one was Trotsky who was born Lev Bronstein.

Yaakov Mazeh, the Chief Rabbi, at that time, said :

"The Trotskys made the Revolution and it was the Bronsteins who paid the bill".

shloime
shloime
2 days ago

they are worse than kapos, because the kapos were at least trying to save ONE jewish life.

Boris
Boris
2 days ago

Many years ago, I shared this story ("Shema Yisroel...") with someone whose father was executed by NKVD/MGB (predecessors of KGB/FSB) for being a mohel. The immediate answer (with clear disgust) was the quote from the Talmud: "Even in front of the gates of Gehinnom, the evil ones will not repent!"

Sheva lazaros
Sheva lazaros
1 day ago
Reply to  Boris

he did, however repent, when he cried "shema yisroel" as his last words. your Talmudic quote might be misplaced.

Elena Schumann
Elena Schumann
2 days ago

Stalin was a horrible person and a horrible leader, but he was not "obsessed with Jews" like Hitler was. Stalin was an outsider, he was not a "native" Russian, he could only go so far with his attacks against Jews and other minorities without someone realizing that he too has no business ruling as he was a minority himself. That being said his desire to eliminate ALL competition to his rule, Jew and non Jew alike turned him into a horrible monster. He was responsible for murdering more people than Hitler, he just did not focus on Jews, but on others also. Of course Hitler also did not limit his barbarious behavior to Jews either and in addition he started a World War that killed more people than any other war in the history of human civilization. Jews are the "canary in the coal mine".

Ronald Nuxon
Ronald Nuxon
2 days ago
Reply to  Elena Schumann

Actually, Stalin made Hitler's rise to power and his solidifying political power in Germany possible. Activists of the German Communist Party (KPD), taking their marching orders from Moscow Central (Stalin) worked with the National Socialists (Nazis) in opposing all activities, as well as legislation, by the more moderate and popular German Socialist Party (SPD). Worse still, after Hitler's appointment to Chancellor, Stalin ordered the KPD not to join with the SPD in the Reichstag vote which would have deposed Hitler. Add to this, Stalin's easy acceptance of Germany reaching out to him, in August 1939, for a mutual pact dividing up Eastern Europe, thus launching WW2, leaves him the most evil modern European leader ever.

Shozhie
Shozhie
2 days ago

lie down with dogs; wake up with fleas. same with the fundamentalist xtians that claim they love israel yet in their own book of revelations at the end all the jews are killed or converted; thus wiping us out. its the long con.

Marvin
Marvin
2 days ago

The greatest flaw in the character of anyJew---out of lust for power or recognition, misplaced idealism or loyalty, or all of the above---is the belief that the state can replace G-d (also family and community).

If a Jew survives his/her error there a chance to come to one overarching realization: There is only one Hashem, from which all follows.

Elena Schumann
Elena Schumann
2 days ago
Reply to  Marvin

I certainly do not believe that the state can replace G-d, and I consider myself to be Jewish. None of the other Jews I know believe that either. You certainly do not know a lot about Jews so stop your misrepresentations.

Marvin
Marvin
2 days ago
Reply to  Elena Schumann

Either you misread what I wrote or I didn't write well--or both. I was characterizing those Jews who valiantly look towards a utopia where G-d is replaced by the state.Sadly, there are more than enough of those reprobates.

Alan S.
Alan S.
2 days ago

Jewish people that say their religion teaches them to speak out against other Jewish people, these people’s beliefs are generally based on a secular view of Judaica, not on anything learned about our religion’s actual laws and practices.
It does not mean that they are
‘self-hating’ Jews, just that they can only speak about their beliefs, not on what Judaism teaches.

Rachel
Rachel
2 days ago
Reply to  Alan S.

Wrong they are singular focused against Israel and pro-Israel Jews. They accuse Israel and Jews of genocide, apartheid and slander all lovers of the Jewish people. They endanger us all and desecrate Hashem's name.

Charlie Hall
Charlie Hall
2 days ago

I visited Trotsky's house in Mexico City where one of Stalin's goons murdered him in 1940. Trotsky outlived almost all of Stalin's other opponents; he had gone into exile and bounced from country to country until Mexico welcomed him at the beheat of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo who lived in the same neighborhood. Mexico provided Trotsky with armed guards and they managed to foil one earlier assassination plot.

Trotsky had the power but not the willingness to prevent Stalin from taking power. Trotsky was the leader of the army and it was loyal to him. While Trotsky wasn't what we would call a good guy it is extremely unlikely that he would have become the genocidal mass murderer that Stalin became. Unfortunately his unwillingness to use violence against Stalin proved fatal.

Last edited 2 days ago by Charlie Hall
Elena Schumann
Elena Schumann
2 days ago
Reply to  Charlie Hall

The people of Mexico also took in thousand of Jewish refugees from the Third Reich when the United States denied them entry even though the leaders of the US knew about the Holocust. Some of my Jewish relatives, descendants of Jewish refugees still live in Mexico.

