In many ways, Russia, China, and Iran are enemies with conflicting political, economic, and military goals. But, sometimes, the orbits of these three highly undemocratic and repressive regimes converge and produce either intentional or unintentional cooperation. Actually, it’s better to call it “collusion.”

Before you can outline how this is all playing out now, it’s important to define the key goals of each of these three nations’ foreign policies. Luckily, they all just need one word each. For Russia, it’s “chaos.” For China, it’s “dependence.” For Iran, it’s “destruction.”

Unfortunately for Israel, these three regimes and their policies have been colluding against the Jewish state more often over the last 10 years. In many ways, that collusion has become more problematic since October 7. The good news is that if Israel does finish off Hamas, much of the support system for this three-way Russian-Chinese-Iranian collusion will fall apart fast.

For Russia, it’s “chaos.” For China, it’s “dependence.” For Iran, it’s “destruction.”

Russia’s chaos tactics

Let’s start with Russia and its chaos techniques. 

Today’s Russia is run by a former KGB operative in Vladimir Putin, who began a series of chaos-creating policies throughout the world after the U.S. and other Western powers imposed economic sanctions for his first major breach of Ukrainian sovereignty in 2014.

After that move, I warned that Putin was now acting like a wounded animal and that there was nothing he wouldn’t do to push back on the West and any semblance of world security and order. Nine months after I issued that warning, Russia had done just that. But, in particular interest to Israel, it had brought a massive military force into Syria to protect the Assad regime, and has thus complicated Israel’s efforts to thwart Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon ever since.

To be clear, Putin hasn’t been sacrificing Russian military power in Syria out of any affinity for Bashar al-Assad. Officially, he’s justified the move to the Russian people as a strike against the Syrian rebels and their many connections to Islamist terrorist groups. Islamist terrorism is still a very sore spot in Russia because of the Chechen terror attacks years ago—a spot which has not stopped Putin from allying with Ramzan Kadyirov, Chechnya’s own dictator, in killing civilians in Ukraine.

But Putin is really doing it to help bolster Iran’s influence in the region and the resulting chaos ensuing from it. A Middle East that is more influenced by Israel and a moderate-moving Saudi Arabia is the opposite of chaos, and Russia is all about chaos. Since the Ukraine war exploded in early 2022, Russia became more aligned with Iran because of Tehran’s willingness to supply Moscow with killer drones and other weapons much more specifically suited to the war with Kyiv than Russia’s existing weapons cache.

Now Russia has thus become more willing to tow Iran’s rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Hamas war. Barely more than three weeks after October 7, Putin gave a live TV address that mimicked the absurd falsehoods about the war that we’ve become used to hearing from ignorant college encampment protesters, saying: “There is no justification for the terrible events taking place in Gaza now, where hundreds of thousands of innocent people are being killed indiscriminately, without having anywhere to flee or hide from the bombing.”

“Hundreds of thousands?” “Indiscriminately?” Really, Vladimir? Chaos, meet destruction. Destruction, meet chaos.

But as bad and transparent as Putin’s falsehoods against Israel are, never forget that, as a former KGB leader, he is well-versed in much more sophisticated forms of Russian misinformation, those that can truly damage Israel. For everyone who continues to brush off Putin as just a greedy thug, or Russia as just a “big gas station with nukes,” take note of this blast from the past of sophisticated Russian propaganda and chaos rhetoric: 

Russian disinformation tactics have hurt Jews probably more than anything else on earth, starting with the blood libels and Protocols of the Elders of Zion during the time of the tsars, to the KGB’s enforcement of the USSR’s official anti-Semitic policies, to Putin’s modern embodiment of KGB “psy-op” tactics in our own time.

We’ve all experienced these tactics from Moscow many times in the last several decades whether we realize it or not. In fact, one of the then-KGB’s most elaborate and ambitious disinformation campaigns sheds some light on just how good Russia has always been at inducing chaos and playing on Jewish vulnerabilities at the same time. 

Russian disinformation tactics have hurt Jews probably more than anything else on earth.

For me that moment came when I was just 16-years-old and closely observed, along with much of the rest of world Jewry, the John “Ivan the Terrible” Demjanjuk trial in Israel. 

From the beginning, something seemed “off” to me about the whole process. I didn’t like that the trial was moved from the courthouse to a large theater. I bristled at the trial being used as an excuse to drag Holocaust survivors through their painful past once more. Also, it wasn’t a trial debating whether crimes had or had not been committed like the famous trial of Adolf Eichmann a quarter-century earlier. Instead, it was solely about determining if Demjanjuk was indeed the infamous Treblinka death camp guard known as “Ivan the Terrible.” I never found any of the identification testimony to be very convincing, and there was a big reason why.

He was the wrong guy.

As his fervently right-wing Zionist Israeli attorney Yoram Sheftel painstakingly explained in his book Defending Ivan the Terrible, Demjanjuk may or may not have been a Nazi sympathizer or even a low-level member of the German forces, but he was definitely not Ivan the Terrible, and, by the time the trial started, even the Israeli judiciary knew it.

But Demjanjuk was a patsy in the KGB’s desire to use the case of the still missing and unpunished Ivan to cool the growing ties between Israel, Ukraine, and world Jewry in their combined efforts to win freedom for Soviet Jews and undermine the USSR’s entire totalitarian regime. Fingering a retired Ukrainian American autoworker living outside Cleveland seemed to be worth it to the KGB in the Soviet Empire’s final years.

