Netanyahu and Putin.
(photo credit: IVAN SEKRETAREV / POOL / AFP)
What do Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk about? What do they report on and update each other about when they meet?
In their last conversation, which happened last week, did Putin "explain" to Netanyahu why Russia supported and voted in favor of the UNESCO resolution that ignores the Jewish historical connection to the Western Wall?
Putin wishes to make Russia an influential, leading world power on the international scene. So, how could it be that en route to this status, Putin included Russia among the countries that voted for the resolution whose baselessness would shame antisemites throughout the ages?
Italian Prime Minister Matthew Renzi apologized for abstaining from the UNESCO vote
; UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova is ashamed of the resolution and has tried to soften the blow of its distortion
; however, Netanyahu's friend, Vladimir Putin, is apparently not bothered and feels quite comfortable with Russia's support for the antisemitic resolution.
Perhaps in their telephone conversation the Russian president "clarified" to the prime minister of Israel the reason why in the UN Security Council's informal discussion of settlements last week,Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin gave one of the harshest speeches against Israel's settlement policy.
Russia is a world power that is internationally isolated to a degree which only North Korea can compete with and Putin is an ostracized world leader whose western counterparts openly attempt to avoid. The Russian president himself is well aware of his questionable reputation and therefore decided that there was no point in him going to the annual UN General Assembly last month and he was better off missing the international event which played host to more than 100 heads-of-state.
The prime minister, who has friendly relations with Putin, rightfully is worried about the French peace initiative at the UN Security Council and fears that the US will have to use its veto to thwart the initiative. But Russia also has the right to veto at the Security Council. The question that must be asked is if the prime minister is not using his good relations with Putin to ask him to instruct Russia's envoy to the UN to thwart the initiative against Israel by employing his right to veto?
Russia is a partner to and automatic supporter of every anti-Israel initiative at the UN. There is no incident on memory in which Russia attempted to thwart or suspend anti-Israel resolutions. In his conversation with the prime minister, did Putin explain the motives for Russia's consistent anti-Israel policy at the UN?
We must not forget that the country friendliest to Iran is Russia. Among the six countries that are signatories to the nuclear agreement with Iran (the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany), Russia has led efforts and given the most resources to rehabilitate Iran's status in the world. As compensation for the appeasement policy toward Iran, US President Barack Obama completed with Israel an aid deal for the next decade worth $38 billion. During his expected visit to Israel next month, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev will discuss with Netanyahu tightening relations between the two countries. We can only hope that perhaps this will include a Russian move to weaken its support for Iran, which, according to Netanyahu, is the biggest and most dangerous enemy threatening Israel.
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