Communist rally in Jerusalem (file)
Communist rally in Jerusalem (file)Israel news photo: Flash 90

Sixty years after Soviet dictator’s death, Yoram Sheftel wonders why Israel’s far left still loves him.

Attorney Yoram Sheftel expressed amazement Sunday that some on the Israeli far left continue to admire deceased Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, who died 60 years ago. Stalin murdered an estimated 30-60 million people, he noted, and sent millions more to certain death at work camps in Siberia.

“Stalin, like Hitler, was one of the greatest murderers of all time,” he said.

In addition, he said, it is known that Stalin planned to falsely convict Jews of attempting to assassinate the Soviet leadership with poison. Ultimately, he planned to exile all Soviet Jews to Siberia, he said.

“These things are known. But none of that stopped his followers in [Israeli groups] Hashomer Hatzair or Maki from mourning his death,” Sheftel said. “They even cancelled Purim celebrations that year.”

Stalin is dead, Sheftel said, but there are those who continue his path – and they continue to be admired by Israel’s far left.

“The extreme-left and Peace Now people who today accuse Israel of being an apartheid state are the children and grandchildren of grandparents who admired the red murderer, Stalin,” he said. “Today, they admire Abu Mazen, and before that they admired Arafat.”

The issue of support for dictators came up in recent days as Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez passed away within days of the anniversary of Stalin’s passing. Dr. Raphael Medoff noted the long history of celebrity support for dictators.

Last year Professor Steven Plaut revealed the long-term support for Stalin among some leading figures on Israel’s far left.