Neo-Nazis in Lithuania Again Get “Material” from “Official” Jewish Community’s Leadership



VILNIUS—In a kind of topsy-turvy-world follow-up to last June’s neo-Nazi pick-up of an abusive article on the website of the official state-sponsored Jewish Community of Lithuania, the nation’s chief neo-Nazi blogger, “Zeppelinus,” infamous for his racist, misogynistic, homophobic and antisemitic invective and graphics (samples here and here), has again jumped on the recent attempts of the current leadership of the state-sponsored official “Jewish Community of Lithuania” to use the historic term “Litvak” (‘Jew of Lithuanian heritage’) to divide the Jewish community racially and ethnically between alleged “pure-blooded Lithuanian Jews identifiable today by their Lithuanian language” and “Russian-speakers.” On at least one occasion, an international scandal resulted in a half-mouthed apology following the most offensive official posting and a hapless attempted “edit” that followed on. Vilna-born Holocaust survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg has commented on the affair.

More recently, the “influence” went in the opposite direction when an unsigned mainstream media article, replete with antisemitic stereotypes, was immediately published in English translation on the “official” community’s website with some glee. The translation included various annotations and a final note. None of them clearly disavowed the article’s antisemitic attempt to cast actual Jewish people of Lithuania as some kind of dangerous fifth column who don’t support Lithuanian independence (a dangerous and nonsensical accusation beloved of the neo-Nazis in the country).

Defending History’s take: 

Elementary. The situation calls for very rapid organization of free, fair and democratic new elections for the chairpersonship of the Jewish Community of Lithuania under the aegis of an outside ombudsman or professional polling institution that would ensure that every Jewish citizen of Lithuania has an equal vote in the determination of the leader of the nation’s Jewish community.

But this most recent case reverts to form: The neo-Nazi blogger “Zeppelinus,” rumored to be a top civil servant in the Economy Ministry, has again adopted invective from the pronouncements of the “official” leaders to again “divide” Lithuanian Jewry into two groups: genuine “Litvaks,” exemplified by the chairperson, the eminent attorney Faina Kukliansky, and “Russians” of one sort or another, citing individuals who have been defamed by the leader’s office. But in contrast to some previous posts, there is no mention of the democratically elected leader of the Vilnius Jewish Community, Simon Gurevich. It is thought that is because Mr. Gurevich comes from a pure Litvak heritage, as do, incidentally, most of the “Russian-speakers” too. It is an antisemitic-derived term for the delightfully multilingual and culturally tolerant profile of today’s community in Lithuania, the vast majority of whom speak fluent Lithuanian and Russian and various degrees of English, Yiddish, Polish and other languages, and none of whom want Putin’s Russia anywhere near Lithuania!

This new article does however reference specific “enemies,” who are this time named as (in alphabetical order) Yevgeni Hiterer, Dovid Katz, Daniel Lupschitz and Simon Tseitlin (Ceitlin). Two of them, Mr. Hiterer and Mr. Tseitlin,  are members of the 21-person strong elected Council of the Vilnius Jewish Community. One of them, Defending History editor Dovid Katz, has been a favorite Zeppelinus photoshop-object for some years now.

Zeppelinus’s new contribution is here. A full English translation follows:

 Jewish Stereotypes Are Failing

August 13, 2017, 11:44

Jewish stereotypes are falling aprt: no unity to be found! The civil war between the Lithuanian Jews has passed the stage of under-carpet wrestling and has moved on to PR attacks in the public sphere.

My Lithuanian brothers are prone to envious sighs when talking about the cohesion and unity of the Jews. This has already become a well-rooted Jewish stereotype, whose current failure my compatriots can see with their own eyes online.

Stormy battles ensue over who is to be the leader of the Vilnius and Lithuanian Jewish communities. Litvaks, the Jews who speak Lithuanian, try to hold out against the more numerous Russian-speakers, descendants of the aliens from the East. The posts of Faina Kukliansky and her allies are threatened by the Hiterer-Ceitlin clans who employ a vast part of the mainly Russian-speaking Jewish community.

Quite a few interesting characters can be seen in the vicinity of this process, such as the Jewish Adviser [written in English in the original—trans.] to Mayor Šimašius — Daniel Lupshitz, and the scandalous professor Dovid Katz with his accomplices. No one knows, yet, how these battles of the Jewish civil cold war will end. But one thing is clear: millions of euros paid to the Jews from the Lithuanian budget, in the form of compensations, will not be left without a taker. The money will be absorbed either into the one clan or into the other.

Of course it would be nice if these were the people who are loyal and well-wishing to Lithuania and the Lithuanian nation. On the other hand, seeing the disheveled manes of some infamous foreign activists on the TV makes one think that things may come out different.

Anyway, perhaps the Jews will solve it all in a wise manner? Let us not lose hope.

As for the stereotype of a monolithic Jewish unity, those who are interested in the Jewish Question have known for a while now that this ethno-religious trait appears only in the situations where common interest needs to be defended from outside forces. For example: getting as much budget money from the Lithuanian government as possible. Then, there is no difference of opinion: only a stone-grade monolith!

But it is completely different when the decisions are made on who, how, and to what purpose the money will be absorbed, and who will share it among their own. Then, the unity is gone and a cold — but fierce — war begins among the Lithuanian Jews.

The victims of which — fallen virtually, in the sense of their reputation or the actual administration — we will count in the near future.

For now, we have our first victim: the failed stereotype of Jewish unity!

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016) | Comments Off on Neo-Nazis in Lithuania Again Get “Material” from “Official” Jewish Community’s Leadership

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