Libmonster ID: SE-420

Nizhny Novgorod: Publishing House of the Nizhny Novgorod University, 2005. 140 p.

The author of the reviewed work is the Head of the Department of Regional Studies at the Faculty of International Relations of Nizhny Novgorod State University. This is not his first monograph devoted to the State of Israel. The publishing house of Nizhny Novgorod University published his books " Between War and Peace. On the Process of Making Foreign policy decisions in the State of Israel (1948-1993) (1994), The Sword and Plow of David Ben-Gurion (1996), and the Nizhny Novgorod Journal of International Studies published by the University published numerous articles on the foreign policy and security of the Jewish state and international relations in the Middle East region A. A. Kornilov has long been engaged in the study of Israel and contributes to the creation of the Nizhny Novgorod research school, which examines the problems of Israeli studies and the current stage of the evolution of the Arab world.

From the point of view of historical retrospect, this city is one of the first (if not the first) centers of Russian science with a significant field of activity.

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It is directly related to Israeli studies and the development of the modern Middle Eastern system of state relations in their regional and global aspects. The dean of the Faculty of International Relations, Prof. O. A. Kolobov, is credited with the creation of the center. Its emergence was made possible by the establishment of multilateral contacts between the University of Nizhny Novgorod and colleagues from Israel, Arab countries and the United States. If we take into account that recently the field of Israeli studies has been expanded by the efforts of Moscow scientists (it is enough to mention, for example, the latest work of I. D. Zvyagelskaya, T. A. Karasova and A.V. Fedorchenko "The State of Israel"), then we can say that in Russia not only a domestic school of Israeli studies has appeared, but also is successfully developing. international relations and security issues in the Middle East.

First of all, I will say that the small volume of the reviewed work does not mean that A. A. Kornilov did not face a considerable number of difficulties in the process of its creation. The most important of them - as paradoxical as it may sound - in Israel there is no documented and accepted concept of the country's security by the national establishment. This fact is specially emphasized by the author in the title of the monograph. In fact, the country is implementing ideas aimed at overcoming the consequences of the rejection of the Jewish state by the surrounding regional space, developed by one or another of the country's prime ministers. That is why A. A. Kornilov included in the field of his attention and analyzed the points of view of all Israeli leaders on national security issues for almost sixty years of Israel's existence - from D. Ben-Gurion to A. Sharon. Of course, the author did not pay the same attention to the views of all prime ministers-there were clear reasons and explanations for this - A. A. Kornilov was attracted to those statesmen who had the greatest impact on the Israeli understanding of security. If a significant part of the monograph is devoted to how D. Ben-Gurion, M. Begin, Sh.Peres, B. Netanyahu and A. Sharon approached these problems, this does not mean that L. Eshkol, G. Meir, I. Rabin or E. Barak fell out of the author's field of view. This could not have happened, if only because each of the Israeli leaders was characterized by their own view of the regional space surrounding Israel and ensuring the security of the state. Moreover, each of them has made an undeniably important contribution to understanding the ways leading to mutual understanding with this space, and how to ensure the safe development of the country.

However, understanding this circumstance presented the author of the monograph with a really serious problem. A. A. Kornilov sought to find some "unshakable" postulates that have been underlying the views of the highest figures of the Israeli political establishment on ensuring its security for almost sixty years of the existence of the Jewish state. The author could only do this if he "decrypted" the documents that were in his possession related to the identity of one or another head of the Israeli government.

These documents are significant and diverse: minutes of meetings of the Parliament( Knesset), government decisions, texts of official speeches, articles and memoirs of prime ministers, finally, publications in the "Yearbook of the Government of Israel" and Internet resources. The author's position is fundamentally important - he considers certain documents attracted by him in the historical context of their appearance. Some of them (fundamentally important for the analysis carried out by A. A. Kornilov) became the property of the reader of the monograph. The appendix to it contains, in particular, speeches by some Israeli Prime Ministers (D. Ben-Gurion, L. Eshkol, I. Rabin, B. Netanyahu, E. Barak and A. Sharon), as well as one of the documents of the government of M. Begin and excerpts from the book of Sh. Perez).

