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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Anti-Semitism: The Pravda Case


I was surprised by the article in your paper headlined "Jewish Leaders Accept Pravda Apology" (June 19). Pravda apologized to its readers, not to Jewish leaders - you must agree that these are different categories of people.

The main thing is that the author of the article did not bother to look at another Pravda article after the publication of my text in Izvestia, "Satanic Games in Pravda" (May 7), which was the first reaction to the original piece in Pravda.

In reply, Pravda published "Satanic Games in Izvestia" (May 12) and advised me "not to scream 'foul' at the mention of the Jewish nationality in the press". Common sense and the presumption of innocence were ignored completely: Let the rabbis prove that they do not murder people. This article was signed "Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians, Kazakhs, Azerbaijanis, Armenians and Jews of Pravda; " I have not seen such unanimity in the 30 years I have read that newspaper.

Your paper published the assertion by the editorial board of Pravda that the first article, "Satanic Tribe" (May 5), was substituted for another piece at the last minute. This explains nothing. Did the collective accusation addressed to me, published one week later, also appear by accident?

Nevertheless, since the answer by the editors of Pravda (June 17) begins with my name (the paper writes: "L. Goldin is right") I wish to note that the admission of error by their publication is, in my opinion, an honest and courageous one. I see no hypocrisy here, and dismiss the possibility that the apology was motivated by fear of legal charges, as some Jewish activists think.

The trial involving the newspaper Dyen has just ended. This paper daily accuses the president and the government of crimes even more serious than the one Dmitry Gerasimov directs against the Hassidim. The newspaper was acquitted, and continues to publish as before. Many publications promote violence and chauvinism in every issue, and none of this is punished.

We do not live under rule of law. Although human rights are guaranteed by law, in practice they are not protected, and the government is powerless to help. The press is merely a mirror, and not the creator, of our daily lives.

Leonid Goldin

Academy of Sciences