The phenomenon of anti-Semitism has been widely discussed in the literature.
A non-specialist writing about the subject is motivated by ignorance or
ambition (the latter reflecting his faith in non-triviality of his
methodology in discussing this age old problem) or perhaps both. Being a
nonspecialist, I would like to think that my observations on the subject
belong at least to the last case.
The essay will be limited to two main questions: causes of anti-Semitism and
ways of dealing with the "Jewish question".
Causes of anti-Semitism
The many causes of anti-Semitism and variety of groups supporting it.
It seems to me that any social phenomenon that has persisted throughout long
periods of time measured in centuries must have heterogeneous roots;
i.e. it must find support in the most diverse segments of the population and
have roots in a variety of causes that may be intertwined in the most
peculiar manner in each individual group.
Indeed, if we look at the phenomenon of anti-Semitism, we see that the most
diverse groups of people in a given country sometimes motivated by very
different reasons have expressed anti-Semitic sentiments. Urban and rural
population alike has been infected with anti-Semitic spirit; educated as
well as uneducated classes; intellectuals and "people of the earth"; poor
people as well as middle and wealthy classes; persecutors and the
persecuted; slaves and free citizens; lumpen and proprietors; and so on and
Causes of anti-Semitism are many and diverse. Among the most significant are
the religious motives (in countries belonging to the Christian world
expressed in such accusations as the crucifixion of Christ, ritual slayings
of infants) and the fear of being unable to compete with the
activeness of the Jews. The latter assumed a variety of forms: general fear
before the all encompassing cooperation among the Jews in conjunction with
their ability to penetrate all spheres of social life from business to
fear of the Jews grabbing the hot spots, perhaps taking native women due to
their ability to achieve a better standard of living as well as greater
responsibility and respect towards wife and children.
In some cases these fears were not rationally unfounded. The most grave
danger was the Jews taking over a particular sphere especially if this
sphere was vital for society's well being. For instance, if too many Jews
become shepherds, doctors, traders, etc. and they then decide to leave the
country and return to the Promised Land this will cause disruptions in the
life of the country by depriving it of essential personnel.
Here I want to refer to a wonderful essay by Z. Zhabotinskij - "Four Sons".
The author notes that at the basis of anti-Semitism is the conflict between
the fact that initially, when the Jews settle the territories of other
nations, they are willing to perform work important to the native people but
which for various reasons (including lack of know-how to do these jobs,
especially complicated ones) is considered "repulsive" by the latter.
Eventually, the native population becomes familiar with these tasks and one
day discovers that the Jews are too powerful in that rather important area.
This leads local authorities to devise all kinds of tricks to get rid
of the Jewish domination. This is what happened to the Jews in Egypt where they
agreed to become shepherds "for every shepherd is an abomination unto the
Egyptians" (Genesis, 46:34); the same took place in the middle Ages when
Jews turned to trade and money lending.
Above mentioned reasons for anti-Semitism can arise from direct contact with
the Jews, a situation characteristic of the so called "everyday
anti-Semitism" or from widespread notions of the dangers the Jewish race
holds for other peoples (especially if the Jews settle in the territories of
other nations although in isolation from them). For instance, in
everyday anti-Semitism was prevalent in the western part of the empire, in
the pales where local inhabitants came in contact with the Jews. Here envy
was combined with religious superstition and myths of the Jews as devils. As
for the greater share of the Russian population their contact with the Jews
was rather limited and the roots of their anti-Semitism are primarily
religious, such as the crucifixion of Christ and the ritual slayings, and
widespread notions of Jews as the devil's race capable of inflicting
tremendous harm. It was only after the revolution when the Jews left the
pales and settled in the cities did everyday anti-Semitism become the
prevalent form among the masses of the Russian population.
Diversity of groups infected with anti-Semitism as well the variety of its
causes can be observed throughout the ages and all different countries. Of
course, the composition of the groups of people engulfed by anti-Semitism,
the strength of various motives (sometimes a particular reason may be absent
altogether - for instance, the crucifixion of Christ in non-Christian
countries) and especially the severity of anti-Semitic sentiment changes
depending on the culture of a given country and the particular situation it
finds itself in.
All this leads me to conclude that anti-Semitism represents a very very
difficult problem. But is there a solution at all?
2. Can anti-Semitism ever disappear?
In science, before solving the problem one attempts to establish existence
of a solution. It was characteristic of XYII-XYIII century science, which
achieved outstanding results in many different fields of human endeavor, to
believe in the absolute possibility - from the construction of perpetuum
mobile to the creation of utopian social systems where all people will be
forever happy. XIX century science is more sober limiting the bounds of what
is possible. During the first part of the XIX century with the advent of
thermodynamics impossibility of constructing a perpetual motion machine
becomes clear. Galois' outstanding work of 1821 revealed that equations of
degree greater than four cannot be solved in radicals (by means of a
formula); many other discoveries in mathematics concerned proofs of
existence or nonexistence of a solution irrelevant of the actual methods of
finding it. Social sciences were less fortunate. I know of only a single
rigid proof of impossibility of solving a specific social problem pertaining
to democratic methods of decision making; the proof was conceived by K.
Arrow in the second half of the XX century.
I cannot claim to have a rigid proof of the impossibility of eradicating
anti-Semitism. I only want to note that it seems to me to be a far-fetched
possibility. In fact, such specific causes of anti-Semitism as a priori
false accusations of ritualistic slayings can be dropped; much of the
responsibility for the death of Christ can be lifted. Envy towards the Jews
can be subdued as directed specifically against the Jews and reduced to
general envy (in all its might) of one human being towards another.
The argument that the Jews are capable of capturing key positions in society
thus threatening its well-being in case they decide to leave can be rebuked
by citing the number of Jews in each country to be too small to capture the
"critical mass" of key positions of power; besides, at the time of exodus
unlike a forced extradition majority of Jews remain in a given
country. Moreover, Jewish presence can be considered beneficial in that it
forces local population to become more active. Imposing quotas on the number
of Jews in certain fields creates the danger of native unqualified
population streaming into that area and willing to accommodate their
superiors in fighting the "Jewish domination". I realize the ambiguity of
all these arguments since socio-economic sphere defies clear cut formulation
of the conditions under which "protectionism" is more advantageous than
Nevertheless, a number of features attributed to the Jewish character and
used in rational justification of anti-Semitism cannot be overcome in
principle. I want to discuss one such anti-Semitic argument prevalent among
a very specific segment of the population - intellectuals. It seems
to me that the argument advanced by this group plays a particularly
important role and largely renders eradication of anti-Semitism impossible.
