Political officials in Israel said Monday they think "the Kremlin expects gestures from Israel in exchange for the elimination of the affair."Nothing like a tried and true anti-Semitic tactic -- stir up trouble, then make the Jews pay for fixing it. Reminds me, lehavdil elef alfei havdalot, of Goering imposing a fine on the Jewish community after Kristallnacht to pay for the broken glass -- and there are, I'm sure, many other examples.
Some Russian analysts support this interpretation. Anton Nosik, a well-known independent Russian journalist, said the current situation is comfortable for the Kremlin. He expects Russian President Vladimir Putin to increase the price he plans to extract from Israel the worse the problem is depicted. "When you ask the Kremlin for a favor, it can be assumed that the Kremlin will ask favors in return," said Nosik.
Shmarya, incidentally, draws attention to the bizarre comments by Russian Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar in The Jerusalem Post, in which he rejected the charge of anti-Semitism in the government, saying, "I tell you clearly: in the top echelons of government, the prosecutor's statement [announcing the original investigation and criminal complaint] shocked everyone." I don't believe it for a minute; even if Putin did not instruct the investigation, in a regime like his investigations like this aren't opened without his consent, implicit or explicit. For Shmarya's take, click here.