Russia’s facilitation of a still-aggressive Israel in preference over ‘allies’ Iran and Syria has become gradually more visible and acknowledged in the days since its late 2015 Syria intervention, with several decisive examples and Russia’s own language affirming the Russo-Israeli alliance. It
It is significant enough to say that Russia’s support constitutes a vital geostrategic plan B for Israel via which it seeks to craft the necessary geopolitical circumstances for implementing the notorious yet un-finalized ‘Deal of the Century’.
GCC-Israel ties have been adequately highlighted when it comes to the team hastily strung together by the Deal’s authors. However, the special purpose Russia may end up serving for a potentially explosive and globally detrimental part of the Deal’s implementation – or its end game – has not been explored much.
Or, for that fact, the particular connections Russia bears to the specific authors and pushers of the Deal which may well result in it becoming a special partner to them.
The Temple Activist movement and how it aggravates the Israeli need for a geostrategic Plan B
A great, organized and ambitious geostrategic gambit was kicked off by Israel in the 1980s when it was given much free room and a deceptive façade of a ‘peace process’ thanks to 1979’s Camp David Accord. With ideological cohorts occupying major US policy positions, big plans were laid out for Israel’s many foes across the Middle East and specific plans for regime change, altering borders and militarily decimating rival states coherently formulated.
However, almost all of those specific objectives (with removing Iran’s Islamist government as a central common goal) have met failure despite the immense destruction that the warpath toward their realization has caused. This makes Israel – which needs expansion for reasons of both water and energy resources and reasons of ideology – very uneasy as it is forced into a posture which is overall defensive as compared to complete offensive in the 80s when it attacked several states at once.
What compounds Israel’s dilemma is the entering into its later stages of a remarkably disturbing socio-religious force within its politics in the years since Israel seized control of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War. Temple Activism, which seeks to have the al Aqsa Mosque demolished to, as per the belief of its members, be replaced with a Jewish Temple on the ‘Temple Mount’, now has visible support among Israel’s ruling elites.
The sheer provocation that their goal would cause Muslims around the globe would be palpable. Given the now-increased military presence and rising capabilities of anti-Israel armed groups at its frontiers, it would result in dangerous amounts of damage being inflicted upon it.
Israelis have historically been prone to fleeing the country in the face of threats, real or imagined, and such a scenario would see Israel’s heavily-emphasized absorption of migrating Jews from around the world slow down considerably.
Enter Chabad Lubavitch and the real ‘Russia connections’
The risky, messianically-driven Temple Activist movement believes the Jewish ‘Messiah’ will arrive once the Temple is built. Notably, it relies on for the realization of its objectives – bearing obvious global consequences – on a support base outside Israel in a way unique even to the general prevalent dynamic between Israel and organized global Jewry.
The Chabad Lubavitch orthodox Jewish movement is the largest, richest and most well-known global Jewish force which pursues the Temple and ‘Messiah’. Having started in the mid 18th century, it now has direct access to the top echelons of key governments without needed to tap into burgeoning network of Zionist lobbyists such as the US Israel Lobby.
According to Haarez, it today has more than 4000 emissaries and their families in 84 countries compared to the early 90s when it had only 1234 emissaries and also gained a boost in 2014 by having overseas service in Chabad houses legally recognized in Israel as a substitute for army service.
One of these governments is obviously the US, seeing as Trump’s Zionist billionaire son-in-law Jared Kushner is a Lubavitcher and has remained demonstrably involved in making foreign policy decisions often ignoring proper channels and going behind the backs of career officials not serving a vested Israel-centric interest. However, in what is a widely-ignored fact even among those properly cognizant of the ascendance of Temple Activism, the other key state is Russia.
Russian Chief Rabbi (2000-current) Berel Lazar, called ‘Putin’s Rabbi’ by some due to his closeness to the Russian President, is a Lubavitcher. More importantly, the Italian rabbi in fact entered Russia as a special appointee by Chabad Lubavitch’s seventh and last leader (1951-1994), ‘Rebbe’ Menachem Mendel Schneerson, to propagate the Lubavitch cause. His own parents were among Schneerson’s first emissaries.
