(Editor’s note: The supposed divestment of Israel from the communist bloc appears to have been a carefully crafted ruse to fool the West into thinking Israel was on its side. Eskin either doesn’t know this or is covering up the ongoing “honeymoon” between Israel and the communist countries to further this deception, which is still at play. Dialogue was never lost between Israel and Russia, nor was there ever a duality. The alleged Israel-Russia split appears to have been crafted in a similar way to the fictitious Sino-Soviet split—part of the Soviet “scissors strategy”.)
By Avigdor Eskin
Translated from the Russian
Shortly after leaving the post of Chief of the General Staff of Israel in 1983, Refael Eitan gave an interview to Israeli radio and spoke about his musical tastes. “Most of all I love listening to the marches of the Red Army ensemble,” the hero of all Israel’s wars shared with the audience. – I tried to instill in our army the fighting spirit of the Russians. It always helped in battle. ”
After leaving the service, Eitan created the movement for the revival of Zionism, Tsomet, which managed to win eight seats in the Knesset in the 1991 elections. The retired general was a staunch opponent of any concessions to the Arabs, advocated the refusal of American aid and fought against the introduction of the mondialist culture into Israeli society. In this regard, the origin of Eitan is interesting. His parents, the Orlovs, are Russian people who came to the Holy Land at the beginning of the century. Neither they themselves nor their son ever converted to Judaism and considered themselves Russian. This did not stop Eitan from feeling like an Israeli, fighting for the revival of Zionism and rising to the highest post in the Israel Defense Forces.
Russian-Jewish symbiosis permeates the entire history of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel. The Zionist movement, created at the end of the 19th century, was initially led by liberal nationalists from Germany. This category includes Herzel, Wolfson and Nordau. They were carriers of the European spirit, cut off from their Jewish roots. Their arrival in the Zionist movement was a reaction to the Dreyfus trial and other manifestations of anti-Semitism in Europe at the time. “Since Europe doesn’t want us, we need to create our own state,” they thought so.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the Zionist movement has increasingly smelled of the Russian spirit. The overwhelming majority of immigrants to the then Palestine were Jews of the Russian Empire, who quickly took leading positions in the management of the Zionist organization.
It should be noted that already at the beginning of the XIX century. a movement began among the Jews for the return to the Land of Israel and the revival of their state there.
All the forerunners of Zionism were religious ascetics with a messianic bias. They advocated a conciliar existence within the framework of the idea of translating into life the words of the prophets about deliverance at the end of days. The pioneers were the students of the legendary Vilna Gaon. They were followed by groups of Russian Hasidim, starting with Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk. By the end of the 19th century, even before the formation of the Zionist movement, large religious centers existed in the land of Israel in Jerusalem, Hebron and Safed. Dozens of agricultural communes became the forerunners of the kibbutzim. The foundations of future cities were laid – Petah Tikva, Rishon LeTsiyon, Rehovot. All this was done by the natives of the Russian Empire.
In the early 1920s, the Russian factor became dominant in the Zionist movement, which was divided into a secular majority and a religious minority. The latter based their worldview solely on traditional Jewish sources and showed no interest in the great revolutionary achievements of the early twentieth century. Their comrades-in-arms, estranged from ritualism, were clearly divided into red and white.
The socialist wing of the Zionist movement was headed by the future first prime minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion. He welcomed the ideas of the Bolsheviks and the October Revolution. Later, Ben-Gurion and his followers took a neutral position in relation to the USSR, which eventually grew into rejection of the Stalinist regime. (Among the Zionist socialists, the HaShomer Ha-Tsair-Mapai movement, which opposed Ben-Gurion within the socialist wing of the movement, continued to defend the pro-Soviet line until 1956.)
Belykh was headed by an outstanding writer and orator from Odessa, Vladimir Evgenievich Zhabotinsky. An opponent of Bolshevism and a nationalist, he enjoyed fantastic popularity among the Jews of Eastern Europe, but lost to the calculating and power-hungry Ben-Gurion in the struggle for supremacy in the Zionist movement. In the 30s. in the most British-occupied Palestine, Jabotinsky’s comrade-in-arms Aba Ahimeir, an intellectual and adorer of Russian culture, had great authority. He led the toughest and most radical wing of the white Jewish passionaries, advocating the expulsion of the British from the Holy Land, but they managed to drown out his voice, laying slander against him. Akhimeir was acquitted in court on charges of complicity in the murder of the prominent socialist Arlozorov, but his fighting spirit did not return. Since the end of the 30s, he limited himself to publicistic activities and weekly meetings of lovers of Russian culture.