3. Intellectuals, "programming sphere", and anti-Semitism.
First, a few words about the intellectuals. More than any other group,
intellectuals not only observe but can also conceptualize the demands of the
situation for the future development of society. The distinguishing role of
the intellectuals lies in the "integratiion" of a society, in conciliating
the authorities with the masses. Intellectual ideas transform into a force
used by the authorities to legitimize and expand their power.
This does not preclude other groups holding different views formed on their
own accord from playing a very significant role in the life of the country.
These groups may in turn influencethe intellectuals providing the latter with "empirical data". But it
is the intellectuals who represent the driving force behind the ideas
consumed by those in power as well as the masses.
Although sometimes intellectuals repeat the same arguments as other groups
they come up with more sophisticated ones based on actual facts which
reflect some very real aspects of life and their concerns cannot be written
It seems intellectuals are capable of advancing arguments in favor of
anti-Semitism that have a real basis and are difficult to rebuff. These
arguments are directed specifically at the Jews and touch the deep core of
the Jewish outlook on the world. Therefore, as long as the Jewish culture
continues to exist we should not expect to overcome them. Only by accepting
the attitudes ( and especially religion) of the "host" nation can the Jews
hope to put an end to anti-Semitic persecution. Moreover, certain groups of
intellectuals may adhere to racial theories of anti-Semitism, i.e. distinct
genetic characteristics of the Jews. (I shall consider this point below). In
this case, the solution of the problem lies along the lines of annihilation
of the Jews at worse or, at best, their expulsion from the country.
Before proceeding to discuss aforementioned problems, I want to make the
following remark. There exist certain spheres of society which would, if
penetrated by foreign elements with a radically different system of values,
present grave dangers for they are in a position to affect the system of
values of the country as a whole (its major ethnic group) diverting it from
its inherent course of development. To clarify the statement, let us
distinguish between the "programming sphere" and the "executive
sphere" of society.
Programming sphere includes all activities related to the formation of
genetic code of society and its transformation into subsystems
which form the foundation of all the diverse social structures and their
mechanisms of operation. These two functions, i.e. creation and
transformation of the genetic code, interlinked and having a feedback on one
another comprise the programming sphere.
Areas comprising the core of creation of the genetic code are primarily
those connected with culture: ideologies, art, and basic science;
areas such as mass media, education, political and economic leadership
(especially at the higher levels of the hierarchy and at key positions),
etc. embody the system of code transformation linked to the first one by
The executive sphere encompasses all activities, mental as well as physical,
dealing with the transformation of nature according to the "passed down"
genetic code. Executive sphere may have feedback on the "genetic code".
Thus, it is the infiltration of the Jews into the "programming sphere" that
is considered most dangerous to the development of the native ethnos since
the Jewish system of values may affect its " genetic code". It is precisely
in this sense that the Jews of the diaspora are viewed as viruses which, as
we know, have no protein membrane of their own but penetrate the host cell
changing its genetic code.
There is abundant evidence for this attitude towards the Jews. It assumes
many different and most phantasmagoric forms such as "documents" known as
"Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion". Interesting in this respect is a
letter (dated June, 1987) circulating in the USSR and
addressed to Plenum of the CC CPSS. The letter is signed by three rather
prominent members of Russian intelligentzia: V. G. Brusova, Ph. D. in art
history, member of the Union of Soviet Artists, recipient of the RSFSR State
Prize; G. I. Litvinova, Ph. D. in law; and T. A. Ponomareva, member of the
Writers Union of the USSR. Excerpt from this letter which denounces the
reasons for the "exploitation" of the Russian people in the USSR reads:
"Statistics, objective and scientific, indicates that the much greater share
of positions at the top of the social pyramid is presently occupied by
individuals belonging to the Jewish race.
...Everyone of us knows from his own personal experience that an illegal
possession of the "brain trust" is not a wild fantasy of "the Learned Elders
of Zion" but is the most real of realities. A flagrant overtaking of all key
leading positions in economics, science, and culture, "accelerated" social
growth, have all become a sad reality.
...What has this "international", actually "Jewish brain trust" bestowed
upon us? It has bestowed upon us uncountable damage to national economy,
trade, ecology, and culture. We were forced to count all these losses and
"mistakes" and their scope was too great. It bears responsibility for the
destruction of agriculture, dissolution of "unprofitable villages",
anti-human projects of altering the course of northern rivers, destruction
of Volga; Baikal is under siege. One
experiment after another, each one throwing us back, making the fly-wheel of
the powerful Soviet economy perform idle motions. Our system is the most
progressive in the world, and we cannot even feed ourselves; at one time we
fed all of Europe, part of Africa, and Asia
with a plow and a cart. It turns out we cannot survive without the help of
capitalist powers. And the people work in the sweat of their brow struggling
with new unsolvable problems which suck our finances, labor power, deeper
and deeper into the disastrous whirlpool inflicting greater and greater
crisis like alcoholism and drug addiction, series of catastrophes, and so on
and so forth.
A new heroic effort is called for now to pull the country out of its crisis
and clear the way for progress through
perestroika. All this is taking
place because "internationalists" refuse to acknowledge the traditions and
the lifestyle of the people or the land which is not at all dear to them
(how much of our best flood-lands have sunk under water forever!) nor with
the man himself. Are Russians at the GOSPLAN capable of thinking up a scheme
to ensure workers' wages from the sale of alcohol? No. This is a
historically well known shadow of a publican robbing and turning people into
And the degradation of theater, proliferation of rock music, charlatanism in
painting? And desertion to enemy countries -
and an almost triumphant return!
No, let us not be "at the leading edge", let us not be so hasty in our
decisions, we shall not experiment with the most precious thing we hold so
dear - our mother land."
What is this mysterious Jewish system of values that is capable of
penetrating the "programming sphere" and which the intellectuals fear so
4. Parity of Man and God in the Jewish mentality.
Values inherent in the Jewish mentality reflect the concept of parity
between the Jew and the forces of the universe. This quality of the Jewish
outlook is especially vivid in Judaism. It is reasonable to think that this
religion professed only by the Jews is in agreement with the Jewish
mentality: lack of a strong correlation between the type of mentality and
the chosen religion is very doubtful. It follows from the most sacred source
of the Jewish faith - the Torah that Man is comparable with God as the
master of the universe. In fact, it follows that this Jewish trait should be
understood in the broad sense, i.e not only with respect to God but also
with respect to the environment including leaders of state.
