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memri
October 2, 2018 No.
7692

High-Ranking Retired General Leonid Ivashov: The Pro-Israeli Lobby Permeates All The Administrative Structures Of The Russian Federation; Russia's Sovereignty Is At Stake

The former high ranking Russian military and public official, retired Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, a former member of the Russian Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote a stream of consciousness style article, titled "Russia's Sovereignty Is At Stake," accusing the "Israeli lobby" of putting at stake Russia's sovereignty. Ivashov is not known for restraint and in 2012, he compared U.S. actions in Libya to Hitler's actions in Poland and claimed that Russia would employ military power in defense of Iran and Syria.[1]

Ivashov wrote the article for the Izborsk Club that groups ultranationalist conservatives and Communists who are united by their hatred for the West and their espousal of a Eurasian alternative. The philosopher Alexander Dugin is perhaps the club's most famous member.

Ivashov accused the pro-Israeli lobby of the death of the Russian servicemen on board of the Russian Ilyushin-20, which was shot down over the Mediterranean, on September 17. He described Israel as a hostile power, and suggested taking immediate punitive counter-measures.

Below are excerpts from Ivashov's article:[2]


Leonid Ivashov (Image: Izborsk-club.ru)

If A Hostile Power Committed An Aggressive Act Against Our Aircraft, Then One Should Immediately Take Political And Diplomatic Measures

"The death of our servicemen on September 17 happened precisely because the pro-Israeli lobby in Russia tied the military to a certain format of activities that did not correspond to the realities of the military, strategic, and political situation in the region. Neither did it correspond to the missions that the Russian armed forces contingent conducts in Syria. I will remind you of a few details. Firstly, an entire package of agreements signed earlier, and even during the conflict in Syria, was humiliating to us. Back at the time of [former Minister of Defense of Russia Anatoliy] Serdyukov, we signed an agreement about intelligence sharing with Israel. What information could we give to Israel? Naturally, data about Syria, Iran, Turkey, the Arab countries. That is, the areas and countries which are Israel's adversaries. That is, even back then we entered their service.

"Next — agreements on military and technical cooperation. We refused to send the S-300 even to Iran, although the Ministry of Defense supported deliveries under the signed contract. The Ministry of Defense declared that the S-300 would be supplied to the Syrian Arab Republic. They cancelled that decision and supplied nothing.

"We also remember how our Foreign Ministry interfered into the strategic situation, when the military made decisions together with the Syrian government and the army, organizing an offensive. At that time, there was a call from Kerry to Lavrov, and there was a pause, which was used by the rebel fighters, Israel, and the US with its satellites.

"Of course, resentment mounted in the armed forces and even among the military leadership over such interference with their professional issues. The pressure of magma kept growing — and the volcano erupted. And now we hear that the real military commanders, who are responsible for military operations and for the lives of their subordinates, have shown their responsibility before the people and the state. They did it in their statement of September 24, which the Supreme Commander-in-Chief had to agree with.

"Look at the first statement of the Ministry of Defense concerning this tragedy: 'Israel is a hostile state. Then, immediately after Netanyahu's call and his talk with the President of Russia, the Kremlin announced that it was 'a chain of tragic accidents'. That is, immediately there was an attempt at blurring. Next: if a hostile power committed an aggressive act against our aircraft resulting in the deaths of wonderful specialists, then one should immediately take political and diplomatic measures.

"First of all, we should have immediately frozen our visa-free regime with Israel, because a visa-free regime is established with friendly nations, not with hostile ones. A number of agreements should have been suspended, including those I have mentioned. And I don't think that it was the military who had reached an agreement with Israel to cooperate in order to prevent incidents in the air. In what air, what air space? In Syrian territory [!] That is, this arrangement sort of allows the Israelis to invade the Syrian air space and make strikes, i.e. commit acts of aggression. And we will simply notify each other, cooperate, etc. I am certain this was not decided by the military either.

"Now the military have had their say, but I would not hasten to celebrate victory yet. The pro-Israeli lobby permeates, in fact, all the administrative structures of the Russian Federation, plus the mass media, plus the oligarchs, etc. Why is it so? Double citizenship? Okay, let the Jewish oligarchs have it. But I am trying to find a deeper cause-and-effect relation: why does a strong pro-Israel lobby exist, why do we dance to Netanyahu's tune? The fact is that the assets of those who had moved their billions (earned by nights in their mines) to the West, are now being arrested — and their owners are being arrested as well. But in Israel they are always welcome to stash their funds.

"A number of our oligarchs and functionaries have escaped there, by the way. And the Israelis do not extradite their compatriots. On this subject, I will remind you: a couple of months ago, [Roman] Abramovich paid a momentary visit to the Ben-Gurion airport, where he immediately got Israeli citizenship and left. He had been, in fact, kicked out of London. Even though he had bought Chelsea and invested his billions — he was squeezed out. So, Israel is a sort of safe haven for most of our corrupt officials who had been caught stealing, for oligarchs who pump not only oil but also dollars out of Russia — in case something happens in our country. And 'something' will definitely happen.

