Israel's Role In Ukraine
By Alois Philby
26 February, 2014
In the events that have unfolded in Ukraine during the past weeks, the role of Israel is by far the most interesting. As far as the Americans and the European Union are concerned, it is a question of pursuing old-fashioned power politics vis-à-vis Russia with a view to minimising the latter's influence in Europe. The role of Israel, on the other hand, can be adequately appraised only by taking into account the financial interests of the following individuals, whose plight was reported by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on 2 July 2013:
"In the past decade, wealthy businessmen from the former Soviet Union have flocked to Israel in private planes via the Moscow-Tel Aviv route. Once here, they buy mansions in wealthy communities and get around in luxury cars. Most of them have come to Israel to escape the grasp of Russian President Vladimir Putin. They live below the radar, zealously guarding their privacy and hiding their assets and Israeli citizenship. [...] Many of them fear that if their Israeli assets and citizenships were revealed, it would complicate their relations with Russian authorities or hurt their business interests."
Gone are the days of cowboy liberalism when Western tycoons and businessmen would treat Russia with the condescension of a colonial lord towards his African subject. The economic system currently in force in Russia is corporative in nature: the state works with the businessmen, and those amongst these businessmen, Khodorkovsky being a case in point, who object to the interference of the state into their financial dealings can count on heavy reprisals.
The oligarchs of Russia are left with no choice but to cooperate with Putin, lest they suffer the same fate as Khodorkovsky. Some of these oligarchs prostrate themselves with great gusto at the feet of the ruler in Kreml, but the modus vivendi that they have found with Putin is an uneasy one. After all, these oligarchs are in possession of state assets of the Soviet Union purchased at a fraction of their actual value. At some point in time these assets will have to be returned to their rightful owners: The Russian People.
The long term aim of these these oligarchs is to determine the political culture as well as the legislative framework of Russia in such a way that their property is shielded from being expropriated by the state. The procession from liberalism towards corporatism, which in the future could lead to further centralisation, is a process that these oligarchs are at pains to reverse. The first step towards such a reversal is to prevent Putin from extending his sphere of influence into their safe havens in the former Soviet Union, of which Ukraine is the most important.
Press TV was one of the few news outlets to report on the Israeli involvement in the riots in Ukraine:
"A former Israeli army officer is playing a leading role in the anti-government protests in Ukraine [...]. [This] unnamed Israeli was commanding a group of 20 Ukrainian militants while four other Israelis, who had also previously served in the army, were said to have taken part in opposition rallies in Ukraine's capital of Kiev. They were born in Ukraine but migrated to Israel and joined its armed forces before returning [to Ukraine] for the demonstrations [...]"
The Press TV report went on to state
"that an Israeli tycoon provided financial support to the opposition in Ukraine [...]"
On 16 December 2013 Jerusalem Post reported that
"some young Jews working for international organizations such as JDC, Hillel and Limmud have taken to the barricades [in Ukraine, and they were] 'really active' in offering support as well as 'organizing the barricades'."
One may well be tempted to view these young Jews as useful idiots, but it is far more plausible that they were in fact provocateurs with a political agenda of their own. Ukraine is not just a safe haven for oligarchs on the run from Putin; it is also a country in which Israel exerts a high degree of political influence.
What should be troubling to Russia is the extent of the cooperation between Ukraine and Israel in the fields of military and intelligence. During the European Championship in football in 2012, which was held in Poland and Ukraine, Mossad was partly in charge of security. And the cooperation went much farther than the overseeing of sports events:
(i) Exchange of security information between the two countries; such an exchange is most likely skewed in Israel's favour.
(ii) Cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism.
(iii) Israel is granted wellnigh unlimited access to Ukrainian databases; this facilitates the halting of the influx of undesired elements into Israel as well as the apprehension of potential or imagined terrorists.
Indeed, the cooperation between Israel and Ukraine in the field of intelligence is so extensive that Israel saw it fit to appoint Reuven Dinel, a former Mossad agent, as ambassador to Ukraine. It is worth noting that Dinel was caught spying in Russia during the 90s and was subsequently declared persona non grata. So tarnished was Dinel's reputation that Turkmenistan refused to grant diplomatic status to this enemy of Russia. Ukraine had no such qualms.
Ukraine is today a veritable den of russophobic Israelis. On the one hand, Israel's interests coincide with those of the West in the sense that they both wish to limit the Russian sphere influence, whereas on the other Israel is advocating the agenda of oligarchs with dual or multiple citizenships jealously clinging on to assets stolen from the people of Russia.
Russia has no choice but to treat Israel as an enemy state.
Alois Philby is a blogger. He blogs at http://aloisphilby.blogspot.com
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