In the mid and long terms, the Jewish state may soon face new existential threats.
The US and Russia are at a turning point in their history, and matters are likely to develop according to the worst-case scenario. Despite their apparent differences, the regimes in both countries are very similar - primarily in the way these countries lead their nations to suicide.
Both are extremely corrupt. Putin has created, in Boris Johnson’s exact words, a “gangster oligarchy”, an aggressive kleptocracy, the backbone of which is made up of former Soviet party apparatchiks, KGBists and leaders of criminal gangs who ruled in the 90s after the collapse of the USSR. In the US, the real power is now in the hands of the “deep state” which is pursuing its own financial and political interests. “Deep state” falsified elections in 2020, subjugated state structures, the legal system, the FBI, and the media, and turned politics into a puppetry.
Both regimes rely on the support of shadow financial speculators with dubious goals: tycoons like Soros in the US, and oligarchs in Russia.
The US and Russia are at a turning point in their history, and matters are likely to develop according to the worst-case scenario.
Both regimes mercilessly persecute all dissenters: they try to deprive them access to social networks and the media, file lawsuits, and threaten with reprisals. Today it is difficult to say which regime is more cruel to dissidents - Russia or the United States.
Both try to establish dictatorship in their countries under the banners of militant ideologies. Russia revives extreme nationalism in its specific Russian interpretation with elements of Orthodoxy and nationalism. The so-called Democratic Party with its unbridled progressivism and pseudo-liberalism follows the path of suppression of individual freedoms and the destruction of democratic institutions.
Both nurture forces hostile to their nations: Putin’s is a Chechen feudal regime based on Sharia norms; Dem Party's are radical groups such as BLM and Antifa.
Both are characterized by extremely poor management, concern for the privileged classes and complete indifference to their citizens.
They deserve each other.
These processes are happening rapidly, and the current war is nourishing them. In some sense, it is beneficial for the globalists and the progressives, as it allows them to consolidate their power under the conditions of a “state of emergency”, and it is good for the extreme nationalists in Russia who are dissatisfied with Putin’s “weakness” and his failures in Ukraine.
For the “deep state” the next two years will be crucial. It is obvious that Trump, if returned to power, with the experience and advantages that a second term gives the president, will do everything to “drain the swamp.” As far as we know, he has a plan of action and people who are ready to implement it.
For the “deep state,” therefore, it is a matter of life and death, and in such situation, all means are good. One can expect various provocations, in the image and likeness of January 6th events: introducing a state of emergency under the pretext of a new epidemic or war, repeated election fraud, the use of the army, where "progressive values" are actively asserted, the FBI and departmental paramilitaries to suppress protests. The use of nuclear weapons in such context by Russia is a great option for them, and therefore the current administration will spur Zelenskyy to even more vigorous actions, for example, "de-occupation of Crimea".
Unfortunately, the left has a good chance of winning even if they will prefer to play by the rules. Hostages to leftist dogmas, Generation Z votes a priori for the Democratic Party, and the midterm elections American globalists are using the influential "fifth column" in Israel itself, eager to destroy Israel as a Jewish state and leave all the "occupied territories" at any price.
confirmed this fact despite all the other explanations provided.
In any case a quasi-Marxist dictatorship with external democratic attributes like Iran, Turkey, Sudan and Russia, can be established in the US for a long time. This could have extremely unfavorable consequences for Israel, initially, because such ‘red regime’ will be, by its very nature, extremely hostile to a Jewish state; secondly, it will predictably move closer to radical Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. Finally, the American globalists are using the influential "fifth column" in Israel itself, eager to destroy Israel as a Jewish state and leave all the "occupied territories" at any price.
A more traditional threat for the Jews in Russia may arise as well.
Russia - exhausted and drained of blood in the war – will probably face two scenarios, as has happened more than once in the history of this country. The first option is a turmoil (‘smuta’), followed by an even more cruel and despotic regime. The second scenario is a direct transition to even more bloody tyranny. The results will be same.
Russian tsars are forgiven for many things, but not for defeat in a war. Therefore, if events in Ukraine develop as unsuccessfully as they are progressing now, Putin's days will be numbered, regardless of whether he is left on the throne as a puppet or deposed. Even now, voices can be heard criticizing the current ruler of the Kremlin and demanding tougher and more decisive action.
