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No Promised Land For Kobalia2011-03-22 21:02
The Fuks & Frenkel case is gathering pace. Last week speaker of Georgian parliament was denied a visit to Tel Aviv because of the lawsuit against two Israeli businessmen. Now the leaders of Israel refuse to see Georgian minister of economic and sustainable development Vera Kobalia as a guest of the international tourism forum to be held in Israel at the end of March. As usual, Tbilisi sees Moscow's trace in this unpleasant affront.
The Georgian ministry of foreign affairs decided to guess reasons why the female minister had to cancel her prescheduled trip with Georgian deputy FM Nino Kalandadze politely using the word "postpone" , "not cancel" to save face of official Tbilisi.
For the time being we have no official information on the matter from Israel's representative office - Nino Kalandadze said. - We believe Kobalia's visit was postponed for the same reasons as Bakradze's visit, though we will specify the details with Israel's ambassador to Georgia".
Indeed, it's easy to guess the reasons. After David Bakradze's visit was "postponed" Knesset chair Reuven Rievlin explained: citizens of Israel keenly follow the lawsuit over their compatriots in Tbilisi, and the authorities are under serious public pressure and "this is not the right time for the Georgian speaker's official visit to Israel".
No doubt about pressure. In January Ben Kaspit, a well-known Israeli journalist accused Saakashvili's sidekicks of mafia-style methods of treating the arrested entrepreneurs. "Georgians underestimated the fact that the scandal might turn them into outcasts and that Israel and the international community have no intention to drop the case", - IzRus quotes. - Somebody must bring it home to the Georgian ambassador to Israel that If things continue this way, he will be a persona non grata and his country, its businessmen and interests will be unwelcome everywhere except for Iran...".
As IzRus reports with reference to unnamed sources in the Israeli government "there are specific indications that high-ranking officials from Georgia should not be received". Behavior of the Israeli authorities is understandable since Georgians themselves consider the lawsuit over Roni Fuks and Zeeva Frenkel as a biased manifestation of anti-Semitism.
This evident explanation was not enough for Georgian mass media controlled by the paranoid regime. They immediately found Kremlin's trace in the matter. According to them, the Israeli newspaper that was first to announce Georgian officials as "persone non grate" in the territory of Israel, act on order of Russian special services.