Those darned Zionist grandmothers

An old joke which reminds us that the supposed distinction between Jews (not necessarily bad) and Zionists (bad) which Israel bashers of all political stripes like to draw, and the frequent confusion between the two, can be traced back directly to the Soviet line of the 1960s and 1970s:

A prominent scientist is being summoned to his institute’s party secretary.

“Comrade professor”, says the secretary gravely, “the Party has started a new anti-Zionist campaign. Our institute was ordered to purge all residual Zionist influences among intellectuals and scientists. So, you’re fired.”

The professor is shocked. “But I am a loyal party member!”‘ he protests. “I have never been a Zionist!”

The party secretary knits his eyebrows very tight. “Comrade professor, do not try to deceive the party!” he says. “We checked. You have a Zionist grandmother.”

(Via Jeffrey Goldberg, who found an example in Rev. Wright’s recent “clarification.”)