An opposite to the Jewish system of values could be based on two extremes:
either subordination of Man to the forces governing him (be it God, a
leader, or both) or superiority of Man over the forces of the
universe. Most religions and ideologies profess the first kind of attitude;
in fact, I know of no other religion which claims any kind of equality
between Man and God. A system of values proclaiming mans superiority to the
forces of nature corresponds to communist ideology in its pure form. But its
actual implementation in many countries is accompanied by instituting an
authoritarian regime which is prone to the dangers of transforming into an
ideology directed at subjugating man to forces governing him, i.e an
ideology which is fundamentally foreign to a great number of Jews.
To substantiate my point regarding the Jewish system of values I want to
quote some passages from the Torah.
Authors of the Torah had a concept of man as created in God's image and
after God's likeness (Genesis, 1:26). God Himself is presented not as a
frozen omnipotent and omniscious force but as an evolving Entity.
Man, endowed with creative powers and free will expands God's power. It is
by the people and through the people that God implements subsequent
development of the universe.
Moreover, the role of man is so great that God stands on a par with
some chosen ones and concludes a covenant with them. According to the
covenant God promises to multiply the nation coming from Abraham and make
Abraham the father of many peoples; in return a Jew agrees to obey God's
commandment obliging all Jewish males to be circumcized.
In principle, a contract between an omnipotent God and Man can turn into a
pure formality introduced purely for demagogic purposes. For instance, in
the USSR enterprise
management makes a yearly contract with the union, a contract that is
supposed to reflect the interests of the workers. But this contract is
really an empty formality since the unions are under complete control of the
government which in this case is represented by the Party and the managerial
A sufficient condition for a genuine contract between Man and God is that it
be based on God's acceptance of His own imperfection, on the one hand, and
the greatness of Man and mans indispensability for God as an independent
force, on the other. Moreover, the contract becomes ever more feasible if a
certain equality, physical as well as intellectual, is established between
the two sides.
Mans physical strength is affirmed in the legend about the struggle
between Jacob and God (Genesis, 32:24-32). God could not overcome Man in
this struggle but could only inflict a minor wound: "and the hollow of
Jacob's thigh was out of joint" And God said to Jacob:
"Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou
power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." (Genesis, 32:28).
"And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to
face, and my life is preserved." (Genesis, 32:30).
Whatever the interpretation of this passage is, even assuming that Jacob
struggled not with God but with an angel, Man still was physically on an
equal footing with a heavenly force.
Mans intellectual comparability with God in affirmed by the authors
of the Torah in the most general terms in the description of Adam after he
tastes from the tree of knowledge: Adam even becomes intellectually equal to
God. What distinguishes Adam from God is that Adam is mortal. And God
banished Adam from the garden of Eden so he would not taste from the tree of
life and become immortal.
"And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become one of us, to know good
and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also from the tree
of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden..." (Genesis,
Authors of the Torah tell other stories confirming intellectual
comparability between Man and God. When God was enraged at the disobedience
of the Jewish people during their stay in the dessert and decides to
annihilate them and replace them with another nation originating from Moses,
Moses argues with God and persuades Him to preserve the people.
the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long
will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among
I will smite them with the
pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and
mightier than they.
And Moses said unto the Lord, Then
the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy
might from among them;)
And they will tell it to the
inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou Lord art among this
people, that thou Lord art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth
over them, and that thou goest before them, by daytime in a pillar of a
cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.
Now if thou shalt kill all this
people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will
Because the Lord was not able to
bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath
slain them in the wilderness.
And now, I beseech thee, let the
power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying,
The Lord is longsuffering, and of
great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing
the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the
third and fourth generation.
Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity
of this people according unto the greatness of they mercy, and as thou hast
forgiven this people, from
even until now.
And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word..." (Numbers,
Jewish attitude towards God as an equal force (in some sense), defiance and
rejection of idols, all finds an explicit manifestation in the Torah in a
very critical attitude towards the leaders of state. Evidence for this can
be found in the sermons concerning the future king of the Jews in the
Promised Land addressed to the Jews during their plight in the desert.
"When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and
shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king
over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
Thou shalt in any wise set him king
over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren
shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee,
which is not thy brother.
But he shall not multiply horses to
himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should
multiply horses: for as much as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall
henceforth return no more that way.
Neither shall he multiply wifes to
himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to
himself silver and gold.
And it shall be, when he sitteth
upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law
in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
And it shall be with him, and he
shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the
Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do
That his heart be not lifted up
above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the
right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days and his
kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of
Israel." (Deuteronomy, 17:14-20).
All in all, it follows from the preceding discussion that anti-Semitism can
hardly be overcome, that the Jews will for various reasons be incompatible
with at least a great number of the surrounding peoples.
I want to note in passing that the category of compatibility as a general
systems phenomenon is rather unresearched. Medical science achieved major
progress in this area, both theoretical and practical only in this century.
I mean classification of compatible blood groups essential in blood
transfusions; organ transplant accomplished first by donor selection and
subsequent integration of the transplanted organ with the host by means of
medicine, etc. Still, the problem of compatibility is one of the least
researched areas of medical science, not to speak of psychology or social
processes. These observations apply equally well to the problem of
compatibility of different ethnic groups.
How can the "Jewish problem" be solved under these circumstances?
of dealing with the Jewish problem
1. Methodological remarks.
Solution of the Jewish problem, i.e. preservation of the Jews as an ethnic
entity, has many aspects to it. I want to examine this issue within the
framework of the more general problem into which the Jewish problem is
The general scheme consists of at least the following: humanity-Jewish
race-Jewish state-Jewish family-Jew as an individual. Assigning priorities
to these categories, simple combinatorics shows that there are one
hundred and twenty - five factorial possible combinations. There exist
120 different groups of people (of course, different in size) distinct in
terms of their system of priorities. For instance, one group would place
development of the Jew as an individual at the forefront, then the Jewish
family, then the Jewish state, Jewish race in fourth place and mankind in
fifth place. Another group might assign top priority to mankind, and then in
receding order to the Jewish race, Jewish state , Jewish family , and Jew as
an individual. All these differences manifest themselves at a very practical
level, splitting Jewish public opinion right down the line. As far as Jewish
emigration from the USSR is concerned, the first group will assume interest
primarily in those Jews who immigrate to Israel, perhaps even thinking it
reproachable to help Jews not going to Israel; next they will evaluate the
diaspora Jews in terms of the latter's views and willingness to extend help
to Jews not going to Israel; finally they will be strongly opposed to
sending Israeli invitations to non-Jews desiring to leave the Soviet Union
through that channel. The second group will proceed to resolve the problem
first by advocating for human rights in general, viewing it as a major
avenue for Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union; secondly, they will
defend the right of a Jew from the Soviet Union to settle in the country of
his choice; next, they will encourage Jews to go to Israel; then support
Jewish upbringing in Jewish families, and finally they will help an
individual Jew to maintain his Jewish identity (by giving him the necessary
books, for instance).