In his work, A. A. Kornilov considers it essential to emphasize that the Israeli understanding of security is inseparable from determining the priorities of this state's foreign policy. "Non-entry" to the region, in which Israel for its Arab neighbors looked like a political entity, almost doomed to disappear in the more or less distant future (even if the situation has recently changed), forced the Jewish state to turn to non-regional forces, greatly diversifying its foreign policy. These forces were diverse: the Jewish diaspora, the great powers (for all their diverse approaches to Israel and their desire to exert their own influence on the formation of the Middle East system of international relations), some countries of the Muslim world, regional "centers of power" in the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America-

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Ricky. Such a diversified foreign policy has become one of the most important directions for the Jewish state to ensure its security. A. A. Kornilov emphasizes this position, on the one hand, clearly and unambiguously, and on the other - extremely documented.

The documents used by the author of the monograph can certainly be considered as evidence of changes in the conceptual approaches of the heads of the Israeli political establishment to state security issues, which determined the transformation of the system of international relations itself (at its global and regional level). But at the same time, these documents characterize the qualities of outstanding personalities (this clearly follows from the work of A. A. Kornilov), who at one time or another became at the helm of the leadership of the Jewish state.

These documents also confirm the sequence of internal changes in the composition of the Israeli ruling elite, connected with three milestones in the evolution of the Zionist idea - the emergence of a movement aimed at national revival, the creation of the Palestinian Yishuv 1 and, finally, the establishment of a state recognized by the international community (but not by the Arab world). If initially the country's leadership was represented by those who acted in the ranks of the Zionist movement, then later it began to include natives of mandatory Palestine and Israel. Needless to say, this circumstance played an important role, including in the process of developing the conceptual framework for the state's foreign policy and ensuring its security.

Do the conclusions of A. A. Kornilov prove that the concept of Israel's security exists, even if there are no official documents documenting it in this state? The author does not doubt this at all. Referring to the text of A. A. Kornilov, some of the fundamental postulates of this concept should be listed.

This is primarily about maintaining Israeli military superiority over the armies of neighboring countries and other potential opponents (in the regions of the Middle East) of the Jewish state. An integral component of this concept should be considered the necessary level of activity of national intelligence services, the importance of which is all the more important in the current situation of the growth of international terrorism. The issue also concerns close contacts between Israel and Jewish communities in various countries of the world, when these contacts constantly support the situation of the state's priority and the need for Jewish communities to follow in the wake of its policies. Finally, among these postulates is the aspiration that has always existed in Israel (only its forms have changed) to achieve entry into the number of countries leading in the field of global technological progress. Beginning with D. Ben-Gurion and continuing until the end of the era of A. Ben-Gurion. Israel, regardless of whether the Prime Minister represented the Labor Party or the Likud bloc, followed these tenets when a particular political leader modified (and supplemented) them, taking into account the changing regional and international situation, while at the same time giving these tenets the shade that was determined by his personal experience, circumstances of his life, and the state of affairs. origin or temperament.

A. A. Kornilov does not avoid serious problems associated with the implementation of these postulates in the modern globalizing world. He writes about the persistence of inertia in Israeli foreign policy, which still prefers to focus on the United States. For the author, it is important to point out the existence of "contradictions and disproportions" in the process of the Israeli establishment's development of concepts and ideas related to both security and foreign policy. A. A. Kornilov sees a deep connection between these "contradictions" and the internal course of the Jewish state, where, in his opinion, the relationship between "secular" states is becoming more acute. and religious political parties" and groups of the Israeli population represented by them. He believes that among the "contradictions" there is also "chronic instability of government coalitions." One cannot but agree with this. It is only a pity that the author does not detail these provisions.

I will express some thoughts in connection with the reviewed work.

1 The Jewish population of mandatory Palestine (until May 1948), as well as the totality of political, economic and social institutions created by it.

