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Arab-Israeli conflict and role of Russia in its settlement. Review of the international conference

arabo-Israeli conflict and role of Russia in its settlement

B.M. Yagudin, R.R. Suleymanov

The modern world is still characterized by the unceasing international and interreligious conflicts, many of which last decades. One of such oppositions is the Arab-Israeli conflict which already more shestdesyata of years divides and postpones from each other two ethnically related (if not to tell more — brotherly) the people — Jews and Arabs. For discussion of this question also statesmen from Russia, Israel, the Palestinian National Authority, South Ossetia, Ukraine, the USA, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Syria (only 85 people) for the international scientific and practical symposium "The Arab-Israeli conflict and a role of Russia in its settlement" which took place on May 14-15, 2010 gathered scientific, public. In the reports they offered the models of settlement of a situation in one of the most conflict zones on the political map of Eurasia — in the Middle East.

Kazan, Kazan Federal University as the venue of a symposium were chosen not accidentally. As his direct organizer the Center of the Eurasian and international researches (the head — Bulat Yagudin) which for the last four years held eight international and All-Russian scientific conferences acted. And almost all of them from especially academic actions turned into social and political events in life of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia and the international community. The symposium devoted to search of ways of permission of the Arab-Israeli conflict did not become an exception also.

The Center of Middle Eastern researches of MGIMO (U) the MFA of Russia which from the very beginning svo-took part in the organization and holding a conference

it activity pays special attention to development of mutually beneficial, effective cooperation of scientists of the University with their Russian and foreign colleagues, first of all in the field of studying the Middle East, the system of the international relations in this region.

Organizers of a symposium pursued a definite and good purpose: in Tatarstan as the region of interethnic and interfaith concord and at the Kazan university, always differing in tolerance to unite scientists, politicians and public figures from Israel and Palestine (and also other countries) to come for constructive dialogue and mutual understanding in the solution of this of the inveterate and not descending from TV screens conflict. Really, where still it is possible to see that the mosque, the synagogue and church were at distance of ten minutes walk from each other? In the same Jerusalem — the city of three religions — it is not so easy to get to temples around which there are soldiers searching visitors at the entrance to rooms. It cannot be seen in Kazan, as was surprising to some foreign participants of a symposium who during the sightseeing tour absolutely quietly visited temples of three main religions professed by inhabitants of the republic.

Proceeding from positive experience real (but not declarative) peaceful co-existence of the people of different religions, it was possible to assume that it will be possible to plan on this example a compromise between Israelis and Palestinians. However not everything was so smooth. At the most initial stage of preparation for a symposium both the Embassy of Israel, and Embassy of Palestine approved carrying out this symposium and agreed in is mute to participate. When

Bulat Mukhamedovich Yagudin is a candidate of historical sciences, the head of the Center of the Eurasian and international researches (CEMI) of the Kazan federal uyniversitet;


Suleymanov Rice Ravkatovich is the deputy head of CEMI; e-mail:

the program of a symposium was created, the Israeli Embassy considered possible to refuse participation in this action "for technical reasons". It could not but upset organizers of a symposium as they proceeded from the principle of the maximum openness for all participants.

Though as a result there was the known overweight in representative office of the Palestinian side, the symposium did not become only "pro-Palestinian". Speaking at its opening, the head of the Center of the Eurasian and international researches Bulat Yagudin insisted on that none of participants became personal, adhered to the principle of respect for the stranger, let and opposite, to opinion and also the Kazan university possible provocative statements did not cast a shadow on itself. And, fortunately, it was accepted all participants as a rule behavior.

The vice rector for scientific work of the Kazan university Danis Nurgaliyev supported this thought, having noted a historical role of the oldest higher education institution of Tatarstan in consecutive upholding of the principle of equality, mutual respect and mutual understanding of people, irrespective of their nationality and religion. Professor Nurgaliyev wished success to participants of a symposium, considering that its mutually acceptable permission will be possible to find efforts of civil societies of all countries participating or affected by the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The first deputy chief mufti of Tatarstan Ildus-hazrat Faiz performed with a greeting on behalf of Muslim clergy. He noted that the Tatar people were never indifferent to events in the Middle East and seek as far as it is possible, to take part in settlement of the Middle Eastern drama. On behalf of the Jewish community of the republic Mikhail Bunimovich who gave the biography of the family as the proof of real friendship of the Tatar and Jewish people acted. His ancestor appeared in Kazan as the military kantonist at the time of Nicholas I, and already more than 150 years the family has the Kazan roots. Acting will not remember that in Tatarstan such phenomenon as anti-Semitism was shown at least once.

The Palestinian ambassador Fayed Mustafa who is perfectly speaking Russian at opening welcomed participants of a symposium, including its carrying out by very timely. It expressed strong conviction that the Palestinian people will find the statehood.

The deputy head of the Center of the Eurasian and international researches and the author of these lines Rice Suleymanov made the report on historical participation of Russia in the fate of the people of Israel and Palestine. He emphasized, as the Russian Empire, both the Soviet Union, and modern Russia always were on side of the world and the termination of bloodshed on the Holy Land. Rustam Batrov, chairman of the board of ulama of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Tatarstan

and the vice rector of the Russian Islamic university, continued this thought, having concerned Muslim and Judaic dialogue. In competent opinion of this Tatar theologian, there is no conflict between Islam and Judaism. He gave a set of the real facts from the history of peaceful co-existence of Jews and Muslims as the proof. The story about the greatest medieval talmudist Maymonida who advised Jews in case of impossibility to find synagogues nearby, to send a cult to mosques that is not considered shameful for the Jew was the brightest.

The deputy mufti of Tatarstan Valiulla-haz-rat Yakupov scrupulously analyzed the relation of Muslims of the republic to Arab-Israeli conflict. According to him, Muslims of Tatarstan not indifferently perceived bloody events in the Middle East. However it never led to any excesses or provocations. So, for example, during the meeting in Kazan in support of the Palestinian people in January, 2009 during the war in the Gaza Strip, the holding a meeting Muslims did not burn down the Israeli flags. On a question of Soviet period (whether "there were rabble-rousing moods among Muslims Tatar the ASSR during the Arab-Israeli wars 1967, 1973 and 1982 how it took place in the Caucasus and Central Asia?") Valiulla-hazrat noted that anti-Semitism is not peculiar to Tatars at all.

"Israel acting on the international round table, Tatarstan and Palestine: history of the relations and the prospect of cooperation" the director of the Center of researches of the Noble Quran and Prechisty Sunnah Farid Salman, being guided by Hadiths by the prophet Muhammad, proved that in Islam the attitude towards Jews and Israel is not negative. And the radicals which are covered with Islam should forge quotes from Sacred books of Islam for justification of the hatred to Judaism. The speaker advised to address editions of collections of Hadiths and religious books by Muslim authorities of a pre-revolutionary era as in their current reprintings there is an outright distortion of the text.

The subject of Muslim and Judaic interference was developed by Ismail Nashirbanov, the young and perspective scientist from the Russian Islamic university. He analyzed some provisions of Galakhi and Sharia and found between them much in common.

Told the attache of the MFA of Russia (Department of the Middle East and North Africa) Marina Pilyaeva about the relations of Israel with the Muslim countries, having paid special attention to the Turkish-Israeli relations. According to her, despite a cold snap in the relations between Turkey and Israel in the period of government of Islamists led by Recep Erdogan, the Turkish army — the reliable defender of Kemalism and the relations with the Jewish state which is the serious supplier of modern weapon for armed forces of Ankara.

B.M. Yagudin, R.R. Suleymanov

The speech of the famous Russian TV host Maxim Shevchenko was the most debatable and caused a lot of a controversy. On a symposium he arrived as the head of the working group of Public chamber of Russia on development of public dialogue and institutes of civil society in the Caucasus, but his performance was devoted to influence of the Arab-Israeli conflict on an ethnoconfessional situation in Russia.

