Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support -- click here to help us keep going

Analysis News

Goading Putin: The insanity of Israel's military policy

Israel is now bombing the strategic interests not only of its preferred targets – Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Iran or other vastly inferior military powers – but of Russia.  

When I think of Israel’s continual acts of military “preemption,” I think of a cocky kid who believes he can run across the freeway, so he tries, and he makes it, which makes him even cockier, so he tries again, and he makes it again, and by now he thinks he’s invincible, he’s invulnerable, so he’s running across the freeway whenever he feels like it. He’s become the hero of his block. If and when his luck runs out, though, everybody will say, “What a crazy jerk he was, thinking he could run across the freeway.”

The New York Times published a story yesterday saying the U.S. figures Israel will launch a second attack on the anti-ship missiles that Russia recently sold to Syria, because the July 5 bombing of them, near the Syrian port city Latakia, didn’t finish the job; the Syrians had moved some of the missiles beforehand.  

I have a question, which wasn’t asked in the NY Times article, nor have I heard it asked in Israel: What does Vladimir Putin think of this? Is he indifferent to Israel’s blowing up of his arms transfers to his Syrian ally? (July 5 was the second time this year that Israel pulled it off; in January the Israeli air force destroyed anti-aircraft weapons in Syria that had also been bought from Russia.)

Think about it: Russia is not bombing Israel, it is merely selling weapons to Syria (which isn’t bombing Israel either) like the U.S. sells/donates weapons to Israel – and Israel is destroying those weapons shortly after Russia drops them off. We don’t like these Russian arms deals, so we’re bombing them out of existence. And we’re going to keep on doing it until we get it right.

This is what Israel’s “preemptive” military policy in the Middle East has come to: We are now blowing up the strategic interests not only of our preferred targets – Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Iran or other vastly inferior military powers – but of Russia.

Unlike the leaders of Middle East countries, Putin is not afraid of Israel’s might, to understate the matter. Why hasn’t he paid us back, and with interest? I would imagine it has something to do with the United States, which Russia is afraid of. But there are limits to Russia’s fear of the U.S., and I’d say that when a U.S. ally bombs Russia’s strategic interests, it is testing those limits. I don’t think it’s safe for Israel to blow up Russian weapons shipments to Syria time after time, but Netanyahu and his consigliere, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, think it is. The reason they think so is because they are a pair of crazy jerks – reckless, blind fools who think they can keep running across the freeway whenever they want.  

They’ve bombed Syria four times and counting this year, all to prevent Hezbollah from getting its hands on conventional weapons – missiles that can hit Israeli ships and offshore natural gas rigs, that can hit Israeli aircraft, that can accurately hit Tel Aviv. Remember when it was only nuclear weapons that Israel would not tolerate in the hands of its enemies? Then, when the Syrian civil war got out of hand, Bibi and the gang added chemical weapons to the list, saying Israel wouldn’t tolerate them going to Syria’s ally Hezbollah. Now the new, updated 2013 strategy is that Israel won’t tolerate fancy conventional weapons in Hezbollah’s hands, either – that, too, is a reason to send out the fighter jets and risk starting a war. And when the target is Russia’s arms transfers to one of its key Middle East allies, the war Israel risks starting is not just a regional one.

And for what? For “self-defense”? Is somebody attacking this country? No, it’s Israel that’s attacking other countries. Why? Because of its deranged belief that the only way it can survive is by blowing up every attempt by any regional enemy to challenge its “qualitative edge” in military strength. This is how Israel expects to survive in the Middle East: As a tiny Jewish state using Air Force jets and Mossad saboteurs to enforce its superpower status over the 57 Muslim nations surrounding it.

Can Israel can keep this up forever? Not likely. The way it’s going, there will come a day when Israel starts one war too many – and this time it won’t make it across the freeway. Of course, there’s a way to prevent that – by Israel giving up its criminally insane policy of military “preemption.” It’s not going to happen any time soon, though; we still have some more Russian missiles in Syria to destroy.

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • COMMENTS

    1. David Bruk

      Russian only cares (at least i hope so) about getting paid. They sold the weapons to Syria and got paid for it. They don’t care if the weapons are destroyed later. i also hope that if a war does start — it will be a great war, after which, the Messiah will come…

      Reply to Comment
      • Johnboy

        Riiiiiight.

        You are utterly convinced of that, are you?

        You really believe that Putin doesn’t care that Israel is bombing his only ally in the Middle East, or that Israel’s actions may put at risk the only navy base he has that is outside Russia itself?

        Really?

