“Make no mistake. There is no big love between Russia and Israel. But neither is there a lot of hostility, at least not on the Russian side.” — The Saker
By The Saker
An edited abridgement by Lasha Darkmoon of a much longer article by the Saker
Note. This is basically the second half of the Saker’s long article dealing with Putin’s complex relationship with the Jews. Here he reflects on Putin’s attitude to Israel and concludes that Putin and Netanyahu have reached an understanding not to trespass on each other’s areas of interest. The policy is to avoid unnecessary conflict in pursuit of their separate goals. (LD)
The recent murder of Samir Kuntar by Israel has, yet again, inflamed the discussion about Putin’s relation to Israel. This is an immensely complicated topic and those who like simple, canned, “explanations” should stop reading right now. The truth is, the relationship between Russia and Israel and, even before that, between Jews and Russians would deserve an entire book.
Let’s now begin by considering the question of Syria, Hezbollah and the murder of Hezbollah militant Samir Kuntar (picture) by the Israelis.
First, consider that the decision to militarily intervene in the Syrian war was already a controversial one. Putin pulled this one off by doing two things: explaining to the Russian people that it was better to deal with the terrorists “there” (in Syria) rather than “here” (in Russia) and by promising that he would not send in ground forces. When Daesh and the Turks fulfilled the promise made by Obama and Biden and blew a Russian airliner and, later, a SU-24 bomber out of the sky, the Russian public continued to support Putin, but most Russians, including myself, were acutely aware of the dangers of the situation. At the end of the day, it is Putin’s personal “street cred” which allowed him to stay the course in spite of real fears.
Second, it is clear that Putin and Netanyahu struck a deal when the latter traveled to Moscow: the Israelis don’t interfere in Russian operations in support of the Syrians as long as the Russians don’t interfere in the combat operations between Israel and Hezbollah. This made it possible for both sides to pursue their main interest even if it was at the cost of their secondary objectives.
You don’t like that deal and you question its morality? Good! So do I. I am, in fact, intensely uncomfortable with it, but I expect no less from ruthless realpolitik practitioners like Putin and Bibi Netanyahu.
Good thing you and I are not in power!
There is, by the way, another precedent which I am just as uncomfortable with: the Russian total backing for the Egyptian military’s bloody repression against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. I accept the argument that to support the Egyptian military made sense in the context of the war in Syria, but the ethics of supporting such a regime intensely bother me. This is why Putin is a ruthless but successful politician and I am a little quasi-irrelevant blogger: it takes a ruthless bear to fight ruthless wolves.
This being said, let’s not pretend that Hezbollah is any less cynical when needed. I remind you all that when Imad Mugniyeh was murdered in Damascus by the very same Israelis in an operation which could only have been executed with very high level accomplices in the Assad regime, Hezbollah promised “retaliation” but never peeped a single word against the regime. Neither did Hezbollah have any objections when Assad was torturing Muslims on behalf of the US CIA for the infamous “rendition” program.
As for Putin, he simply has other priorities than to protect Hezbollah or fight Israel:
Surviving inside Russia and not being overthrown by the still very powerful Zionist Power Configuration—to use James Petras’ expression— is a top priority for Putin.
Another priority would be not to give Putin’s enemies, both at home and abroad, the political argument that “Russia is attacking Israel”. Not having a shooting match with Israel and not to have the small and isolated Russian contingent have to fight on two fronts would be crucial too. Ditto not to be accused of having the Russians contingent turned into the de-facto “Hezbollah Air Force” like the US is the “Daesh Air Force”.
These are all obvious priorities for Putin. And then there is this:
While the Russian S-400s can easily shoot down any Israeli aircraft, the Russian AirSpace contingent does not have the materials means to fight Israel or, even less so, NATO and CENTCOM. As for Russia, she most definitely cannot pick a fight with Israel — not due to the inherent power of this tiny Zionist entity, but due to the fact that the US Empire has been thoroughly taken under Zionist control.
So those Americans who now complain that Putin “does not have the courage” to take on Israel should first ask themselves how it is that Israel seems to have transformed the USA and Europe into a voiceless Zionist protectorate and what they are doing to liberate themselves from that Zionist yoke!
Speaking of the West: one ought to compare the position of the Anglo-Zionist Empire on the one hand, and of many influential Russian Jews (in Russia and in Israel) about the war in the Ukraine.
While the West has been in total support of the Nazi regime in Kiev, many Russian Jews, especially the very famous ones like Vladimir Soloviev, have taken a categorically anti-Nazi position.
