In the modern world, being a victim gives you status points. So “owning” the Holocaust is like a jackpot – the Germans gave the Jews lemons in 1941-45, and then the Jews made lemonade.
Unfortunately, not all Jews are partial to sharing the lemonade stand:
Pro tip: This is the part you’re meant to say quietly.
Nowadays, it is almost impossible to deny any genocide and come out of it looking sympathetic. Claiming a monopoly on the Holocaust erases the lived (and prematurely ended) experiences of millions of East Europeans. Just look at the ratio on Noga Tarnopolsky’s Tweet. This is the power of the politics of memory.
Putin went further in his rhetorical masterstroke in Israel, equating anti-Semitism with Russophobia:
Here, as in Russia, people understand the lessons of World War II, and do not allow the world to forget the consequences of national egoism, strife, and support for any form of chauvinism, anti-Semitism, and Russophobia.
In the modern West, especially the US, mere accusations of anti-Semitism are enough to ground the most promising careers, while Russophobia is not just tolerated but officially sanctioned.
If it is true that those who would deny genocides are laying the grounds for new genocides, then it is incumbent upon Russians to make Russophobia just as socially toxic as anti-Semitism.
PS. This is not the first time that some Jewish journalists have had a bad reaction to what they see as Putin’s attempts to “appropriate” the Holocaust.
Putin visited a Jewish museum on the anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation and said: “Of course, the main burden was borne in the fight against fascism by the Russian people, 70% of the Red Army’s soldiers and officers – were Russians. And Russians constituted most of the victims on the altar of Victory.”
And they say that Putin isn’t an anti-Semite.
So far as Julia Ioffe is concerned, talking about non-Jewish, and in particular Russian, contributions to the Allied victory is anti-Semitic.