Pretty kooky, eh?
Well, as it turns out, it's no more kooky than some of the other canards/dolphins lobbed re nefarious Jewry. For instance, here are a few from one of the books I'm reading, the biography of one of Brazil's most acclaimed authors, Clarice Lispector. You might not glean from her name that, who wrote enigmatic, Virginia Woolfe-like novels and short stories, was Jewish. Her parents, Russian Jews, lived in Jewish Pale of settlement during the Great War, when all sorts of kooky stories were making the rounds about "the Joooos." Her biographer, Benjamin Moser, recounts some of these stories--rumors, really--which sparked horrific pogroms in the region and beyond. Among the rumours:
that Jews were smuggling gold to the Germans in the bodies; that they had put the plans for an antitsarist mutiny into a bottle and thrown it into the sea, where it could float to Danzig; that they were flashing coded lights from windows to assist the Austrian advance; that they were distributing the telephones and fiddling with the telegraphs.And, shades of the "all the Jews stayed home from work on 9/11" canard, it was also rumored that the Jews were signaling German aircraft re the most opportune moments to fly over and drop bombs, but that the "Jews have an ointment, which they smear on their bodies so the bombs won't hurt them."
The toll of these kooky rumours is staggering--and sobering:
Before long these absurdities devolved into slaughter. A wave of pogroms swept across the Pale. Though 650,000 Jews eventually served in the Russian army and 100,000 died in the war, their loyalties were suspect, especially in the lands that switched hands during the course of the war.
In Galicia, to the northwest of Podolia, as many as 450,000 Jews (more than half the Jewish population) were uprooted by the war. In one forty-eight-hour period in May 1915, the entire population of forty thousand Jews was evicted from Kaunas, in Lithuania. All told, about 600,000 Jews were deported. Up to 200,000 Jewish civilians were murdered.Fortunately, these days the Jews have their own country, and even though kooky rumors, including the one about the snooping cetacean, continue to grip credulous Jew-haters, Israel affords the Jews protections that Jews of old could only dream of.
Until the Grandiose Ayatollah gets his nukes, of course, and, barring some effective action by Israel, Jews will once again be at the mercy of nutty rumour-mongers bent on revenge.
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