Elazar Carter
Elazar Carter
3 days ago

Please let us understand, the shouting to stop the massacre (on both sides) is NOT antisemitic nor is it pro hamas. It is pro life. The IDF is so well trained and has the best intelligence in the world. Why are they killing everyone? Kill hamas.

Orrin
Orrin
2 days ago
Reply to  Elazar Carter

Hamas members use children and other non-members as human shields. That's why non-members of Hamas die.

Steve Tan
Steve Tan
2 days ago
Reply to  Elazar Carter

Oh for heaven’s sake. Why are you regurgitating hamas lies? The IDF is doing wonders in limiting civilian Palestinian deaths. The fact that you have posted this debunked Palestinian propaganda here, makes me wonder who you really are

Last edited 2 days ago by Steve Tan
shloime
shloime
2 days ago
Reply to  Elazar Carter

they are not killing everyone. stop believing the lies of the antisemites. no other army in the world has ever done more to minimize civilian casualties. just because hamas lies about the numbers, and never admits to its casualties, doesn’t make it true. but holding jews to a different standard IS antisemitism.

SM FELDMAN
SM FELDMAN
2 days ago
Reply to  Elazar Carter

The civilians are on buildings Hanad fighters are shooting from. No secret. Hamas started this. They were put in power by civilians. Oct 7 means the Gazans have no future in Palestine or Israel. No. mercy to these enemies

Marvin
Marvin
1 day ago
Reply to  Elazar Carter

Either you are tossing out bait for a true discussion, or you have been living under a rock. The odor of ignorance and hate are equivalent. The evil nature of Hamas, Hezbolla, and all radical Islam and the humane and cautious IDF are as different as Light from Dark.

Being charitable towards darkness may seem a generous gesture for a suicidal soul.

Kibbitzer
Kibbitzer
3 days ago

I think they should not be described as Jewish groups but antisemitic hate groups, some of whom claim to be Jewish.

Heather
Heather
3 days ago

Yes seeing the ultra religious Jewish men across at the Brooklyn Museum. With placards standing near where Nerdeen Kiswani was speaking was a reminder of it didn’t matter during WW11 They were supporting Hamas and Israel has no right to exist. They need to come into the present

Gefen Bar-On Santor
Gefen Bar-On Santor
3 days ago

Thank you for the insightful analysis of Jews who choose to embrace the darkness of antisemitism. What a powerful case study! It seems that today some Jews implicitly believe that Israel has solved the problem of antisemitism—not for Israelis, but for them. They seem to believe that they are safe if they turn their backs on Israel.

Barbara
Barbara
2 days ago

Yes, those fools are as "safe" from antisemitism as completely secular, intermarried agnostic or atheistic Jews were under the Nazis, who even hunted down people with paternal Jewish ancestry -- and those aren't halachically Jewish!

Jewish anti-Semites haven't learned the lessons of history; as Napoleon said, "History is bunk!"

Aviel
Aviel
3 days ago

For sure it's disgusting when Jews give their efforts to aid those who harm Jews Judaism or at present want to destroy the Jewish State. It seems to me while occasionally there is a Hamas or Hitler that targets all ethnic Jews many if not most do get away more often than not in history nor do they do teshuvah , but there is always hope. The interesting upshot of this article is where did Jewish education or its lack make communism and it present day equivalent radical progressive movements seem to many idealistic "Jews as viable alternatives to their own heritage which contributed so much to the betterment of mankind and now Thsnk God back in our own land have just begun anew to reach even greater heights to benefit all.

Robert Almroth
Robert Almroth
3 days ago

Shalom!
Most of what you wrote is accurate but the part where i supposedly recites Shema Israel. That part is a myth.
Just read The Russian Revolution by Richard Pipes.

Historian
Historian
2 days ago
Reply to  Robert Almroth

Shalom,
Read Russian Investigative author, Arkady Vaksberg's Stalin Against the Jews page 42 and others who brings that down from RUSSIAN sources.

Last edited 2 days ago by Historian
Chic
Chic
5 days ago

Bravo!! A great and important piece!!

Jewish Mom
Jewish Mom
8 days ago

These misguided Jews buy the narrative that the Jews stole "Palestine" from the Arabs and therefore Israel is illegitimate and the Jews who inhabit it are occupiers.
They feel so self-righteous in their "just" cause, they are not willing to hear any other narrative or study the historical facts. They've heard and accepted the invented history presented by the pro-Palestinian camp and for them, it's the equivalent of "Torah mi'Sinai".
If only they'd know and accept Torah mi'Sinai...

gary roman
gary roman
8 days ago

they promote the same values for the Palestinian people as they promote for the Jewish people.
Horrible, right?

Chic
Chic
3 days ago
Reply to  gary roman

All wrong

Steve Tan
Steve Tan
2 days ago
Reply to  gary roman

How can you promote Jewish values to a people whose sole reason for existence is the destruction of the Jewish state?

