Love him or hate him, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military intervention in Syria unquestionably upended Middle Eastern politics. Putin supported Syrian President Bashar Assad, established several military bases in Syria, created a de-facto Russian-Shi’ite axis, confronted Turkey and forced the West to re-engage with him.
While all the region’s major players feel the influence of Russia’s military campaign, one country overlooked by commentators analyzing Russia’s Syrian campaign is Israel. Israel’s interests vis-à-vis Russia run wide and deep and are impossible for Jerusalem to ignore.
The history of the Israeli-Russian relationship is complicated, to say the least. The Soviet Union supported the creation of Israel in 1948, but then tilted towards the Arab world in the early 1960s and even threatened to attack Israel in both the 1967 Six Day War and 1973 Yom Kippur War.
With the emergence of Putin, though, Israel found the closest thing to a friend it’s ever had in Moscow. Israel and Russia share a common fear of terrorism, and in 2014 Putin was one of the few world leaders to support Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas, saying “I support Israel’s battle that is intended to keep its citizens protected.” In 2005, Putin became the first Russian president to ever visit Israel, visiting the Western Wall – Judaism’s holiest site – as well as Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, where Putin observed a moment of silence. The Russian president even reportedly purchased an apartment in Tel Aviv for his then-84-year-old Jewish German teacher. Putin returned to Israel in 2012 as the guest of honor at a state dinner and to inaugurate a monument to the Red Army soldiers who defeated Hitler in World War Two.
https://endtime.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/endtime-logo.png 0 0 alphatimes https://endtime.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/endtime-logo.png alphatimes2016-01-15 00:00:002018-03-28 17:26:19Analysis: Putin closest thing to a friend Israel has ever had in Moscow