Near and Middle East. The analogy is apt, considering that the revolts that helpedtopple the Soviet regimes were encouraged, funded, and otherwise assisted by thesame NGOs – with US Governmental backing – that are behind the present tumult inthe Muslim states.The Reuters report states that the Russian view of Gorbachev is ambivalent. Quoted isa middle-aged Moscow lawyer who states: “To me he is a good-for-nothing-man[who] simply betrayed his people, he destroyed the mechanism of the state and soldhis country for nothing.”President Medvedev, on the other hand, awarded Gorbachev Russia’s highest honors,yet enigmatically stated that the “big work” Gorbachev did, “can be assessed indifferent ways.” What might one think of this “compliment” other than thatMedvedev, while feeling obliged to pay tribute to someone so esteemed by the “richand famous,” has to live with the quagmire that he inherited from Gorbachev.
From Communist Functionary to Global Elitist
The gala celebration at the Royal Albert Hall, London, for “Gorby’s” eightieth wasaccurately labeled “The Man who Changed the World.” For his part, Gorbachevhonored as “a man who changed the world” the “founder of the internet,” Sir TimBerners-Lee. Others honored by Gorbachev with the annual “Gorbachev Awards”were CNN founder Ted Turner and Kenyan engineer Evans Wadonongo. LechWalesa, father of post-Soviet Poland, was also present.
, one of the large Israeli media outlets, stated of the Gorbachev festivitiesthat among the attendees were Israeli President Shimon Peres, and unnamed“oligarchs.” The Israeli account is more informative than other news outlets. Pereswas a featured guest of the event, and presented the Kenyan engineer Wadonongowith his award.
reporting on Peres’ speech states:In his speech, the Israeli president said Gorbachev fought to regain what hiscountry had lost to communism, adding that the former Soviet leader changedhistory.Peres also called Gorbachev a good friend to the Jewish people, saying manySoviet Jews were permitted to make
under his rule.It is evident from Peres’ statements that Gorbachev realigned the USSR in its officialattitude towards Israel and Zionism, a factor in itself meriting his elevation tocelebrity status among some influential quarters. Russia, more than any other state,has historically given Jews a lot of worry. The Menshevik and subsequent Bolshevik revolts were greeted by some sections of Jewry – high and low – with messianicfervor, but their hopes, along with those of international capital (Jewish and Gentile), were soon dashed by the rise of Stalin and the exiling of Trotsky, et al. Especiallyafter World War II and the creation of the Israeli State, the USSR viewed Zionism notonly with suspicion, but as a primary world enemy. Soviet academe gave muchattention to the international ramifications of Zionism. Just how well informed theSoviets were is indicated by the official publication of well-informed books such as
By Yuri Ivanov, indicating that the upper echelons of the2