While LGBT groups debate whether boycotts are an appropriate tool for challenging new draconian anti-gay legislation in Russia, one of that nation’s most visible gay activists has embarked on an anti-Semitic social networking binge in recent days.
Nikolai Alexeyev, who spearheaded numerous Gay Pride demonstrations in Moscow and St. Petersburg in the past half-dozen years and challenged government efforts to ban them in the European Court of Human Rights, has been speaking out against a variety of boycott proposals, arguing the 2014 Olympics in Sochi should be used as an opportunity to show LGBT defiance and illustrate the Russian state’s denial of basic rights.
But that message — at least coming from Alexeyev — has now been drowned out by his recent rants on networking sites including Facebook, where on September 2 he offered to give an interview “to any credible western media about the Jewish mafia trying to overtake the world and now LGBT fight in Russia. It's incredible. They crossed all borders. And we will fiercely fight back.”
Later, in the same Facebook thread, he wrote, “America is ruled by Jewish mafia” and “Do you know how many Jews fucked up my speaking engagements in America in the past and in the future? I have terrific Jewish friends but American jids [sic] will destroy the world, we all have to stop them!”
The mention of the American speaking engagements likely referred to a 2011 visit, when comments he had recently made about Israel’s help in propping up Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak led California sponsors of an appearance there to cancel. Writing about the Israeli-Egyptian relationship in the Mubarak years, he asked, “And who after this are the Jews? In fact, I always knew who they were.”
At an appearance in New York during that flap, Alexeyev backed away from those comments, saying his use of the phrase “the Jews” referred to the Israeli government, not its people.
Subsequent to his incendiary Facebook comments on September 2, Alexeyev gave an interview to Slon.ru, a Russian language website. In a translation provided by Scott Long, the former head of the LGBT desk at Human Rights Watch and a longtime critic of Alexeyev, the activist doubled down on his anti-Semitic outbursts of the previous 24 hours, saying, “I’ve been called a faggot on every corner, and I can’t call someone a Yid?”
On Twitter and Facebook, Alexeyev also wrote, “It's not a secret anymore that I am Russian Jörg Haider or Pim Fortuyn. I will do what they were not able to finish.” Fortuyn, a stridently anti-Islamic gay Dutch politician, was murdered in 2002. Haider, an anti-Semitic Austrian politician who spoke admiringly of Germany’s Nazi regime and was widely thought to be a closeted homosexual, died in a car crash in 2008.
Gay City News’ request for comment made to Alexeyev had gotten no response as of press time.