Barb
Barb
2 days ago
Reply to  gary roman

You must think your sarcasm is clever; too bad it smacks of antisemitism and ( willing?) ignorance of the facts.

The majority of so-called "Palestinians" lie as naturally as you breathe, murder as easily as you sneeze (even their own), and gleefully commit the kinds of atrocities documented on Oct. 7 -- these are the "values" they represent, which are evil incarnate!

What chutzpah to compare this to true Jewish values!

Jewish people love life and strive to bring benefit to society. (You may wince, but you can't deny Jewish innovations in technology & science alone!)
Their enemies live to hate and wreak havoc, then they blame Israelis / Jews for their miserable existence.

Wake up, sir, you're equating value with its diametric opposite!

shloime
shloime
2 days ago
Reply to  gary roman

were you asleep on october 7th, or are you just a stupid troll? maybe you should look up the hamas covenant, before flaunting your prejudices. giyf.

Marvin
Marvin
1 day ago
Reply to  gary roman

Sadly, the Arabs (who call themselves Palestinians) follow dark suicide-driven values---which are fertilized daily by the hegemony in Iran. The Arabs living (or shall I say existing) in Gaza are weapons used by the powerful among Moslems to clean the map of what is the thorn in their side---Israel. A newborn in Gaza automatically gets a Death Certificate.

And then there are the Jewish values for Life. Two opposite values that are nurtured by two distinct peoples.

Marvin
Marvin
1 day ago
Reply to  gary roman

Sadly, the Arabs (who call themselves Palestinians) follow dark suicide-driven values---which are fertilized daily by the hegemony in Iran. The Arabs living (or shall I say existing) in Gaza are weapons used to clean the map of what is the thorn in their side---Israel. A newborn in Gaza automatically gets a Death Certificate.

And then there are the Jewish values for Life. Two opposite values that are nurtured by two distinct peoples.

Stephanie
Stephanie
1 day ago
Reply to  gary roman

I think the biggest mistake Westerners make is thinking that everyone in the world wants the same things we do. Islamists do not want the same things as Western liberals. Most Palestinians (this is shown in all polls taken) do not want the same things we do. For them, martyrdom is a supreme value as is taking down as many infidels as possible. Promoting the aspirations of the Palestinian people is not the same as doing that for Israelis and most people in the world. The West has to wake up.

San Jose
San Jose
8 days ago

From the ADL website https://www.adl.org/resources/blog/jewish-voice-peace-jvp-what-you-need-know:
JVP does not represent the mainstream Jewish community, which it views as bigoted for its association with Israel. JVP’s staunch anti-Zionist positions place it squarely in opposition to mainstream American Jews and Jews worldwide, most of whom view a connection with Israel as an integral part of their social, cultural or religious Jewish identities. JVP promulgates the view that Jews who identify even tangentially with Israel are motivated by white supremacy, Jewish racial chauvinism and religious supremacism.

AbL
AbL
6 days ago
Reply to  San Jose
Last edited 6 days ago by AbL
shloime
shloime
2 days ago
Reply to  San Jose

they also deny the centrality of zionism in jewish prayer.

Rebbetzin
Rebbetzin
9 days ago

This Article perfectly defines the Jewish antisemites fighting against Israel and pro-Israel Jews:
"They collaborate with our enemies in the most deceitful and harmful way possible by using their Judaism as a banner to support their anti-Israel stance. These people display external symbols of Judaism, such as wearing a kippah or a tallit. They proclaim their Jewish names and perversely use narratives of their own families’ persecution to defend the current-day persecutors of the Jews."

Hashem should help these dangerous and wayward Jews do teshuva

shloime
shloime
2 days ago
Reply to  Rebbetzin

they have willfully cut themselves off from am yisrael.

Rachel
Rachel
9 days ago

Wow, very interesting history. Let's hope and pray that the current "Anti-Semitic" Jews learn this lesson before Zinoveiv did. For their sake and for our sake.

Vera2848
Vera2848
7 days ago
Reply to  Rachel

I feel so sorry for them. They are lost. They don’t know who they are. Searching for recognition. No self respect, by turning against their kind they feel important. Not realising that they are held in contempt by the people they are try to impress. Sad.. I am proud of my heritage. We are strong!!!

shloime
shloime
2 days ago
Reply to  Vera2848

i feel only contempt for their moral bankruptcy. “an appeaser feeds the crocodile, hoping to be eaten last.”

Barbara
Barbara
2 days ago
Reply to  shloime

You're right, of course, but most of them don't regard themselves as appeasers. Instead, they consider themselves impartial activists for human rights -- anyone's (imagined) rights, even those of barbarians.

According to their twisted mindset, all the evildoers, the lowlifes, the major troublemakers have "rights" -- except for the Jews -- and these traitors to their own believe their "high principles" will spare them in the lion's den.

It would be laughable if it weren't so tragic: they're only bringing about their own destruction. Like Korach's gang, they'll be shouting the truth from the netherworld, when it;'s too late for them to join the people they wronged so badly, and whom Hashem always protects from obliteration.

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