By the end of the 30s, the Zionist movement was predominantly focused on the red and white passionaries of the Russian orientation, but even then the influence of Chaim Weizmann, who relied entirely on the British, was noticeable. From year to year he will incline his colleagues to obedient policy in relation to the interests of the sea power. Weizmann was in the minority, but his influence was reinforced by connections with the British elite and with the big businessmen of the empire.
The thirties were marked by Britain’s anti-Jewish policies, which restricted Jewish immigrants to Palestine to a minimum. Hundreds of thousands, or even more, could then find refuge in the land of Israel and avoid extermination in the gas chambers, if it were not for the White Book issued by the British. Contrary to the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the 1922 League of Nations decision, the British decided to prevent the creation of an independent Jewish state. Imperial interests persuaded them to side with the Arabs, who declared war on the Jewish movement to return their ancestors to their homeland.
In the mid-1930s, the “white Zionists” created two paramilitary groups to resist the Arab pogroms and drive out the British occupiers. The ideologist of ETZEL Vladimir Zhabotinsky was declared a criminal by the British and until his death in 1940 could not enter Palestine, to the delight of his socialist opponents. From the depths of Etzel emerged the fighting movement of Lekhi, in the ranks of which the “whites” represented by Israel Eldad and his group coexisted with the “reds” represented by Nathan Elin-Mor and the future Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. In the early years, the legendary Abraham Stern was at the head of LYOKHI – religious and white at the same time, who wrote poetry in Russian until the end of his days. He was captured and killed by the British in 1940. His followers fought against the British occupation uncompromisingly and did not lay down their arms even during the Second World War.
The victory of the USSR over Germany strengthened the position of the “Reds” in the Zionist movement. The supplies of weapons by the countries of the communist bloc were carried out not only to the main combat detachments of the Jewish settlers (Haganah Ben-Gurion and PALMAKH), but also to the militant LEKHI, who did not shy away from reprisals against the invaders by partisan methods. It so happened that Israel was created despite the efforts of the British and without support from the United States (America imposed an embargo on arms supplies to Palestine), but with the active participation of the USSR.
However, the honeymoon between the Zionists and the countries of the communist bloc did not last long. Beginning in 1948, Stalin introduced a policy of official anti-Semitism and destroyed all centers of Jewish culture. It is planned to deport all Jews to Birobidzhan immediately after the completion of the “doctors’ case”. Emigration to Israel is not allowed. A consequence of this policy of suppression of Jews in the USSR is a cooling in relations with Israel, which did not remain indifferent to the ongoing terror in the USSR at the declarative and diplomatic level. It was then that Ben-Gurion decides not to rely on relations with the communist countries anymore, but to seek allies in the West. America has long maintained a hostile neutrality towards Israel.
The main ally from the 1950s to the 1967 Six Day War was Gaullist France, which was firmly opposed to the United States. It was France that helped Israel become one of the first nuclear powers in the world.
After Nasser’s victory in Egypt, Moscow is totally focusing on relations with the Arabs. Diplomatic relations with Israel continue, but nothing more. Nasser is awarded a gold star in Moscow. The USSR embarks on a policy of “fraternal aid” that resulted in tens of billions thrown out and culminated in the expulsion of Soviet advisers from Egypt in 1973 (pragmatic Arabs are guided only by whoever pays the most – in this the United States has no competitors).
The active involvement of the United States in Middle East affairs began after the Six Day War, when the USSR broke off diplomatic relations with Israel and increased support for Arab regimes and Palestinian terrorists. In response, Israel began to strengthen its strategic partnership with the United States, which continues to this day. An additional factor that influenced the rapprochement between Jerusalem and Washington was the campaign for the freedom of Soviet Jews to leave for Israel. The Kremlin responded to the awakening of the traditionalist and national spirit among Soviet Jews with persecution, which made them hostages of the United States and the policy of detente between the two superpowers in the early 70s.