It is impossibly to say which of these 120 groups is right. I believe all of
them are needed. Nevertheless, a specific historical situation may call for
advancement of particular groups as being more conducive to expanding the
variety of ethnic groups comprising mankind.
So, let us for the sake of definiteness proceed to analyze the Jewish
problem from the general to the specific and examine some major issues
within this framework.
2. Essentiality of diversity of ethnic groups.
First of all, I want to note that I am a proponent of solving the problem by
preserving the Jewish race as a distinct ethnic group. I understand that I
cannot prove the validity of my point of view. However, the opposite point
of view that all ethnic groups ought to be mixed together and assimilation
is the true path is not dear to me for general philosophical considerations.
It is reasonable to assume that the leading goal of development is
differentiation and integration is the accompaniment. Naturally, it is
tempting to try to integrate on the basis of sameness, of unification.
However, such systems are incapable of developing, and in the end unable to
even grow or survive. At the very least what I have said does not contradict
past evolution of inorganic as well as organic or social worlds. I believe
the same will hold true in the future just because no single system can
completely predict the future, on the one hand, and on the other, no single
system can function best in this uncertain world while preserving the
diversity and the possibility of altering proportions between its elements
depending on the prevailing conditions.
Current developments in genetics support the claims of more conservative
scientists that genetic make up creates predisposition towards a particular
culture. Interesting in this connection is a book by Lumsden, C. and Wilson, E., Genes, Mind, and Culture,
Harvard University Press, 1981. The authors claim to undertake the first
attempt to follow the chain linking genes, conscienceness and culture. Their
concept is structured in such a way as to incorporate all kinds of cultural
systems, from protocultures of macaques and chimpanzees to the modern
culture of homo sapiens, as well as cultures which can only be construed in
the realm of imagination.
Naturally, we should exercise extreme caution when we speak of cause-effect
relationships between genes and culture for we are prone to all kinds of
primitive racial theories. First of all, we should bear in mind that certain
genes are perhaps linked with one's personality which in turn affects, but
not determines, an individuals predisposition towards certain type of
culture. Furthermore, diversity of genetic structures and a corresponding
diversity of cultures of undifferentiated value should be viewed from the
standpoint of evolution as the primary unit. From the global evolutionary
point of view, preservations and expansion of both the gene pool and
cultures is vital.
When I advocate for variety in the above sense of the word I make an
explicit assumption that each object belonging to this manifold is not
comparable with any other. Only in a particular situation and from a
particular perspective can objects be distinguished and their relative
importance established. But even here, our comparison is only local and the
preservation of the manifold retains its key role.
I realize that even the preservation of the manifold is prone to certain
dangers: one ethnic group wanting to preserve itself must be on guard
against other groups if only to avoid an all out intermixing, because the
intentions of other groups having different system of values are not always
clear, etc. Perhaps here lie the biological roots of being watchful towards
other ethnic groups.
Preservation of the manifold is further complicated by the mechanisms of
selection which are aimed primarily at choosing the best alternative under
the circumstances. Selection mechanisms can be so rigid as to ruin the
manifold. The manifold of ethnic groups and the resulting inequality at a
particular point in history may give rise within the selection mechanism to
the notion of exclusivity of one particular group. This is especially
dangerous in large countries where chauvinism may put the existence of the
entire human race in question. Therefore, I understand the arguments of in
favor of all people mixing together. Nonetheless it seems to me, based on
the discussion above, that the paths to solving world problems ought to be
sought in the successful integration and expansion of diversity of ethnic as
well as biological and socio-cultural groups
each one maintaining its distinct identity, rather than in their
From this point of view, it is essential to resolve the Jewish problem by
preserving the ethnic group. Indeed, acknowledging the necessity for a
manifold of ethnic groups does not determine how they should be organized.
Preservation of the Jewish race poses questions regarding its spatial
structuring. In extreme, an ethnic group can either be scattered throughout
the world or be concentrated in one region. In general, the existence of
home base territory does not exclude the possibility of living in other
areas. Neither does it close the question of proportions between the
populations in the central land and the peripheries. In other words, here
arise a well known problem of the the Jewish state vs. the diaspora. The
problem defies an unequivocal solution for neither alternative can proved to
be the best.
The critical size of the territory or the number of people which would in
effect reduce the role of the diaspora to zero is not known to me. In
principle, the presence of statehood for a given ethnic group does not at
all mean that "all eggs should be put in one basket".
2. Is diaspora needed?
I realize that acknowledging the need for diaspora is subject to strong
criticism for it creates the danger of Jewish annihilation especially at
times when the host countries experience troubles and they look for a scape
goat to appease the native population. In principle, such methods of
appeasement can take place in any country. For instance, attempts to solve
this problem in the Soviet Union which proclaimed the most favorable
conditions for the preservation of the Jewish race lead to many tragedies.
Throughout Soviet history, Jews were persecuted under various banners:
struggle with Trotskijtes,
cosmopolitanism, and Zionism.
Not to speak of the danger of assimilation of the Jews in diaspora with the
native population. Moreover, my defense of diaspora is inadvertently colored
by the personal desire to justify my decision to live in the diaspora.
Still, I risk thinking that there are considerations in favor of combining
statehood and the diaspora, particularly if the territory of the state is
not very large and it is surrounded by a very hostile environment.
These considerations include financial help extended to the Jewish state by
the Jews living in wealthy countries; influence of the Jewish lobbies in
establishing friendly relations with
Israel, and so on and so forth. For
instance, from Momzen's History of Rome, the strength of the Judea
was in that Jews had, together with their own state, major settlements in
the most developed cities of the day - Alexandria
The danger of assimilation of the Jews in the diaspora is not so clear cut.
Assimilation process in one group of Jews in the diaspora is accompanied by
the strengthening of the sense of ethnic identity in another, especially
prominent with the appearance of Jewish state. Of course the ratio between
these two groups varies from country to country. Perhaps, in free countries
where Jews are not afraid to show their ethnic origin, those rejecting
assimilation and strengthening their ethnic background comprise the greater
share of the Jewish population. This is visible in the USA where growth in interest among
Jewish youth to Judaism in the past 30 years scarcely calls forth doubt.
I call this latter phenomenon the "Reverse Pyramid Effect". It is usually
thought that the older generation, grandfathers and grandmothers are the
most conservative and maintain the religion and culture of their people.