Against such a background, this paradigm will become increasingly realistic. Hence, the first option is “time of troubles” (‘smuta’). This has happened three times in Russia. The first time was at the end of the 16th - beginning of the 17th centuries. Smuta began after the fall of the Rurik dynasty, the struggle for power of the boyar aristocracy, poor harvests and exhaustion in the Livonian Wars waged by Ivan the Terrible. The second smuta came at the beginning of the 20th century. The reasons were similar: the fall of the Romanov dynasty, the struggle for power of the ruling elite, economic collapse, and exhaustion in the First World War. The third smuta occurred after the fall of communism in the 90th. At this point, all the same reasons were prevalent as well: defeat in the Cold War, systemic exhaustion, economic and ideological collapse, and the struggle of post-communist elites.
Russian tsars are forgiven for many things, but not for defeat in a war. Therefore, if events in Ukraine develop as unsuccessfully as they are progressing now, Putin's days will be numbered...
The current situation is remarkably similar. The weakening of Putin, the struggle for his legacy and the bloody grueling war in Ukraine, coupled with Western sanctions, could lead to a long period of anarchy and unrest across the country. Again, the fourth smuta will inevitably result in a new kind of extreme nationalist-leaning dictatorship
This will have two significant consequences for the whole world and for Israel in particular.
In a weakened and turmoil-ridden Russia, the smoldering religious radicalism of the Muslims of the Caucasus and the Volga region will unavoidably intensify. Chechnya can become de facto and even de jure an independent “emirate.” Having acquired significant combat experience in Ukraine, Chechen fighters can become the backbone of the army of such “emirate”. It is quite possible that the idea of separation from Russia will become relevant in Muslim Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, where Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis have significant influence. Few people know, but Tatarstan adopted a declaration of state sovereignty on August 30, 1990, and this attempt is unlikely to be the last.
In Crimea - cut off from the weakened Russia and Ukraine, with the active support from Turkey, an attempt may be made to revive the Crimean Khanate. Nature does not tolerate a vacuum, and Erdogan and his media do not hide such aspirations. The strengthening of Islamist Turkey and the creation of aggressive "emirates", like the Chechen one, poses considerable danger to the Jewish state.
The second point is the loss of control over the giant arsenals of nuclear and non-conventional weapons, which can be used by groups like al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, etc. After the collapse of the USSR, the world faced a similar danger but now it can be much more acute.
As stated before, the “times of troubles” in Russia inevitably ended up with the establishment of even more despotic and bloody regimes. Stalin came to power after the coup of 1917, anarchy, and civil war. Putin reigned in the Kremlin after “perestroika” and the chaos of the 1990s.
What could be the new dictatorship in Russia?
Russia is a country traditionally patriarchal, inert, and arrogant towards its minorities and neighboring nations. This “ill with anti-Semitism" country has not reassessed its past. Putin was not an anti-Semite, but this is a unique case. A quick familiarization with the Russian Internet will demonstrate strong, primitive, anti-Jewish prejudices of the masses. The first symptoms of this old disease sounded quite recently, when Alexei Pavlov, Assistant Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, called the Chabad movement a "totalitarian hypersect" seeking to "reformat the minds of Ukrainian citizens." According to him, “the main life principle of the Lubavitch Hasidim is the superiority of his supporters over all nations and peoples.” It is no coincidence that the former Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Pinchas Goldschmidt, advised Jews to flee Russia while it was still possible.
In today’s Russia, with its corruption and blatant social inequality, the yearning for a ‘tsar-father’ - tough, but fair to his people - is stronger than ever. According to all public opinion polls, today Stalin is the most (!) popular figure in Russian society. He is much more popular than Peter the Great, Lenin, Brezhnev and Putin. In various cities, monuments are being erected for another bloody despot of the past - Ivan the Terrible, the living embodiment of perverted tyrannical madness.
Extreme nationalist groups are already active in Russia, calling for “Russia for the Russians”. The authorities treat them doubly: while kept under control, they are not prohibited completely. These groups enjoy considerable popularity among the masses and the ruling elite and are waiting for the moment when the authorities loosen their grip. If new despotism is approved, they will be the ones to carry the banner of the “new Holy Russia”, free from Caucasians, “Jewish bloodsuckers”, Asians and other “destroyers” of Russian statehood. Israel, not to mention Jews, will unsurprisingly be one of the main objects of hatred of the new regime.
If both Russia and the United States follow this path, Israel will find itself between Scylla and Charybdis*. This scenario, however apocalyptic, seems to me, unfortunately, quite real.
[*In classical mythology, Scylla was a horrible six-headed monster who lived on a rock on one side of a narrow strait.Charybdis was a whirlpool on the other side. When ships passed close to Scylla's rock in order to avoid Charybdis, she would seize and devour their sailors.]
Alexander Maistrovoy,who immigrated from Rusisia and lives in Israel, is the author of “Agony of Hercules or a Farewell to Democracy (Notes of a Stranger)”, Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.