Luckily, the USSR collapsed anyway. Putin’s Russia endures, and it still uses these kinds of tactics with no worries whatsoever about the long-term costs.

China chimes in

China likes to bolster its power internationally by increasing the number of nations who economically depend on the Beijing regime for everything from infrastructure to foreign imports.

The infrastructure part of that equation is known as the “Belt and Road Initiative,” which, at best, makes many smaller nations rely on Chinese expertise and, at worst, makes them slaves to Chinese financing for that expensive (and collapsing) infrastructure forevermore.

Israel is getting an added bitter taste of this right now as the Chinese-operated ports in Haifa seem to be benefiting from their safer distance from Gaza while Israeli-operated ports in the city of Ashdod have suffered some disruptions.

This dichotomy is the latest in the long-running controversy over the Haifa ports, which created tensions inside Israel and between Israel and the Trump administration in 2019. Israel had been trying to balance its desire for more Chinese investments with security concerns and worries over how that could anger the U.S. The war in Gaza has only made all of those problems even worse.

But that doesn’t mean everything is going according to plan for Beijing. While its economic influence in the Middle East is growing, especially when it comes to financial deals with Saudi Arabia, its political influence compared to the U.S. and Russia is minimal.

Most analysts correctly point out that China believes the best way to increase that influence is to undermine American political power in the region. Since 2021, Beijing has been trying to do that by taking a page from the Russian handbook and promoting disinformation campaigns that portray the U.S. as supporting racist policies that harm fairness and justice. Now, this narrative has now been added to China’s rhetoric against Israel’s conduct in the Gaza war. It all mirrors the Chinese response to Trump administration and congressional objections to Beijing’s dissolution of Hong Kong’s remaining autonomy in 2019. China retorted with a series of public comments about how life in America is exceedingly racist.

It appears Beijing sees using the Gaza war as an excuse to bash Israel aligns with its foreign policy goals overall.

That tactic should ring lots of alarm bells for everyone who knows, sadly, how popular claims that Israel is racist are throughout the world already. The only solace is that slur is so heavily repeated and contributed to by so many entities that perhaps China piling on this late in the game won’t make much of an influential difference.

Nevertheless, it appears Beijing sees using the Gaza war as an excuse to bash Israel aligns with its foreign policy goals overall. 

Iran’s destruction tactics

While Russia and Iran are both major agents of chaos in the Middle East, it’s important to note that while chaos is Russia’s direct goal, chaos is just an indirect result of Iran’s policies. 

The Iranian regime really only produces one thing: terrorism. That manifests itself mostly in its support for and control of its main foreign terror proxy armies: Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis (there are many others, but those are the Big Three). It also supports terror attacks all over the world with varying frequency.

The Iranian regime really only produces one thing: terrorism.

It would be a mistake to think that Iran actually thinks of these terror armies as just chaos agents, because the real goal is for them to create as much death as possible, including the deaths of their own people. Iran sees itself not only fighting the West, but more primarily leading the war against Sunni Islam in a 1,400-year-old civil war for dominance of the faith. That means the deaths of Americans, Israelis, and Sunni Muslims all over the world are all fine by the mullahs in Tehran. 

Note that none of its terror armies are manned by Iranians, and only Hezbollah includes Shiite leaders with close personal ties to Iran. That’s the perfect recipe for a Tehran regime that feels comfortable sending these mostly non-Shiite fighters to their deaths as they attack other non-Shiite or non-Iranian fighters and civilians they may or may not care about slightly less. 

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Iran has enjoyed the added financial benefits of Russia’s procurement of Tehran’s killer drones. Now, since October 7, Iran has also enjoyed the rhetorical bashing of Israel coming from Moscow and Beijing alike.

How does this end?

The key question is how far Russia and China will go to back up Iran if and when Hamas does collapse and Tehran comes under inevitable added pressure from its other proxies to protect them better from a similar fate. Tehran suffers from a tremendous and justifiable fear that a collapse of Hamas will start a process that could lead to the destruction of the mullahs’ regime within one-to-two years. That’s what happens to tyrannical rulers who are suddenly exposed to their own people and allies as weak. 

It’s that panic over the possible domino effect a Hamas collapse would create that’s igniting the Biden administration’s efforts to do anything to preserve at least some remnant of the terrorist army. Too many supposed experts on the American political scene are falling for the head fake that President Joe Biden’s increasing attacks and false statements against Israel are the result of the Democrats’ worries about carrying the heavily Muslim-populated swing state of Michigan. In reality, the large number of pro-Iranian agents and sympathizers inside the White House and the State Department mean these moves to please Tehran. That desperation has led to some very obvious and flailing errors lately, including multiple incidents of U.S. leaders falsely claiming Israel had accepted ceasefire terms to which it had not actually agreed—or, in some cases, hadn’t even seen.

If Hamas does collapse, Russia’s chaos policy would likely push it towards not intervening in a meaningful way, as the power vacuum in Tehran would likely produce enough chaos of its own for some time. China would also likely stand back and work on starting over with any possible new regime in Iran that could be under greater Saudi influence just as Beijing and Riyadh continue to solidify ties. 

But, as long as Hamas survives, this recent trend of Russia, China, and Iran ganging up on Israel will continue, which is another reason why Israel needs to finish Hamas off.