About the results of the recent Palestinian-Israeli war, as recently mentioned, as well as the possible solution of this problem for the Islamic world.
So now I would like to talk about something else, namely the problems that this war has highlighted in the position of Muslims in the post-Soviet space. It is no longer surprising that the public in Russia and its antagonist Ukraine “defends” Israel, as the Israeli left-wing commentator Artem Kirpichenok joked, “the Russian and Ukrainian ‘patriots’ have touchingly reconciled in their love for Israel,” suggesting that when he read their comments, “it seemed to him that the Palestinian rockets were falling not on Sderot, but on the Garden Ring” [a street in Moscow]. There are thousands of explanations for this, usually given by those who try to present their support for Israel as “support for civilization against barbarism”, etc., including absurd ones like supporting those who use toilet paper against those who do not (yes, such statements have been made). But the main reason is, of course, demographic. What later became Israel was located in the territory of the then Russian Empire at the beginning of the 20th century – we are talking about people, of course. It was in the territory of Poland, Ukraine and Belarus, which were part of the Russian Empire, that the center of world Jewry was located, part of which perished during the tragic events of the 20th century, part of which scattered around the world, and the other part of which became the demographic basis of the Zionist State of Israel. Many, however, remained where they lived or moved to the territory of modern Russia after the Communists abolished the so-called Pale of Settlement and began to recruit a new cultural, scientific, economic, and political elite for the country to replace the destroyed old one. Since then, political regimes and ideologies have changed, communists have been replaced by democrats or nationalists, and caretakers have become oligarchs, but the people have remained the same. And even though they have assimilated culturally and genetically with the local population over the last century, the bond and solidarity with each other and with what they consider to be their historical homeland has remained strong enough, and they have managed to extend it to those they have married, made friends with, and so on. Of course, it is confusing that all these people identify themselves as Russians or Ukrainians and try to justify why Russia or Ukraine should be on the side of Israel, when it would be fairer if they honestly said that they are part of the Israeli diaspora in these countries. But what can you do – if the Russians and Ukrainians themselves have accepted as a given what these people say on their behalf, then the Muslims in these countries have to deal with it and, if not accept it, at least consider it. But what we cannot accept and should not allow is for people who are so inclined to impose their views on Muslim countries and peoples, acting from within them as agents of an unfriendly force. An example of such a situation is the story of the Uzbek singer Yulduz Usmanova, who was harassed by the Zionist fifth column in Uzbekistan for her solidarity with the Muslims of Palestine, but was strongly resisted by her. However, this has manifested itself most vividly in Azerbaijan, which must be discussed separately.
In general, it should be recalled that during the Second Karabakh War, Azerbaijani Muslims who called for solidarity with Azerbaijan, including our website, had to face doubts and objections from some fellow believers who tried to present Azerbaijanis as a people alien to Islam, based on their prevalent atheism, secularism or Shiism. We insisted that the events unfolding in the Caucasus should be seen from the perspective of the implementation of the “one nation-two states” doctrine and the coordinated actions of the Turkish-Azerbaijani alliance, thanks to which Azerbaijan was able to liberate a large part of its territories. And we wrote that this alliance should have long-term consequences for Azerbaijan’s domestic development and place it in a new foreign policy context as a strategic ally of Turkey. The Palestinian-Israeli war of 2021 became the first serious test of this doctrine, considering that Israel had been actively cooperating with Azerbaijan for many years, selling it advanced weapons and refusing to recognize the Armenian genocide – all this mainly to provoke Iran. As a result, many Azerbaijanis developed a clear sense of gratitude toward Israel, and official Baku sought and continues to seek the role of mediator between Israel and Turkey in the event of conflict situations between them. This is actually good, because as long as Israel is a factor to be reckoned with, such mediation opportunities are needed. However, we are not talking about the balanced position of official Baku on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which was recently clarified by the Azerbaijani Muslim analyst Isa Javadov, dispelling the common myths about its allegedly one-sided pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian orientation.
We are talking about a very noticeable and noisy part of Azerbaijani society, including numerous commentators on social media, who have taken an unbalanced, strongly pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian position, joining the Zionist camp in the post-Soviet space. The mindset of these people is too obvious to fool anyone with their explanations that all this is because Israel helped Azerbaijan while the “Muslim world left it in trouble,” “the Palestinians fought with the Armenians,” etc. However much Israel helped Azerbaijan, it is obvious that the decisive military assistance was provided by Turkey, and it is not by chance that Azerbaijani soldiers raised the flags of Azerbaijan and Turkey, not Israel, on the liberated territories, and President Ilham Aliyev celebrated the Victory Parade with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, not Benjamin Netanyahu. Similarly, today the Muslim world is no longer Iran conspiring with Armenia or the Arabs “stabbing the Turks in the back”, but it is Islamic Turkey itself that has become the champion of the number one Palestinian issue in the world. This is where you have to understand what is being discussed. All these people who speak for Israel against Palestine certainly do not hate Turkey, they also love it in their own way. But the question is which Turkey they love. They love the secular Turkey that existed before the “Islamist” Erdogan came to power and which was then a strategic ally of Israel. And this is the Turkey they hope to see again someday, considering Erdogan’s “Islamist” Turkey as a temporary misunderstanding to be endured for the sake of Turkish-Azerbaijani brotherhood. This sentiment has its own reason, similar to the one mentioned above regarding Russia and Ukraine.
To be clear, individuals with such a mindset in “Azerbaijani society” are as de-Islamized as they are Zionist, and it is this combination that creates such an effect. However, if they think that Muslims in general and Azerbaijani Muslims in particular will accept this situation where these circles determine the public opinion in their countries, which they consider as Turkic-Muslim, they are deeply mistaken. Muslims did not support Azerbaijan in the Karabakh war in order to get another Israel on the Caspian Sea, but with Karabakh. And today, not only thousands of Azerbaijani soldiers, who liberated Karabakh, have passed through Turkish military schools, but also many young Azerbaijani Muslims, for whom the slogan “one nation – two states” is not empty words, live, work, study and develop in Turkey, see what a Turkic-Muslim country should be and gain the relevant experience. Inshallah, these Muslims will not allow people with such attitudes to dictate public opinion in their countries, not in Azerbaijan, not in Uzbekistan. Inshallah, they will not allow it in the national environment and among the Turkic peoples of Russia, such as the Tatars and Bashkirs. In this regard, it must be understood that for the national organisms of the Muslim peoples, the Palestinian issue is a factor of mobilization of their immunity in the struggle against various parasites and viruses that seek to weaken and attack them. It has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. It is the Muslims who know and constantly repeat that after their expulsion from Christian Spain, the Jews were able to survive thanks to their acceptance in the Ottoman Caliphate, where they occupied the most advantageous niches and prospered for centuries. In the future, Muslims will be happy to see Jews prosper alongside them. Both in their own countries and in Palestine, where Turkey insists on the possibility and necessity of the coexistence of Jewish and Arab states. And especially Muslim minorities are ready to see Jewish minorities as allies in the fight against religious intolerance where they find themselves in similar situations. But our dear compatriots, regardless of their nationality and surnames, must know that their perception of the land of the first qibla for Muslims is a marker that allows them to unmistakably see who is in front of them and then decide what kind of relations to establish with them.