A viral post demonizing Zionist doctors sounds eerily like a Soviet antisemitic conspiracy theory

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“Realizing how many American doctors and nurses are Zionists, and genuinely terrified for Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, South Asian and Black patients,” tweeted Saira Rao, who co-founded a company, Race2Dinner, offering antiracist dinners to white women for the price of $2,500. 

While Rao has since made her account private, the post alleging that certain doctors’ political beliefs would lead them to violate their Hippocratic oaths found plenty of traction among people who agreed with her fears; many pointed out that bias against people of color is well-known within the medical system.

Users on X responded to Rao’s allegation with a community note, a function on X that allows users to identify misinformation in other users’ posts. The note points out that Israeli doctors often treat Palestinians. Many Palestinian, Arab and Muslim users commented or retweeted her post with fond recollections of their Jewish and Israeli doctors. 

More pointedly, many noted that Rao’s post bore concerning similarities to a decades-old antisemitic conspiracy theory known as “the doctors’ plot.”The doctors’ plot was a state-sponsored propaganda campaign in the U.S.S.R. in the 1950s alleging that a cabal of predominantly Jewish doctors were trying to assassinate Soviet government officials through incorrect and harmful medical treatments or purposefully incorrect diagnoses.Josef Stalin had been suspicious of Jews for years, and accused them of being insufficiently loyal to the U.S.S.R. due to their Zionism. The pejorative term “rootless cosmopolitans” targeted largely Jews for their supposed treasonous cultural preferences.

Content retrieved from: https://forward.com/culture/575235/zionist-doctors-plot-soviet-antisemitic-conspiracy/.

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