Bill Clinton kind of smiling 311.
(photo credit: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Former US president Bill Clinton’s claims last month that Russian-speaking Israelis are an obstacle to peace can be understood in different ways. But excluding their emotional component, it is necessary to recognize that the immigrants from the former Soviet Union are mostly 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 this world: postmodern liberal democracies, states of classical political culture and traditional patriarchal communities.
As Western civilization passionately abandons its national religious
idea, so fervently the other two cultivate their values and originality.
In Europe, the ideological divide between these two cultures passes
along the border of the former Eastern Bloc. Eastern European countries,
irrespective of their economic successes or level of democratic
development, are strikingly different from their neighbors in the West.
Because of Nazism and communism, repressions and totalitarian ideology,
they are hardened to senseless slogans, illusions and idealistic
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 trespassing on
their living space, both geographical and spiritual.
It is impossible to imagine a Ukrainian leader bowing to a Middle
Eastern sheikh, or a Polish prime minister kissing the hand of an
Hindus will not build a mosque near the site of one of the bloodiest
terrorist attacks; Serbs don’t feel guilty toward the Albanians of
Kosovo who deprived them of their heritage; 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 250,000 Turks in the
1950s? AND, FINALLY, there is the third group of people in the world
still living in the dynamics of patriarchal-feudal relations.
Take away all the trappings of Western civilization (cellphones,
Internet, laptops, grandiose glass and concrete buildings, Mercedes
cars) from much Arabian and African life, and you will largely see a
gloomy and cruel world. This is a world where clan norms and blood feud
laws rule, where, largely, women are considered inferior to men. It is
here that adultery is punished by stoning, and rivals eliminated with
explosives, “road accidents” and poisons.
Everything considered different, from sexual orientation to critical discourse on Facebook and Twitter is met with censure.
Remove all the paraphernalia of modern life, and you will see the world
of a patriarchal economy concentrated in the hands of few, the horrible
gap between rich and poor, and some terrifying traditions and beliefs
like female genital mutilation.
SOME IN the West voluntarily make themselves hostages to the patriarchal
world, but classical culture resists to this selfdestructive tendency.
Israel is a state with a mosaic society. It consists of different
groups of populations, 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 the “peace” which Clinton has established in Kosovo.
According to such “peace” the Serbs of Kosovo had a choice between exile and death.The writer is a reporter at the
Russian-language weekly Novosty Nedely. He came to Israel from Moscow in
1988 and is the author of Ways of God and coauthor of Jewish Atlantida