יום שני, 27 בספטמבר 2010

מכתב למזכירת המדינה האמריקאית הילרי קלינטון

מכתב זה נשלח למזכירת המדינה האמריקאית הגברת הילרי קלינטון בעקבות דבריו של בעלה, הנשיא לשעבר ביל קלינטון, שתיאר את העולים מרוסיה כמכשול לשלום.


To the Secretary of State of the USA
Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton
From Israeli MP Dr. Marina Solodkin
Your Excellency!

During my five terms in Israeli Knesset I was privileged to meet and to talk to You several times as a head of the Committee on status of women and as a former Deputy Minister of immigration and absorption. In 2005 after Rabin's memorial ceremony on Mount Herzl, where You were present together with your husband, I wished You to become a Democratic Party's nominee for the Presidential election in 2008. We, Israeli women, believe in women's power and your empowerment as a Secretary of State of the USA is a very positive development of global importance.
During 15 years (beginning from 1996) I represent in Israeli Knesset Jewish repatriates from former Soviet Union. I was amongst founding mothers of the first Russian immigrant party of  Nathan Sharansky. In 2005, together with Ariel Sharon and other colleagues from Likud, Labor and independents we founded Kadima, which is centrist national and liberal party.
The picture, describing Russian immigrants in Israel as a central obstacle to the Middle East peace process, that former president Bill Clinton gave on Tuesday September 21, and reported by Foreign Policy magazine is not correct. Perhaps you know that there were strong reactions from the head of opposition Tzipi Livni, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel Beiteinu party of Avigdor Lieberman as well as Russian language press in Israel.
Being brought up in Soviet Union, we faced discrimination and suffered from twists and turns of Russian history. That is why my community is not easily hurt by being called "a central obstacle to the Middle East peace". Integration into Israel society and economy could not be called "a rose garden" for this more than million of people who decided to leave the second world superpower in order to live amongst their own people. It seems to me that the former president was mislead and misinformed by local American and Israeli pundits and gurus in Israeli ethnic politology. First of all, the people whom the president called Russian immigrants vote for all Israeli legitimate political parties. In last elections (2009), according to sociological surveys, half of them voted for the Israel Beiteinu party, led by Avigdor Lieberman. The other half, was divided between my party Kadima, led by Tzipi Livni,  and Likud of Binyamin Netanyahu. In comparison to political preferences of American immigrants in Israel, so-called Russian voters are more close to political center because the American immigrants are usually more religious and more right-wing. All the passage on Russian immigrants looks a little bit like a echo of Cold War rhetorics. In Israeli parliament, the picture of community representatives is as follows:
 8 seats out of 15 in Israel Beiteinu
 4 seats out of 28 in Kadima
2 seats out of 27 in Likud
2 seats out of 11 in Shas (the Orthodox Sephardic Party)
In 2005, when Sharon founded Kadima after a process of aching disengagement from Gaza, the sociological surveys gave to his party more than a half of all Russian vote, which constituted 9 seats. After his illness, his successor Ehud Olmert lost general support from 45 to 29 seats and Russian support – from 9 to 4. I do think that this loss was because of his dubious personality and a certain enmity to the Russian speaking community.
I'm proud to belong to this hard working people. By demanding social (better education, social housing, work opportunities) and liberal (civil marriage, Constitution of the State of Israel, friendly conversion) reforms, Russian speakers are a leading part of liberal and modernizing forces in Israel.
That is why I was startled by one-sided analysis, prompted by those who were incapable during these 20 years of Great Immigration wave from former Soviet Union, to bring comprehensive and secure peace, democratization and liberalization of Israeli society.
I have written to You, and not to your husband, because he's former politician, and is allowed to bring antagonizing opinions on certain issues. You, as one of the Leaders of the Free World, have to cope with a complex reality. There will be no peace in our region as it was not these 62 years, if the UN decision of 1947, on two state solution – Jewish and Arabic state in Palestine, will not be recognized by all the sides in the conflict; Present difficulties in the Middle East peace process are not due to the Russian immigrants and their children-soldiers, but the root of the problem is the present political structure of coalition government. Without powerful centrist Kadima party, no government will be capable of peace achievement during one year, as it was proclaimed by President Obama and by You.

Sincerely Yours,
Dr. Marina Solodkin, Member of Knesset
Author of the Russian-language book "Civilization Discomfort. Soviet Jews in Israel in the nineties"

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