Putin has turned his back on Israel, but will his Jewish oligarchs follow his example?

Date: October 29, 2023.
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Could Russian Jews loyalty to Israel save Russia from fatal collapse?

This question may not appear awkward to those who have lived in the USSR and integrated into the Russian upper class and leading business echelons of post-Soviet Russia.

The Soviet Jews in the USSR lived in two parallel worlds. One was visible and ugly, and they had to adjust to the horrific anti-Semite and communist reality of the USSR.

However, Soviet Jews praised, caressed, and fostered the state of Israel in private, within the family.

Putin's Russia learned lessons from foreign policy mistakes made by the USSR and removed atheism and anti-Semitism from its playbook. That is why it presented itself as not anti-Semitic.

Loyalty regarding religion and being pro-Israel enabled Putin to accomplish a lot on the world stage, particularly those Russian goals related to the penetration and infiltration of conservatives globally.

But it was only a facade, which Moscow removed by attacking Ukraine and returning the anti-Semite narrative. This definitely happened after the terrorist attacks by Hamas on Israel.

A shift from Israel

Famous Russian political scientist and expert on Middle Eastern affairs, a Russian Jew, Yevgeny Satanovsky, has recently publicly insulted Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, by saying that she was a "heavy drinker".

He said that because of the anti-Israel statements of the spokeswoman of the Russian diplomacy, which now reflect the new Russian official agenda, which is not pro-Israeli anymore.

Satanovsky expressed regret later on, but it was one of those apologies from average Russians to influential individuals in the country to avoid extrajudicial or public execution.

Being pro-Israel is no longer beneficial or relevant to Russia. Russia needs help from Iran for its military operation in Ukraine. Needless to say, because of Russia's close ties to Hamas, it is not possible to convince anyone that Russia had not been aware of the forthcoming Hamas attack.

Oligarchs of Jewish origin tolerated Putin

It is not a secret that many Russian oligarchs are of Jewish origin. Most of them, such as Roman Abramovich, one of Russia's wealthiest billionaires, were loyal to Putin's regime even after he started the war in Ukraine.

The attack by Hamas on Israel might have changed everything, at least for some Russian Jews.

By now, they must have made the same conclusions regarding Russian gain from the attack and possibly its indirect involvement.

Before the attack on Israel, Putin was just hypothetically evil to the vast majority of Russian Jewish oligarchs. But realistically, he did not do much to annoy them.

Those Russian Jews such as Mikhail Fridman, the Alfa Bank co-owner or Roman Abramovich, former Chelsea football club owner, have been comfortably integrated into the Russian semi-criminal business world.

Perhaps they did not see anything wrong with Putin having some control over them and their fortunes, providing that they became super rich, just like most Russian billionaires, during various criminal or semi-criminal corruption schemes.

Similarly, the Russian oligarchs have not perceived anything wrong with all other criminal activities done by Putin in the past. Everything Putin had been doing: corruption, murder of critics and competitors, meddling in the affairs of other countries were just typical activities to most Russian oligarchs, just on a smaller scale.

Instead of meddling in elections held in other countries, Russian oligarchs, for example, interfered with the affairs of state-owned companies preparing for privatisation in the mid and late 1990s.

As for the murders, it is impossible to calculate all those fallen Russian entrepreneurs killed during the 1990s, particularly during the period when state-owned companies were distributed among a few more agile and ruthless Russians, including Abramovich and Fridman.

Has Russia crossed the line by supporting Hamas?

Has Putin crossed the line with Hamas's attack on Israel? Let us hope so. This could be Putin's Rubicon and the salvation for everyone throughout the world.

Before the attack on Israel by Hamas, there was no shared idea and occasion for a group of Russian oligarchs to join against Putin. Now, there might be one.

Russian Jews have the money and influence to undermine and possibly even remove Putin. Since the Russian oligarchy is structured according to the model "everyone knows everyone," Russian oligarchs have access to all principal people and agencies in the country.

Someone as Gavril Yushvaev, an investor and industrialist, or God Nisanov, a real estate mogul, are not only Jews and well-connected oligarchs living in Russia, but they are technically from the Caucasus or other former USSR republics.

Therefore, they are not preoccupied with the Russian nationalist obsession with greatness and imperial expansion. However, they are Russian oligarchs with ties to extremely passionate and numerous diasporas in Moscow and other large Russian cities.

Russian Jews, including the so-called Gorskie Yevrei (Mountain Jews) from Caucasus, Azerbaijan and Georgia living and working in Russia are by far more capable internal forces in comparison to divided and not united Russian oligarchs from the Russki ethnicity.

After October 7, Putin definitely turned his back on Israel and openly embraced Hamas as a party to the conflict. This is something that Israel and perhaps the Jewish billionaires in Moscow will never forget.

Source TA, Photo: Shutterstock