JEWISH DOMINANCE IN THE CAPITALIST TAKEOVER OF TODAY'S RUSSIA
Turning to the nearby new capitalist nation of Russia, in 1997 the Washington Post noted that
"In last year's presidential campaign, two of the most powerful media tycoons, Vladimir Gusinsky and Boris Berezovsky, played a key role in reelecting President Boris Yeltsin, demonstrating the might of television in the young democracy." [HOFFMAN, p. 12]
The Wall Street Journal noted that Gusinsky (also spelled Goussinsky) "is sometimes billed as the richest man in Russia." [WALL ST, 4-13-1995] For his part, Berezovsky was listed by Forbes in 1997 as one of the "ten top" billionaires in the world. Both Gusinsky and Berezovsky (originally Abramovitch) are Jewish. Gusinsky is also the president of the Russian Jewish Congress and his circle of international Jewish connections includes the aforementioned Ronald Lauder and Edgar Bronfman of the World Jewish Congress. A source told the Jewish Week that Gusinsky founded the Russian Jewish Congress so his "physical well-being will no longer be just [his] personal concern; it will be of international [Jewish] interest,” i.e., whatever he does, he can tap into the powerful international Jewish defense mother lode against "anti-Semitism." [COHLER-ESSES, p. 13] The Jerusalem Post notes that in Israel "media reports [were] hinting" that Gusinsky "had ties to the Russian mafia." [COHEN, A.] Gusinsky built his business empire from his Most Bank; the Chairman of the Board of the Most Bank is Boris Hait who is also one of the vice-presidents of the Russian Jewish Congress. Other vice-presidents of the Jewish organization include Mikhail Friedman, Chairman of the board of the Alpha Bank, and Vitali Malkin, President of the Rossiiiski Kredit Bank.
Gusinsky's media empire includes NTV television -- the largest commercial television station in Russia with an audience of 120 million. It also broadcasts to Israel, and "recently [December 1997] unveiled plans to expand its Russian-language broadcasts to Western Europe and other parts of the Middle East." [KRICHEVSKY, p. 10] (Even in the New York area, the Russian-language Russian Television Network is run by a rabbi, president Mark Golub. Alexander Polovets, the editor and publisher of Panorama, "the most influential Russian-language newspaper in the United States," is also Jewish. [TUGEND, 10-22-99]). Gusinsky also controls the Echo of Moscow radio station; a weekly magazine called Itogi (published in partnership with Newsweek/The Washington Post); the newspaper Segodnya; and NTV-Plus, a pay-per-view satellite network. In 1997, the Russian Orthodox patriarch, Alexei II, charging blasphemy, declared that "God would punish those responsible" for screening Martin Scorsese's film The Last Temptation of Christ on Mr. Gubinsky's television channel. The program had been postponed twice "because of Orthodox Christian fury." [MEEK, p. 1] With mind-boggling chutzpah, NTV had originally planned to show the film "in April, on Russian Easter." [KRICHEVSKY, Jewish-Owned, p. 9] Meanwhile, "at Gusinksi's influence," noted the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in 1998, "a synagogue and Holocaust museum are now being built at the World War II Memorial site in Moscow." [MILNER]
In July 1997, the Jewish Week reported that
"the Russian Jewish Congress, a powerful new group headed by one of Russia's most prominent and controversial millionaires, has signed a landmark agreement with American Jewry's top umbrella organization [the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations],pledging joint cooperation and consultation ... The National Conference on Soviet Jewry, another U.S. umbrella group that encompasses many of the same Jewish organizational members as the Presidents Conference, was also a signatory.... Some, including a top Russian Jewish Congress official, says it marks a milestone in the emergence of the Russian group as an influential diaspora player on the international stage ... In a separate initiative, the Russian Jewish Congress signed an agreement at about the same time with the World Jewish Congress..."
