Geopolitical Expert Says the United States May be Behind Protests in Israel

On March 27, 2023, Andrey Bystritsky, the board chairman of the Foundation for the Development and Support of the Valdai discussion club, declared that the United States government is strongly influencing the situation inside of Israel and is likely sponsoring protests nationwide. 

“It would be an oversimplification to say the protests in Israel are a result of direct US impact. However, it is obvious that the United States’ influence on the current situation inside Israel is strong. Certain parts of the US elite are biased towards the current leader of Israel. This is also a hard fact. As one of the factors for the current situation in the country US influence is not ruled out,” Bystritsky said in an interview with Russia state media outlet TAAS.

Bystritsky believes that Israel’s current political turmoil has been brought about by internal factors such as the country’s changing demographics, an unstable political system, general fatigue among Israelis with the political system, and cultural polarization. Israeli society is tired. 

“It is clear that the content of this reform of the judiciary as such cannot cause such a protest. The way I see it, this is an effect of psychological fatigue and annoyance within Israeli society, which, undoubtedly, is being fueled by a certain kind of ties between part of the Israeli elite and the United States,” the analyst added.

On top of that, Bystritsky believes the protests across Israel are well organized, indicating the involvement of experienced string-pullers.

“I have no doubt about this. Whether they are directly connected with some US groups is hard to say for sure, but in all likelihood they are connected. The range of ties between the US and Israel is vast. There are very influential pro-Israeli lobbyists in the US. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an independent and controversial political figure. A large part of the Israeli and US establishment are critical of him, so logical conclusions are easy to derive,” he added.

Bystritsky also argued that a certain portion of Israeli society and global Jewry are “slightly to the left of the current government”, which has contributed to this tense political situation. 

“In this sense, there may be some influence from the US Jewish community, at least, in terms of pressure on Netanyahu,” he added.

Protests in Israel kicked off after Benjamin Netanyahu’s regime rolled out plans for judicial reforms that would limit the Supreme Court’s power and allow the executive branch to control the selection of judges. The opposition believes that such measures will only consolidate power in the country’s executive branch, while Netanyahu has countered by arguing that these reforms will balance the powers of the three branches of government and make the entire political system more democratic. 

It remains interesting to see how the political situation in Israel unfolds. Given the country’s democratic trends, change is inexorable. Over the last 80 years, more religious, ethnonationalist Jews have moved into the country, thereby pushing it further to the Right. Should these migration and high birth rate trends among religious/ethno-nationalist Jews continue, the Israeli state could potentially take on a religious dimension toward the end of the 21st century. 

How that will affect Israel’s standing with the Collective West will be fascinating to see. Should Israel have more oriental elements of Jewry in charge, it could potentially pivot East and forge stronger ties with China and Russia at the Collective West’s expense. All things considered, we could be in for some crazy geopolitical realignments in the next few decades. 

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