An Israeli alliance with Russia is possible. There are no permanent alliances to begin with, and the very fact that we are now aligned with America suggests that one day we will part with it.
American-Israeli relations might have metaphysical underpinnings: both nations are highly messianic; American leftists and politicians are messianic about democracy. In real life, America’s interest in Israel is three pronged: domestic Jewish donors for American politicians, leverage with Arabs, and restraining Russian influence in the region. All the three motives are passing. Arabs massively invest in American politics. Arabs are sufficiently forthcoming to America for economic reasons, so there is no need to sell them American services in restraining the Israeli threat. Pauperized Russia has lost the clout of Soviet influence, and at any rate does not profess a hostile ideology worth restraining.

Far from being strategic asset, Israel is increasingly a burden to America, which has to publicly oppose many anti-Israeli campaigns, provide aid to both Israel and Arab countries in order to appear even-handed, and negotiate away military threats to Israel from Muslim regimes and groups. The United States apologizes for its relations with Israel more often than it uses them.

It all looks different from the Russian side. The Soviets had two important allies in the Middle East: Egypt and Syria. Iraq was an important ally against Khomeini’s Iran, which subverted the USSR’s Asian states. But despite their massive aid to Iraq, the Soviets never had it to themselves; Saddam played the USSR and the United States against each other.

After the Camp David treaty, Egypt firmly leaned toward America, which offered both aid and political cover for Egypt’s oppressive regime. Unless an American president alienates Egypt by demanding democratization, it will remain an American ally. An additional reason for Egypt’s cooperation with America is that it cannot contain the perceived Israeli threat with inferior Russian weapons. If the Muslim Brotherhood takes power in Egypt, it would be no closer to the Russians than the current regime, both because of the Brothers’ Islamic zeal and because of the unhealed memories of Afghanistan and Chechnya.

Syria will turn away from Russia the moment it signs a peace deal with Israel, because such a deal would be guaranteed by the United States, and would likely be accompanied by American aid to both sides. Syria needs American investors rather than corrupt Russian cartels.

Hamas, though a friend of Russia, remains dependent on Iran, if only because Russians cannot handle logistics. For elusive reasons, the Russians refuse to wholeheartedly support Hamas with an airlift of weapons to Gaza.

Iran’s willingness to cooperate with anyone is an ideological legacy of Khomeini, who sided with anyone useful to him: Saddam, Mujahedeen Khalq terrorists, French leftists, secular Syrian Baathists, and even the Israelis. Khomeini honed the Muslim habit of cunning lies to a high art. On the downside, such well-known cynicism makes Iran an unreliable partner.

Curiously, Israel is Russia’s only potential ally in the Middle East. Israeli public opinion is immensely unhappy with Washington’s pressure. The Israeli military has moderate use of American weaponry: Israel even uses much of its US aid to procure trivial goods rather than weapons. The Israeli government must be fed up with routine clashes with the American administration, which bans advanced arms sales to Israel and effectively controls her policy by threatening to cut off the supply of spares.

Russian weapons might be inferior to American ones, but they are sufficient given the IDF’s tactical edge over our Arab enemies. Russian SAM batteries and cruise missiles are not inferior to American ones, and their aircraft are good enough. Turning to Russia wouldn’t affect Israeli economic ties with the West; indeed, it might strengthen our economic relations with Western Europe. Importantly, Russia’s lack of worldwide influence would remove impediments to Israeli arms exports; as things stand now, American hindrance of Israeli weapons sales outweighs the aid we receive from them. Selling to the world’s arms market would allow Israel the economy of scale we need to develop hi-tech weapons.

Russia is the best ally our $2-billion-a-year military procurement can buy.