Jewish-born oligarchs act as Putin Russia’s agents of influence in Israel. Putin uprooted nearly all Jewish oligarchs in Russia, but left Lev Livaev with lion’s share of Russian diamonds. His partner, Arkady Gaydamak, was implicated in many high-profile corruption schemes such as Angola’s debts scam, arms sales, etc. Both Livaev and Gaydamak rose meteorically from no ones into oligarchs. In Russia, that means KGB/ FSB hand.

Dealings with Angola, a long-time Russian military client, are FSB’s turf. FSB requested Angola’s embassy in Moscow to issue diplomatic license plates for Gaydamak’s Maybach. Putin tolerates selected Jewish oligarchs in return for them promoting Russian interests in Israel. Livaev plays his part. His media channels in Israel heavily promote Slavic culture and agenda, and praise Russian leaders. Russia demands land plots in Jerusalem. Stalin envisaged Israel as Soviet beachhead in the Middle East and supported Israel in 1948 war when the US embargoed weapons shipments to Palestine. Putin continues that policy.

Russian Jewish mafia is perfect conduit for Russian policy in Israel. They earn and steal in Russia, and return there for safe haven. Huge numbers of Russian Jews resist assimilation into Israeli milieu and call Hebrew “their [Israelis’] language.” Lieberman accentuates and exploits the division.

Gaydamak is not the worst person who aims at Israeli political Olympus; to find someone worse than Peres or Livni is quite impossible. Decent mafiosi could be preferable to sleazy politicos. Besides, Gaydamak stands no chance against the experienced political machinators. The throng of hired consultants and journalists sings Gaydamak victory, but he is no more a political prospect than Chicciollina. Curious voters eager for scandals and star publicity might give his list a few seats. That would only confirm Israeli political establishment as a brothel with everything for sale, but not give Gaydamak any serious power. Prime minister will offer him an invented portfolio, like Lieberman, to do nothing. Gaydamak’s mega-parties underscore cheapness of Israeli cultural and political “elite”, eager to attend them; the disgusting corruption wins Gaydamak no friends. Gaydamak’s social endeavors are a base attempt to buy electorate with welfare giveaways, minor compared to Olmert’s bribes to Haifa region and Sderot. Gaydamak lacks political agenda and substitutes it with generic distribution of money that he imagines will buy him votes; people take aid money but don’t vote for benefactor.

Money buys power only to an extent in politics. Candidates need either charisma or support from established party. Gaydamak lacks either. He plays a typical Russian scenario of an oligarch buying his way into parliament. In Russia, that often works because of the voting fraud; in most cases, the “new Russians” fail in elections, mislead by their campaign managers. Those who make it into parliament, do so at extraordinary cost. If Gaydamak seeks parliament protection from police repressions, he should consider that Israeli police go even after the officials much higher than a Knesset member. If Gaydamak seeks political ends, investing in small promising parties is a safer bet. If he seeks political glory, there is none in sight.

Russia floods Israel with non-Jews. Under Putin rule, Russian archives massively forge birth certificates with Jewish roots. Sohnut, an agency that dealt with Jewish immigration and became useless with the end of aliyah, embraces Putin’s forgeries and brings in Israel huge numbers of fake Jews without any attempt to check their obviously forged papers. For a few hundred dollars bribe, Slavs get Jewish birth certificates in faraway Russian cities and add to Putin’s agents of influence in Israel.

Putin's Israel