The Israeli regime not by use of weapons and hard force but by soft ways and smart tactics and with a consideration of the demands of the countries seeks getting a toehold in that Eurasian region to play as a key actor.
The Eurasia region covers a wide geographical area including Ukraine, Belarus, the areas between the Black Sea and Russia, Caucasus, Caspian Sea, Central Asia, and Mongolia. In categorization of the regions, Eurasia is a key region and its actors can play a decisive role in the international structure. The region was part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. Now it borders the Atlantic Ocean, West Asia, and the Pacific Ocean, with Russia standing as its key actor. In fact, the region is the defining identity of the Russian empire since the 17th century. And it is so when it comes to Russia’s Near Abroad in the present time. The Israeli regime, located in Asia, seeks close ties with the nations of Eurasia in a bid to deepen its influence over the region.
Capacities and the security-identity order
A simple explanation of the interests is the place of the material power and its reflections in the eyes of nations. The capacities determine an actor’s place and an actor’s vulnerability is well dependent to its place. Ideas, ideologies, and knowledge are closely connected to different types of power. So, the limits of the maneuvering capability of an actor are in direct relation with its place. Presence of the Israeli regime in Eurasia means that the Eurasian countries will have a new understanding of Tel Aviv as a result of close ties and cooperation with the regime. Beside meeting their needs and enjoying joint benefits, the Israeli leaders look forward to build their favorable order in Eurasia with the least possible costs to address their security goals.
Any order in the context of time highlights its specific values and introduces a system of rewarding and punishing. It, beside the favorable and specific goals and methods, develops the identity-based and value-based principles. The ultimate goal of any actor in the systematic and stable orders is securing the maximum degree of stability. To actualize this end, Tel Aviv needs boosting ties with the Asian countries from Greece to Turkmenistan. Having in mind that material and spiritual forces work to provide security as an outstanding product regardless of the characteristics of the actors, in an order in which the Israeli regime is the top actor and owns the hegemony the security will be accessible in its two aspects, namely in physical and identity aspects.
The causal necessities of cooperation
Presence of order in Eurasia requires going beyond the basic and principal needs. The shortage of natural resources of the Israeli regime makes Eurasian gas and oil attractive for Tel Aviv, and its technology-based industries make economic development, boosting ties with the world, and weathering the present-day challenges feasible. The Israeli political and economic potentials transformed Tel Aviv into a good model, a modernization catalyst, and a gate for expansion of relations with the West. On the other side, expanding ties with the Eurasian countries not only can change the balance of power in favor of the Israeli regime in its competition with Iran but also affects the operational and ideological areas of influence of the Islamic Republic.
Another drive for Tel Aviv to seek toehold in Eurasia is to prevent further Muslim countries from joining the opposite camp. This Israeli concern grew after Kazakhstan's government recognized the state of Palestine in January 1992, and its boost of ties with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in the same year. The friendship associations and the Jewish Agency for Israel played a big role in holding and deepening the relations between Tel Aviv and Eurasia’s nations. The important and permanently considered point in the Israeli regime’s Eurasian diplomacy is trying to avoid provoking the key power Russia through two ways of diplomacy and trade.
Israeli regime and Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's advantages Such as large Muslim population, bordering Russia and Turkey, 7 billion barrel oil reserves and 85 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves, and being along the Asian transit route to Europe motivated the Israeli regime to seek influence in Azerbaijan. The Israeli instruments of presence in Azerbaijan include the active presence of the Jewish communities like Ashkenazi Jews, Sephardi Jews, and the Georgian Jews with the population of over 16,000 people. The Azeri independence was accompanied by a growing rise of Jewish and pro-Zionist institutions and organizations that aimed at supporting and restoring the Jewish culture in post-Soviet Azerbaijan. The new constitution of Azerbaijan took secularism and religious equality as its base, turning the country into a haven for the rich Jewish communities. Four years after opening embassy in the Azeri capital of Baku, Israeli regime's Benjamin Netanyahu met with the former Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev on August 29, 1997.
