Israeli targeted by Iran in Georgia not surprised: Some people don’t like what I do

Israeli-Georgian businessman Itzik Moshe, who dedicates most of his time to promoting Israel’s international standing, says he only learned of assassination plot from media

Israeli-Georgian businessman Itzik Moshe (Nesi315 CC BY-SA 4.0)
Israeli-Georgian businessman Itzik Moshe (Nesi315 CC BY-SA 4.0)

An Israeli citizen who was recently targeted by Iran’s Quds Force in Georgia said Wednesday that the idea of him becoming the target of assassination had occurred to him before.

In an interview with Walla News, Israeli-Georgian businessman Itzik Moshe said he knew that “some people don’t like what I do.”

He explained that he spends most of his time traveling between Israel, Georiga, Albania and other countries in the region in an effort to advocate for the Jewish state and improve its international standing.

“90% of my time is spent doing pro-Israel advocacy, promoting pro-Israel articles and fighting antisemitism. All at my own expense,” he said.

“Subconsciously, I might have always believed it,” he continued, “that one day there will be some kind of response.”

Moshe clarified, however, that he was not aware of previous attempts to threaten him in any way for his activity.

He said that he only learned about the recent incident by reading Hebrew-language reports from Israel.

“All I know is what I read in Hebrew media. That’s all the information I have. Until yesterday I didn’t even know,” he said, adding that the authorities in Georgia have not contacted him with any special instructions yet.

He added that after reports came out about the foiled targeted killing, he received an unexpected phone call from President Isaac Herzog.

“The moment reports came out, I received a phone call from the President of the State of Israel Isaac Herzog, who probably knows about my activity from his time at the Jewish Agency. He called me to express his support and said he was proud of my work for Israel. He told me to stay safe and invited me to visit when I return,” Moshe said.

“It was very encouraging to hear that from Israel’s top citizen,” he added.

Moshe, 62, served in the past as a senior Jewish Agency representative in Russia, and founded Israeli House, which seeks to improve Israel’s image in Eastern Europe.

The Iranian plot to target him on foreign land, first reported Tuesday, involved a Pakistani team affiliated with al-Qaeda that traveled to Tbilisi to gather intelligence and prepare for an attack on Moshe.

The plot was discovered by Georgian security forces, who became aware of suspicious behavior on the part of one of the Pakistani operatives. They arrested him and subsequently found weapons in his possession.

In addition, Georgian discovered two Georgian-Iranian dual citizens allegedly responsible for passing weapons along to the hit team. They were working with a weapons smuggler in Turkey.

All of the suspects are in Georgian custody and are being interrogated. An investigation by Tbilisi continues into others outside of Georgia who were involved in the plot.

Members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) march during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, in the capital Tehran, on September 22, 2018. (Stringer/AFP)

Georgia is a popular travel locale for Israelis, especially the resort town of Batumi, which can be reached via a direct flight from Tel Aviv — as can the capital Tbilisi.

There is no new travel warning to Georgia in the wake of the plot, according to a National Security Council official.

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