All attempts by Israel to restore dialogue and diplomatic relations with Moscow ended in failure. The confrontation between the USSR and the United States has become the dominant factor in the Middle East plexus of contradictions. Israel has become the most reliable partner of the United States, ahead of all other Washington partners in terms of the “pro-American” vote in the UN. Following this course, Israel laid an ideological time bomb under its Zionist foundations, but not of its own free will – the logic of geopolitics and the ill-conceived strategy of the USSR in the Middle East pushed it to this.
But since the late 1980s, tension between Moscow and Jerusalem has developed into mutually supportive relations. However, Israel remains in the US sphere of influence, and Russia does not even claim a serious role in the Middle East. Thus, relations between Israel and Russia continue to be dual in nature.
Understanding and sympathy for Israel has sharply increased against the background of the events in Chechnya, but the cooling of relations between Russia and the United States may lead to a worsening of the climate between Moscow and Jerusalem. The similarity of interests in many areas does not change the dominant factor of Israel’s strategic alliance with America, which is in many ways detrimental to the Jewish state in its struggle for survival.
In Russia they know and appreciate the fact that the Israelis were the first to provide effective assistance to Vojislav Karadzic in Yugoslavia, ahead of even the Russians. Serbian television continued to broadcast during the most stringent sanctions period via Israel’s Amos satellite. Natural Jewish solidarity with the Serbs is evident at all stages of the conflict in the Balkans. Even several volunteers from Israel, immigrants from the USSR, fought on the side of the Serbs.
It is also important to note the fact that even official Jerusalem refused to condemn Russia for military actions against Chechen bandits, contrary to the position of the United States and all other Western countries. (In this regard, the disappointment of many Israelis with the pro-Palestinian position of the Russian Foreign Ministry is understandable.)
It should be noted that for more than ten years the Jews in Russia have enjoyed full rights and the trace of state anti-Semitism is gone. Interestingly, recent events in the Middle East, which have awakened an unprecedented wave of anti-Semism in the West – the most powerful since the Second World War, have not led to a single anti-Jewish uprising in Russia. The similarities between Basayev’s and Khattab’s militants and the rebellious Palestinian apostles of the sword of Mohammed are all too obvious.
An attempt to predict the future of relations between Russia and Israel largely depends on the understanding of the American factor. More than twenty percent of Israel’s five million Jews were born in the USSR, and many of them have the warmest feelings for Russia. Americanization of Israel abhorrent to them in essence. The number of immigrants from the United States in Israel does not even reach the hundred thousandth level. Moreover, most of the arrivals are religious traditionalists seeking refuge in the Holy Land from the spiritual enslavement of “Erev Ravu – Great confusion”.
The well-known New York-born Rabbi Meir Kahane focused on completely ending Israel’s dependence on the United States and rejecting American culture, in which he saw the main enemy destroying the nation from within.
American penetration into Israel was carried out gradually. To understand the Israeli mentality in the past, it is worth considering the significance of the refusal to issue entry visas to the Beatles in 1964. The country was dominated by the passionate spirit of the Red and White Zionists. Half of the population was made up of traditionalists from Arab countries. American culture and the American way of life were completely alien to Israel until the early seventies.
The strategic partnership with the United States was not limited to military and political cooperation. American culture began to be brought into the land of Zionism and traditionalism. Instead of Russian and French, English with an American accent became the second language. Americans are good at turning their economic aid into a method of spiritual enslavement. Gradually, the Israelis began to think in American terms. It can be said that almost the entire ruling elite of the country, together with the press, the judiciary and the university elite, have turned into American liberals. Hence the strange policy of concessions to the Arabs, which has been going on for many years. The main argument of the Israeli land sellers was and remains the threat of a break with America in case of intransigence.
For the last ten years, Israeli liberals have been preaching the idea of ”post-Zionism” – an adapted version of the new world order and the “end of ideology” – made in the USA. Liberals bury the devotion of the first settlers along with the past. Defeatism is being introduced under the slogan “there is no military solution to the conflict.” Israel’s military successes, which amazed the whole world, are declared to be the lot of the past, and the world in its American interpretation is a window to the future. This has already led to a weakening of Israel from within, which can be compared with the entropy of Russian society in the 90s. Americanization versus Zionism. This is the essence of the struggle for the future of the Jewish state.
