There’s inevitable bad blood between Russians, for whom pro-czarism is the natural political inclination (for reasons of geography and history, Russia is a backward place, so its political traditions are backward), and American Jews, whose ancestral traditions are fervently anti-czarist.
Thus, Putin’s reconstruction of a functioning Russian state after the disasters of the 1990s was inevitably going to turn out to be more or less neo-czarist. In turn, a strong Russia predictably triggered anti-pogrom alarms among American Jews. Since there aren’t actual pogroms, much of Jewish animus and angst got displaced into its 21st century proxies: neoconservatism (as in the case of the State Department’s Victoria Nuland) and gay activism (Radio Liberty’s Masha Gessen).
Both Russians and American Jews have perfectly understandable reasons for feeling the way they do. Fortunately, this psychological disjunction needn’t lead to war or even to simple jingoism.. After all, we live on different continents. Both sides ought to be able to recognize and laugh off their inevitable bigotry and malice.
The central cognitive problem for America, however, is that gentile Americans aren't allowed to notice, much less laugh at, Jewish predilections, nor even mention the level of Jewish influence in the American media and government (consider the careers of Gregg Easterbrook and Rick Sanchez