Their children are already less inclined toward these things and their
grandchildren become completely atheist "without clan or tribe." At the same
time, we can also observe opposite tendencies in the diaspora. The present
day grandfathers, having grown up in the conditions of assimilationist
ideas, often encouraged by the anti-Semitic sentiments of the people among
whom they lived, tried to forget their Jewish ancestry. They attempted to
find a solution of the problem in renouncing the ideas of their Jewish
minded parents. The next generation - their children - became already
convinced that escaping Jewishness does not solve the problem. But they
still had hopes of adapting to their surroundings along the same lines as
their fathers. Yet the grandchildren largely understood the illusion of such
an answer to the problem. Thus the pyramid was turned upside down - it
exhibits a tendency that its pinnacle will once again consist of Jewishness.
Let me put forth some thoughts which come to mind when we attempt to
generalize the history of the Jewish tribe in the diaspora.
There arise four possible combinations generated by two factors - degree of
hostility of the environment towards the Jews and the size of the Jewish
population. In rather simplistic terms, the degree of hostility can be
denoted as either strong or weak and size of the population as either
sufficient or insufficient in having the critical mass to preserve the
Under favorable surroundings but with the size of the population small (in a
sense of lacking the critical mass needed to maintain distinct identity)
Jews dissolve among the native peoples. This is what happened with old
Jewish settlements in China. With
hostility from the environment Jews in sufficient numbers can preserve their
ethnicity for a limited period of time. An example of this situation are the
Jews of Spain during the time of the inquisition when they managed to
survive as Marranos. Perhaps, this is also true for Russian Jews especially
if we account for the emigration of the active part of the Jews having
Jewish identity. Combination of favorable conditions and sufficient size is
evident in Jewish communities in England,
and some Latin American countries. Nevertheless the historical perspective
of this experience is too narrow to make any definite conclusions about the
prospects of the Jews in these countries. Hostile environment in conjunction
with small population practically leads to disappearance of the Jews. Modern
is an example of this situation.
All this leads me to conclude that the Jewish problem probably defies
solution if the Jews want to stay an independent ethnic group in a foreign
3. The need for a Jewish state.
It is stressed in the Torah that the Jewish people ought to have land of
their own and God promises this and leads them to the land of Canaan.
Of course, the last thesis may be disputed. The Jews survived in diaspora as
did the Gypsies (who had no land of their own) and the Armenians. But past
experience, both of the Jews and non Jews, is no proof for the future. The
lack of statehood could in certain critical situations turn out fatal to a
particular ethnic group, especially with the development of inexpensive
means of mass destruction and the imbalance between the strength of the
armed killers and their defenseless victims.
I further believe that statehood is apparently a necessary (but perhaps
insufficient) condition for the stable long-run maintenance of an ethnic
community inasmuch as it protects the culture - the genetic code of society,
as well as all ethnic institutions stemming from it. History shows that
without statehood and without their own territory, Jews have repeatedly
become the objects of oppression ranging from attempts at direct physical
annihilation of the Jews (at times very successful) to their expulsion from
the country where they lived. It is enough to recall the Torah to illustrate
this. Some rulers even invited Jews to live their lands and crested
favorable conditions for them to do so. But then, when the Jews has become
strong there and begun to play a noticeable role in the country's growth, at
best they were asked to leave and at worst attempts were made to exterminate
Thus "Abraham dwelt in
the land of the Philistines many years as a stranger." (Genesis, 21:34) He
lived there in peace under King Abimelech. Then in the days of famine
Abraham's son, Isaac, came to the land of the Philistines. He was received
joyously. Isaac flourished in his affairs.
"And the man waxed great and
he grew more and more until he became very great: he acquired flocks and
herds, and a large household, so that the Philistines envied him. And the
Philistines stopped up all the wells which his father's servants had dug in
the days of his father Abraham, filling them with earth. And Abimelech said
into Isaac:Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.' And Isaac departed
thence. . ." (Genesis, 26:13-17)
Joseph, who ended up by Egypt by
accident, was singled out by Pharaoh. Joseph's fame was great and he did
much for the flourishing of
and the strengthening of Pharaoh. When Joseph informed Pharaoh that his,
Joseph's fame was great and he did much for the flourishing of Egypt
and the strengthening of Pharaoh. When Joseph informed Pharaoh that his,
Joseph's, father and brothers had come to Egypt,
spoke unto Joseph saying: Thy father and thy brothers are come unto thee;
the land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land
make thy father and thy brothers to settle; let them dwell in the land of Goshen. And if thou knowest
any able men among them, then make them rulers over my livestock.'"
After Joseph died
"the children of Israel were fruitful and
increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceedingly mighty; and the
land was filled with them. Now there arose a new king over Egypt
who knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people: Behold, the people of the
children of Israel are too many and too mighty for us; come, let us deal
shrewdly with them, lest they multiply and it come to pass that there
befalleth us a war, they then join themselves unto our enemies and fight
against us, and gain ascendancy over the land."(Exodus, 1:7-10)
Then Pharaoh charged all
his people, saying, "Every son that is born ye shall cast into the
The end of this story is well know.
Jews succeeded in leaving Egypt, overcoming enormous
difficulties in the process and under the threat of complete disappearance.
The "Joseph Model", as Prof. B. Moishezon termed it, is instructive through
and through. It has been frequently replayed; in just this century "quite
successfully" in Germany,
USSR, and Poland. Who
knows where it will flare up next?
Thus I share the opinion of those who believe that a Jewish state is needed.
I also agree with those who have realized already by the end of the XIX
century that it is needed now. There was time when God promised Abraham the
of Canaan for the great
nation that shall spring from him. But God said that the time has not come
yet, that 300 years are needed "for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet
full". (Genesis, 15:16) The holocaust demonstrated the validity of the
Zionist perspective that the time for establishing a Jewish state had
Let us further assume that all my arguments in favor of combining the
diaspora with the Jewish state are wrong and that all Jews ought to live in
their own country. Still, there are difficult problems arising in this
connection concerning the creation of such a state.
I anticipate a question a perplexed reader: "What is all this discussion
about the creation of Jewish state since such a state, namely
Israel, already exists?"
Indeed I share the opinion of those who believe that a Jewish state is
needed and needed now. I also share the opinion of those who see in
the best solution to this question at present (more on this point later).
However, I cannot consider this solution the only possible one as far as
solving the problem of Jewish statehood as a whole is concerned.
4. Creation of the Jewish state with a view to the past, the
present, and the future.
The establishment of a Jewish state could go in at least three different
directions: with a view to the past, the present or the
According to the first criterion, i.e. with a view to the past, the
establishment of a Jewish state is linked with Israel, the land
of our ancestors, the Promised Land. This great idea managed to grab
hold of millions of Jews and to succeed. In 1948 Israel was
created. In a short period of time, Israel
established a democratic system (in spite of hostile environment and
frequent wars), introduced its own agriculture and industry and put together
the pride of Israel
- one of the best armies in the world. This is just one more proof that the
potential of this nation is so great as to be able to handle new fields that
for ages were thought of as foreign to the Jewish people.
On the road to realizing this idea enormous difficulties were encountered
insofar as the state was created in a hostile Arab environment supplied with
modern weaponry by the great powers. Israel,
even if it gathered all the Jews would be hard pressed to produce all
various kinds of modern weapons in quantities sufficient to rebuff possible
blocks of Muslim countries; the size of the territory makes Israel even more vulnerable.
Take into account that Arab countries have a culture which predisposes them
toward authoritarian regimes and rather awkward economic development and
aggression; their economic prosperity is ethereal for it hinges on the
abundance of one natural resource - oil.Israel on the
other hand possesses a culture predisposed towards pluralistic democracy and
its counterpart - effective economic development and peaceful foreign
policy. Therefore Israel
will for a long time represent an unsightly model for Arab countries.
But military dependence of little
on a great power in an age of advanced armaments will remain strong. Yet
great powers have their own interests and may sacrifice their satellites for
the sake of these.
Economic problems and the military danger aggravate the problem of
attracting and keeping Jews in Israel when they are not faced with
any immediate danger in the diaspora. These problems complicate everyday
lives of Israelis and make the task of combining this everyday life with a
general attachment to the great idea of statehood significantly more
Looking toward the
present, a Jewish state could be created by the purchase of land (I believe
projects were made to buy land in Kenya
or elsewhere). However, the idea of creating a Jewish state by this
criterion was not realized further because tradition wasn't with it. For
this reason, aggravated even more by the difficulties of its existence (in
the sense of a hostile environment), the set of solutions to the problem of
Jewish statehood through Jewish autonomy within the borders of an existing
great power is unacceptable. It should first of all be noted that large
democratic countries do not have such autonomous national entities: these
countries primarily develop culture innate to that country. If an ethnic
group with its own history and especially its own land happens for some
reason to be situated on the territory of such a country it separates into
an independent state; an example of this is the separation of Norway from
Sweden. Autonomous national entities exist in authoritarian empires but
their stability always hangs by a thread because the governing nation
attempts to assimilate them for the purpose of control over them (it is good
to have unity of language and culture) as well as preventing separatist
movements. Therefore, even if instead of Birobidzhan Soviet Jews had
received the Crimea, still within the totalitarian Soviet Union, life would nevertheless be unbearable there.
Moreover, this autonomy could be revoked at any time.
With a view toward the
future, a Jewish state could be created using pioneering ideas based on new
technological means. Let's say, for example, a state could be established on
floating artificial islands with the availability of inexpensive
thermonuclear energy drawing on unlimited water resources. Already today, on
a small scale, such artificial islands are used for the extraction of oil.
They want to build them in the coastal waters of
and Saudi Arabia
on a larger scale. But maintaining the equilibrium of large-scale floating
artificial islands would require a lot of energy.
Other fantastic ideas of
a Jewish state speak of Jews settling in space.
This method is perhaps fraught with even more difficulties in view of the
human physiology and its adaptability to prolonged stays in outer space.
These kind of outrageous ideas draw on the Jewish pioneering spirit and
might be attractive for a number of Jews who have actively joined in
civilization. Recall that the Jewish pioneering spirit has a long history,
perhaps longer than the idea of the Promised Land. If we study the biblical
history of the Jews, then it's clear from this (naturally in the sense of a
hypothesis) that the Jews have been carriers of innovative ideas.
Moishezon's series of articles entitled "The Riddles of Ancient
Civilizations" in the journal "People and Land" (No. 1,2,3) is enormously
interesting in this connection. Let me just cite one excerpt form this
series, reminding the reader that anthropologically Jews belong to the
"Approximately 12,000 years ago sharp changes in the life of peoples on the
Earth began. The first dwellings appeared and the first fortified
settlements as well as decorations and rock vessels. The first steps were
taken toward agriculture and animal husbandry. Archaeologists call these
events the "neolithic revolution." The beginning of the neolithic revolution
is now connected with the so-called Natufisk culture on the
of Israel. There the
first city was found, the town of "Jericho."
Contemporary data on the development of the Neolithic and subsequent
cultures show that viewed as a whole it was a process which was constantly
expanding in time and scope. New hearths arose and vanished but in the
course of time the Neolithic revolution encompassed all new areas. First
northern Mesopotamia and the southern regions of
Greece and the Balkans, later
the Trans-Caucasus, western and northern Iran,
southern Turkmenia and southern Mesopotamia
were included. From about the seventh century B.C.E. in Anatolia and
northern Mesopotamia cultures began to develop in which pottery and
the beginning elements of metallurgy can be found. These cultures correspond
to the so-called Halkolite epoch. From them once again waves of progress
spread to the west, east and south.
next archaeological period is the Bronze Era (from 4000 BCE) which, it
seems, undisputable had its source in the Gassul- Beersheva culture and the
subsequent cultural centers of northern Syria, Shumer and the
Caucasus. An analogous picture is drawn as well from analysis of
the archaeological and ancient writings record of the so-called Iron Age
(from about 1200 BCE).
from the spatial and temporal continuity of the development begun by the
Neolithic revolution, archaeologists have found a variety of further links
and coincidences of style in cultures separated form one another in addition
to simultaneity in a number of significant changes and innovations. It
sometimes seems that the process of humankind's progress was only locally
determined by freedom of choice and coincidences but as a whole was as if
coordinated and directed. Such an almost mystical sensation can be made
rational if we assume the presence of a certain continuity and connection
within some stable portion of the active human element which intuitively
goes beyond the unanimated evidences of archeology.
evidences of ancient sculpture described earlier and the deformation of
skulls as early as Neolithic times as well as the anthropolical correlation
between metallurgical centers simply and clearly point in only one
direction: the stable portion in the process of cultural evolution in the
Neolithic and subsequent eras, that which determined their continuity and
connection, were a people, anthropologically belonging to the Armenoid type.
