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Russia’s Emerging Anti-Israel Movement

June 17 2015

For some time, Russia has pursued friendly relations with Israel while unequivocally backing Palestinian statehood. But Tatyana Nosenko notes a new form of anti-Israel sentiment stemming from with the “Eurasian” ideology closely associated with Vladimir Putin:

[P]roponents of the so-called Eurasian ideology [endorse a brand of] Russian particularism based on [the country’s] special values and traditions. Their severe criticism of Zionism often borders on anti-Semitism. Jews are condemned for the dissemination of the image of Arabs, and Muslims in general, as terrorists—with the alleged aim of destroying Russia and breaking its traditional ties with the world of Islam. According to the holders of these views, the instigators of national and religious conflicts want . . . “to make our country fully dependent on the racist part of the Israeli political establishment and its Western masters.” . . .

[Eurasianists] do not see the struggle for an independent Palestine simply as a political task to realize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. Russian Orthodox nationalism [on which they draw heavily] is imbued with a messianic idea, and its partisans consider Palestinian independence as a tool for the realization of Russia’s historical mission through the reemergence of the Russian sacred presence in the Holy Land. . . .

[Eurasianist] circles are also known for promoting different conspiracy theories [according to which] all the evils and misfortunes of the Middle East, like the emergence of militant Islam and its most radical groups, are attributed to the activities of the American CIA and Israeli intelligence services.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Orthodox Christianity, Russia, Vladimir Putin

In Dealing with Iran, the U.S. Can Learn from Ronald Reagan

When Ronald Reagan arrived at the White House in 1981, the consensus was that, with regard to the Soviet Union, two responsible policy choices presented themselves: détente, or a return to the Truman-era policy of containment. Reagan, however, insisted that the USSR’s influence could not just be checked but rolled back, and without massive bloodshed. A decade later, the Soviet empire collapsed entirely. In crafting a policy toward the Islamic Republic today, David Ignatius urges the current president to draw on Reagan’s success:

A serious strategy to roll back Iran would begin with Syria. The U.S. would maintain the strong military position it has established east of the Euphrates and enhance its garrison at Tanf and other points in southern Syria. Trump’s public comments suggest, however, that he wants to pull these troops out, the sooner the better. This would all but assure continued Iranian power in Syria.

Iraq is another key pressure point. The victory of militant Iraqi nationalist Moqtada al-Sadr in [last week’s] elections should worry Tehran as much as Washington. Sadr has quietly developed good relations with Saudi Arabia, and his movement may offer the best chance of maintaining an Arab Iraq as opposed to a Persian-dominated one. But again, that’s assuming that Washington is serious about backing the Saudis in checking Iran’s regional ambitions. . . .

The Arabs, [however], want the U.S. (or Israel) to do the fighting this time. That’s a bad idea for America, for many reasons, but the biggest is that there’s no U.S. political support for a war against Iran. . . .

Rolling back an aggressive rival seems impossible, until someone dares to try it.

Read more at RealClear Politics

More about: Cold War, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Ronald Reagan, U.S. Foreign policy