Schneerson is one of the most influential Jewish figures in recent history, and the most exalted Chabad figure as the Chabad website affirms. Many Lubavitchers even thought him to be the ‘Messiah’ who will return upon the Temple’s construction and believed him to hold this view as well despite no clear affirmation of this among his constant messianic discourse and activism.
As this famous video clip of Schneerson urging current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ‘hasten the coming of the Messiah’ shows, he had the ear of top Israeli leaders as well. The clip also shows Netanyahu asking him for advice and Schneerson assuring him that he would later ‘hand his keys over to Moshiach (the ‘Messiah’)’.
Schneerson, born in Russia to parents who moved to New York where Chabad is currently headquartered, has immense influence in Russia. According to the Chabad itself, 80% of Russia’s synagogues are run by Lubavitchers.
It also states that Russo-Israeli billionaire and Chelsea soccer team owner Roman Abramovic funded the reconstruction of the Marina Roshcha Synagogue of Moscow presided over by Chief Rabbi Lazar, adding him to the rich Jewish benefactors of Chabad.
Lazar became Head of the Union of Rabbis of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the Commonwealth of Independent States (FJC of the CIS) when the FJC was set up in 1997. Israeli diamantaire and Lubavitcher Lev Leviev, acquainted with Lazar since 1992, is the president of the FJC and a major funder of it.
The Soviet Uzbekistan-born Leviev, according to a 2017 Haaretz article on his life and business, was renowned for breaking the De Beers cartel’s monopoly over the global diamond market in the 1980s. He also invested in business dealings in the Soviet Russian economy in the late 80s just before the Soviet Union collapsed, becoming extremely wealthy by purchasing cheapened formerly state-controlled assets.
Notably, as per the article, he made this Russia investment upon the advice of Rebbe Schneerson. He became one among many Jewish oligarchs who grew extremely rich off the USSR’s collapse in the 80s onwards. After notable strides in real estate and construction ‘from Wall Street to the West Bank’ (note that the Occupied Palestinian West Bank is the major site of illegal Israeli settlement expansion, often financed by foreign Jewish oligarchs) as the article states, he became a major funder of Chabad’s international activities as well.
Leviev has close business dealings with Jared Kushner, having sold him his 50.1% stake in the Times Square Building in New York for $295 million in May 2015. Investigators of ‘Trump-Russia ties’ are not likely to head down this wormhole as they did for years in futility seeking to show that Putin helped Trump win presidency.
Chabad’s own in the White House forges a new geostrategic path to war with Israel’s main adversary with the GCC in tow
Representing Israel, Chabad and Temple Activists in the White House, Kushner influenced the decision by Trump to illegally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s ‘capital’ in late 2017, causing much celebration among the Temple Activists and Israel in general.
Kushner was busy even prior to Trump’s election as president in drawing up the geopolitical blueprints for the scenario where his ‘Deal of the Century’ for ‘Middle East peace’ might be implemented. The anti-Iran Israeli-GCC open alliance was conceived by Kushner in late 2016 and meetings facilitated between Trump campaign officials and GCC officials.
Kushner also famously used direct personal contacts such as via WhatsApp with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to coordinate major joint strategic ventures, such as the Qatar embargo of 2017.
The strategic nature of GCC-Israel ties quickly translated fully from Kushner’s drawing boards to the geostrategic realm. This involved Israeli involvement in Yemen assisting the GCC assault there militarily and declarations by Netanyahu – who defended bin Salman during the Khashoggi controversy – of the need to counter GCC’s enemies, the Yemeni Zaydi Ansarullah faction (called ‘the Houthis’ by most).
