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, Israel Hasn’t Used Disproportionate Force against Hamas

Aug. 15 2018

Last week, Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza launched nearly 200 rockets and mortars into Israel, in addition to the ongoing makeshift incendiary devices and sporadic sniper fire. Israel responded with an intensive round of airstrikes, which stopped the rockets. Typically, condemnations of the Jewish state’s use of “disproportionate force” followed; and typically, as Peter Lerner, a former IDF spokesman, explains, these were wholly inaccurate:

The IDF conducted, by its own admission, approximately 180 precision strikes. In the aftermath of those strikes the Hamas Ministry of Health announced that three people had been killed. One of the dead was [identified] as a Hamas terrorist. The two others were reported as civilians: Inas Abu Khmash, a twenty-three-year-old pregnant woman, and her eighteen-month daughter, Bayan. While their deaths are tragic, they are not an indication of a disproportionate response to Hamas’s bombardment of Israel’s southern communities. With . . . 28 Israelis who required medical assistance [and] 30 Iron Dome interceptions, I would argue the heart-rending Palestinian deaths indicate the exact opposite.

The precision strikes on Hamas’s assets with so few deaths show how deep and thorough is the planning process the IDF has put in place. . . . Proportionality in warfare, [however], is not a numbers game, as so many of the journalists I’ve worked with maintain. . . . Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against the anguish that the action might cause to civilians in the vicinity. . . . In the case of the last few days, it appears that even intended combatant deaths were [deemed] undesirable, due to their potential to increase the chances of war. . . .

The question that should be repeated is why indiscriminate rocket fire against Israeli civilians from behind Gazan civilians is accepted, underreported, and not condemned.

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, IDF, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict