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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

 

Why a Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza Is Unlikely

Feb. 16 2018

High-ranking figures in the IDF, along with some Israeli and foreign officials, have been warning that economic troubles combined with severely deficient public works could lead to an outbreak of starvation or epidemic in the Gaza Strip; their warnings have been taken up and amplified in sensationalist stories in Western media. Hillel Frisch is skeptical:

The most important factor behind real humanitarian crises—mass hunger and contagious disease—is first and foremost the breakdown of law and order, and violence between warring militias and gangs. This is what occurred in Darfur, Somalia, and the Central African Republic. In such situations, the first to leave are the relief agencies. Then local medical staffs evacuate, along with local government officials and anyone professional who can make it out of the bedlam. The destitute are left to fend for themselves. Hospitals, dispensaries, schools, and local government offices are soon abandoned or become scenes of grisly shootouts and reprisals.

Nothing could be farther from such a reality than Gaza. Hamas, which is the main source of [misleading reports] of an imminent humanitarian crisis, rules Gaza with an iron fist. Few developed democracies in the world can boast the low homicide rates prevailing in the Strip. Nor have there been reports of any closings of hospitals, municipal governments, schools, universities, colleges, or dispensaries. . . .

Nor have there been news items announcing the departure of any foreign relief agencies or the closure of any human-rights organizations in the area. Nor is there any evidence that the World Health Organization (WHO), which rigorously monitors the world to prevent the outbreak of contagious disease, is seriously looking at Gaza. And that is for good reason. The WHO knows, as do hundreds of medical personnel in Israeli hospitals who liaise with their colleagues in Gaza, that the hospital system in Gaza is of a high caliber, certainly by the standards of the developing world. . . .

Hamas, [of course], wants more trucks entering Gaza to increase tax revenues to pay for its 30,000-strong militia and public security force, and to increase the prospects of smuggling arms for the benefit of its missile stockpiles and tunnel-building efforts. How Israel should react is equally obvious. You want more humanitarian aid? . . . Free the two mentally disabled Israelis who found their way into Gaza and are imprisoned by Hamas.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian economy