The following Israeli goals majorly pushed Tel Aviv to draw on its big financial capacities and seek cultural and political influence in the newly formed Republic of Azerbaijan: securing energy supply from Azerbaijan( Azerbaijan provides 20 percent of Israeli oil), gaining access to Caucasus market, spying on Iran, organizing the Jewish communities of Azerbaijan as the protectors of Israeli interests in Azerbaijan's economic, political, and cultural institutions, fighting a growing wave of Islam through painting Iran and Islamism as threats, attracting Azeri political and economic elites, arranging cultural events like tours to the occupied territories, and trying to display a model of ties with a Muslim country in a bid to encourage other Muslim states to recognize and start relations with Tel Aviv.
Israeli influence project in Central Asia
The Israeli regime started relations with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as two Central Asian states in different fields such as agriculture, agricultural irrigation systems, and the related technologies. Turkmenistan also began cooperation on developing educational technologies, agriculture, economy, healthcare services, and finance with the Israeli regime. Turkmenistan is geopolitically significant for Tel Aviv. There is a saying in Jerusalem (Al-Quds) which says “everybody can see Iran from his hotel room in Ashgabat.”
The prelude to the Israeli-Kazakh relations was joint projects for producing tomatoes and cotton. This prompted wider relations in a variety of dimensions between them. The Davi Foundation Project launched by the Israeli company named Lachish was the biggest initiative in agriculture and cattle breeding. Renewing Azerbaijan’s communication networks by Israeli companies was another field of cooperation between the two sides.
The Tel Aviv has tight security relations with Astana. The Israeli contract companies are aiming at modernizing Azerbaijan’s military infrastructures. The Israeli companies like Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Israeli Military Industries, and aerospace institutions cover all Kazakhstan’s needs from military drones to communication technologies. The Israelis also developed civilian technologies like public healthcare, agriculture, and water resources management in Kazakhstan. In 2014, the two sides signed a deal for weapons sales, technology development, and joint military training. Kazakhstan provides a quarter of the Israeli oil needs. According to a 2009 report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Israeli regime and Russia have been the key weapons suppliers of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Georgia.
Israeli regime and Russia
The Israeli leaders consider the ties with Moscow as being in their ideal status. According to an agreement signed by the Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Ariel Sharon in 2003, the Israeli regime became the gate of Russian oil transit in West Asia region. This involved Tel Aviv in the Russian and Caucasian energy policies. For the Israelis, Russia’s closeness to Iran and Syria does not pose risks to Tel Aviv’s interests, and they comfortably seek alluring the Russians into cooperation in fields other than energy.
Israeli regime in regional organizations
Attaining an observer status in the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation ( BSEC) not only can help Tel Aviv gain influence among the members of this regional economic organization but also adds to its economic capacities. Tel Aviv's attempts to join the Eurasian Economic Union are considerable that is a trading bloc founded in 2015 by Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. After Armenia and Kyrgyzstan joining, Tajikistan is likely to be spurred to apply for membership of the Union. EAEU guarantees free exchange of commodities, capital, services, and manpower, and eyes convergent and united economic policies. Tel Aviv spares no effort to join the EAEU. Zio Alkaine, the head of the Joint Israeli-Russian Economic Commission, has said that negotiation between the EAEU and Tel Aviv for Israeli accession is becoming a top priority. He hoped that after two rounds of talks in 2016, Israeli regime will join this regional economic organization in 2018. With its high potentials in supplying capital, services, technology, and products, Tel Aviv will be able to boost trade with the five members, and undertake the proxy job of preparing the ground for Western influence through promoting the liberalist values in Eurasia.
Consequences of Israeli regime's Presence in Eurasia for Iran
Israeli presence in the neighborhood of Iran carries a message: Tel Aviv is accepted in the Eurasian region. The Israeli relations with Eurasian countries grant it new international capabilities. The consequences of this Israeli influence in Eurasia for Iran are as follows:
- Damaging Iran’s political and cultural relations with Eurasian countries
- Limiting activities of Iranian private and state firms in Eurasia
- Downsizing Iranian products' markets
- Improving Israeli spying capabilities by collecting data from the Iranian borders
- And posing security, cultural, and sectarian threats against Iran, beside provoking separatist approaches inside Iran, and pushing for religious conflicts in Iran