(A note about the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: It represents, notes Jewish journalist Wolf Blitzer, "more than thirty of the most important national Jewish organizations; it has come to be viewed as the authoritative voice of the mainstream Jewish leadership ... Because the Presidents' Conference, like AIPAC [the leading American Jewish Israel lobbying organization], can almost always be found in support of the official Israeli position, U.S. officials in all recent administrations have to view it as a de facto arm of the Israeli government." [BLITZER, p. 141-142])
Gusinsky also met with a number of Jewish American Congressmen, including Carl Lewin, Frank Lautenberg, Joseph Lieberman, and Arlen Specter. "The Middle East and 'rising anti-Semitism' were among the topics discussed," noted Don Bonker ("a former Congressman who handles public relations for Goussinsky in Washington"). [COHLER-ESSES, US RUSSIAN, p. 1] The Jewish Week further noted that "according to a Jewish official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Goussinsky's efforts to meet with top State Department officials were rebuffed due to what one State official ; as his 'checkered past.'" [COHLER-ESSES, US-RUSSIAN, p. 1]
In 2000, Gusinsky, who, like other Rusisan Jewish media moguls, has dual Russian-Israeli citizenship, fled Russia after accusations of fraud. In October, related to the Gusinsky criminal investigation, Russian police raided the central Moscow synagogue, searching "practically everything," but particularly looking for "in what way was the Jewish community ... laundering money it was receiving from its sponsors." Alexander Osovtsov, Executive Vice President of the Russian Jewish Congress, complained: "What gives special cynicism to it is the fact that the action was undertaken on the single day when the leaders of the Congress and the Jewish community were absent from Moscow because they were on a one-day visit of peace and solidarity to Israel." [INTERFAX RUSSIAN NEWS, 10-20-00]
Boris Berezovsky's riches began with Logovaz, a car dealership. He has since rapidly gained control of the Russian Public Television network, known as ORT; the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta; the weekly magazine Ogonyok; Transero, a Russian airline; and 80% of Russia's seventh largest oil company, which merged in 1998 with another Jewish-owned oil firm (together called Yuksi), to create "the world's largest oil company in terms of reserves." [MCMAHON, p. 3] "Berezovsky," says the Wall Street Journal, "has a reputation for labyrinthine political and business intrigues and has in the past exercised influence over Russian companies, including the national airline Aeroflot, without taking over formal ownership." [HIGGINS, p. 2]
"Like many of the people in Russia who became rich very fast," notes the New York Times, "Mr. Berezovsky has been the subject of numerous press reports that suggest he relied on organized crime to build his business empire." [STANLEY, p. A3] Berezovsky, notes the Washington Post, "is part of a tight circle of financiers and business moguls who, by his own estimate, control half of Russia's economy ... [HOFFMAN, Russia]. ... They all attained wealth in the violent, corruption-ridden, high-stakes competition that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union five years ago.... The scramble for wealth and power was carried out with brutal means, often including car bombs and assassinations.... Russian tycoons are not public heroes. Popular resentments run deep over the vast sell-off of state property, which made many of them rich and left millions of Russians in poverty." [HOFFMAN, p. A26] Berezovsky, notes the (Jewish) Forward, is one of the "robber barons accused of milking Russians dry." [BLUSTAIN, p. 1]
In 1999 Berezovsky gained control of Moscow's popular TV-6 television station. That same year he claimed control of "Russia's premiere daily newspaper, Kommersant," and fired its editor, Raf Shakirov, who said that "his ouster [is] an attempt to curb often critical coverage of the tycoon's business and political activities." [HIGGINS, p. 2]
In December 1996, Forbes magazine published a scathing article about Berezovsky (making sure such reports will be few and far between, the multi-billionaire responded by punishing the magazine with a suit for libel, as did the other Jewish tycoon giant, Vladmir Gusinsky, against the Wall Street Journal for an unflattering report about him). [WALL ST JRNL, 4-13-95] The Forbes article, entitled "The Godfather of the Kremlin," was printed with no byline for fear of violent retribution to its authors. "Berezovsky," noted the magazine's editor, James Michaels, "stands tall as one of the most powerful men in Russia. Behind him lies a trail of corpses, uncollected debts and competitors terrified for their lives." [MICHEALS, p. 10]
The anonymously written article in Forbes notes that
"Assassination is a tool of business competition. Scores of business leaders and media personalities have been killed ... Berezovsky controls Russia's biggest national TV network. His control was solidified shortly after the first chairman of the network was assassinated gangland style.
