On Friday, just before the Sabbath, I got an email from Rabbi Rahamim (Richard) Pauli detailing news he had just picked up from Debkafiles.
He pointed out that the 8th of August was the 7th of Av, the day that Babylonian forces broke through the Temple walls in their final attack on the Temple in Jerusalem (its destruction took place on the 9th of Av), and like many looking towards the Jewish calendar for hints of Redemption, he asked, "Is this the beginning of the War of Gog and Magog [the final war that is supposed to precede the coming of the messiah]?"
Let's leave aside the Biblical implications and what they may portend for the future for the moment, and just look at the straight news story out of Debkafiles Friday. The story as of Friday read as follows:
Georgian tanks and infantry, aided by Israeli military advisers, captured the capital of breakaway South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, early Friday, Aug. 8, bringing the Georgian-Russian conflict over the province to a military climax. Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin threatened a “military response"... Reinforcements were rushed to the Russian “peacekeeping force” present in the region to support the separatists. Georgian tanks entered the capital after heavy overnight heavy aerial strikes, in which dozens of people were killed.
By Sunday morning, the picture at Dekafiles had changed completely, with the Bush administration warning that Russia had to pull out its soldiers from Gruzia (the native name for Georgia). In these later stories, and in other stories coming out of the war zone, Israel was no longer mentioned.
As the media concentrate on a possible Russian/American standoff over Gruzia (Georgia), Israel will drop from their stories. After all, what importance can we have when two major nuclear powers face off? But we will not drop out of the minds of the Russian invaders of Gruzia. That is not how Russians think, and it is not how they work. They will want vengeance on all who have sullied them, and that includes us in Israel.
Gruzian Jewish immigrants have demonstrated outside the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv waving the crosses on the Gruzian flag in their faces. The Russians do not forget such insults. They are a sensitive lot – brutes with very thin skins. And let's return to the Debkafile 8th August headline: "Israel backs Georgia in Caspian Oil Pipeline Battle with Russia."