While in Israel the popularity of Putin and Russia is still extremely low, most of the anti-Putin opposition in Russia is not formed of Jews. Finally, the Russian general public is, sadly, extremely poorly informed of the horrors perpetrated by the Zionist regime against the Palestinian people while Israelis and dual-nationals (like Evgenii Satanovskii or Avigdor Eskin) are constantly peddling the notion that “we Russians and Israelis are the only ones standing up to Muslim terrorism”, thereby capitalizing to the max the current war between Russia and Daesh. In other words, Putin would have one hell of a tough time selling the shooting down of an Israeli aircraft to the Russian general public.
I understand that none of the above will have any traction with bona fide Jew-haters or with those who like simple, black and white arguments. For them Putin will forever remain a sellout, an eternal shabbos-goy or a puppet of the international financiers.
Frankly, I am not writing this article for them.
There are those who are sincerely bewildered and confused about Russian policies which do appear to be confusing or even contradictory. To them I will conclude by saying this:
Putin advances his cause one step at a time and he knows how to wait and let events take on their own dynamic. He is also acutely aware that he is literally fighting with one hand tied behind his back and the other one busy defending against external and internal enemies — the latter being far more dangerous.
I am sure that Putin fully realizes that, at least potentially, his policy of resistance, sovereignization and liberation can lead to an intercontinental nuclear war and that Russia is currently still weaker than the Anglo-Zionist Empire. Just as in the times of Stolypin, Russia desperately needs a few more years of peace to develop herself and fully stand up.
This is most definitely not the time for a frontal confrontation with the Empire. Russia vitally needs *peace* and *time*: peace in the Ukraine, peace in Europe and, yes, peace in the Middle-East.
Alas, the latter is not an option and, when cornered, Putin did take the decision to go to war. And I am absolutely and categorically certain that if the Empire attacks Russia (from Turkey or elsewhere), Russia will fight back.
Russia is willing to go to war if needed, but she will do her utmost to avoid it. This is the price Russia pays for being the weaker side. The good news is that Russia is getting stronger with every passing day, while the Empire is getting weaker.
And the power of the AngloZionists and their 5th column in Russia is also weakening with every passing day. But this process will take time.
The big event to watch for is a crackdown on the Central Bank and the economy ministries of the government. Everybody in Russia is waiting for this. Putin even got directly asked this question recently, but he is sill denying it all and saying that he fully supports these saboteurs. Considering Putin’s track record, it is plain stupid to say that he really supports them – this is clearly a delaying tactic until the time is right.
Make no mistake. There is no big love between Russia and Israel. But neither is there a lot of hostility, at least not on the Russian side. Most Russian are aware of the ugly role Jews played already twice in Russian history, but this does not translate into the kind of hostility towards Jews which you would see, for example, in the Ukraine.
At most, Russians can be suspicious of Jewish *power* but rarely does this translate into hostility for Jews as regular people. Some of the most adored Russian public figures, like the bard Vladimir Vysotskii, had Jewish blood. Most Russians also make a distinction between “their” Jews (russophobic Jews in the West) and “our” Jews (Russian Jews who love Russia). But since russophobia has also been widespread amongst Russian elites, before and after the Revolution, it can hardly be described as a Jewish phenomenon. The Russian culture, having always been multi-national and multi-ethnic, does not really separate people by their ethnicity but judges them much more readily by their actions and ideas. For all these reasons, the hatred of the “Yid” is much more a Ukrainian nationalist phenomenon than a Russian one.
While most Russians would not want to have a return to power of a new version of the Bolshevik commissars or the “democratic” oligarchs inside Russia, there is a closeness and an anti-Nazi solidarity between Russians and Israelis which should not be dismissed.
Concerning Palestine, Russia will support all the relevant UN Resolutions and thus be the typical and rather unimaginative “two state solution” proponent. At most, Russia will “deplore” or “regret” the abuses of Palestinians by Israelis, but Russia will never become a systematic defender of Palestinian rights like Iran or Hezbollah — simply because the future of Palestine is not a Russian priority.
I hope that the above is helpful in understanding why Russia does not take any action to protect Hezbollah against the Israelis, and why she will not prevent Hezbollah from retaliating from Syria, should Hezbollah take that decision.
Simply put: there is no compelling internal or external reason for Russia to get directly involved in this while there are plenty of compelling internal and external reasons for Russia to stay out. If in the past the USSR supported the PLO on both ideological and geostrategic reasons, modern Russia today will not follow the same paradigm. Besides, it’s not like Fatah or Hamas are attractive, or even credible, partners for Russia, being in bed as they are with Daesh. Ditto for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
As for Hezbollah, it is not as if they need Russia’s protection. Symbolic as they may be, the murders of Imad Mugniyeh or Samir Kuntar will in no way weaken the Hezbollah Resistance.
In fact, if the history of the murder of Abbas al-Musawi teaches us anything, it is that sometimes Israelis murder a Hezbollah leader only to find out that the next one is even a more formidable adversary.
God willing, this will also be the case this time.
— The Saker