The Israeli-GCC objective in Yemen is clear and seeks to achieve a long-standing Israeli objective now believed in by the GCC monarchs: facilitate a US invasion of Iran. Capturing Yemen’s vast coastline would allow the GCC to shift their vital oil and shipping infrastructure away from the Persian Gulf.
This is because Iran’s capability to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, thus blocking the oil and gas exports the GCC rely on so heavily, acts as a deterrent to an invasion of Iran by a US-Israel-GCC coalition. The energy and fuel disaster would be felt worldwide.
The plan is underway, albeit facing seemingly unwavering resistance in many places by the Houthis; the Saudis decided late last year to construct an oil port in al Mahra governorate which borders Saudi ally Oman. At roughly the same time, it also began preparations for an oil pipeline from its southwest through al Mahrah and to the Yemeni Port of Nishtun.
Russia’s perfect complementation of the Kushner-created GCC-Israel anti-Iran alliance with messianic Lubavitchers at the helm
As explored by the author in this January 2018 article, the GCC-Syria rapprochement seen in recent years is complimented fully by Russia’s repeated facilitation of Israeli aggression in Syria. Large amounts of Gulf money flowing in to Syria for its rebuilding will face little economic rivalry from heavily-sanctioned Iran, with the latter relying on its deep entrenchment in Syria’s military and intelligence circles and general popularity there to stay involved near its Israeli adversary’s frontiers.
To this end, al Masdar News, a Syrian outlet very close to the Syrian Arab Army, reported recently that Syria had replaced its long-time intelligence chief with very close ties to Iran at the behest of the Saudis who are ‘working to build an alliance in Syria with Russia and the UAE’.
Days after the al Masdar report, an 11 July 2019 article by Anton Mardasov, non-resident expert of the prestigious state-funded Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), described more examples of Russian attempts to make Syria acquiesce to Israeli demands vis a vis Iran’s presence there. Mardasov stated that the dismissed intel chief, Major General Jamil Hassan, angrily stormed out of negotiations in June 2019 organized by Russia between Israeli officers and the Syrian ‘5th Assault Corps’ – created in 2016 with Russian supervision and very accepting of ex-anti government rebels joining.
Declaring Iran to be Syria’s ‘true ally’, he had rejected the Israeli demands to incorporate the Russia-influenced 5th Assault Corps into the Syrian Arab Army and to move ‘pro-Iranian militias’ further away from Israel. The Russians backed both Israeli demands.
Such efforts from Russia, of course, are nowhere to be seen when it comes to halting Israel’s unabated aerial incursions into Syria. Thus, Russia’s presentation of its ‘diplomacy’ as ‘deconfliction’ makes apparent in its intent to curb Iran’s influence whilst expecting no reciprocity from Israel as well as the deceptive appearance it gives these efforts.
The Deal of the Century and the Lubavitchers’ slice of the pie
Jerusalem, site of the ‘Temple Moun’, becoming Israel’s ‘capital’ is the notable aspect of the Kushner Deal, which one might even describe as the Chabad deal. The GCC states is expected to provide the financial guarantees and transnational Jewry is expected to continue promoting Jewish migration to Israel to populate the settlements it builds as it destroys Palestinian homes.
Lubavitchers already hold considerable sway in Russia, even if less than the overall dominance Zionists exhibit in US politics. Large increases in Russian Jewish migration to Israel have been recorded in recent years, compared to lesser arrivals from other countries. 45% was the rise in 2018.
Russia has already been doing its part to prop up the brittle GCC as they deal with a host of challenges they are not accustomed to, from the more-than-potent retaliation in Yemen to their war effort from the Houthis, civil unrest in Bahrain, Iran’s deep integration into Iraq’s security apparatus and the probable upcoming backlash across the Muslim world for normalizing ties with Israel.
Russia evidently does have special credentials as a potentially major backer of the Deal and the creation of the regional circumstances that would allow it to pan out and progress toward the end game its architects have in mind.
An endgame that may well be shaped by the extremist views of a supremacist, messianic Jewish movement.