The Iranian subject became one of the most often discussed on a symposium. Directly or indirectly seven reports were devoted to the Iranian perspective that speaks about relevance of this subject. "The era of the Arab-Israeli wars ended long ago, there came the era of the irano-Israeli opposition" — so there began the report the famous Moscow orientalist Irina Zvyagelskaya. She considers that the new geopolitical reality which is formed in the Middle East in connection with finding of nuclear weapon by Iran will not lead to nuclear war between it and Israel. According to her, in Tehran, not absolute fanatics as they are tried to be represented sometimes in the western media (including Israeli) sit therefore in case of receiving an atomic bomb by Iran the irano-Israeli relations the fate of the pakistano-Indian — will wait that is for emergence of a situation of control. Another thing is that finding of a nuclear bomb by Iran will lead to aspiration of other countries, first of all the Arab neighbors of Tehran in the region, to possession of the same weapon. That, say, the Islamic dogma of Iran forbids the last to have weapons of mass destruction that it contradicts Islam canons, nobody apprehended a remark of the research associate of the Center of the Eurasian and international researches Ismagila Gibadullina seriously and treated it as to typically pro-Iranian propaganda. Most of participants of a symposium inclined to the point of view that Tehran will hardly stop trying to create own nuclear weapon.

The famous journalist-orientalist Elena Supo-nina who personally interviewed the operating nowadays political figures of the Middle East (from Shimon Peres to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) brought up a question of the irano-Israeli relations too. She agreed that the Iranian leaders consist of deeply believing people, but not cunning cynics who are allegedly using religion only in political goals. But she is sure that Iran manages to hold parity with Israel so far, thanks to the vassals — HAMAS and Hezbollah by means of which Tehran successfully is at war with the Jewish state, without entering with it directly military operations. And it gives to Iran certain advantages. Israel actually lost two last wars (in Lebanon in 2006 and in the Gaza Strip in 2009), without having achieved the objectives. Today in the Middle East success in war depends often not so much on strong army how many from support of local community, without

for which any army the total failure waits. Examples of it set: it both the USA in Iraq and Afghanistan, it and Israel in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

About what occurs now in foreign policy of Israel, the manager of department of Israel and the Jewish diaspora of Institute of oriental studies of RAS Tatyana Karasova told participants. Its report was devoted to Middle Eastern policy of Binyamin Netanyagu. Analyzing today's elite of Israel, it noted that the current prime minister of Israel — the last from among those politicians of the Jewish state who can go to the world with Palestinians, opposing at the same time will of the nation. Netanyagu could go for recognition of the Palestinian state especially as its previous cadence of ten-year prescription gave for this purpose hope (an agreement in Whyte-Plantation in 1998 with Yasser Arafat was signed by NeTa-nyagu). However today, as Tatyana Karasova considers, it is not necessary to count on it. The unsteadiness of a position of Netanyagu (there is no guarantee that his government will finish all the term) forces it to adhere to sharp anti-Palestinian policy in the Middle East. To expect that Netanyagu recognizes the Palestinian state, it is not necessary — considers Russian izraileved.

Throughout this subject the question of settlement policy of Israel was brought up. The report on this problem was made by Alexander Krylov, the leading researcher of the Center of Middle Eastern researches of MGIMO. If Ariel Sharon managed to carry out disengagement with the sector Gaza, then neither Netanyagu, nor someone another after it will be able to make it with the West Bank. Arithmetically the difference in number of settlers allows to come to such conclusion: in the Gaza Strip there were 5000 settlers, on the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) 350000 Israelis live. Krylov on the basis of concrete figures explained how much eviction of one settler with granting housing to it in Israel costs (at the same time it is necessary to consider a difference in housing price in Israel and in settlements), employments, etc. According to him, it is not possible to carry out eviction of 350000 people to the intra Israeli settlements.

Economic problems of integration at the Middle East and a role of Russia and Tatarstan in this process were discussed by two Doctors of Economics, professors Vadim Homenko (Kazan) and Andrey Fe-dorchenko (Moscow). Professor Homenko recognized that the Middle East and Russia with Tatarstan is made related by raw dependence. It is at the same time and a brake in cooperation development as, besides tourism (and only in one direction — from Russia to the Arab countries) and export of KAMAZ there is nothing to brag. As the Kazan economist considers, Tatarstan can connect high technologies with Israel, than and the Jewish state is famous.

His Moscow colleague, the director of the Center of Middle Eastern researches of MGIMO (U) Andrey Fe-dorchenko told about integration in the sphere of economy in the Arab Middle East, having concentrated on a question: whether to consider economic integration achievement or the missed opportunity? The countries of the Middle East could not realize fully regional agreements on preferential trade. From the political point of view of disagreement about uniformity of distribution of a prize from integration, a reason of national security, the price of the increased competition — all this slowed down liberalization of the interarab economic relations. When it was asked whether Israel and Palestine can join in this general Middle Eastern economic integration, professor A. Fedorchenko answered skeptically: Palestine (in borders only of the West Bank) is completely blocked by customs Israel that complicates inclusion of the Palestinian territories in the common market of the region. Israel too, but it is exclusive for the political reasons, drops out of this integration (limited by joint projects with Egypt and Jordan that is not enough for inclusion of Israel in the all-Arab market).

