Some mainstream sources will be provided at the end of the post, as I know this post will go against the conventional wisdom prevailing currently. However, it is becoming possible to see an alliance between Israel and Russia developing, as the US begins the “pivot” to Asia (a whole other subject), and US policy confronts the limits of reality in an increasingly multi-polar world. However, as far as multi-polarism goes, we are certainly not there yet.
Take into consideration the transfer of drone technology. This occurred after the Georgian War, where Russia reclaimed South Ossetia and Abkazia from Georgia. Israel is claimed to have had some involvement in that war on the Georgian side. Regardless, after the war, Israel and Russia reached a deal providing Russia with drone technology it did not have before. Most are aware of the American drone that was shot down over Iran, thus giving Iran drone capability. It is claimed Hezbollah flew a drone over Israel recently. One can only speculate on the aspects hidden from public view regarding these transfers of technology. However, when one looks at the larger picture, it might signify a future shift in American policy towards the region, perhaps one due frustration and failure possibly – yet perhaps one due to rational calculations of the American “National Interests” over the next several decades.
Does it make sense for the US to continue to support Israel at a time when world opinion is turning heavily against Israel? Notice the changes brought about by the “Arab Spring.” I would argue that the “Arab Spring” was largely contrived to replace secular governments like Assad in Syria (so far an unaccomplished goal), or even Mubarak in Egypt. This was done (in my estimation) to put more radical, religious, and hardline governments, often with a connection to the Muslim Brotherhood, in power in the countries surrounding Israel. Perhaps I’m wrong, but one only has to look back at the relationships cultivated in Afghanistan during the 80s with hardline Islamic militant groups to fight the Soviets. It has been done before, and it appears as though in Libya and Syria, it has been done again.
So, is any of this in Israel’s interest? More important in the larger picture, is it in Russia’s interest? Probably not. In fact, at least until this point, Russia has been steadfast in their commitment to Assad. Keep in mind, Russia maintains a port in Syria. It has been mentioned many times in the past that Israel may prefer the predictable Assad over whatever may come next in Syria.
It has also been reported that Russia has sent ships to somewhere off the coast of Gaza. This is being done in the context of a truce between Gaza and Israel, and the European threat to send “Patriot” missiles to the Turkish border with Syria.
Are we set to see a return of Russia to prominent power status in the region? And is Russia’s role more in line with the security of Israel than threat to Israel? Will we see a gradual shift in US policy away from support of Israel?
At the same moment, Iran is expanding ties with parts of Africa, particularly Sudan. In fact, some claim Sudan is a route for weapons smuggling to Gaza. Sudan doesn’t seem to deny this, and when an Israeli attack was alleged against an arms factory in Sudan, nobody seemed to dispute it. In fact, Sudan pretty much admitted that was the case, and was desirous to carry on with arms production, and an alliance with Iran. However, the government of Sudan seems to deny any formal alliance with Iran in the military sphere.
With all the current intrigue in the US, supposedly being mere sex scandals, but probably covering up a bigger battle within the establishment, one has to wonder who is on whose side. The most reasonable thing to do would be to disengage the US from Israel, as the two do not apparently have anything to offer one another even in the horrible world of power politics. I doubt that will come soon, but as Russia, China and others exercise a role as rising powers, while the US is in decline, we might see less emphasis put on Israeli interests and more on American interests. I wouldn’t bet on it in the near future. But things seem to move fast these days, and one never knows when the economic situation will force the US to make a reassessment. The “pivot” (not very hopeful in my opinion) to Asia might be an attempt to alter US policy. It is rumored that John Kerry will be the next Defense Secretary. If that turns out to be true, we will have to pay attention to his statements closely.
More sources indicating a Russian shift towards Israel: