August 15, 2008

The Israeli Connection: personal rather than strategic

YnetNews, a bilingual Hebrew-English website, has a useful article on the Israeli Connection in the Russian-Georgian war, emphasizing how personal relationships between the 29-year-old former Israeli Defense Minister of Georgia and Israeli arms merchants helped Israel blunder into a diplomatic disaster without the Israeli government as a whole realizing what it was getting into:

War in Georgia: The Israeli connection

Arie Egozi

The fighting which broke out over the weekend between Russia and Georgia has brought Israel's intensive involvement in the region into the limelight. This involvement includes the sale of advanced weapons to Georgia and the training of the Georgian army's infantry forces.

The Defense Ministry held a special meeting Sunday to discuss the various arms deals held by Israelis in Georgia, but no change in policy has been announced as of yet.

"The subject is closely monitored," said sources in the Defense Ministry. "We are not operating in any way which may counter Israeli interests. We have turned down many requests involving arms sales to Georgia; and the ones which have been approves have been duly scrutinized. So far, we have placed no limitations on the sale of protective measures."

Israel began selling arms to Georgia about seven years ago following an initiative by Georgian citizens who immigrated to Israel and became businesspeople.

"They contacted defense industry officials and arms dealers and told them that Georgia had relatively large budgets and could be interested in purchasing Israeli weapons," says a source involved in arms exports.

The military cooperation between the countries developed swiftly. The fact that Georgia's defense minister, Davit Kezerashvili, is a former Israeli who is fluent in Hebrew contributed to this cooperation.

"His door was always open to the Israelis who came and offered his country arms systems made in Israel," the source said. "Compared to countries in Eastern Europe, the deals in this country were conducted fast, mainly due to the defense minister's personal involvement."

Among the Israelis who took advantage of the opportunity and began doing business in Georgia were former Minister Roni Milo and his brother Shlomo, former director-general of the Military Industries, Brigadier-General (Res.) Gal Hirsch and Major-General (Res.) Yisrael Ziv.

Roni Milo conducted business in Georgia for Elbit Systems and the Military Industries, and with his help Israel's defense industries managed to sell to Georgia remote-piloted vehicles (RPVs), automatic turrets for armored vehicles, antiaircraft systems, communication systems, shells and rockets.

According to Israeli sources, Gal Hirsch gave the Georgian army advice on the establishment of elite units such as Sayeret Matkal and on rearmament, and gave various courses in the fields of combat intelligence and fighting in built-up areas.

'Don't anger the Russians'

The Israelis operating in Georgia attempted to convince the Israeli Aerospace Industries to sell various systems to the Georgian air force, but were turned down. The reason for the refusal was "special" relations created between the Aerospace Industries and Russia in terms of improving fighter jets produced in the former USSR and the fear that selling weapons to Georgia would anger the Russians and prompt them to cancel the deals.

Israelis' activity in Georgia and the deals they struck there were all authorized by the Defense Ministry. Israel viewed Georgia as a friendly state to which there is no reason not to sell arms systems similar to those Israel exports to other countries in the world.

As the tension between Russia and Georgia grew, however, increasing voices were heard in Israel – particularly in the Foreign Ministry – calling on the Defense Ministry to be more selective in the approval of the deals with Georgia for fear that they would anger Russia.

"It was clear that too many unmistakable Israeli systems in the possesion of the Georgian army would be like a red cloth in the face of a raging bull as far as Russia is concerned," explained a source in the defense establishment.

For inctance, the Russians viewed the operation of the Elbit System's RPVs as a real provocation.

"It was clear that the Russians were angry," says a defense establishment source, "and that the interception of three of these RPVs in the past three months was an expression of this anger. Not everyone in Israel understood the sensitive nerve Israel touched when it supplied such an advanced arms system to a country whose relations with Russia are highly tense."

That's pretty much how the world works: not through Conspiracies Carrying Out Grand Strategies, but through Affinity Networks. There is no Inner Party who understands all and has the future all plotted out. There are just a lot of hustlers on the make, guys who have friends who have friends.

The Israeli Connection has turned out to be a disaster for Israel, encouraging Israel's enemies. YNet reports:

In a speech marking the two-year anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah mocked Israel's political and military leadership.

"The entire front line of the army's brass stepped down because of the war. Gal Hirsch, who was defeated in Lebanon, went to Georgia and they too lost because of him," laughed Nasrallah.

Hirsch, a brigadier-general in the reserves, served as commander of the IDF's Galilee Division during the war and resigned in its wake. In recent years he consulted the Georgian army on the establishment of elite units and rearmament, and gave various courses in the fields of combat intelligence and fighting in built-up areas.

