Tel Aviv to Tbilisi: Israel's role in the Russia-Georgia war
From the moment Israelis wave both Georgian and Israeli flags as they chant anti-Russian slogans during a demonstration outside the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv, 11 August. (Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images)
Israelis wave both Georgian and Israeli flags as they chant anti-Russian slogans during a demonstration outside the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv, 11 August. (Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images)
The collapse of the Georgian offensive represents not only a disaster for that country and its US-backed leaders, but another blow to the myth of
Training also involved officers from Israel's Shin Bet secret service -- which has for decades carried out extrajudicial executions and torture of Palestinians in the occupied territories -- the Israeli police, and the country's major arms companies Elbit and Rafael.
The Tel Aviv-Tbilisi military axis appears to have been cemented at the highest levels, and according to YNet, "The fact that
The key liaison was Reserve Brigadier General Gal Hirsch who commanded Israeli forces on the border with
According to one of the Israeli combat trainers, an officer in an "elite"
As the violence raged in Georgia, the trainer was desperately trying to contact his former Georgian students on the battlefront via mobile phone: the Israelis wanted to know whether the Georgians had "internalized Israeli military technique and if the special reconnaissance forces have chalked up any successes" (Jonathan Lis and Moti Katz, "IDF vets who trained Georgia troops say war with Russia is no surprise," Haaretz, 11 August 2008).
Yet on the ground, the Israeli-trained Georgian forces, perhaps unsurprisingly overwhelmed by the Russians, have done little to redeem the image of
The question remains as to why
Since the end of the Cold War, the
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez recently denounced
As for Israel itself, with the Bush Doctrine having failed to give birth to the "new Middle East" that the US needs to maintain its power in the region against growing resistance, an ever more desperate and rogue Israel must look for opportunities to prove its worth elsewhere. That is a dangerous and scary thing.
Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah is author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli- Palestinian Impasse (Metropolitan Books, 2006).
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