"If the Ministry of Defense puts its foot down, if it pushes through its decision, if it delivers all as planned, including the S-300, thereby creating a united air defense system with the Syrian armed forces (an automated system, electronic countermeasure system) — this system will be really effective. But next, another serious step will be needed. And for that, the Ministry of Defense must put the question to the High Command: 'Define the purpose of our presence in Syria'. Either we are only protecting, defending ourselves there — or we are fulfilling our obligations under a treaty with the Syrian Arab Republic and protecting the ground, sea and air space of Syria. That is, acting in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter 'On the right of any state to individual and collective self-defense'. And we are not just present there, protecting ourselves or attacking terrorists, but we are protecting a friendly state together with it, we are engaging in collective defense of the Syrian Arab Republic. And, indirectly, of ourselves. And we don't give a damn about threats tossed about by [Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor] Liberman and others.

I Remember The Way The Israeli National Anthem Resonated On The Red Square On Victory Parade-2018; 'We Must Rise From This Degraded State'

"Liberman made a statement after Shoigu's address to the effect of 'we bombed and we will continue to bomb'. They can bomb, but only until [their] first serious losses. By the way, there have been such moments in the history of Israeli-Arab relations. They shot down our planes, in great numbers, but when we delivered our Shilka anti-aircraft systems, if I'm not mistaken, in one of their first raids the Israelis lost 11 planes. That's it! That sobered them up immediately, they stopped all flights at once, started looking into it, appealed to Moscow, etc. This is what will happen here, if we act decisively in full compliance with the norms of international law from the UN Charter. Yes, they will scream at us and call us names, that is natural. But all their flights will stop immediately. We should not make agreements on 'cooperation in the Syrian air space'; we should reach an agreement so that the Jews would respect the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic and not invade its ground, air or sea space.

"There was indeed a serious clash in the corridors [of power] last week, and this round was won by the military. The fight will continue. Russia's sovereignty is at stake here. Either we obey Netanyahu — then personnel appointments and all the rest will continue to depend on the Israeli lobby. Which is what [Alexander] Livshits talked about not long ago, when he was actually in Israel. In 1996, he was appointed a Deputy Prime Minister and a Minister of Finance. And then the oligarchs gathered together and told him: 'Here is a checklist of what you must do. No independent decisions, no personnel appointments. Only through us. We have brought Yeltsin to power, [in the 1996 elections against the Communist Gennady Zyuganov] now it is our country'. And to his question 'What will happen to me if I don't do this?' they said that he would no longer be a minister or a deputy prime minister, that's it. This was the influence on the part of Israel and the United States on our domestic, foreign and human resource policies.

"God grant this Rubicon be crossed now in our favor, in favor of national interests. The next two weeks are very important because this is the timeframe that Shoigu mentioned. After these two weeks, if the S-300 and other systems that the Minister of Defense listed are delivered to Syria, it will be difficult to withdraw them. It is in these two weeks that the most serious fight will take place. Most likely, not in the Kremlin offices. The president is only rarely in the Kremlin now, to say nothing of the Prime Minister. It will be something off-stage, in the offices of the Duma, in ministries.

"There will be attempts to find some mechanisms of counteraction, to look for clauses that do not correspond to legal norms in the resolution of the Ministry of Defense, or something else. America will join, including Trump. Serious money will be involved. I hope that Sergei Shoigu and his colleagues do not have investments and real estate abroad. Those who do have them, and support the decision of the Defense Ministry, will have to pay for it — we will witness arrests, searches, and sanctions including a ban on leaving the country. This entire arsenal will be put to use. And, of course, our mass media will have something to say. Look at [the liberal radio station] 'The Echo of Moscow', which exists on Gazprom's money and is quite well off. And Gazprom was declared 'our national heritage'. So, we will see all that. The fight continues.

"We must support our army, so that the army could win today and could not only protect the interests of the oligarchs and bring them profit, but do something to raise the prestige of our nation. We need to pull our people out of the deplorable state we are in. Victory Parade-2018: I remember the way the Israeli national anthem resonated on the Red Square. We must rise from this degraded state.[3]

"And our Jews, who are Russian citizens, should remember how Israel treats them. After all, hundreds of our people (both tourists and those who have residence permits) are being deported, humiliated, refused help — including medical help. Because our Jews are mostly lower in status. They are 'not Sephardic' — that's what they think in Israel. Iosif Kobzon [known Soviet and Russian singer of Jewish origins, known for his crooner style] told me a lot about that (by the way, he was not allowed into Israel because of his standpoint).

"Our political parties, primarily CPRF, and all other movements that are fighting against the pension reform, should start using geopolitical terminology. Because they will introduce some concessions into the pension reform now, but the humiliation and robbery will continue. The members of the so-called government will remain in their posts or will be replaced by others, who are the same — or even worse nonprofessionals, corrupt officials, etc. One must look at the situation in the country as a whole. There should be expressions of support for the actions of our military in Syria, for the Ministry of Defense, in mass events and rallies. The latest decisions of the Ministry should feed political momentum, the people should be involved.

"Our army is the people's army, and it must not only serve the interests of the oligarchs, banks and hydrocarbon companies. We talked about this at the Russian Officers' Assembly. But it is the first time the army has made such a statement as an institution of power, as a state institution. May it be God's will, as they say! The army's opinion still counts for something. The army has suffered a lot of humiliations too: Serdyukov's appointment, a 'women's battalion' in the leadership of the armed forces, etc. It has gone through much. God grant that its patience has reached the breaking point."

 


[2] Izborsk-club.ru, September 26, 2018.

[3] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić were the guestsof honor at the Victory Day 2018 parade.