However, the process of subordinating the national will to American interests has recently met with an ever more decisive rebuff. Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, facing forcible deportation if the “peace process” under the auspices of Washington continues, are increasingly voicing their rights. This peculiar Jewish Cossacks consists mainly of traditionalists who despise the American way of life and thought. For them, the “new world order” is not just a streamlined slogan, but a direct threat to the continuation of life in their homes and villages. Today they are supported by most of the people.
Over the past ten years, a yawning chasm has formed in Israel between the liberal American elite and the people themselves. All candidates from major parties promise their fellow citizens before the elections a tough and independent policy in the spirit of traditional Zionism. Likud nominee Netanyahu promised to refuse handouts from Washington. But a couple of months pass after the election, and a boa constrictor in the form of the need to continue the “process” forces to follow the lead of the United States. In fact, Israel’s leaders fear American economic sanctions and mistakenly believe that the people would rather tolerate humiliation and abandonment of the Zionist ideals of settling the country than agree to lower their standard of living. Eternal choice – spirit or matter, national identity or humanitarian aid.
We can safely talk about the abyss and misunderstanding between the authorities and the people, relying on the facts of recent years. Yitzhak Rabin’s revolutionary steps towards the Americanization of the region through concessions to Arafat’s gangs led to a deadly assassination attempt on Rabin and the defeat of his colleague Shimon Peres in the 1996 elections. The Likud leader Netanyahu, who continued the line of his predecessors, was forced to go to early elections after an agreement in Wye Plantation on further concessions. The right-wing factions deprived him of the majority in the Knesset and once again proved the “impassability” of the policy of concessions to globalism. A similar fate has already befell Ehud Barak, who defeated Netanyahu. He is likely to face defeat in the upcoming elections.
These dramatic collisions prove the fragility of the positions of supporters of Washington’s line in Israel. The unwillingness to endure the ongoing process of the country’s disintegration has not yet reached a revolutionary point, but the conflict between the people and the top is evident. This is due in no small part to the structure of Israeli society. More than a million immigrants from the USSR are in their majority opposed to the peace process under the auspices of Washington. Half of the country’s Jewish population is made up of immigrants from Eastern countries, predominantly traditionalist-minded. A quarter of the Jewish population are strict traditionalists who oppose mondialism at a very internal level.
They are opposed by a minority of secular liberal-minded Israelis. But it is precisely this minority that constitutes the ruling elite. Thus, government policy is being adjusted by the elite, which does not reflect the wishes of the overwhelming majority. An electoral victory for the right never meant a fundamental change in politics. The Washington-controlled press and bureaucratic elite have always pushed political leaders in the right direction.
Change in Israel is approaching. Popular fatigue from the daily Palestinian terror will inevitably spill out – against the entire ruling elite, if they do not realize the need to change course. The rise to power of the anti-Israel Bush administration will inevitably spur and accelerate the process of distance from America. Already today, some experts are talking about the possibility of a strategic rapprochement between Israel and Russia.
On December 21, 2000, in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in the celebration of the Jewish holiday of liberation from the dominion of the Roman Empire (which is also the embodiment of modern mondialism in Judaism) during the existence of the Second Temple. The President himself lit the menorah in the Jewish center and in his speech noted the closeness of the Hanukkah ideas to the Russians. Putin was well aware of the significance of his action. The non-coincidental choice of Hanukkah to visit the Jewish community looked like a wish to those present to win again in the struggle against the destructive tendencies of modern mondialism.
The topic of the prospects for relations between Russia and Israel in the light of Bush Jr.’s coming to power in the United States was discussed at a meeting between the leading Israeli opposition politician Benjamin Netanyahu and the Russian President immediately after the festive evening in the Jewish center. Interesting was Putin’s reaction to Netanyahu’s speech, in which the former prime minister assessed the Islamist terror and drew a parallel between Chechen militants and Palestinian bandits. The President of Russia said in response that he would like to add a lot to the words of the guest, but the position does not allow. By this he said more than he could express in direct speech.
The growing signs of climate change between Moscow and Jerusalem and the beginning of a real dialogue between Russian sovereigns and passionary Zionists have not yet brought about changes in the geopolitical orientations of both countries. The Israeli government continues the policy of a “new Middle East” in the framework of the American concept of a “New World Order”. Submission to the will of Washington and the abandonment of Zionism in favor of globalism run like a red thread through all of Israel’s recent decisions. Of course, while the top of the Jewish state is looking for salvation in the help of the country of “Erev Rav – Great Confusion”, it is difficult to imagine a quick rapprochement with Putin’s increasingly consciously Eurasian Russia.