"Relying on Israeli experts and weapons, Georgia learned why the Israeli generals failed," proclaimed Nasrallah, "what happened in Georgia is a message to all those the Americans are seeking to entangle in dangerous adventures."

A Turkish news source reported that on a visit to Istanbul:

While speaking about a recent conflict between Georgia and Russia, Ahmadinejad once more addressed the United States. "It is not possible for the United States, which even failed to protect its ally Georgia, to attack Iran. The US could not even protect its own ally. US clout in world politics is decreasing. Moreover, it is in a major economic depression," Ahmadinejad said. "We will see that the US empire will crack and eventually collapse. There is nothing that the US can do against Iran," he added.

The Jerusalem Post reports from an Israel Foreign Ministry source, "Israel Fears War Could Hurt Iran Effort" because Russia is now less likely to cooperate with Israel and the U.S. in isolating Iran.

Georgia has turned out to be to Israel what Israel has been to the U.S.: the tail that wags the dog.

None of this was particularly planned; it just grew out of international networks, the kind of international networks that we here in the U.S. are supposed to never, ever notice.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Robert said...

The amazing discovery by the Russian Security Service that Vladimir Putin was actually born in the United States and kidnapped and raised in former Soviet Union makes him elgible to run for President of the United States. Finally we have a candidate we can rally around!

Anonymous said...

A lot of what you are saying in this post is true, but strategic considerations are more important than personal ones. I cannot think of one prominent Georgian Israeli in Israeli politics or business. There once was a member of knesset but he spent most of his time in Georgia doing business. On the other hand, Israel has had an Iranian president, Defense miniser and Chief of Staff and many businesmen, nevertheless relations between Israel and Iran, not so hot.

Anonymous said...

So we can all be relieved. The Russians didn't invade Georgia because they are expanding again, they invaded because the Jews made them do it.

Great, so now that that is out of the way, how are the Jews provoking Russia in Poland?

We just have to figure that out and then we can feel fine when they march back into there.

Find your 'Israeli/Jewish' connections where ever you imagine them, Russia is back and they are going to get all the territory back they held in Eastern Europe if we let them. When Russia manufactures a reason to take Ukraine it will have us wringing our hands and crying next and I am sure you'll find a nexus of Jewery there too.

They're threatening Poland now but something is holding them back. It couldn't have anything to do with Poland being a NATO member could it?

Anonymous said...

"They're threatening Poland now but something is holding them back. It couldn't have anything to do with Poland being a NATO member could it?"

It's worth reading Patrick Buchanan's article "Blowback from Bear-baiting" on Taki's Mag's website. It puts the Russian threat in its broader context.

Anonymous said...

"Polonium" Putin vs "We are the ones we've been waiting for" Obama.

Hmmm, my money's on pooty.

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve: Back in the USSR -- Brezhnev's USSR of the 1970s -- and for all I know long before that, Georgians and Jews were yoked together in the minds of ordinary Russians as the too-clever-by-half minorities. It was common to hear people talk disparagingly about "Shteins and Shvilis," those being the most common endings for Russian-Jewish and Russian-Georgian names. I don't know if the idiom is still current, but perhaps there is some deep old "Mercurian" affinity there. --- JD

Anonymous said...

I am hearing some sulky and/or exasperated voices here regarding Georgia and the Jews. Maybe y'all think those noticing the connection are anti-Jewish. I don't believe they are. They are anti-interventionists.

Most members of the American nation (including myself and my friends) support or are at least indifferent to the Jewish nation making aliyah and bringing order to the Middle East. Go do what you have to do in Judea and Samaria, OK?

We just don't want to pay with our sweat and blood. Why? Primarily because we are happy with America, which (as OUR homeland) we believe should be made a better place for us and our posterity.

Hyphenated Americans such as Jews, Kuwaitis, Croatians, and others are too keen on getting us embroiled in their petty struggles overseas, fighting for their territorial integrity while ignoring our own.

With all of Western Europe now being replaced by Muslims and with Americans soon to be a minority to Muslims, Hindus, Chinese, Mexicans and blacks, we Americans have much, much better things to focus on than saving Israel, Kuwait, Bosnia, South Ossetia, Darfur and the countless other squabbles all over the world.

Bottom line: if you are unable to take care of yourself, don't come looking for us to be your saviors. And if you try to diddle with us and persuade us that our "honor" is on the line, you can expect a severe reaction to such attempted a manipulation.

The fact that the Georgians sent a handful of troops to Georgia, for example, does not commit America to war with Russia, for "honor" or anything else.

