A Diplomatic Pivot: Russia's Potential Role in Mediating Israeli-Palestinian Peace

28 November 2023

By Dr. Shehab Al-Makahleh


As the spectre of conflict looms once again over the Gaza-Israel region, the need for a neutral and effective mediator has never been more pressing. In this tumultuous landscape, Russia, under the seasoned leadership of President Vladimir Putin, emerges as a potential catalyst for peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis. The prospect of President Putin assuming the role of mediator holds promise, as his diplomatic finesse and geopolitical influence could bridge the divide and pave the way for a lasting resolution to the protracted conflict.

Russia's historical ties with the Middle East, coupled with its standing as a key player on the global stage, uniquely positions it to navigate the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. President Putin's adept handling of international relations, demonstrated in various geopolitical arenas, instills confidence that Russia could play a constructive role in facilitating dialogue and fostering understanding between the warring factions.

President Putin's credibility as a mediator lies in Russia's long-standing relationships with both Israel and Palestine. Unlike other external actors, Russia has maintained diplomatic channels with leaders on both sides of the conflict, enabling it to engage in unbiased and comprehensive dialogue. The absence of historical baggage in the region positions Russia as a mediator without preconceived biases, a crucial factor for earning the trust of both parties.

Furthermore, Russia's stance as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council endows it with the authority to mobilize international support for any potential peace initiative. President Putin's diplomatic overtures in various global conflicts have demonstrated his commitment to multilateralism, a quality that could prove invaluable in garnering widespread backing for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

The application of "realpolitik" — a term with roots in European political philosophy — becomes pertinent when considering Russia's potential mediation role. In a conflict where pragmatic considerations often outweigh ideological fervor, President Putin's reputation for pragmatic decision-making aligns with the necessities of brokering a viable peace agreement. Realpolitik, in this context, would entail a focus on achievable compromises and incremental steps toward peace, rather than pursuing idealistic but elusive solutions.

The Russian Federation's successful track record in mediating conflicts, such as its involvement in the Syrian peace process, demonstrates its ability to navigate complex geopolitical landscapes. While acknowledging that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict presents its own unique challenges, Russia's experience in fostering dialogue and finding common ground could be instrumental in bringing about a breakthrough.

As the international community searches for a credible mediator to address the current crisis in Gaza and Israel, the prospect of Russia, under the leadership of President Putin, assuming a central role offers a glimmer of hope. By leveraging its diplomatic acumen, historical ties, and global standing, Russia could potentially steer both parties towards a negotiated settlement, heralding a new chapter of stability and coexistence in the troubled region.



Political and Economic Advisor - Jordan

Photo: fabrikasimf/Freepik