One Country and Three Civilizations

By Alexander Maistrovoy

Israeli journalist with the Russian-language newspaper Novosty Nedely

 October 11, 2010



Nazi/Arab war on Jews & Serbs


Signs of the times



"Russian immigrants to Israel have emerged as a central obstacle to achieving a Middle East peace deal, according to former President Bill Clinton.... 'They can't imagine any historical or other claims that would justify dividing it.'"[1]

Clinton is right: "Russians" in Israel don't really want peace -- the kind of "peace" that 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:

1. Postmodern liberal democracies

A significant feature of today's Western civilization is the absence of any values. While it passionately abandons its religious principles, the other two cultures fervently cultivate their values and originality.

2. Classical political cultures

In Europe the ideological divide between the first two cultures stretches 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 Hitler's fascism, communist repressions, and totalitarian ideology, they 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 traditions. While integrating the latest technology and media messages from the West, they are also inseparably tied to their religious and cultural past.

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, whether geographical and spiritual.

It is impossible to imagine a Ukrainian leader bowing to a middle-eastern sheik, as Obama did -- or an Italian prime minister kissing the hand of an African despot, as did Silvio Berlusconi.[2]

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 relics; 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 apologizing 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.

3. Patriarchal-feudal communities

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 (1) the world of patriarchal economies concentrated in the hands of several clans, (2) the terrifying gap between rich and poor, and (3) childlike faith in magical amulets and supernatural forces.

Was it possible to debate human rights with Torquemada (leader of the 15th century Spanish Inquisition)? Could there have been a "definitive settlement" between Joan of Arc and her executioners? Would a Hussite have felt safe during an interconfessional dialogue with the papacy, which 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-feudal world, but classical culture resists this self-destructive tendency

Israel is the state with a mosaic society. It consists of different population groups -- from postmodernists to natives of patriarchal-feudal countries in Asia and Africa, to "Russians".

For postmodernists, Israel is no more than a hindrance on their way to Utopia. In this context the word "peace" has lost its worth and meaning. 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.



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Alexander Maistrovoy’s bio: "I was born in Moscow in 1960. In the 80s I began working in journalism and my work was published in various Moscow newspapers. I immigrated to Israel in 1988 where I work for the Russian-language Israeli press. For about fifteen years I’ve been a political analyst and journalist at the newspaper Novosty Nedely (“News of the Week”). I live in Jerusalem, write about politics, social life and religion. A number of English Internet editions and websites have published my work."


Previous article: Israel's "Samson Option": Choice in the Absence of Choice?


Mr. Maistrovoy can be reached at

Previous articles by Alexander Maistrovoy:

Jews in Holy Land? What Jews?

 Israel's "Samson Option": Choice in the Absence of Choice?