International round table "Israel, Tatarstan and Palestine: history of the relations and the prospect of cooperation" brought together both Tatarstaners, and Israelis, and Palestinians in one audience. Today, as Vadim Homenko noted in the report, between Tatarstan, Israel and Palestine there is only a potential for cooperation which meanwhile a little with what can be filled. Yes, there is a direct flight Kazan-Tel Aviv and, the Israeli medical offices in Tatarstan, but all this open. With Palestine in general so far cooperation, even in the sphere of religious tourism, only begins the formation. The prospect of opening of Trade and economic representation of Tatarstan in Israel and Palestine (and Kazan has such in Turkey, Turkmenistan, Finland, Germany and a number still of other countries) can look only as an opportunity so far, but no more than that. Israel and Palestine do not hurry to open the consulates in Kazan. Goods turnover which could stimulate this process leaves much to be desired. The only reason for which it could be possible is a political component (for example if Palestinians, by an example of Iranians, open in Kazan the diplomatic mission, besides, that the Tatarstan-Iranian trade relations are not so extensive as, for example, the Tatarstan-German). But whether Moscow will go to it? Most likely, it is unlikely. Change of the political management in Tatarstan when the politician Mintimer Shaimiev was succeeded by the economist Rustam Minnikhanov who is engaged in exclusively economic affairs and not paying sufficient attention to national and religious specifics of the region subject to it does not give hope for a possibility of opening of diplomatic mission of Palestine.

What Palestinians can offer? And whether they are capable to buy the Tatarstan goods? The Kazan Kremlin will hardly begin to help Palestinians only from the idea of all-Muslim solidarity. How still it is possible to expand this cooperation?

On a symposium there arrived Zakira Zaripova, the leader of the Tatar diaspora of Israel who at the time caused a big stir the declarations in support of Israel. Its organization "Tatars for Israel" was apprehended as provocation as assignment of the right to speak on behalf of all Tatar people. She in the report reported that she spoke and speaks only on behalf of the Israeli Tatars who, as residents of Israel, will support the state which citizens they are. According to her, Tatarstan has to strengthen cultural expansion to the region of the Middle East, and it is the best of all to do it through the Tatar diasporas which will be reliable conductors of the Tatar culture in the countries of the accommodation. In plans of the Tatar diaspora of Israel — the organization of an exhibition of the Israeli artists in Kazan, carrying out the fourth Sabantuy in Israel, Culture Days of Tatarstan in the Jewish state, and the next year to carry out the action "Min. Tatarcha Soyleshem!" ("I speak in Tatar!") in Israel, having dated it for 125-year anniversary of the great Tatar poet Gabdulla Tuqay. Zakira Zaripova said that she very much counts on support from public authorities and public organizations of the historical homeland — Tatarstan.

Representatives of the Jewish community shared the experience lives in the Muslim region. Olga Trupp, principal No. 12, known in the people as "the Jewish gymnasium", told that in its educational institution having the Jewish ethnocultural component of education also the Tatar children study. It gave such case: Tatar parents took the child to her, in the Jewish school. When she began to explain specifics of this school that, say, in it the Jewish education is given, Tatar parents answered it: "Jews of the children will not teach bad!". Also sent with peace of mind the child to this unique educational institution, located, by the way, in the Old-Tatar settlement. The teacher of this school Mikhail Bunimovich told about experience of the organization of training of teachers from Tatarstan (including Tatar teachers) in the Museum of the Holocaust Yad Vashem in Jerusalem where they study Holocaust history.

Following the results of work of a symposium as its participants the resolution in which need of comprehensive study in Russia of the Middle East, first of all the Arab-Israeli relations was emphasized was adopted. Participants of a symposium at the same time expressed hope that in the long term they will gather not for discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict, wars and bloodsheds are necessary to certain politicians, but not the people, and for expansion of dialogue between cultures and religions, for the organization of intercivilization exchanges for the good of all people of the planet Earth.

Brice Michael
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