Realpolitik: Russia and Israel get cozy; Canada clears out its potential hostages

In a fascinating article today by Lawrence Solomon, the rapprochement between Russia and Israel over energy exports portends a general rapprochement on broader military issues. Russia is losing Syria, for other reasons, but if it gains leverage with Israel, it gains leverage over Israel’s massive capacity in offshore shale-oil, which would be bound for export to Europe.

It also signals that Israel may be distancing itself from the US.

Solomon writes:

“With Israel becoming a major energy exporter, able to upset Russia’s dominant role as a gas supplier in Europe, Russia is tilting further in Israel’s direction — and further from Israel’s enemies. And with Russia and Israel jointly developing resources off Israel’s shores, Israel’s gas fields will benefit in part from a Russian shield — belligerents who have been menacing Israel’s drilling rigs and other energy infrastructure — they include the government of Turkey as well as Islamist terrorists in Israel’s neighbouring countries — will now think twice before an attack that could draw Russia’s ire.

“In jointly exploiting Mediterranean gas, Russia stands to gain diplomatically, Israel stands to gain militarily, and both stand to gain financially. They say politics makes for strange bedfellows. Geopolitics can make for sound businesses.”

Now, put this news together with the fact that Canada is withdrawing diplomatic relations with Iran. By this measure we get our diplomats out of harm’s way in case the Israelis or Americans bomb Iran.

The Globe reports:

“Canadian officials cited a range of reasons for the extraordinary decision to expel all Iranian diplomats from Ottawa and close the mission in Tehran, chief among them the threat to the security of Canadian personnel, particularly if Israel or the United States should launch an attack on Iran in an effort to eliminate Tehran’s alleged nuclear-weapons program.

“With no American embassy in Tehran and the British embassy closed [since an attack on it in November] the next most likely target for retaliation would have been the Canadians,” said a former government official with experience in Iran.

“That is why, these officials say, there was no objection from the Canadian diplomats when the order to evacuate came down, especially since the mission was serving no practical purpose anyway.”

So, if you were the Iranian leadership, you would be getting very nervous. Russia combines with Israel. Canada, the next likely target of diplomatic hostage-taking (itself an act of war by Iran against Canada), clears its diplomats out of the country.

Bombs away?