        You really think that he is just shrugging his shoulders and saying “those whacky Israelis, what a lark, heh?”

        Reply to Comment
    2. Kolumn9

      Russia only cares about getting paid. What happens to the weapons once they get to Syria is Assad’s problem.

      Israel doesn’t have to blow up every attempt by a regional enemy to get weapons. It does have to make sure that the weapons do not get to terrorist actors like Hezbollah which is an Iranian proxy motivated by an ideology of wishing Israel destroyed.

      Reply to Comment
      • Average American

        Terrorists? Do you know anything about Menachem Begin, the Irgun, the Stern Gang, David Ben-Gurion? Tossing grenades into busy Arab markets? Blowing up hotels? Killing British soldiers then hanging their bodies up for all to see? Bombing Arab villages then shooting the residents as they run out?

        Reply to Comment
    3. Laurent Szyster

      Larry Grepser.

      Reply to Comment
    4. aristeides

      Very clear-eyed vision, Larry Derfner.

      Russia definitely does not care solely about getting paid. It didn’t get paid for Edward Snowden, but it pissed off the US on his accounty anyway.

      Russia does care about being feared.

      Reply to Comment
        • Piotr Berman

          There are many aspects to the relationship between USA and Russia. One is that Mr. Bout did nothing different than a galaxy of Israeli traders in diamonds and weapons.

          Reply to Comment
          • Herr Adolf Katz

            >One is that Mr. Bout did nothing different than a galaxy of Israeli traders in diamonds and weapons.

            Exactly. Yet he’s still rotting in some federal prison.

            Obviously, Russia is seeking ways to somehow get even with the US, and giving asylum to a whistleblower seems like a good idea.

            Speaking of whistleblower, by the way, there was hardly anything new he had disclosed.

            Many (most? all?) telephone conversations and other means of telecommunications are being monitored for at least 40 years, and it would be extremely naive to think that mediums such as Facebook or Google would be left outside the scope of interest of special forces.

            Nor Facebook neither Google and not any other similar services provider does not guarantee or promise confidentiality of user information.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Piotr Berman

      Russia is one of the countries that

      a. are not pleased with the dominance of USA in world affairs that is increasingly capricious, erratic and irrational

      b. may do something about it.

      Syria became a focal point. The major players against the “regime change” are Russia and China. Medium size are Iran and Iraq. Then plot thickens. The opposition consists of two major kinds: “takfiris”, or al-Qaida aligned, with foreign volunteers and Saudi/Emirati support, channeled largely through Turkey and more local and chaotic groups which are more related to Muslim Brotherhood. As MB got clobbered in Egypt, Turkish government seems to develop second thoughts, recently it had a lengthy consultation with Iran and takfiris experience serious shortages of money and ammo.

      It is fully possible that with Turkey and Iran blessing the bride and groom, a grumpy marriage of convenience can commence in Syria to finish the civil war and eliminate the takfiris from the scene. The only obstacle is that it would just make too much sense, and Americans still can say a thing or two, plus Gulf can throw an insane amount of money.

      Active involvement of Israel can give some tactical advantages to Syrian opposition and major strategic/ideological disadvantages.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Average American

      Average Americans are also astounded and enraged at this. First of all, the money spent on foreign wars could sure be better spent on our local public schools, our elders, our national debt. Second, we’ve witnessed every single elected person in our government bending over for Israel, and we wonder why when Israel treats us like we don’t need to know what they’re doing. Third, Russia is also the kind of country that does things secretly and suddenly and powerfully, and we don’t care to bring their wrath on us for the sake of Israel’s mania. But who listens to us? Not our ass-kissing Congress or President. Something is going on, and we’re not being told, and that doesn’t sit well with the average American.

      Reply to Comment
    7. [...] But there are limits to Russias fear of the U.S., and Id say that when a U.S. ally bombs Russias strategic interests, it is testing those limits. I dont think its safe for Israel to blow up Russian weapons shipments to Syria time after time, but Netanyahu and his consigliere, http://www.zimbio.com/General/articles/F5wf-uQ-ciM/Celebrity+bob+hairstyles+short+cut+anyone Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, think it is. The reason they think so is because they are a pair of crazy jerks reckless, blind fools who think they can keep running across the freeway whenever they want. Theyve bombed Syria four times and counting this year, all to prevent Hezbollah from getting its hands on conventional weapons missiles that can hit Israeli ships and offshore rigs, that can hit Israeli aircraft, that can accurately hit Tel Aviv. Remember when it was only nuclear weapons that Israel would not tolerate in the hands of its enemies? More: http://972mag.com/goading-putin-the-insanity-of-israels-military-policy/76899/ [...]

