Monday, March 12, 2018

Things People Blame the Jews For, Volume XLII: Russian Meddling in American Elections

Vladimir Putin wants you to know that it might not be (ethnic) Russians behind the attempts to meddle in the U.S. elections. It might have been Ukrainians. Or Tatars.

Or Jews.

Of course Jews.

And of course, people have thoughts on Putin suggesting maybe all this election interference really traces back to the Jews.

There's a bad piece by David Klion trying to defend Putin from charges of antisemitism, which asks why Putin "singled out" Jews alongside Ukrainians and Tatars (the latter two are maybe easy to explain -- they're the two largest ethnic minorities in Russia. Jews are ... not in third place), answers "it's complicated", and then seems to entirely forget to explain what's "complicated" about it in favor of a stirring ode to the advances Jews have made since the era of the Tsars and a list of all of Putin's good Jewish friends.

There's a better piece by Anshel Pfeffer, which seeks to absolve Putin of personal antisemitism while noting that he has long been willing to tolerate it as a useful vector for stirring up anti-Western resentment.

And then there's the best piece by Talia Lavin, who agrees with Pfeffer that Putin generally "launders" antisemitism through allies or (in this case) trolling, but observes that this doesn't actually provide absolution for promoting antisemitism.

Read them in order, and feel yourself getting smarter.

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