RUSSIA - Moscow’s Palestine View

Arno Froese

Russia has traditionally held that Middle East security hinges on the creation of a Palestinian state. So while it said ‘there can be no justification’ for the 7 October attack, Moscow has also condemned the ‘indiscriminate bombing of residential neighborhoods in Gaza.’

The USSR played a major, if unexpected, role in Israel’s creation. Its early promotion of an ‘independent, democratic Palestine’ where Jews and Arabs would coexist was merely a tactical move. and Moscow soon back-pedaled. On 30 September 1947 Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov telegraphed his deputy, Andrey Vyshinsky, in New York that while he could not ‘take it upon [himself] to support the creation of a Jewish state’, this solution—presented as a backup plan in case clashes between the two communities worsened—was actually preferred by the Kremlin., June 2024

Arno's Commentary

Doubtless, the compassionate speech of the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov, contributed to winning the UN vote to partition Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state. 

One must also mention that it was the Soviet Union which, though not openly, supplied weapons for Jews to defend themselves. Wikipedia writes: 

Czechoslovakia also trained 81 pilots and 69 ground crew specialists, some of them later forming the first fighter unit of the Israeli Air Force, and on Czechoslovakian soil a group of Jewish volunteers the size of approximately a brigade (about 1,300 men and women) were also trained, from August 20 until November 4, 1948. 

The same article, under the sub-headline, “Arms Shipments from Czechoslovakia to Israel 1947-1949,” describes the birth of Israel’s air force:

Some of the aircraft were lost en route to Israel. The delivery of aircraft began on May 20, 1948, and was conducted from the Czech airfield near the town of Žatec. Some of [the] Avia fighters were dismantled and flown to Israel in transport airplanes. 

Some of the deliveries were not finished until after cessation of hostilities. Only eighteen Spitfires reached Israel prior to end of war by direct flight from Czechoslovakia during operations Velvetta 1 in September (6 planes) and Velvetta 2 in December 1948 (12 planes), both operations with a refueling stop in Yugoslavia. During operation Velvetta 2 Spitfires were repainted in Yugoslav Air Force markings for the flight from Kunovice to Nikšić. The rest were shipped in crates, officially declared as scrap iron, along with 12 Merlin 66 engines, and deliveries lasted until the end of April 1950.

During those days, Britain and the United States had placed an arms embargo against the Middle East. 

Not surprisingly, the Soviet Union was the first to officially recognize the State of Israel (de jure).

One must also realize that of the signers of Israel’s Declaration of the Rebirth (Independence), most were born, raised, and educated in the Soviet Union (or its satellite states): 9 from Ukraine, 5 from Poland, and 8 from Belarus.

Israel’s relationship with the USSR changed dramatically during the Six-Day War, when Israel’s air force decisively destroyed the Arab air force with their French Mirage jet fighters.

Today, the picture is different. The main supplier of weapons to the Jewish State is the United States, which stepped up to aid Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

When reading the prophet Daniel, we realize that weapons play an important part. “But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain” (Daniel 11:38-39).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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