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What Israel Wants from Russia and What It Can Get

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What Israel Wants from Russia and What It Can Get

In the first part of 2019, the Israeli foreign policy achieved major successes. On March 26, US President Donald Trump signed a decree recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights. That’s not a stretch to call this move the most notable Israeli victory in the 21th century. The only comparable, but less important event was the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, which was also made by the Trump administration. These developments push Israel to adapt its diplomatic and military activity. This does not mean that Israeli actions would become more ‘peaceful’ or its leadership would abandon its expansionist desires. However, Tel Aviv needs some time to consolidate the gains on various fronts. This is the real reason of the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Moscow for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on April 4.

What Israel Wants from Russia and What It Can Get

In 2019, as well as in the previous years, the Russian leadership demonstrated its readiness for negotiations with Israel and was drawing up own plans in the Middle East taking into account Israeli interests. During the April 4 visit, Netanyahu would try to develop the recent Israeli successes on the diplomatic front. Israel pursues two key goals:

  • To get a silent Russian support over the Golan Heights issue;
  • To increase a diplomatic pressure on Iran and pro-Iranian groups in order to secure own forces deployed along the Golan Heights contact line and to prevent possible attacks by Iranian-led forces: from sabotage acts to open military incidents.

The Israeli military is planning to continue delivering strikes and carrying out special operations in Syria. The only thing, which can prevent this, is an active Russian position. This may include direct participation of Russian air defense forces in repelling aggressive Israeli strikes or even the involvement of Russian ground troops in the event of special or limited military operations by Israel.

This is all what Netanyahu wants from Putin. Formal statements regarding the need of political settlement of the Syrian conflict, preventing of humanitarian crises and joint security efforts as well as other high diplomatic phrases are a cover for solving tactical goals pursued by the Israeli leadership.

The situation in Syria itself is complicated. Various powers and factions are involved in shaping the future of the country. The main actors influencing the situation on the ground are the Damascus government, Russia, the US, Iran, pro-Iranian groups (first of all Hezbollah), Turkey, Israel, Kurdish armed groups and the Al-Qaeda-like “opposition” controlling Idlib. The rest concerned sides do have little or no tools to influence the situation directly. An effective peacemaking would be possible if the Damascus government, Iran, Russia and Turkey unite their efforts. They would be able to settle the conflict in a way, which would be acceptable for various parts of the Syrian population and the Syrian nation in general. Israel and the US are opposing to this scenario. The main declared reason is their opposition to Iranian influence. Additionally, Tel Aviv and Washington are concerned over mid-long term consequences of the expanding Turkish participation in the conflict and its growing influence in the region.

Nonetheless, the main short-term goal of Israel is to remove Iran from the political life of a new Syria and impact political developments in the country through intermediaries or even directly. This explains why sources close to the negotiations say that the goal of Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow is to discuss the settlement of the Syrian crisis in a way, which would be acceptable for Tel Aviv and Washington. Therefore, additionally to the aforementioned tactical goals, there is another goal – to shape the group of the key ‘peacemaking’ powers. This new format would include Russia, the US, Israel and Turkey. In this scenario, the Damascus government would be considered as a satellite of Russia and would have no real decision-making power. This situation would be similar to the type of relations between Washington and the Kabul regime.

An interesting fact is that Israel has what to propose to Russia. These are:

1. Guarantees from Israel and the Trump administration that they would ‘respect’ the pre-agreed level Russian influence in the region. Tel Aviv would suggest Moscow to consolidate its achieved success in Syria. This is mostly related to Moscow’s economic interests in the energy sector, construction (infrastructure projects), the agricultural industry and exploitation of natural resources (in particular phosphates). This scenario would also include the de-facto recognition of the Russian foothold in the Middle East by the US and Israel.

Another factor contributing to the Israeli plans is the Iranian behavior. Teheran has repeatedly demonstrated that it is not going to act as a real Russian ally in the economic and diplomatic spheres. Even Turkey, which had a deep conflict with Russia a few years ago, is acting much more friendly towards Russia in these spheres than Iran has ever acted. Examples of this situation is Ankara’s behavior towards the S-400 deal and the TurkStream project.

2. Tel Aviv could propose Moscow an additional funding via Israeli-affiliated global financial structures. These funding can be used to support Russian economic projects in the Middle East as well as projects inside Russia.

3. The Israeli leadership has a certain level of influence on the developments in Ukraine, where a civil war has been ongoing since 2014. On March 31, Ukraine held a first tour of the presidential election in which comedian Volodymyr Zelensky got an upper hand over incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. Israeli mainstream media outlets actively promote Zelensky as a person with Jewish roots. Furthermore, he is a protégé of oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi that has deep ties with the Israeli establishment. A second round of the presidential election is set to be held on April 21 and it’s highly likely that Zelensky will become the next president of Ukraine. This would give Israel an ace card in negotiations with Russia.

Netanyahu and Putin have a wide range of topics to discuss. Israel knows what it wants from Russia and what to propose to it. At the same time, the Kremlin understands that if it decides to accept Israeli proposals fully or partly, it will bore some obvious expenses. In particular, the Russian position as the main peacemaking power in the Middle East would be weakened. The main counter-argument to Israeli suggestions is the lack of trust to the US and Israel. There are no guarantees that Tel Aviv and Washington will accomplish own part of the deal. The recent decades demonstrated that the White House is not negotiate with Russia as with an equal partner on the international scene.

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  • Vince Dhimos

    Great analysis. However, you guys could use a little editing help.

    • Ken Nonickname Nonecknom Under

      It ain’t great at all. It’s from an alien POV. Spot the civil war reference.

      • Jens Holm

        It is allowed to have more then one oppinion i my world. From my perspectice You might even be a POV too :)

        To me a newssite is bringing news, where I can learn different perspectives and by that build by adding, subtracting and sometimes even replacing things.

        If I didnt it would be like never having left my balcony or garden.

        The matters here has many variables and not recipies for how long time to boil an egg remaing the same all over the world since they we as human beings was able to.

        So far I have learned a lot by reading here and has been writing by own – sometimes – crap. My life is like that. If I didnt learn all my life, I would be bored and it didnt make sense to grow older.

        Of course I also have a lot of unusefull crap in my brain. I can repair scooters, which hardly exist anymore and think the old computers were more funny then now, but try to see whats written. Even Islam starts with that, which make sense.

        And even Islam by reading the same book has different pespectives and in Sunni has at least 3 main oppinions by the same words about important matters.

  • Vince Dhimos

    “Teheran has repeatedly demonstrated that it is not going to act as a real Russian ally in the economic and diplomatic spheres.”

    Not sure what you mean by this. It is a surprise to me. Examples?

    • Dear Vince Dhimos, a detailed look at the Russian-Iranian relations is worth of a separate article. As to examples: 1) The situation with Hamadan Airbase when Iran temporarily allowed the Russian Aerospace Forces to use it to deliver strikes on ISIS, but then publicly changed its attitude. Actions of the Russian Aerospace Forces in eastern Syria were limited by this move. 2) The position of the Iranian delegation in the UN during discussions on documents “sensitive” for Russia.
      Sincerely yours,
      SF Team

      • Manuel Flores Escobar

        Dear SF…expain us who allow its airspace to Russian fighter jets in its way to Syria and Viceversa….who are fighting with ground troops ISIS and HTS in Syria?…Iran is another winner of the Syrian war and the defeat of ISIS in Irak….the diference is that Russia has economic ties with Turkey and Israel.. but nothing in comparison with being an ally of who controls the Hormuz straits…and with religious influence in Azerbajan, Irak, Syria an lebanon…

        • There is no room for additional explanations. For sure, Iran is another winner of the war, who defeated ISIS. For sure, Iran provided access to its airspace for Russia time by time. All these are covered. If you believe that SF stands against Iran you are wrong. Our goal is to provide an independent analysis of the sitaution using facts. We understand that the descriptino of facts depends on the political view of the descriptor. This is why we’ve always called on our readers and viewers to provide own positions. We are ready to publish such positions based on facts or reasnoable explanations of facts.
          Regarding the geopolitical position of Iran and his influence on the mentioned religious groups , you are right.
          Sincerely yours,
          SF Team

      • Vince Dhimos

        Thanks. I would very much appreciate your running an article explaining Russian-Iranian relations. It is indeed complicated and evolving. On the other hand, I do believe Russia will always support Iran’s right to trade in oil and will aid it in doing so, as reported here: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/russia-sanctions-illegal-iran-trade-oil-181103072241718.html

    • Robert Ferrin

      Have to agree for Russia is to close to Israel for the Iranians,and as far as the orange headed clown giving up something like the Golan Heights which belongs to Syria,lol good luck with that one…

  • Vince Dhimos

    “This new format would include Russia, the US, Israel and Turkey. In this scenario, the Damascus government would be considered as a satellite of Russia, without any kind of voting power. This would be similar to the type of relations between Washington and the Kabul regime.”
    Russia would never treat Syria as a satellite. For ex, Russia has never pressured Syria to keep out Iranians, despite Israeli-US pressure. I wonder if this author understands Russia’s position on sovereignty of nations.

    • Dear Vince Dhimos, we also think that Russia is not going to threat the Damascus government as satellite. This article mainly describes goals and desires of the Israeli leaderships.
      Sincerely yours,
      SF Team

    • Zionism = EVIL

      Russians are shameless arseholes controlled by Jews who kill dozens of Ruskies and Putin licks his master Nutter Yahoo’s arse. Shameful beyond belief.

      • Paul

        Yeah right, that’s why he intervened in Syria on Assad’s request directly throwing a spanner in the geopolitical goals of Israel and forcing them to come to the negotiating table. If Putin was Netanyahu’s servant than he would of stayed out of the conflict and let Israel complete it goals.

  • The article does not even answer the question in the title. So what can Israel get?

  • SFC Steven M Barry USA RET

    One can yield nothing to Jews. The only thing they understand is a punch to the face.

  • jm74

    Fail to see that the Golan Heights are of any business to Russia nor the bombing of Syria by israel. Any negotiations should be between Syria and israel, forget about the UN because they have had ample opportunity to enforce their mandates and to stop US, israeli and allies violations.

  • John Smith

    Neither has Israel when it deliberately endangered the Russian Il-20 and it’s crew and provoke Russia into attacking a French frigate. The Israeli are as devious and unreliable as the Americans.

  • El Mashi

    Hezbollah already defeated Israel. The Israeli occupation army suffers low moral. There is a plague of service avoidance in Israel.

  • ColinNZ

    Russia is not so stupid to agree deals with the non-agreement capable anglozionists.

  • Xoli Xoli

    Trump has already declare non stop war and hatred by declaring Jerusalem and Gola heights as Israel territory.Now Satanyahu is not asking but telling Putin to force Syrian forces to withdraw from contact line.

  • verner

    isrrael or the squatters need to contain the new alliance of turkey, iran backed with qatari money and based out of syria would be a deadly threat to the squatters – pls note how jared kushner – donny the dunce’s son in law – forced qatar to pay kushner’s family firm a cool 1 billion $ to prevent the company going into foreclosure – which actually would explain the formation of this alliance and qatar’s willingness to put up the money (qatar is preparing to participate in a gasline to europe together with Iran (does saudi like it) and Turkey made its qatari military base.ready when kushner threatened qatar of a saudi invasion unless he got the 1 billion $)

    That Iran is out for the squatters’ blood is nothing new and they should be applauded for it. that turkey similarly is aiming for the squatters jugular is not new but not widely known and when erdogan can get his hands round netanyahu’s neck, he won’t stop untill the corpse is dead, rest assured. and to this highly interesting soup you can add hezbollah, good soldiers and iraq, all of them now battletrained.

    and this is the primary reason why netanyahu again flew to moscow to beg (on his knees) Putin to intervene and stop the new alliance. netanyahu knows that moronistan won’t come dropping out of the sky to save the squatters when things turn hairy even if donny’s son in law would advocate such intervention. look at the national debt at more than 22000 billion bucks to understand why.

    • rafa374

      I wonder whether Qatar really did put up the money – and not Jewish/Israeli donors indirectly through them. (Note that Israel forced Qatar to withdraw Al Jazeera’s tv expose of the AIPAC lobby). I’ve long said that if I were in Adelson’s/Netanyahu’s shoes I’d have paid Trump for what he has done for Israel in the last 2 years, not just the tens of millions they have officially donated to his campaign, but at least a billion. Maybe they did pay/”loan” him a billion – it would have been a bargain from their POV. And now that they’re starting to annex the W Bank, I’d expect a lot more donations or “loans” . Trump is just getting started on his re-election campaign.

      • verner

        sort of still think qatar was forced to pay up, that the threat kushner used, to let loose the saudis, was sufficient reason for qatar to pay up and to make it less visible used the canadian company part of the qatari investment fund -and come to think of it, there used to be a lot of noise about kushner’s disastrous purchase of that property on manhattan and how the company couldn’t raise the money required and also the rumors that kushner used his time in the white house to arrange meetings with various arab-groups to secure the necessary financing. and all that has been put to bed since that no longer is discussed or even mentioned. so something happened.

        however the shenanigans going on inside the white house are really mind-boggling, think clinton and think trump. the last reasonably honest president is probably carter and then possibly g w bush, who, after all, seems to be ashamed of his time and what he started and just sits it out outside of the limelight. the rest are just criminally insane and corrupt to the core.

  • Sinbad2

    “what-israel-wants-from-russia”

    Some Jews take my money
    Some Jews take my clothes
    Some Jews get the shirt off my back
    And leave me with a lethal dose

    Yeah French Jews they want Cartier
    Italian Jews want cars
    American Jews want everything in the world
    You can possibly imagine

    Apologies to Mick and Keith.

  • Centurion Alejandro

    GO TO HELL ZIONIST !

  • zina ciceklic

    All that Russia has done in Syria, and what the Syrians consider Russians are heroes, will all be lost in two to three years. Since Russia has been in Syria, Israel has bombed Syria more than 200 times, and Russia has not reacted so that Siri will be the second Nagba, Palestine is the first.