But there is another aspect of the problem that will be decisive. Russia has not yet made a strong-willed decision to regain its superpower status. There is reason to believe that President Putin intends to embark on this difficult path of gaining world greatness, and this will result in a different foreign policy doctrine. Then the time will come to reconsider the role of Russia in the Middle East. This hour is approaching.
The day is also approaching when the discrepancy between the anti-Zionist and pro-American policies of the Israeli elite and the aspirations of the people will develop into an open conflict between the government as a whole and the people. In Israel, this is unlikely to turn into bloody riots, but the “velvet coup” is not far off there. The leaders will not be able to continue for long the line of transferring the management of the country to the “international community” and international capital. In the forefront will be immigrants from the USSR, who will not lose much, from a purely economic point of view, in the event of US sanctions against Israel. This is where the moment will come, which can be used to establish strong ties between the emerging power of Russia and the highly developed Israel – a nuclear power, which is now one of the five strongest.
A superficial look at what is happening will not stop at the many signs of the possibility of such a development of events, but the logic of Russia’s ascent to greatness will dictate the acquisition of traditionalist allies as opposed to mondialism. The strengthening of Zionist and religious foundations in Israel could change the attitude towards the Jewish state of many skeptics and enemies, like India and Iran, for example. Israel’s military potential is attractive to any major geopolitical alliance. All of these factors can allow the Jewish state to quickly find new friends after its break with Washington.
You can describe in detail, in the most rosy colors, the onset of a new era for Israel and world Jewry in its majority. However, all this is premature. There should be a signal from Russia that the rules of the game are changing. Natives of the USSR in Israel and other countries should feel that Russia will be placing bets on them in the near future. This should have concrete expressions already now, such as, for example, the initiative of the Russian Foreign Ministry on a duty-free procedure for the return of Russian citizenship to everyone who left the USSR and expresses readiness from now on to be loyal citizens of the Russian state. It is difficult to overestimate the significance of such a step.
While the top officials confer and hesitate, the ideologists and developers of the neo-Eurasian project (for example, A.G. Dugin) could immediately begin building a conceptual geopolitical scheme for Israel’s participation in the strategy of changing the world balance in favor of Land and creating a new atmosphere that rejects the commitment dead-end liberal mondialist attachments of the past (both in Russia and in Israel).
All fateful achievements in history began with the initiative of the intellectual elites – and only then it becomes the property of the masses and peoples.
It seems that events are developing so quickly that we run the risk of being unprepared in the face of essentially new schemes of the world order. Therefore, it is necessary to start working immediately in the field of re-evaluating the Russian-Jewish symbiosis. This will include a fundamental change in the status of Jewish oligarchs within Russia. The new configuration will allow them to solidify with Israel, thus indirectly protecting Russian interests. In this case, an orientation toward the United States, as was the case with Gusinsky, will not only meet with resistance from Russian power structures, but will automatically be viewed by Israel as undermining its own interests. Russian-speaking Jews around the world, locked in an alliance between Russia and Israel, will become an ideal conductor of friendship between our two countries and peoples.
This will completely resolve what remains of the Jewish question in Russia, and this factor is seen as important in view of the noticeable participation of Russian Jews in media affairs, in culture and in political structures. The envisaged changes will leave no room for them to remain committed to Atlanticist values when Russia and Israel jointly find themselves in the world vanguard of the traditionalist and patriotic idea.
The influential Jewish community in the United States will also face difficult choices. Among these people, undoubtedly, there will be many adherents of American mondialism, contrary to their own national interests. But even here we can confidently talk about the most important intellectual and financial potential for promoting the Eurasian project. Recall that back in the 40s, the greatest achievements of the USSR in lobbying and even in intelligence in the United States were associated with Jews. Today, Zionist and religious Jewish circles in America are increasingly uncomfortable with the position of the Washington administration on resolving the conflict in the Middle East. A cry from Israel will be effective for many of them.
So, having listed the main vectors of the development of Russian-Jewish relations in the light of rapid changes, we will look forward to the identification of a new trend on a global scale, when the universal idea of the Great Russians will find an ally in the person of the ascetics of the centuries-old idea of saving Israel and through Israel. One can envy those who will give this a real impetus. Their names will be inscribed in the history of mankind in golden letters.