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One of the more uncanny peculiarities in human history has been that whenever a sinister unexplained event in the world occurs, the Jews are immediately sought out as the scapegoats and the cause of the event. Unfortunately there is a very long and bitter history to this phenomenon. It is so deeply ingrained in parts of the non-Jewish world that even in our time, despite a long history and in the face of logic and fact this type of canard still persists.

Consider the most recent example of this, the amazingly unbelievable statement made by Vladimir Putin, that the Jews somehow possibly rigged the United States’ presidential election in 2016. This comment was immediately followed by the usual pious disclaimer that it could not have been the Russians that were involved because such a nefarious scheme and its execution were beyond the capabilities and imagination of the Russian government.
I am reminded that after the terrorist attack against the United States and the destruction of the World Trade Center, many in the Moslem world and even in parts of the Western world attributed this act of wanton murder and terrorism to Zionism and to Jews. They claim that it was far too sophisticated and well planned to have been executed by Arabs.
It could only be that the Jews were clever enough to accomplish that debacle. Only the Jews are sinister and amoral enough to conceive and execute such sophisticated mayhem. The fact that such nonsense can continue to be perpetuated by supposedly responsible and intelligent people only serves to show how deep the anti-Jewish virus is implanted in our current world.
The Russians have a long history of blaming the ‘Zhids’ for their woes. Tsar Nicholas II blamed the Russian defeat in the 1904 Russian/Japanese war on the Jews. He further attributed the popular uprising and revolution of 1905 once more on the Jews. In fact, all of the mounting woes of the Romanovs and Russia in pre-World War I, Eastern Europe were ascribed to the Jews.
The “Jewish question” was predominant in all Russian government circles in the 19th and 20th centuries until the Bolshevik revolution. During World War I, in spite of the fact that over 100,000 Jews served in the Russian army and many thousands were killed in the war, the Russian government treated the Jews not only as enemy aliens but also as spies and traitors.
It was not that the German army was successful. It was an ingrained belief of the Tsar and of his army general staff that Jews betrayed the Russian army in the service of the Germans. Because of this, many hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from their homes and forced to attempt to resettle themselves deep in Russia. This draconian policy together with repeated and systematic pogroms committed by Russian forces accounted for the deaths of more than 250,000 Jews in World War I before the Bolshevik revolution and the later Civil War, which in their turn would annihilate thousands of more Jews.
It is almost useless and futile to argue logically against these wildly anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. The poison spread by the Russian Secret Service in the 1890s with their pamphlet on the fictitious Elders of Zion running the world, which, though without sources took root and is tragically alive and well in much of the world today.
All protestations of our innocence and of the fact that all of this is pure bunk simply lands on deaf ears. We are also witness to the fact that the Syrians blame their woes on Israel even though Israel has nothing to do with the Syrian Civil War or the brutality of the regime of Assad. It is not reported widely but almost after every chemical or air attack that the Syrian government mounts against its own citizens, the Syrian media blames it all on Israel.
The fact that there is chaos in Gaza, that there are shortages of fuel and electricity there is attributed to Israel and not to Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. We live in an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ world where everything is seen through a distorted mirror. The problem is that the world is so accustomed to viewing itself through that mirror that it believes that somehow the mirror actually reflects reality.
But the world is not an amusement park and skewed vision and preposterous conclusions are dangerous to all concerned. We therefore should continue to speak out against such ridiculous statements and accusations and demand that some modicum of reality enter into the world’s dealings with the Jewish people and the state of Israel.
Shabbat shalom
Berel Wein

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