      Reply to Comment
    8. Tzila

      Very good article about the sad reality of Israel now

      Reply to Comment
    9. Bronxman

      Why would the Russians care since they will send another bill for resupplying the weapons. No Russians were killed and they still maintain their “friendship” by standing with Syria. Remember, all weapons are made to be used, so Syria would need a resupply in any case. And, by the way, Russia isn’t stupid since they definitely don’t want to see their clients create unstoppable instability all over the region. I don’t see Russia really hurting here.

      Reply to Comment
    10. dickerson3870

      RE: “No, it’s Israel that’s attacking other countries. Why? Because of its deranged belief that the only way it can survive is by blowing up every attempt by any regional enemy to challenge its “qualitative edge” in military strength. This is how Israel expects to survive in the Middle East: As a tiny Jewish state using Air Force jets and Mossad saboteurs to enforce its superpower status over the 57 Muslim nations surrounding it.” ~ Larry Derfner

      MY COMMENT: Unfortunately, peace (i.e., an end to hostilities) is the last thing Likudnik Israel is interested in. It runs entirely counter to the “iron wall” strategy of Revisionist Zionism.

      SEE: “Israel’s Defense Chief OK’s Hundreds of Israeli Deaths”, By Ira Chernus, CommonDreams.org, 11/11/11 [EXCERPT] . . . An essential motive of Zionism from its beginning was a fierce desire to end the centuries of Jewish weakness, to show the world that Jews would no longer be pushed around, that they’d fight back and prove themselves tougher than their enemies. There was more to Zionism than that. But the “pride through strength” piece came to dominate the whole project. Hence the massive Israeli military machine with its nuclear arsenal.
      But you can’t prove that you’re stronger than your enemies unless you’ve also got enemies — or at least believe you’ve got enemies — to fight against. So there has to be a myth of Israel’s insecurity, fueled by an image of vicious anti-semites lurking somewhere out there, for Zionism to work. Since the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran has gradually risen to the top of Israel oh-so-necessary enemies list. Iranophobia is rampant in Israel, as one Israeli scholar writes, because “Israel needs an existential threat.”
      Anyone who has grown up in Israel, or in the U.S. Jewish community (as I did), and paid attention knows all this. . .
      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/11-2

      Reply to Comment
      • Herr Adolf Katz

        That Chernus guy does not really know what he is talking about.

        For instance, he had written ‘One Iranian nuke on Tel Aviv would trigger those hundreds falling on Iran.’

        Apparently, a professor of religious studies does not have to know that there are more ways to deliver a nuclear device than by a ballistic missile.

        Reply to Comment
    11. Peter Hindrup

      ‘Unlike the leaders of Middle East countries, Putin is not afraid of Israel’s might, to understate the matter. Why hasn’t he paid us back, and with interest? I would imagine it has something to do with the United States, which Russia is afraid of’
      Not sure why Putin should be afraid of the US. Big, ugly, vicious, capable of a lot of destruction, but winning?
      When has the US ever won anything?
      They were on the winning side in WWII, came in late, gathered up the spoils, but won? And since? Much destruction, nothing won.
      Israel? Forget the nukes. Look at the map. Rockets/missiles from 2000 Ks out, in groups of three, all the way in to 100 ks out, timed to hit within a two to three minute window. What Israel? A few nuke armed subs running around, crewed by dead men.
      Israel, like the US has been killing all but unarmed people for decades, pump up their chests, claim to be ‘great fighters’. Killers of women and children is the reality.

      Would the US go to war over Israel? Depends against which country. Provided the country had little or no air defence, nothing in the way of heavy weaponry, yes, against an armed foe?

      Then again, can anybody imagine the US actually fighting against a people who got fighters into the US who hit fuel dumps, power generation plants, the families of high raking military and government supporters of the war?

      Nukes don’t work against such people. Their cowards who sit in front of a screen, murdering with drones, having to get out and face blood and guts as they, and their enemies were blown apart? Fighting men???

      Reply to Comment
    12. Will

      All Israel is doing is poking the bear. Russia is superior to Israel in everyway they could crush the IDF in days. So its kind of stupid for Israel to bomb russian shipments.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Russ

      Putin can just sell more arms to Hamas. Don’t get all going on what is said publicly – it is the physical things that are done that is important.

      Reply to Comment

    LEAVE A COMMENT

    Name (Required)
    Mail (Required)
    Website
    Free text

© 2010 - 2014 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website empowered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel