Note by the Saker: Guy Mettan has kindly accepted my invitation to reply to some of the critical comments I made in my review of his excellent book ““The West vs Russia – a thousand year long war: russophobia from Charlemagne to the Ukrainian Crisis”. While I obviously disagree with this conclusions, as he does with mine, and while I welcome and even encourage an open and frank debate on any topic, especially a controversial one, I would ask all commentators to absolutely avoid any ad hominem attacks, not only because they are rude, but also because they never serve to make a valid point. They are all, be definition, non-sequiturs. I really believe that Guy Mettan has made a tremendous contribution to the understanding of Russia and would ask of you all, dear friends, to keep that in mind. That being said, I hope that this reply will generate a energetic and interesting discussion
At first, let me thank warmly the Saker for his very laudatory review of my book on western russophobia. I’m especially grateful for the great attention he brought to all chapters and details of my essay, which is not very popular among European mainstream medias and scholars.
But let me precise one think about what you have called one of the “most formidable russophobia”, the supposed Jewish russophobia. In my book, I have mentioned old roman-catholic, French, British, German and American russophobias but no Jewish russophobia because in my view this is not relevant.
In my view, such a Jewish russophobia has never existed and still does not exist today.
Let my explain why.
First, if there is for sure Jewish Neocons in Washington who are strongly and phobically anti-Russian, there are also many American Jews who are denouncing their warlike propaganda. Notorious intellectual figures like Stephen Cohen and Noam Chomsky are Jewish but they are among the harshest critics of the russophobes Neocons in Washington! I think we can find as many russophobic Jews as russophiles Jews.
In Israel for instance, prominent politicians like Avigdor Lieberman are not anti-Russian. And the diplomatic relations between Russia and Israel have never been as good as today since 60 years.
If you look the true enemies of Russia today, the nasty types who are killing Russians for instance, you cannot see a single Jew. There were no Jews in Doubrovka Theater, in Beslan, in Georgia or in Ukraine. The Russian planes and helicopters in Syria were not shot by Jews or by Israel. But by Islamist terrorists supported by Muslim and Arab petromonarchies, Turkey or western democracies.
Even in Ukraine, there are no Jewish battalions fighting in the Donbass but a lot of fanatic extreme-right nationalists with Nazi emblems, who are as well anti-Russian as anti-Semites. In Ukraine and Baltic countries, the ethnic Russians are in the same camp as the Jews…
Secondly, russophobia, as any form of racism or ethnic phobia, is an ideology, a way of thinking and a behavior shared by large amounts of people from the top to the bottom of the society. It’s systematic, publicly asserted and officially endorsed. That’ s why it is possible to speak of an American russophobia, which is largely spread in the media, taught in some universities, funded by think tanks and officially claimed at the highest levels of the State circles in Washington.
But that’s clearly not the case in the Jewish communities in USA or in Europe. And certainly not in Israel. I have never heard or read a systematic russophobic propaganda or appeals to Russian hatred or military mobilization against Russia in all the Jewish communities I met in the world or in Israel.
Which is not the case in NATO circles in Brussels, or in the mainstream media and chancelleries in London or Washington.
Thirdly, my point is also philosophical. If I highly dislike russophobes, I try not to hate them. I don’t wish to critic a phobia in order to cherish another one. In fact, I hate all phobias, russophobia but also islamophobia, sinophobia, arabophobia or africanophobia, which is probably the most common and ignored one.
In that sense, I don’t share the views of the Russian writers or authors who have raised the question of the Jews in Russia. That’s an internal debate. I tried to read Chafarevitch but I could not understand what his problem was. For me, Russian Jews are Russian as well as the other Russian people, Slavs, Bachkirs or Buriates. They belong to the long history and culture of Russia as any other citizen even if we can criticize them on one or two aspects. A great nation doesn’t make difference between his members. Exactly as we try to do in Switzerland between German, French or Italian speaking communities.
In conclusion, considering the history of the XXth Century, judeophobia is certainly the worst phobia, the most cruel one, whatever we can think about Jews and the politics of the State of Israel against Palestinians. This is not for excusing or justifying anything, this is just a matter of fact not to be forgotten.
For all these reasons, I’m convinced that there is no “Jewish russophobia” and that any discussion about this question brings more confusion than it helps to grasp the deep roots of western russophobia and to fight against it.
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