A Union of Good website is reporting that a delegation of Russian journalists and writers that includes two virulently anti-Semitic Russian nationalists was scheduled to visit Hamas controlled Gaza in early December. According to the report:
2011-12-03 A delegation of Russian journalists, media figures and writers intends to visit the Gaza Strip in the coming days in the context of a solidarity program in support of the besieged Strip held under the slogan “Moscow is with you, Gaza.” The delegation will be led by noted Russian journalist Alexander Prokhanov, a strong advocate for the Palestinian cause. He is known for writing scathing articles against the Israeli occupation state in his newspaper Zavtra (Tomorrow) and refuting Israel’s lies about the Palestinian rights. The delegation also includes writer and political analyst Shamil Sultanov, the head of the Russia-Islamic world strategic vision group, and a number of Russian journalists and writers who defend the Palestinian rights in the media. The solidarity program “Moscow is with you, Gaza” started last November with an aid convoy of cancer medicines. Funds were collected from Muslim Russians in the holy month of Ramadan to organize this convoy. For his part, head of Jerusalem social and cultural center in Moscow Ali Abu Isam said that a galaxy of Russian ophthalmologists would visit Gaza as part of this solidarity program next February in coordination with the Palestinian ministry of health. Other Russian events and activities in solidarity with Gaza will be organized to help Gaza people and put the Russian society in the picture of the unjust Israeli siege.
An organization that monitors media coverage of Mideast/Israeli issues describes Mr. Prokhanov, who once met with the U.S. former Ku Klux Clan leader David Duke:
Alexander Prokhanov states openly that Jews are the cause of Russia’s misery. Warning that “we will not sit tight with our arms folded idly if the Jews continue to pressure Russian nationalists,” Prokhanov threatened to “answer them with a fist.” Denying that he wanted to destroy the Jews, Prokhanov pointed to Jewish friends and Jewish contributors to his weekly, naming none other than Robert David. (Inter Press Service, August 14, 1992). After Dyen, which means “today,” was closed down in October 1993 for supporting the far-right coup attempt against President Boris Yeltsin, Prokhanov reopened the paper under the name Zavtra, which means “tomorrow.” (See, for example, “The New Birth of a Fascist Newspaper,” Moscow News, December 3, 1993) Under the leadership of Prokhanov, Zavtra has continued to push an extreme and anti-Semitic agenda. In August, for example, Prokhanov met with David Duke, who was in Russia to promote his book Ultimate Supremacism: An Examination of the Jewish Question. (Agence France Presse, Dec 17, 2000).With good reason, Zavtra has been characterized by Russian journalists as the most anti-Semitic newspaper in Russia. Notwithstanding this, Israel Shamir continues to write for the weekly.
In 2004, an online journal that monitors Central Asian issues described the formation of the Russia and the Islamic World: A Strategic Dialogue. Association and its chairman Shamil Sultanov:
A new inter-factional deputies’ association has been created in the State Duma called Russia and the Islamic World: A Strategic Dialogue. Association co-Chairman Shamil Sultanov (Motherland) announced the group’s formation at a press conference on 28 April. The group reportedly has 45 members, including Yurii Savelev (Motherland) and Albert Makashov (Communist). Savelev is the former director of St. Petersburg’s Military Technological Institute, which was included on a U.S. “blacklist” for alleged unsanctioned military cooperation with Iran, according to the website. General Makashov is perhaps best known for anti-Semitic statements on the floor of the Duma. According to Sultanov, the group brings together all legislators who understand that today it is the Islamic world — not the West – that is interested in a strong Russia and is therefore Russia’s natural partner. Nothing was said at the press conference with regard to the association’s concrete plans, the website reported.