Will Putin come to give Netanyahu a pre-election boost?

The posters, under the caption “Netanyahu, another league,” show him shaking hands with US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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July 30, 2019 02:39
2 minute read.
Will Putin come to give Netanyahu a pre-election boost?

The new Likud poster with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The Likud draped its Metzudat Ze’ev headquarters in Tel Aviv this week with massive posters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting three world leaders. And if a Channel 12 report on Monday evening is correct, he is angling to see two of them in person before the September election.

The posters, under the caption “Netanyahu, another league,” show him shaking hands with US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Netanyahu is scheduled to travel to India in September to meet Modi.

According to the Channel 12 report, the Jerusalem Municipality expedited the permit process on Monday and approved the establishment in Sacher Park of a monument commemorating the siege of Leningrad. Netanyahu invited Putin to come to the inauguration of the monument when he met him in Moscow in February, and Putin said he would come for the event.

The report said that Netanyahu’s office was trying to arrange a Putin visit before September 17, something it speculated would be a boon for Netanyahu who is waging a battle during this campaign with Yisrael Beytenu’s Avigdor Liberman for the vote of Russian-speaking immigrants.

A spokesman at the Russian Embassy, however, said that it has no information about a possible Putin visit in the near future.

One diplomatic source termed the report “strange.”

The Siege of Leningrad, one of the longest and most deadly sieges in history, was a lengthy military blockade by Nazi Germany against Leningrad on the Eastern Front in World War II. The siege began on September 8, 1941, and did not end until January 27, 1944, a total of 872 days.

The siege caused extreme famine and led to the deaths of 1,500,000 soldiers, including 70,000 Jewish soldiers, and civilians. Additionally, 1,400,000 people, mostly women and children, were evacuated, but many did not survive, dying from hunger or bombings on the way.

The Jerusalem Municipal committee reportedly approved the design for the monument, as well as the caption describing the victims of the heroism. The original inauguration of the monument, which will cost some NIS 1.2 million, was set for May of this year. The monument will be funded by the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC).

When Netanyahu invited Putin in February during the public portion of their meeting in the Kremlin, Putin – in accepting the invitation – said it was very important for his country that the memory of the victims of World War II be remembered.

In addition to a possible visit here by Putin, the Indian press reported on Monday that Netanyahu is expected to travel to India for a one-day visit on September 9, just eight days before the election.

The Prime Minister’s Office, however, is keeping Netanyahu’s pre-election travel plans tightly under wraps, and has not confirmed any pre-election trip. He is expected to travel to Japan, Ukraine and India. A question to the PMO about whether and when the trip to Japan would take place has gone unanswered.


Sara Rubenstein contributed to this report


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