Berezovsky was immediately fingered by the police as a key suspect, but the murder remains unsolved two years later ... Such is the Russian business environment today that the men at the top have use for the shadowy army of killers and thugs who work further down in the scale of corruption, running prostitute and protection rackets." [FORBES, p. 91, 92]
In 1995 Vladislav Listiev, one of Russia's most popular television talk show hosts, was named head of the Russian Public Television network (ORT). One of his major efforts was to rid the station of the corrupt, monopolistic advertising empire of a man named Sergei Lisovsky. The Forbes article suggests that Berezovsky was involved in Listiev's eventual assassination, and when Berezovsky ended up with a controlling interest in ORT (36%), he retained Livosky as the only agent for the company's advertising.
Incredibly, in 1996 Berezovsky vast wealth and power afforded him the opportunity to become a member of the Kremlin Security Council, a position that meant access to some of the Russian government's most sensitive national secrets. He was soon embroiled in a scandal over his national allegiance when the liberal newspaper Izvestia publicized the fact that Berezovsky had secured Israeli citizenship in 1994. Berezovsky threatened to sue the newspaper, charging anti-Semitism. [SHALAPENTOKH, p. 19] (Meanwhile, the ruthless baron publicly declares he is a convert to Christianity). [KRICHEVSKY, L., 5-23-99]
A year later Fortune magazine ran an article entitled "Russia's Robber Barons," profiling ten of the most important Russian business tycoons who have catapulted to economic dominance in Russia with the collapse of communism; these included Gusinsky, Berezovsky, Boris Hait, Mikhail Friedman, Vladimir Vinogradov, Vladimir Potanin, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Alexander Smolensky, and Pyotr Aven.
Along with Gusinsky and Berezovsky, not only are Hait and Friedman Jewish, they are, as noted earlier, vice-presidents under Gusinsky in the Russian Jewish Congress. Khodorovsky, the President of Bank Menatep (and, curiously, the former Deputy Secretary of the Moscow Branch of the Communist Party youth branch) is also Jewish. (Khodorovsky's ability to make ideological U-turns on a dime somewhat echoes the latent wheeling and dealing of Leonid Roitman, whose "meteoric rise to power was fueled by the chaos of post-pestroika Russia." In his earlier years, under the communist regime, says the Jerusalem Post, Roitman set up "an organization called Hatehiya, which taught summer camps for Jewish youth. In a brilliant move, he registered Hatehiya as part of Komosol, the Communist Youth movement, and it rapidly became 'one of the largest and strongest organizations in Russia.'" [HECHT, p. 12]]
Continuing the Fortune list, Pyotr Aren, of the Alpha financial group, is also Jewish. Smolensky, president of Stolichny Bank and Vinogradov, head of Inkombank, are also -- according to a B'nai B'rith publication -- "believed to be Jews." [BERNSTEIN, RUSSIA'S, p. 12] (Many Jews in Eastern Europe publicly hide this fact of their identity). Of this group of economic dominators, that leaves only Potanin who is not Jewish (in a country where today less than half of 1% of the Russian population is Jewish [BERNSTEIN, p. 12]), but he has had American Jewish billionaire George Soros as a major backer in some of his deals, including the takeover of Russia's Svyazinvest telecommunications giant. (Soros has "invested around $2.5 billion in Russia, more than anyone or any institution." [BROWNING, p. F2]
"Soros's extraordinary role," noted the (London) Guardian in 1994, "not only as the world's most successful investor but now possibly, fantastically, as the single most powerful foreign influence in the whole of the former Soviet empire, attracts more suspicion than curiosity." [LEWIS, M., p. 14] "I have been a prime target for the current version of anti-Semitic conspiracy theory," notes Soros himself, "If there was ever a man who fit the stereotype of the Judeo-plutocratic Bolshevik Zionist world conspirator, it is me. And that is, in fact, how I am increasingly depicted in Eastern Europe and also to some extent in Western Europe, but not so much in America." [SOROS, p. 239])
The above ten Russians, notes the Fortune piece, "dominate the country's trade in arms and precious metals, as well as its production of copper, nickel, and a quarter of its oil. They control the No. 1 and No. 3 television networks, the Visa bankcard network, a big chunk of the pulp and paper industry, and an increasing portion of the food processing industry ... Princeton professor Stephen Cohen, writing in the Nation, dubbed [most of today's Russian business elite] a 'semi-criminalized oligarchy' that has made ordinary Russians 'suffer unduly and unjustly.'" [MELLOW, p. 120] Berezovsky has publicly bragged that he, Gusinsky, Khodorovsky, Aren, Friedman, Smolensky, and Potanin control half of Russia's wealth. [BERSTEIN, p. 12]
