Why Russian Israelis are against Clinton's Peace Proposals

    December 2010            
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One Country and Three Civilizations

By Alexander Maistrovoy

Clinton is right: "Russians" in Israel don't really want peace, that is: the kind of peace which Bill Clinton imposed on Serbs in Kosovo

Clinton’s words that Russian-speaking Israelis are an obstacle to reaching peace can be understood in different ways. But excluding their emotional component, it is necessary to recognize: the immigrants from the former Soviet Union are most opposed to the peace process (or what is implied by this term). Let’s look at the root of this phenomenon.

The rose-colored glasses of "Multiculturalism" hide the fact that there are three civilizations in our world: postmodern liberal democracies, states of classical political culture and traditional patriarchal communities. The main value of Western civilization is the absence of any values. As it passionately abandons its national religious idea, so fervently the other two cultures cultivate their values and originality.

In Europe the ideological divide between these two cultures passes along the border of the former Eastern bloc. Eastern Europe countries, irrespective of their economic successes or level of democratic development, are strikingly different from their neighbors in the West. Because of Hitlerism and communism, repressions and totalitarian ideology are hardened to senseless slogans, illusions and idealistic dogmatism.

Eastern Europe, Russia and the Far East countries derive vital strength from their history, mythology and tradition. They are developed communities but also inseparably tied to their past, and it is not so important whether this connection gets a religious or cultural frame.

The main issue is not politics. It is the cult of national dignity, mistrust of universalist theories and resistance to any trespass on their living space, both geographical and spiritual. It is impossible to imagine a Ukrainian leader bowing to a middle-eastern sheik, as Obama did, or a Polish prime minister kissing the hand of an African despot, like Silvio Berlusconi did. Hindus will not build a mosque in the place of one of the bloody Muslim terrorist attacks; Serbs don't feel guilty towards Albanians of Kosovo who deprived them of their relic; Russian intellectuals, actors and academics don't wish to "understand" the Chechen insurgents, who carried out terrible acts of terrorism in their country.

Have you ever heard about Czechs regretting the transfer of the Sudeten Germans? Are Bulgarians sorry for the exile of 250 thousand Turks in the 50s? Does the Foreign Minister of Croatia call his people to "greater respect of the Serbs' rights" as David Miliband did regarding the British Muslims? Such anomalies are possible only in degrading communities, but not among people with normal and healthy national consciousness.

And, at last, there is the third group of peoples in the world still remaining in the power of patriarchal-feudal relations. Take away all the trappings of the western civilization (cell phones, the Internet, portable computers, grandiose glass and concrete buildings, Buick and Mercedes cars) from Arabian and African life, and you will see the gloomy and cruel world of the Middle Ages. This is the world of fist law where reason is substituted by clan norms and blood feud laws, and women are slaves to men. It is here that adultery is punished by stoning to death, and rivals eliminated with explosives, "road accidents" and poisons. Everything different, from sexual orientation to original ideas, is met with hatred. Ignorant preachers provoke even more ignorant masses. Remove all the paraphernalia of modern life, and you will see the world of patriarchal economy concentrated in the hands of several clans, the terrifying gap between rich and poor, childlike faith in miracles, amulets and driving out impure spirits. Is it possible to hold a debate on human rights with Torquemada? Is the "definitive settlement" between Joan of Arc and her executioners possible? Can you believe in any interconfessional dialogue between Hussites and the papacy that have destroyed the Hussites?

The Arabian world, unlike the Christian one, is only 13 centuries old. African states are in their infanthood. They need time to attain the level of Classical civilizations, to say nothing of postmodernism. Universalists (Westerners) voluntarily make themselves hostages to the patriarchal world, but classical culture resists to this self-destructive tendency.

Israel is the state with a Mosaic society. It consists of different groups of population, from postmodernists to natives of patriarchal countries of Asia and Africa, to "Russians". For postmodernists Israel is no more than a hindrance on their way to Utopia, and the word "peace" has sacral sense. For "Russians" in Israel peace with feudal-patriarchal societies has no value because they don’t trust them. They put their own survival above illusions and doubtful experiments. They know the price of "peace" which Clinton has established in Kosovo. According to such "peace" the Serbs of Kosovo had a choice between exile and death. "Russian" Israelis don't like any of them.


from the December 2010 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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