Now I don't blame you fighting for the Jewish nation (or the Georgian nation, or the Darfurian nation, or whatever other nation you want to make aliyah to and defend).

Be my guest.

Just don't look to me and my friends of the American nation to fight it for you, not when we have a Mexican "infantry" invasion over our Southern borders as well as an airborne Chinese and Indian one.

You neo-cons can call me and my friends "isolationist" or "antisemites" if you like. Hell I wouldn't expect any less from you.

Just don't take us for fools. If you Jews were predicted to be a minority in Israel your OWN homeland in just 30 years as we Americans are predicted to be a minority in our own homeland, and if you Jews had thousands more pouring over your borders every G-D day, I know for a God-given fact you wouldn't be sending free Israeli troops to Georgia either no matter how hard some Israeli gentile fifth column insisted it was the only honorable thing to do.

And you know what? As a gentile I would support you when you, as Jews, told them, as gentiles, to go pound sand.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes one waits for the ripe fruit to drop, sometimes one shakes the tree, to encourage all the fruit, and sometimes; if the fruit is recalcitrant, one plucks it firmly and squashes it into cider.
Here endeth today's lesson in international diplomacy.

Anonymous said...

Here's some paleo blowback:

For some years now Eastern Europeans living in Western Europe and the US were a source of support for the paleo movement. With the American paleo support for Russia, I wonder how how that's going to turn out.

Anonymous said...

Jews had control of Russia between 1917 and 1946 and then again between 1985 and 2000. They're mad at Putin for wresting control from them in 2000. They'd like Russia back. When they lost control to Stalin in 1946 they started a cold war to get it back. Ideologies are fig leaves that are meant to hide the ethnic, biological nature of these struggles. When Stalin rejected the Baruch plan in 1946, they all turned from Communism to neoconservatism in a week. Paying too much attention to the personal relationships involved is like taking their ideologies on faith - it's missing the forest for the trees.

This Georgian war is a tiny front in the new cold war that's being fought for the same reasons as the first one. Russia is acting independent again and they want to get it back.

Of course there would be personal relationships, but I think they're a symptom of something larger.

Anonymous said...

I fixed #3's comments above:

Find your "Russian threats" where ever you imagine them, America is back and they are going to get every inch of territory in Eastern Europe if we let them. When America manufactures a reason to take Ukraine it will have us wringing our hands and crying next and I am sure you'll find a Russian threat there too.

America was taking Georgia but something is holding them back. It couldn't have anything to do with Russia having obliterated the Georgian army, could it?

The important thing to remember is that Eastern Europe is very important to America, since we have such strong cultural ties to those countries and since they are our geographic buffer region.

Anonymous said...

It's worth reading Patrick Buchanan's article "Blowback from Bear-baiting" on Taki's Mag's website. It puts the Russian threat in its broader context.

What's really sad about this is that Pat's article is an elementary school level exercise in logic and politics, and not much else.

...But it's very much the sort of thing supra-average American adults need to read. Shameful.

Anonymous said...

It's worth reading Patrick Buchanan's article "Blowback from Bear-baiting" on Taki's Mag's website. It puts the Russian threat in its broader context.

Here's a choice quote:

"When Moscow pulled the Red Army out of Europe, closed its bases in Cuba, dissolved the evil empire, let the Soviet Union break up into 15 states, and sought friendship and alliance with the United States, what did we do?

American carpetbaggers colluded with Muscovite Scalawags to loot the Russian nation. Breaking a pledge to Mikhail Gorbachev, we moved our military alliance into Eastern Europe, then onto Russia's doorstep. Six Warsaw Pact nations and three former republics of the Soviet Union are now NATO members."

full article

This reality stands in stark contrast with the fiction that emanates from Limbaugh, Hannity, etc.

Anonymous said...

The Russians hardly need any more excuses to persecute the Jews. There is no Zionist conspiracy here, just two plucky little pro-American countries standing up to barbarians. It's hardly surprising that Israelis have a strong interest in Georgia's future.

Anonymous said...

It's so bizarre how Jews always tell European people not to notice what they do. You present cold hard facts, and they accuse you of "imagining them." It's like the wizard of oz saying "don't look behind the curtain."

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

They're threatening Poland now but something is holding them back. It couldn't have anything to do with Poland being a NATO member could it?"

That and the fact that the russians might actually believe we'd honor our treaty commitments to Poland, whereas they probably wouldn't take seriously the notion that we would go to war for the ancestral homeland of Joseph Stalin, whether Georgia was a part of NATO or not.

If we brought Burkina Faso into NATO, would anyone believe that America would go to war to protect it? Expanding NATO weakens NATO.

And our alliance with Poland (which alliance I very much support) is the result of our admiration for thier pluck, our recognizing that they got screwed by their bigger neighbors, and - very importantly - the not insignificant number of polish americans who have voted as a bloc during the last century. How long can that last? As whites slip into the minority in this nation, how long will our historical affinity with any european nation last? I wouldn't expect the newly minted americans from south of the border to give a hoot about Poland, let alone Georgia.

Anonymous said...

Not all Jews are anti-Russian. Far from it. I heard a Russian Jew call Rush Limbaugh this past week to defend Russian's actions in Georgia.

But Steve is absolutely right about ethnic networks. The point isn't that all members of an ethnic group are in on a conspiracy, only that networks tend to flow along ethnic lines.

People of NW European ancestry are the sole group that has deracinated themselves to the point where they don't form these kind of networks easily and have a hard time understanding how others do.

Anonymous said...

Poland has been on the take from the US, EU and NATO for quite a while. They have cashed in much more than their weight justifies. I doubt NATO or the US would go to war for Poland. Poland is not really a heavyweight, just a shrill place sitting on 50% territory which belongs to the German 2nd Reich (Weimar). Many Germans still have legal claims on their private properties in Poland which were just nationalised by the Russians and Poles without compensation. And the legal and political battle about this is far from over. Russia needs to hand out some territory to Poland as well. The reason Poland attacks Germany so often is because they know they are sitting on a powder keg. When the German private property claims become mainstream Poland will be halved.

Anonymous said...

American carpetbaggers colluded with Muscovite Scalawags to loot the Russian nation. Breaking a pledge to Mikhail Gorbachev, we moved our military alliance into Eastern Europe, then onto Russia's doorstep. Six Warsaw Pact nations and three former republics of the Soviet Union are now NATO members."

Things are a bit more complicated than Buchanan's line of argument here.

1) Truth: Andrei Shleifer and Jeffrey Sachs and the rest of the Harvard gang set up Russia to be looted by Gusinsky, Berezovsky, Abramovsky, Khordokovsky, et alia (6/7 of the oligarchs were Jewish). Shleifer was indicted on corruption charges...and Jeffrey Sachs was the "brains" behind Live Aid, to "end" extreme poverty in Africa.

So: looting of Russia did happen.

2) Regarding Warsaw Pact/ex-USSR nations joining NATO...I think an old school anti-communist Buchanan has to know that a lot of those countries (Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, etc.) reasonably *hated* and *feared* Russia after being under the Soviet boot for so many years. Of course they want to join the US led alliance for security guarantees. Buchanan was all for them back in the day when they were resisting the Soviet boot, so what's changed now?

3) Obviously, what's changed is that Russia has done a 180. As the USSR it was exporting leftism all over the world. Today, it's the most right wing nationalist white country. As such Buchanan is sympathetic to it. This is understandable, though one needs to keep in mind that Russia acts in addition to being acted upon.

I think it's possible to have a reasonable stance on Russia. Russian nationalism is good when it's constructive & defensive -- devoted to building up Russia's economy & fertility, which goes hand in hand with ejecting the oligarchs. And it's bad when it leads to cyberwar against a modernizing, prosperous country like Estonia, or riots in Latvia.

4) A ticking time bomb in a lot of these countries (Georgia definitely included) is the population of ethnic Russians. Many of them were forcibly moved there by Stalin and the Soviets to Russify the regions, kind of like China is doing with Tibet. These Russians are often seen as Soviet legacies by the indigenes, and have a habit of rioting and looting when the host countries do something that they perceive to be against Russia -- for example, see the riots against the Soviet Story film (

In this respect, Russian minorities are kind of like Muslims, except with a nuclear power at their back.

Anonymous said...

One minor historical point,

Putin did not “throw out” all of the Jewish Oligarchs of Russia as some paleocons claim he did. Putin only went after a handful of the Oligarchs who were Jewish primarily because they weren’t playing ball – politically and economically speaking - with the Kremlin. Putin did not go after the vast bulk of the remaining Jewish Oligarchs because Putin made it clear who was boss once he was first elected President. Once Putin asserted himself, the Oligarchs just acclimated themselves to Putin’s rule and Putin and the remaining Oligarchs seem fine with the current relationship.

Anonymous said...

The oligarchs may have taken advantage of the chaos to take over Russian industries, but the situation isn't much better today; the only difference is that the siloviki have killed or chased out the oligarchs, so now the siloviki are the new oligarchs. Khordokovsky is a Russian patriot, who could have easily left Russia - or become a pawn of Putin - and kept his fortune and his freedom. Instead he has gone to prison in Siberia and chosen to fight his trumped up charges through the courts, because he has (a perhaps misplaced) faith in Russia's potential to be a civilized, European country.

Anonymous said...

Khordokovsky is a Russian patriot

HAHAHAHHA. That's why the "American patriot" Richard Perle went to bat for him, right? Because they're both Russian and American patriots. Not because they're both of the same ethnicity. That would have nothing to do with it.

Staff Writer Richard Perle, a hawkish policy adviser whose voice is heard in the Pentagon, has called for Russia to be expelled from the Group of Eight industrialized countries over the arrest of Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

If you believe that Khordokovsky or Perle have any allegiance whatsoever to the countries they temporarily inhabit, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. It's no coincidence that Gusinsky made haste for Israel as soon as he could; Khordokovsky just couldn't get out in time:

Russian media tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky has flown from Spain to Israel, apparently in a new bid to escape the clutches of Moscow prosecutors

No doubt the Ashkenazim want to make Khordokovsky into a martyr, just like they made the Communists blacklisted by Hollywood into martyrs. Eventually, they got back into power and demonized anyone and everyone who cracked down on Communists. But of course Venona, Sam Dickstein, etcetera show that there *were* Communists -- and that McCarthy was mostly right.

Samuel Dickstein (February 5, 1885 – April 22, 1954) was a Democratic Congressional Representative from New York, and a New York State Supreme Court Justice. He played a key role in establishing the committee that would become the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which he used to attack fascists, including Nazi sympathizers, and suspected communists. Unbeknownst to his contemporaries, he was on the payroll of the Soviet Union's spy agency in 1937-40.

That's the same story here. Any crackdown on their predictable shenanigans in any country means demonization of the responsible authority figure, whether it be Charles Lindbergh, Joseph Breen (who enforced the Hays Code, temporarily staving off Ashkenazi influence for the ~20 years of Hollywood's golden age), Joe McCarthy -- or Vladimir Putin.

No one can criticize or oppose Jewish influence without being accused of genocidal intent. But anyone can point out that (say) the Russians were way too aggressive without anyone accusing them of wanting to kill all Russians.

because he has (a perhaps misplaced) faith in Russia's potential to be a civilized, European country.

Translation: the Ashkenazim want Russia to be a "civilized" country (with "press freedom") for the same reason they want it in China -- so they can "respond to stereotypes".
This will result in the predictable onslaught of stories about honor student illegal aliens, peaceful Muslims, and the racist/sexist/homophobic males who need to change their culture for the benefit of the immigrants.

In today's world, a press which is not explicitly nationalist will be controlled by the Ashkenazis. And an Azhkenazi press means an anti-nationalist press.

Anti-nationalism goes hand in hand with anti-biological sentiment. Wherever the Ashkenazim live, they feel the need to pronounce themselves indistinguishable from the majority population. This starts with the process of attacking people for even stating that someone is Jewish. "What does THAT have to do with it!", comes the predictable outcry.

Yet every other group is labeled. For example, head scratchers are regularly published on Condoleeza's blackness or Bill Richardson's Mexican ancestry...but it is career death to start rattling off Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle, Ledeen, Sharansky...and by the time you get to Abram Shulsky and the Office of Special Plans, you've done enough labeling and pattern recognition for a lifetime.

Don't take my word for it -- it is laid out in many Jewish publications. See "responding to stereotypes" here in the JPPPI's plan for China:

And see the goals of George Soros' Open Society here:

Media Program

The Media Program assists in the development and establishment of media systems marked by freedom, pluralism, and the inclusion of minority voices and opinions.

It's never about the greatest good for the greatest number for these guys. Never about leaving the culture and traditions of ancient nations unmolested. It is always about "minority rights"...meaning the benefit of a small fraction of society at the expense of the majority. How coincidental that they happen to always be part of that small fraction...

Baloo said...

A good rule of thumb is that plucky little countries aren't to be trusted.

Anonymous said...

"headache said...

Many Germans still have legal claims on their private properties in Poland which were just nationalised by the Russians and Poles without compensation. And the legal and political battle about this is far from over."

I suppose the Poles could then counter-sue for lost wages, damages, and pain-and-suffering for the millions of Poles whom the Germans killed in WWII. They might also throw in the bill for rebuilding Warsaw, which the Germans systematically razed.

"Russia needs to hand out some territory to Poland as well."

Primarily, it would be the Ukraine that would have to return territory to Poland. But I don't think that's going to happen either.

World War II is over, and it'd be best to let sleeping dogs lie: borders as they are, and facilitate the exmigration of minorities who find themselves on the wrong side of the border. Europe has far bigger problems than 60 year old grudges.