Israel Walks Georgia Tightrope

Israel has close ties with Georgia and has sold that nation over $300 million worth of military equipment but it also works hard to maintain close relations with Russia. The Russian embassy in Israel expressed its appreciation of the “balanced” approach Israel is taking to the current crisis in Georgia. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had said “Israel is following with great concern the developments in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and hopes the violence will end.” However, the Georgia ambassador to Israel expressed disappointment with the failure of Israel to take a stronger stand against Russian aggression.

Israel is in a damn if you do or damn if you don’t situation. It has close ties with Georgia and works with that nation’s military leaders, but it does not wish to antagonize Russia which could assume a more aggressive role in furnishing arms and ammunition to nations like Syria. The Russian government has expressed its appreciation that Israel did not supply offensive weapons to Georgia and will take that into account in its own arms sales to Iran and Syria.

Sometimes caution is the handmaiden of peace.