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Thus, referring to the above-mentioned "contradictions" in the process of developing the security concept, A. A. Kornilov notes that the plan of unilateral disengagement with the Palestinians carried out by A. Sharon "subjected to revision the" right "of Jews to live on all the lands of their ancestors, which was always recognized by the Zionists "(p.93). For the author of the monograph (at least, that's how the reviewer understands it) this "revision" has greatly divided Israeli society, narrowing the possibility of preserving the national consensus, including on the security of the state.

It is worth noting that the secular Zionist movement has indeed long and deeply nationalized Judaism. A. A. Kornilov provides well-reasoned examples of this, in particular, concerning the position of D. Ben-Gurion, based on the Torah, regarding the inclusion of its current south, the Negev Desert, into Israel. However, what was possible for the first stage in the development of the Zionist idea - the formation of a current that appealed to national revival-no longer looked like an acceptable course of behavior in the situation of the state. Moreover, the emergence of the state, of course, changed the priorities in setting the goals of the national movement. If for Zionism, represented by D. Ben-Gurion, the idea of national revival was emphasized primarily socially (this was equally true in the first years of Israel's existence), then in the future, first of all after the war in June 1967 and the subsequent occupation of the entire historical Palestine, the same idea of national revival was emphasized it has become more civilizationally framed. Religion (as one, but previously marginal, component of the national idea) inevitably moved forward.

Isn't it worth looking from this angle at the differences, for example, between the "religiosity" of D. Ben-Gurion, on the one hand, and, as A. A. Kornilov writes, "offensive nationalism rooted in Talmudic Judaism" of M. Begin, on the other? Isn't it also worth comparing the approaches of these two Israeli leaders and Netanyahu's position regarding negotiations between the main currents in Judaism (when the "sanctity" of Jerusalem came to the fore) in connection with religious life in Israel (although the issue of these negotiations has other facets) or with the Judeo-Islamic dialogue? Perhaps, the decision of A. Sharon really narrowed the possibilities of a national consensus. Without discussing the problem of unilateral disengagement with the Palestinians and Israel's acquisition of the eastern border on this basis, I note that the subsequent developments, including the success of the Kadima party he created in the parliamentary elections, did not prove that the split in Israeli society has become an irreversible reality. On the contrary, the successor of A. Sharon, E. Olmert, received sufficient grounds to continue the line of unilateral demarcation. The main thing, however, is that the actions of A. Sharon reduced the scope of civilizational legitimation of the idea of a "Greater Israel". But isn't this a choice that meets the challenge of consistently integrating Israel into the globalizing world?

Finally, a final consideration. Special attention in A. A. Kornilov's monograph is paid, of course, to D. Ben-Gurion and his views on ways to ensure Israel's security. This is understandable and understandable - he was the "founding father" of the Jewish state. The author of the reviewed monograph most likely feels a deep personal sympathy for D. Ben-Gurion - this person was the hero of A. A. Kornilov's doctoral dissertation and one of his monographs. Nevertheless, the peer-reviewed paper describes in detail how the first leader understood the country's security, while many later leaders are sometimes devoted several paragraphs or pages (for example, G. Meir or E. Barak). Lack of materials? The inertia of continuing the course of their predecessors? I think this circumstance requires an explanation.

Not considering myself an Israeli scholar, the last thing I want to do is to consider my thoughts that arise when I get acquainted with a talented work as comments to A. A. Kornilov. The author of the monograph has the right to accept or reject them. In my opinion, familiarity with the reviewed book is necessary for every Russian expert on international relations and security in the Middle East region. This is especially necessary if the specialist is involved in the process of teaching relevant subjects at Russian universities. For the author of the review, this fact is an indisputable truth, and when reading his own courses, he already relies on the monograph of his Nizhny Novgorod colleague.


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G. G. KOSACH, A. A. KORNILOV. SAFETY COMES FIRST. CONCEPTS OF FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL SECURITY OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL // Stockholm: Swedish Digital Library (LIBRARY.SE). Updated: 04.07.2024. URL: (date of access: 22.07.2024).

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