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Foreign Policy Politicians

The Russian Card: Israel Must Distance Itself from Washington

There can be no doubt that Barack Hussein Obama is playing the Muslim card to the detriment of Israel. His appeasement of Iran, the epicenter of global terrorism, is especially troubling, to Americans as well as Israelis. Obama’s Middle East advisers have consorted not only with Hamas, an Iranian proxy, but also with Syria, a terrorist state. The Obama government is helping the Palestinian (terrorist) Authority to establish a military training base in Jericho. All this substantiates a March 19 report in Israel Today. I quote:

A former top US intelligence official warns that the Obama Administration is about to break America’s long ties of friendship with Israel, and maybe even take steps toward the dissolution of the Jewish state. Speaking on condition of anonymity to Douglas Hagmann of the Northeast Intelligence Network, the source said: “The Obama Administration … is preparing to provide more support to Arab countries [with] financial and military aid, undercutting Israel’s defense efforts while pushing Israel to succumb to the pressure of unreasonable demands designed to end with their political annihilation as a nation.”

In Sleeping with the Devil, ex-CIA agent Robert Baer reveals that former high officials in Washington luxuriate on the Saudi payroll. The Saudis energize US support for a Palestinian state. Saudi petro-dollars build mosques and buy influence in American universities. They are driving a wedge between America and Israel—and Obama is accelerating the process….

Infected by multiculturalism, Obama is inclined to subordinate American foreign policy to the United Nations, an organization largely dominated by Arab-Islamic regimes. His radical left-wing supporters want to undermine the sovereignty of the United States, the only nation that can save Western civilization from Islamic totalitarianism.

Obama’s political ideas and economic program will concentrate more and more power in the Federal Government at the expense of the States, contrary to the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution. “Regime change” is brewing in Washington. That’s what Obama’s campaign slogan of “Change!” really means. This bodes ill for America and more immediately for Israel.

Despite Israel’s friendship with Americans in general, and Christian Zionists in particular, Israel cannot afford to continue its servile relation to the United States. This would not be in the best interests of either country given Obama’s mentality, which, by virtue of his pro-UN and pro-Muslim leanings, is anti-American and anti-Israel. One way to render Israel more independent of the US is for Israel to play the Russian card.

Although I believe that what is truly good for America is good for Israel and vice-versa, let’s talk realpolitik. Nations are governed by interests, not friendship. While France helped Saddam construct the Osirak reactor, the US facilitated its construction by economic aid to Iraq despite the existential threat to Israel. But can Israel change Moscow’s priorities in the Middle East?

… Russia is in bad shape. Its economy is concentrated on oil, whose price is falling; its population is sickly; its ethnicity is evaporating; and it’s worried about Islam and Jihadism from within.

Now juxtapose a snippet on Israeli accomplishments: mini-medical submarines that deliver drugs to individual cancer cells in your body; bionic noses used as bomb sniffers; tiny chemical laboratories on a chip to monitor water pollution; self-cleaning materials that mimic a bird’s feathers. Russia is aware of the superiority of Israeli nanotech scientists and engineers. Russia can profit more from Israel than from Iran or Islamdom.

Russia certainly does not want Iran to control the flow of oil through the Persian Gulf—inevitable if Iran has nuclear weapons. Nor does it want Iran to export Jihadism to Russia’s own Muslim population. Since Israel provided America with the world’s most extensive experience in homeland defense against terrorism, Russia would welcome the same services.

Israel has over a million Russian citizens, the electoral base of Avigdor Lieberman. In a poll published by Yedioth Ahronoth in September 2006, Lieberman had more support than any politician except Netanyahu to be the next Prime Minister of Israel. If Lieberman becomes Israel’s Foreign Minister, this could be of tremendous strategic significance. Since Lieberman has no sterling reputation in the United States, he will be more disposed to playing the Russian card and thus make Israel less dependent on Washington….

To be sure, Lieberman, a secularist, supports a Palestinian state. But the same may be said of Netanyahu, who is hardly religious. Lieberman’s insistence on strategic autonomy in certain areas of foreign affairs, especially Iran, calls to mind doubts that Netanyahu has the guts to order a strike on Iran or to pursue a more independent foreign policy vis-à-vis the United States.

Netanyahu voters are not very confident in his political fortitude. The same cannot easily be said of Lieberman’s voters…. Of course, there are enormous obstacles and hazards shifting Israel from its unqualified alliance with the USA to a qualified alliance with Russia. But given a hostile Obama Administration, Israel needs to think in radical terms. Here is what I have in mind:

First, given Lieberman’s prime ministerial ambitions, he may be induced to flip-flop again on the Palestinian state issue if only because Israel’s Russian voters have a low opinion of Muslims.

Second, Lieberman reportedly plans to harness Foreign Ministry resources to promote aliya and place Israel at the head of the Jewish world. 260,000 Jews live in Russia, and 900,000 additional Russians are eligible for aliya under the “grandfather clause” of the Law of Return.

Third, Russian and other immigrants should be given favored treatment if they settle in Judea and Samaria. They should receive a one-acre freehold provided they remain thereon for six years. Of course, this would antagonize the Obama administration. But with Lieberman playing the Russian card (with his eye on the premiership), Israel may be positioned to pursue a more independent foreign policy.

Of course, Russia has strategic ambitions in the Middle East, and Lieberman’s political career is not cause for great trust—although ambiguity about Lieberman can be a plus in realpolitik. Better to have a man with cunning and guts to shape Israel’s foreign policy than a wimp.

Postscript July 9, 2009.

Since the Obama-led government of the United States is allied with Israel’s mortal enemy, the Muslim world, Israel must regard the Obama government as its mortal enemy, any pronouncements to the contrary notwithstanding. And since the Obama-led government is committed to undermining the basic principles of America’s Founding Fathers—principles rooted in the Judeo-Christian heritage—Israel should be all the more profoundly committed to thwarting the perfidious designed of the Obama government.

To this end, Israel’s first priority is to maximize its military-industrial power. Israel should abandon timidity and make known, in subtle and non-provocative terms, its enormous power. Israel should seriously consider resigning from the United Nations. After all, it has no substantial influence in that den of iniquity, and it can no longer count on the United States to veto anti-Israel UN Resolutions. Israel’s resignation from the UN would be applauded by middle America. Israel may even want to propose the establishment of a United Nations of constitutional democracies.

But Israel’s basic goal should be to distance itself from the United States and forge new strategic alliances.

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