A 1999 Wall Street Journal editorial notes that disturbing situation in today's Russia:
"Russia's oligarchs -- many of them apparatchiks from the communist days -- have stripped the country's best assets and transferred their winnings to off-shore companies they control ... For every dollar a Russian has laundered abroad there had to be a counterparty at the other end. London, Geneva, and New York are preferred destinations, as well as off-shore havens such as Cyprus and New Jersey. Estimates of $10 billion capital flight from Russia each year are probably conservative." [W S J, 8-30-99, p. 8]
By 1998, the foreign minister of Russia was Yevgeni Primakov. His real last name -- Finkelstein -- was dropped when he worked for the KGB. Also that year, Sergio Kiriyenko became the prime minister of Russia. He too is Jewish. [SAFIRE, p. 6] Primatov later succeeded him as Prime Minister. "Two of the main political leaders in Parliament," adds the Times of London, "Grigori Yavlinsky, the leader of the liberal Yabloko Party, and Vladimir Zhirnovsky, the head of the ultra-nationalist LDPR, also have Jewish parents." [BEESTON] A Los Angeles Times reporter notes that "at least half of the powerful 'oligarchs' who control a significant percentage of the [Russian] economy are Jewish. The reviled architect of Yeltsin's failed reform policies, Antaloy Chubais, [later head of the national electrical power monopoly], is rumored to be Jewish, along with Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, ousted Deputy Minister Boris Nemtsov and Yeltsin's wife, Naina." [REYNOLDS, p. 7A] The Jewish Telegraph Agency noted that "Chubais is not ... open about his Jewish roots." [KRICHEVSKY, L., 5-23-99] Alexander Livshitz also served a spell as Russia's finance minister in the 1990s. [KRICHEVSKY, L., 5-23-99]
In 1999, the Jewish Exponent noted that
"all but one of the eight leading [Russian] bankers are Jewish," and four of them -- Goussinsky, Boris Hait, Mikhail Friedman, and Vitaly Malkin -- occupy the top positions at the RJC [Russian Jewish Congress] ... In addition to these business titans, often referred to here in the [Russian] media and on the street as the 'oligarchs,' many of the leading political figures in Russia are also Jewish or partly Jewish. These include fomer prime Minster Sergei Kiriyenko and top Kremlin aides Yegor Gaidar and Boris Nemtsov. Grigori Yavlinsky, the leader of the Yabloko, the largest democratic party in the Duma today, has one Jewish parent ... In the new Russia, the most important fields ... to which Jews [have] gravitated [are] banking, trade, the media, and show business." [RUBY, W., p. 37]
In late 1998, Viktor Ilyukin, the head of the Russian Parliament's Security Affairs Committee, said this about the Yeltsin government: "The large-scale genocide [i.e., Russian social and economic collapse] wouldn't have been possible if Yeltsin's inner circle had consisted of the main ethnicity groups, and not exclusively of one group, the Jews." [NEW YORK TIMES, Communist, p. 12] That same year, Nikolai Kandratenko, the governor of a southern Russian province, called the government of the area's largest city "a Zionist nest" exemplifying a "Judeo-Masonic mafia." [KRICHEVSKY, L., Russian, p. 7]
Meanwhile, also in the same year, the Jerusalem Post noted a more commonly enforced stereotypes about the situation of Jews in Russia:
"[A Christian woman in Dallas] heard about some young Jews in the former Soviet Union getting help via a soup kitchen. She decided to become the adoptive grandmother, sending in a monthly contribution for their welfare." [COHEN, A., p. 11]
"Published census data on Jews [in Russia] have been very scarce, but this [from the 1989 Russian census] and other sources leave no doubt that in comparision with other groups Soviet Jews were very distinctive in terms of their urban concentration and their educational and professional achievement ... With the recent release of new data from the 1989 census, a more precise understanding of the opportunities available to Jews in 'Soviet' Russia is now possible. These data show the number of men and women by major ethnic groups (including Jews) in 257 job categories. Surprisingly, this new information is not referred to even in the most recent Russian scholarship on Jews, and it received no mention in western sources ... Jews showed a very early path of upward mobility in the modernizing sectors of the labor force ... [SACKS, 1998, p. 247] ... Occupations that that were largest for Jews were primarily top-level positions and all were white collar: physicians, scientists, chief-managerial personnel, artists and producers, literary and press personnel. The [job] categories that were largest only for Russians were entirely manual labor and other low-skills; tractor drivers, cleaners, weighers, nursemaids, lathe operators, tailors and seamstresses, carpenters and dairy work." [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 257]
