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Friday, September 11, 2015

David Brooks, "The Russia I Miss": Then They Came for the Jews

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

- Martin Niemöller

Yesterday, we learned that Amazon was selling "Blood Splattered Flag of Israel" cell phones cases, umbrellas, doormats, shower curtains, pillows cases, mouse pads and more; however, after an enormous outcry, the merchandise was removed from Amazon's website.

In addition, The New York Times came under fire yesterday for creating an infographic listing Democrats opposed to Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, and indicating the estimated percentage of Jews among their constituents. I am waiting to see if there is even a single Times columnist brave enough to address this outrage, which suggests that Democratic opposition to the nuclear deal stems from Jewish influence over government and not from ethical considerations.

Meanwhile, David Brooks has other things on his mind. Writing from St. Petersburg, Brooks, a Jew, concludes his latest Times op-ed entitled "The Russia I Miss" by observing:

"There’s something sad about the souvenir stands in St. Petersburg. They’re selling mementos of things Russians are sort of embarrassed by — old Soviet Army hats, Stalinist tchotchkes and coffee mugs with Putin bare-chested and looking ridiculous. Of the top 100 universities in the world, not a single one is Russian, which is sort of astonishing for a country so famously intellectual.

This absence leaves a mark. There used to be many countercultures to the dominant culture of achievement and capitalism and prudent bourgeois manners. Some were bohemian, or religious or martial. But one by one those countercultures are withering, and it is harder for people to see their situations from different and grander vantage points. Russia offered one such counterculture, a different scale of values, but now it, too, is mainly in the past."

Serfdom, the Russian famine of 1921 which killed six million people, the Soviet famine of 1932–33 which killed another 6-8 million people, the gulags, the oppression of Jewry? Sorry, David, but as much as I admire Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, I do not fondly reminisce about past Russian counterculture.

Enjoy your stay in St. Petersburg, David. It is indeed a beautiful city. However, don't you think that the infographic of the Times deserves a few lines from you?


  1. this is all there is about the disappearance:
    by Margaret Hartmann
    "...The "Jewish?" column has been omitted, but there is no explanation for the change, other than a note that the article was updated at 6:42 p.m. on Thursday. The following line was also added to the introduction: "Though more Jewish members of Congress support the deal than oppose it, of the 23 Democrats against the deal, 15 are Jewish." However, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, only eight Democrats who oppose the deal are Jewish.

    The accompanying article originally explained that the debate over the deal "divided Democrats between their loyalties to the president and their constituents, especially Jewish ones ... " but now it says "The debate divided Democrats between their loyalties to the president and to their constituents ... "

    While the Times recently took flak for taking several days to explain significant changes to articles about Hillary Clinton's email, so far the only acknowledgement of the changes has come from Jonathan Weisman, the paper's deputy Washington editor, on Twitter:

    As for Mr. Brooks on Russia? He needs Russia-Rehab in Helsinki. The Finns understand all the "Russias" that have ever been... and want Karelia returned!


  2. Try to find ANY reference to the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001 in Today's NY Times. I couldn't.
    Hard to believe how some people choose to forget.