Barak offers Gusinsky asylum.
January 9, 2001 10:14 PM   Subscribe

Barak offers Gusinsky asylum. Showing just how desperate Barak is to shore up support domestically, while potentially alienating Moscow and Washington. NOTE: Link only up publically for today, 1/10/01--stratfor is mostly subscription only. So here is alternate AP link.
posted by aflakete (2 comments total)
It is a weird move, to be sure, but I doubt the US would care much. I'm hardly in-the-know here, but I think I'd prefer Gusinsky to Putin in everything other than a fistfight. I don't get how this "shores up" domestic support though — lotsa Russian Jews in Isreal, but is it only the "enemies of my enemy are my friend" thing?
posted by sylloge at 11:24 PM on January 9, 2001

From the stratfor article:
Barak also chances being connected to the Russian oligarchs in the general media, risking his position with his key patron, the United States. There is already a sense in Washington that the oligarchs engaged in systematic corruption that not only undermined Russian reforms but also diverted U.S. aid into their pockets. The Bank of New York scandal caused many to equate the oligarchs with the Russian mafia. As the American public does not make fine distinctions, Gusinsky’s particular role will not be an issue. This would not be good for U.S.-Israeli relations. In making his statement to German media, Barak hopes to avoid the attention of the U.S. press. However, the Hebrew and Russian language media in Israel will notice the news, helping to secure votes from the massive Russian émigré block. If Barak is lucky, Putin will understand this is just Israeli politics. If he is really lucky, the U.S. media will ignore or treat the whole incident with little importance.

Like I said: desperate. . .
posted by aflakete at 10:49 AM on January 10, 2001

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