A 1995 study in Russia found that 84% of employed Jews had "professional or managerial positions." Another 4% were "owners of firms or entrepreneurs." [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 265]
With the likes of Gusinsky, Berezovsky, and other powerful Jewish business tycoons wielding extraordinary influence and blatantly buying (and allegedly even killing) their broad way into the Russian media, business, and government, (as well as centrally placed Jews in the Russian government like Finance Minister Alexander Livshits and First Deputy Minister in Charge of Economic Reform, Boris Nemtsov), the Christian Science Monitor noted in 1997 that
"A loose coalition of nationalistic communists and out-and-out [Russian] nationalists has begun to characterize President Boris Yeltsin's regime as 'Jewish.' It is the Jewishness of Mr. Yeltsin's regime, its essential foreignness to Russia, that [in this view] explains the plummeting economy, the brazen corruption and enrichment of thefew ... and Russia's subservient position to the West."
[SHLAPENTOKH, p. 19; WALL ST, 4-13-95, p. A14; HOFFMAN, D., 1-10-97, p. A1; STANLEY, 6-14-97, p. A3]
Still another angle on Jewish economic dominance at the upper tiers of capitalist Russia was a 1998 article in the Israeli daily, Haaretz, which noted
"The most successful venture capitalists in the world in 1996 and 1997 operated out of Moscow and was started by an Israeli. The Hermitage 1 and Hermitage 2 funds specialize in investments in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union, although they invest throughout the world. They were set up in 1995 by Israeli businessman Benny Steinmatz and the Safra brothers [and are] managed by American Bill Broder ... Hermitage is considered the most senior player on the Moscow Stock Exchange, and it is the second-largest of the fund managers active in Russia, with some $600 million to invest." [LIPSON]
"who almost single-handedly established the Russian stock market, who in one year earned half the global profits for his employers at Credit Suisse First Boston, who walked away from a reported $4 million bonus because it was insultingly small and instead founded Russia's first full-service investment bank, which he optimistically called Renaissance Capital. Brash, bright and above all ambitious, Jordan more than any other individual put Russia on the financial map in the 90's. 'Czar Boris,' as he was dubbed by admiring business reporters, held court high atop Moscow's most expensive new skyscraper, while Renaissance's 800 pinstriped bankers and brokers handled billions of dollars from blue-chip investors like George Soros and the Harvard endowment. The darling of Davos, the Swiss summit for the well heeled and influential, Jordan was, in his own words, on top of the world." [BRZENSKI,
Yet another Jewish Russian money mogul is Roman Abramovich. The Warsaw Voice (headed by Jewish publisher and editor Andrzej Jonas) noted in 1999 that he is "the CEO of the powerful Sibneft oil group. A popular joke in Moscow says that one must count one's fingers after shaking hands with Abramovich, who has for years been associated with Berezovsky's financial group." [ZYGULSKI, p. 8]
Oil magnate Leonid Nevzlin became head of the Russian Jewish Congress in 2001. He and the aforementioned Mihail Khodorkowvsky "formed one of the first successful private banks in Russia in 1989. The two then went into the oil business together, and now run the YUKOS firm -- Khodorkovsky is in charge, and Nevzlin is his deputy." The secular Jewish Nevzlin, like so many, has returned to his Jewish roots. "For all my life," he says, "I have never felt any substantial anti-Semitism, and was rather indifferent to the Jewish community. Then something clicked, and I thought, Well, I'm over 40, I have made a successful career, I have made a fortune. But what will I tell my children when I am 70." [GORODETSKY, L., 5-23-01]
Then there is Mikhail Mirilashvili (a.ka., Misha Kutaisskey), who "is one of the biggest shareholders of the local branch of LUK oil. He is also president of Channel 11 and president and deputy chairman of the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian chapter of the World Jewish Congress." A brother, Konstantin, is the "co-owner of Gosting Dvor, [St. Petersburg's] major shopping center." [KORALYEV, VLADIMIR, 10-11-2000]
Then there is Anatoly Karachinsky, "head of Information
Business Systems, Russia's largest IT group." Karachinsky, also Jewish,
"is regarded in Russia as the country's answer to Bill Gates -- and
who is about to become the country's first high-technology dollar millionaire."
