Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said one lesson of the Holocaust is to "stand up to murderous ideologies" and repeated his desire for Israel and Russia to work together to "promote security and stability in the region" at the opening of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.Netanyahu touched on the lessons of the Holocaust, noting that the price paid to defeat the Nazi regime informs today's event."The awful price paid by my people, the Jewish people, and the Russian people and the great sacrifice of 20 million Russians alongside our 6 million, and the heroism of the Red Army in achieving victory over the Nazis.... I think that the main lesson of the rise of the Nazis and then the defeat of the Nazis, is one must powerfully stand up to murderous ideologies when they appear." Netanyahu said.
This, Netanyahu said, was to be the focus of the meeting, promoting regional stability and mutual cooperation.For his part, Putin also remembered the Holocaust and the sacrifices made by Russian Jews in taking down the Nazi regime in welcoming his Israeli counterpart.Putin called the meeting "very symbolic, because these days the entire world is remembering the victims of the Holocaust.""As you know, in our country, there were many victims in almost every family. Among the Jews murdered by the Nazis, there were many citizens of the Soviet Union [and] Russia. They were the ones who made a big sacrifice for victory over the Nazis."We will take this opportunity to talk about our bilateral relations and to discuss the situation in the region," Putin said.Prior to leaving, the prime minister said he would speak to Putin about Iran's efforts to turn Lebanon into “one big missile factory.”Before boarding his plane, Netanyahu said that Israel is “not willing to tolerate” Lebanon being turned into a site for the manufacture of precision missiles to be used against it."This is also our mission today and it is to this end that I want to speak with you, about our common efforts to promote security and stability in our region, and – of course – the cooperation between us, between Russia and Israel," he said at the start of the meeting."Our talks, which we hold periodically, in my view, greatly contribute to achieving these goals and I am certain that they will do so now as well."Netanyahu said during his recent trip to India that Putin is – along with US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – one of the world leaders with whom he has a close relationship. He last met with the Russian leader in Sochi in August.They speak frequently on the phone, with the discussions generally focused on the situation in Syria. Netanyahu has made clear to Putin that Israel will not tolerate the establishment of a permanent military base for Iran in Syria after the civil war, and will take action to ensure that it doesn’t happen.Herb Keinon and Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Putin in Moscow, January 28, 2018 (GPO)