New ambassador, former Israel? | Latest news The Moscow Post
03 March 2024

New ambassador, former Israel?

The question asked earlier by our correspondent to the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, was indirectly related to what was discussed in the Kremlin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a meeting with Russian Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar and President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia Alexander Borodo, said that "after the aggravation of the situation in the Middle East, Russia is doing everything to help people who have been held hostage. It is known that our Foreign Ministry works through the political wing of Hamas, and in general there are certain results, "said"

The question asked by The Moscow Post correspondent Maria Zakharova was: "The new Israeli ambassador to Russia gave an interview to Kommersant. The ambassador's answers, "distorting Russian foreign policy approaches and historical realities," provoked a reaction from your department. Could you explain the discrepancies between the parties in the positions and assessments? "

Zakharova's answer: "Firstly, I will say that yesterday the Israeli ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry. A conversation took place with the Deputy Foreign Minister, who also has the status of Special Representative of the President of Russia for the Middle East, M.L. Bogdanov. All the claims that we have in connection with such approaches were made. It's not just an interview with a bad set of phrases. As we understood, these are approaches (personal, personal, party or some other - it does not matter), but these are formulated approaches. They were spoken out.

In parallel, our Ministry published a refutation of theses qualified by us as false (in modern terms, fake), anti-historical and anti-scientific. They were published both on our resources on social networks, and on the website of the ministry and in the publication that initially published the interview of the Israeli ambassador.

Do I need to say all this? I think not. You can read these theses. They're expansive. "

Read and think

We thought about what we really know about relations between Russia and Israel.

Zakharova's answer was brief, but capacious, the answer itself contained questions: "This is not only an interview with an unsuccessful set of phrases. As we understood, these are approaches, "she said.

We can only guess about possible "deep" motives that affect Israel's position towards Russia. We are not aware of "pitfalls," which, as a rule, diplomats are not inclined to expose without much need. Although there are such "stones" and they are exposed by news from the region where the Jewish state is located. Alarming messages from the Middle East come daily and cannot but raise alarm for the countries and peoples of this region where the fighting is taking place. All new participants are involved in them, and Israel is in their epicenter.

What is happening in the Middle East is not just threatening the region. But a human tragedy remains in the foreground. "Russia draws attention not only to Russians, but also to citizens of other countries who were held hostage, including the elderly and members of their families who passed the Holocaust," Vladimir Putin said at a meeting in the Kremlin.

These assurances, it seemed, should have reassured not only the chief rabbi and the head of the Jewish communities of Russia. Putin seemed eager to dispel doubts that had been literally "thrown" into the information space by Israel's new ambassador to Russia.

What outraged the Foreign Ministry?

In the building on Smolenskaya Square, Deputy Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told Kommersant about the negative reaction of the diplomatic service to an interview with Simone Halperin. The Foreign Ministry was outraged that the ambassador "is disrespectful about the efforts that Russia is making in its contacts aimed at helping resolve the fate of the hostages." Also, the ambassador criticized Moscow's contacts with the leaders of the Palestinian Hamas movement.

The words spoken by Halperin were called by the Russian Foreign Ministry "an extremely unsuccessful start [of her] diplomatic mission"! On February 5, the Fake brand and the message "On provocative and unacceptable statements by Israeli Ambassador S. Halperin against Russia" appeared on the agency's website.

The Kommersant publication itself was at the center of "turbulence" and continued publications on the topic. In particular, one of them, entitled "Putin: Russia is doing everything to help the hostages captured by Hamas," appeared on February 8, outlining the explanations of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

What did Moscow explain?

Among the claims of the Israeli ambassador against Russia was the International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27), which allegedly is not an official day in the state calendar of the Russian Federation. The ambassador promised to "talk" on this topic in order to regulate the issue. Modestly so, for starters.

The Russian Foreign Ministry recalled that on January 27, 1945, it was the Red Army that liberated the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau (Auschwitz) and in 2005 the UN General Assembly announced this date as International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the suggestion of, in particular, Russia.