Moreover, the Armenoid representation of kings and gods and the connection
between the Armenoid deformed heads with their conception of nobility makes
a still stronger assumption highly likely. In very ancient times
(approximately from 10,000 years BC) the Armenoids were one in the same as
the upper class at least in the central part of the Near Eastern cultural
center and their expansion basically corresponded with the process of that
Thus, I have briefly
described the arguments for and against the variants of the creation of a
Jewish state according to three possible criteria. From this description it
follows that the idea of founding a Jewish state based on the first
criterion, a view toward the past, succeeded because it was based on a very
powerful tradition and, moreover, was "technically" attainable.
The view to the present apparently failed because in it there was no
cementing idea flowing either from the past or toward the future (but
connected with the past), and the pragmatism of the present prevailed. The
third criterion, a view toward the future, even if it does have a potential
for survival from the point of view of exploiting tradition, must first of
all become technically feasible. Thus for floating islands in open waters
cheap energy is needed in great quantities. Controlled thermonuclear
reaction is a source of unlimited amount of cheap energy from independent
(in a sense of not belonging to anybody) water sources. But alas! How many
more years will it be until this is possible! Scientists put the earliest
date at XXI century.
Thus, only the first path to creating a Jewish state remains realistic, the
one which was realized.
Furthermore, assume that the Jewish state of
is the sole solution to the problem and that all Jews, i.e. Jews not wanting
to assimilate, must live in
Israel. Still, how can one organize a mass
exodus of Jews in diaspora to Israel if they
are not yet faced with critical situation in diaspora countries?
5. Jewish immigration to Israel.
It is far and away
difficult for me not having been born in Israel not possessing deep roots
there, and with the opportunity to live under favorable conditions in the
diaspora, to move to a country which is a besieged fortress requiring
hardness of spirit form the newly arrived and enormous faith in the
possibility for a long-term blossoming of Israel.Immigration of Jews to
Israel requires time. Time to change the psychology of the people - a factor
as objective as their situation in the diaspora.
The Torah contains many
deep reflections on the psychology of Jews faced with radical decisions.
When God led the Jews our of
to the Promised Land he could have immediately brought them by way of a
short path through the land of the Philistines. Another path was chosen and
here is what the Torah has to say on this point:
"Now when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the
land of the Philistines, although it was nearer; for God said, `The people
may have change of heart when they see war, and return to Egypt.' So God led
the people round-about, by way of the wilderness at the Sea of Reeds." (Exodus 13.17-18)
As everyone knows, the Jewish people walked through the wilderness to the
Promised Land 40 years. This was a punishment to all who had scorned God.
Having met with difficulties they were frightened by them since they had
grown up in Egypt in slavery
and were afraid of enemies and had tasted the benefits of the good life
which they had before the arrival of the last Pharaoh. Torah speaks on this
"Your carcasses shall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you,
according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have
murmured against me.
Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make
you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of
But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in,
and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
But as for you, your carcasses, they shall fall in this wilderness.
And your children shall wander in the wilderness for forty years, and bear
your whoredoms, until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness.
After the number of days in which ye searched the land, even forty days,
each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye
shall know my breach of promise." (Numbers 14, 29-34).
In place of conclusion
By what I have said I do not want to
remove from myself the moral guilt for leaving the
on an Israeli visas and yet not going to Israel.
My right was to the leave
the Soviet Union and go to any other
country which I liked and was prepared to accept me. But the entire question
was how to emigrate. There is an ugliness in such an emigration first of all
because it was a lie. Of course, much can be said to justify my decision on
this point. First of all the ban on lying is not one of the ten commandments
(the Torah mentions the unacceptability of lying only in the book of
Leviticus, 19:11). And how much our forefathers lied especially in foreign
lands (see Genesis, 12:10-20; 20:1-18). But for me a lie is a lie regardless
of its purpose.
And if a man is too weak and happens to lie, he should not justify it but
repent in all manner.
In leaving the USSR, I also
used the slogans under which a group of steadfast Soviet Jews began the
campaign for permission to emigrate to their historical homeland, to the
Jewish state. They could resoundingly say to me: why didn't you organize
your own movement for emigration form the USSR
but not to Israel.
It seems to me that such an opinion has serious foundations.
The Soviet leaders were not allowing
Jews to go to Israel.
They were cynically selling Jews regarded as government property
to the US in exchange
for detente and the benefits arising for them thereby. Of course, formally
it was more comfortable for the Soviet leaders to permit the Jews to go to Israel. It gave
them the opportunity to deprive those emigrating of Soviet citizenship even
before they left and to avoid all kinds of trouble which the emigrants could
cause them if they should want to return to or just visit their friends or
relatives in the USSR.
Such revocation of citizenship played upon public opinion for the emigration
was to a state with which the given state did not have diplomatic relations.
In the eyes of other Soviet peoples having their historic homeland within
the borders of the Soviet state the emigration of Jews to Israel also
justified the right of the Jews to emigrate (same for Germans; Armenian
emigration was explained by the fact that they were not born in the USSR but
brought there by their parents after the war). Moreover if Lithuanians or
Ukrainians wanted to leave, the government could always claim that these
people's land is her - within the boundaries of the
USSR and if they want to unite with their countrymen
then they may be invited to return to their homelands in the
What conclusions are to be drawn from all which has been said? The reader
should once more reexamine his views on the place of Jews in this world, try
to better understand the strengths and weakness of various conceptions
guiding a Jew in preserving his ethnicity or choosing his country of
habitat. But in any case, whatever his personal choice is, let it not be
regarded as the sole possible path for evolving such a complex problem.
happened to know a man close to Khrushchev working in the Central
Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He related a conversation he had with one of
The man I knew tried to convince the aid to hire a few smart jews in
the CC apparatus arguing that they are needed for the cause.
Khrushchev's aid responded: "Are you crazy? No sooner will we take
one Jew he will bring others along turn this place into a synagogue
and throw both you and me out."
in this connection is the following statement by an outstanding
English economist J. Keynes: "...the ideas of economists and
political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are
wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the
world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves
to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the
slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear
voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic
scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested
interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual
encroachment of ideas. Not, indeed, immediately, but after a certain
interval for in the field of economic and political philosophy there
are not many who are influenced by new theories after they are
twenty-five or thirty years of age, so that the ideas which civil
servants and politicians and even agitators apply to current events
are not likely to be the newest. But, soon or late, it is ideas, not
vested interests, which are dangerous for good and evil." Keynes, J.
