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.

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

 

No, Israelis and Palestinians Can’t Simply Sit Down and Solve the “Israel-Palestinian Conflict”

Jan. 17 2019

By “zooming out” from the blinkered perspective with which most Westerners see the affairs of the Jewish state, argues Matti Friedman, one can begin to see things the way Israelis do:

Many [in Israel] believe that an agreement signed by a Western-backed Palestinian leader in the West Bank won’t end the conflict, because it will wind up creating not a state but a power vacuum destined to be filled by intra-Muslim chaos, or Iranian proxies, or some combination of both. That’s exactly what has happened . . . in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. One of Israel’s nightmares is that the fragile monarchy in Jordan could follow its neighbors . . . into dissolution and into Iran’s orbit, which would mean that if Israel doesn’t hold the West Bank, an Iranian tank will be able to drive directly from Tehran to the outskirts of Tel Aviv. . . .

In the “Israeli-Palestinian” framing, with all other regional components obscured, an Israeli withdrawal in the West Bank seems like a good idea—“like a real-estate deal,” in President Trump’s formulation—if not a moral imperative. And if the regional context were peace, as it was in Northern Ireland, for example, a power vacuum could indeed be filled by calm.

But anyone using a wider lens sees that the actual context here is a complex, multifaceted war, or a set of linked wars, devastating this part of the world. The scope of this conflict is hard to grasp in fragmented news reports but easy to see if you pull out a map and look at Israel’s surroundings, from Libya through Syria and Iraq to Yemen.

The fault lines have little to do with Israel. They run between dictators and the people they’ve been oppressing for generations; between progressives and medievalists; between Sunnis and Shiites; between majority populations and minorities. If [Israel’s] small sub-war were somehow resolved, or even if Israel vanished tonight, the Middle East would remain the same volatile place it is now.

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More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Middle East