Karachinsky "set up NewspaperDirect, a system that allows
newspapers from anywhere in the world to be printed on a desktop."
[FINANCIAL TIMES, 10-2-00]
Howard Jacobson rode with a taxi driver in recent years in New York City. The driver was a fellow Jew, a recent immigrant from Russia. "He speaks Yiddish," noted Jacobson in 1993,
"His family kept it alive so that they could talk among themselves and
not be understood. 'A secret language,' he explains. The secret language of the Jews. A light kept burning underground all during those years of atheism. I'd be touched if I wasn't alarmed. For where people speak a secret language, how can suspicion and fear of them not multiply?" [JACOBSON, H., 1993/1995, p. 80-81]
"Our people are not blind," proclaimed the head of the Russian Communist Party, Gennady Zyuganov, in 1998, "They cannot fail to see that the spread of Zionism in the government is one of the reasons for the current catastrophe in the country, the mass impoverishment and the process of extinction of its people." [ENSEL, M., p. 3]
The blustering of an anti-Semitic fanatic? In the same year, a Jewish Russian immigrant in New York of considerable renown, novelist Edward Topol (whose work was once banned in Russia), stirred controversy and deep concern in the world Jewish community because of a published letter he wrote to a Russian weekly newspaper. In it Topol called prominent Jewish Russian bankers "puppeteers" who manipulated Russian politics and its economy. The puppeteers, he concluded, has "a very long Jewish last name -- Berezovsko-Goussinsko-Smolensko-Khodrokovsko, etc. ... How come all or almost all the money in this country ended up in Jewish hands?" Topol also called the economic crisis in Russia today a "Jewish tragedy." "Mr. Topol's main premise," noted the (Jewish) Forward, "is that for the first time in a millennium, Jews have gained real political power and financial control over Russia and can pretty much decide whether to 'cast the country into a chaos of wars and poverty or raise it from the mud.'" [KRICHEVSKY, Emigre's, p. 5; KAZAKINA, p. 5]
In 1997 the (Jewish) Forward reported that "with the [Russian] economy in shambles, opposition parties held nationwide strikes at the end of last month. [Even] Jews are grumbling that too many Jews stand close to the reigns of power and too many Jewish names fill the headlines." [BLUSTAIN, R, p. 1] "All the Jews, I don't understand their motivation, to show they are rich ... [to say] 'I am an owner and you are a slave,'" complained Alexander Lieberman, the Jewish director of the Union Council's Russian-American Bureau of Human Rights. "If I were a single Russian and I saw and heard only Jews in the government ... [I would think] 'we are all without money because the Jews have all the Russian money.'" [BLUSTAIN, p. 1] "People have quite bitter memories of Jews in the [communist] revolution," noted Michael Chlenov, the president of the Jewish Va'ad of Russia.
In this regard, transnationally, in 1996, Boris Berezovsky hosted a party in honor of the earlier mentioned Ronald Lauder (American Jewish owner of a number of TV stations in Europe), attended by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and United States Ambassador Thomas Pickering. Speaking to a reporter, Lauder (already ensnarled in partnership media dealings in the Ukraine with Russian mafia-clouded Vadim Rabinovich) publicly distanced himself from Berezovsky, saying, "The invitations went out in President Yeltsin's name." [FORBES, p. 91]
(excerpt from When Victims Rule. A Critique of Jewish Preeminence in America, chapter 24, pt. 2 )
Role of Politics in Contemporary Anti-Semitism.
Rich Helped KGB Create Hidden Government,