M., The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money,
New York: Harcourt Brace, 1936.
from the newspaper
New Russian Word, January 6, 1988.
my article , "Plan, Market and Management", Acta Slavica Iaponica,
V. II, 1984, pp. 1-24, I gave a number of socio-economic analogies
contract between an omnipotent God and Man. These analogies
explore the possibility of introducing contracts between the
ministries and the subordinated plants within the framework of a
centralized economy such as the Soviet economy. In that article I
wrote that such contacts are impossible in the
Soviet Union since the God of the Old Testament
concludes a contract with Man because He, God, is in competition
with other Gods and seeks to win followers with the help of the
contract. In the USSR, on the
other hand, the omnipotent government is above all competition.
present time, this point of view seems to me to be somewhat of a
simplification. It seems there are two things at the foundation of
this contract between God and Man: on the one hand it is God's
admission of his own imperfection, and on the other it is the
greatness of Man and the fact that he is in principal comparable to
God. The above mentioned factor of competing among gods could play a
role in the contract between God and Man but not a decisive one.
Extending the religious analogy to economics, it would be proper to
speak of the contracts between large corporations and small
outsiders. It is the realization on the part of large corporation of
their weaknesses when it come to innovations that leads them to even
finance some small outside firms exploring new avenues of
am very grateful to M. Berman for discussing with me his
methodological ideas regarding analysis of human behavior based on
combinatorics of mans priorities. Naturally, he bears no
responsibility for conclusions made here in the application of his
methodology to the problem in question.
to genetic characteristics of the Jewish race, the reader is
referred to the rather provocative appendix "The Formation and
Transmission of Jewish "Differential" Characteristics from the
Viewpoint of Contemporary Biology" in the book by L. Poliakov,
The History of Anti-Semitism, New York: Schoken Books, 1965.
approach to the manifold is manifested in western pluralistic
political system. Each party elaborates its own unique program for
the country as a whole. Since each specific situation calls for one
of these programs to be chosen a mechanism of selection comes into
play (elections, a parlament which assigns priorites to each
program). In no way does this mechanism of selection lead to the
dispersion of the manifold. On the contrary, preservation and
expansion of diversity is fundamental to Western political systems.
once though about a seemingly simple but paradoxical fact that white
blonde people whose skin reflects the sun inhabit more northern
regions where sun is short supply while black people whose skin
absorbs sun rays inhabit southern regions where there is plenty of
flaming sun rays.It turns out that black skin is adapted to the
burning sun rays because it contains special pigments which protect
the skin against overexposure to ultraviolet rays. White skin lacks
these pigments. All other conditions being equal, with an increase
in the amount of ultraviolet radiation people with black skin (I do
not know about people with red and yellow skin) have better survival
chances than people with white skin.
B. Moishezon told me in private conversation that in his opinion
based on the analysis of the documents from the thirties, the term
Trotskijte was at that time associated with the Jews. I share his
confirmation of this is the following unique fact relayed to me in
the mid sixtiesby V.
Kaplan. She told me that in 1937 (1938) her husband Kaplan was
removed from his post in the Stalin's staff where his job was to
edit the leader's works. Others of the same nationality were removed
from their positions in Stalin's staff at about the same time.
Subsequently Kaplan worked as an editor in a union publishing house
and only after Stalin's death did he transfer to the Party Committee
for the City of Moscow.
In the early
thirties the Kaplan family was very goods friends with A. S.
Shcherbakov. By then Shcherbakov played an important role in the
Party being appointed in 1934 as its representative to the Writers'
Union of the USSR.
In 1936 he moved to Leningrad (he was
appointed the Second Secretary of the Leningrad Province Party
Committee), then to Siberia (as the First Secretary of the Eastern
Siberian Region Party Committee), and then to
Ukraine. When in
on official visits Shcherbakov would usually stay with Kaplans.
During one of his visits to Moscow
to a meeting of then allpowerfulPeoples' Commissar for Internal Affairs N. I. Ezhov
Shcherbakov did not stay with the Kaplans. He called them and
apologized for having to stay at the "Savoi" Hotel (presently "Berlin")
where he is being guarded by a man from NKVD. He promised to call
Kaplans after the meeting. The call never came. This was very
troubled time and there was nothing unusual in a person not coming
home after a meeting with Ezhov. Kaplans were understandably
worried. Early in the morning Kaplan's wife went to the hotel. Being
a close friend, she woke Shcherbakov up and asked him why he did not
call. In response, Shcherbakov reluctantly (or may be from being
sleepy) mumbled something about yesterday's meeting with Ezhov who
spoke about the many Jews in the ranks of the enemies of the people.
Kaplan's wife said "How can you think that, you know it is not
true!" The subject of the conversation quickly changed. They stayed
together till two in the afternoon talking about various things. At
two they were joined by Kaplan. I believe that was their last
in this connection is the role of the diaspora for Russian and
Ukranian people. Russia is
country of vast territory and large population; its diaspora is
relatively insignificant. Russians that have left Russia assimilate fairly quickly and
absorb the culture of the "host" country. Still the presence of the
first and second generation is important. For instance, Russian
refugees in the West after First and Second World Wars were largely
responsible for preserving the great works of Russian literature. It
was in the West that the Russian emigrants published more or less
complete works of A. Akhmatova, N. Gumilev, O. Mandelstam as well as
Ukranians the situation is very different. Ukraine became
part of the Russian empire and the danger of its russification lurks
great. Here the role of the Ukrainian diaspora in preserving the
Ukrainian culture is immeasurable. We see how much Ukranians of
diaspora strive to maintain their ethnic culture and in spite of
strong assimilation tendencies they have largely succeeded.
is not an accident that S. Kuznets in his book Modern Economic
Growth (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966) excluded Arab
countries from consideration. While many of these countries have
high GNP their development hinges on a single product and therefore
does not satisfy the requirements of modern economic growth.
want to note in passing that the state of
with its amplified dynamismwill represent an unpleasant model for its neighbors no
matter who these neighbors happen to be.
cannot vow for this rumor but I heard that one Jewish millionaire
has even set aside money for afoundation, located in New York, to stimulate research on thepossibility of settling Jews in space.
share theopinion of
Solzhenitsyn that above all one must not live by lies.Unfortunately, I cannot agree with Solzhenitsyn's embodiment
ofhis own convictions.As Vladimir Bukovskij, I think, said,Solzhenitsyn calls on us not to live by the lies of all
and for myself I add half truths as well, which isno better.
I want to note that the Soviet Union is a totalitarian country meaning that
all capital goods, natural resources, and people belong to the
cannot attest to the exactness of the fact, but unofficial
instruction regarding the emigration from the Soviet Union states
that Soviet citizenship is revoked when a person emigrates to such
countries as Israel
or the Republic
of South Africa.