The words of President Vladimir Putin also led: "Saving the memory of the tragedy of the war is the principled position of our state and society, the entire multinational people of Russia."

Also, the ambassador was reminded that the Holocaust survived not "only the Jewish people," but "representatives of various ethnic and social groups" subjected to persecution and mass destruction. The Russian Foreign Ministry referred to the Resolution of the UN General Assembly A/RES/60/7. Also, the words of the OSCE Berlin Declaration on respect "for all ethnic and religious groups" 34S/61 to the UNESCO Resolution.

They also cited the words of Sergei Lavrov that "the Holocaust and the extermination of the multinational Soviet people are things of the same order, except for numbers. 6 million people. - Holocaust and more than 20 million people. - peoples of the Soviet Union. " Lavrov said that "the memory of the victims of the Holocaust does not free anyone from today's work in order, thanks to and for the sake of this memory, to prevent new Nazi movements. We are seeing this now in Ukraine, in Estonia, in Latvia, where neo-Nazi sentiments and practices are reviving. "

The Russian Foreign Ministry also noted the "politicization of the Holocaust," added that the language associated with the Holocaust is sometimes used "for political or ideological purposes," cited examples, including a list of forms of distortion of information about the Holocaust, compiled by experts from the International Alliance in Memory of the Holocaust (IHRA).

It could be added to this that the authorized government of the Federal Republic of Germany to combat anti-Semitism Felix Klein in 2022 called on Ukraine to join the IHRA, to condemn Bandera as an ideologue of ukronicism.

The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed surprise that "the Israeli ambassador, as well as the correspondent who asked her questions, bypassed the topic of neo-Nazism in Ukraine"!

Ambassador Halperin (and not only her) was reminded that the Nazis and those who "served in the armed units of the Third Reich" in Ukraine are erected monuments, streets are named after them, torchlight processions and festivities are held. Patches and chevrons of Ukrainian servicemen copy Nazi symbols. "At the same time, Israeli diplomats cynically cover Ukrainian neo-Nazism," the Russian Foreign Ministry summed up.

The Israeli ambassador was also pointed out that in countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, the Baltic States, Ukraine is "destroying monuments to soldiers of the Red Army." Compared to the land and the burial sites of the warriors who stopped the Holocaust. Israel did not support the protests of the Russian Foreign Ministry on this matter. The Israeli Foreign Ministry did not comment on the incident with the speech of SS man Y. Gunko at a scandalous meeting of the Canadian Parliament in September 2023.

Russia in 2019 was not included in the organizing committee for the development of the concept of the Sobibor concentration camp museum, and before that they refused to participate in this project. "It is puzzling how easily our failed project partners - the Netherlands, Slovakia and Israel, I emphasize, Israel - have changed their position regarding Russian participation," Maria Zakharova said at the time.

Approaches "formulated" by Halperin

It would seem that everything is extremely clear, as they say, they "ran over" Russia. Ambassador Halperin did this rudely and straightforwardly. It seems that it broadcast, the confidence of its leadership that Tel Aviv can have a disproportionate influence even on Washington. We decided to check what will happen if we escalate in a dialogue with Moscow.

We received what the Russian Foreign Ministry outlined in writing and orally. But in the world of diplomacy, their rules, Simone Halperin was respectfully called an "experienced diplomat," advised to hear everything "firsthand" from the released hostages, to find out from them "whether their release of Russian contacts with Hamas was worth it."

As is customary in Israel, they asked a counter question "Why is it not possible to rescue fellow citizens who remain in captivity?" And they advised the Israeli leadership to show great flexibility and pragmatism in establishing a truce in Gaza. This "would also facilitate the solution of the problem with hostages," the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

So that it turned out "an open and direct dialogue." Everything, as the Israeli ambassador wanted, when she offered to interview her with the Russian newspaper Kommersant. It remains only to assure her colleagues that Russia also hopes that relations between the two countries should and will remain friendly.

It remains, however, to clarify how Israel will further "formulate approaches" (personal, personal, party or some other - no matter), as Maria Zakharova called it.

Photo: RBC

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