Israel Will Bitterly Regret Bibi’s Bad Bet on Putin

2018/5/10 1:15:00

As he meets the Russian president yet again in the wake of Trump's Iran deal exit and escalating tensions over Iran in Syria, Israel must confront the truth: Netanyahu's policy of kowtowing to Moscow isn't working.


Photo courtesy The Kremlin Press Office



Commentary by Azriel Bermant  for Haaretz, May 9, 2018




In recent weeks, Russia has condemned Israel over its "indiscriminate use of force" against Palestinian protestors on the Gaza border, in spite of Moscow’s complicity in the atrocities carried out by the Assad regime against civilians in Syria. 


And now Russia is finally about to supply the S-300 missile system to Syria which could be used against Israel. Jerusalem normally bridles at being treated in this way by so-called friends. 


There is no serious discussion in Israel over its Russia policy, but it is time to ask whether the policy of kowtowing to Moscow is actually working. Is it possible that its Russia policy is symptomatic of Israel’s refusal to face up to regional realities? 


Israelis cannot conceive of the possibility that Moscow would act against Israel, but an Israeli overreaction against Iran could potentially trigger Russian intervention and its disastrous consequences won’t be moderated by a mistaken, even deluded belief in Israel’s ‘allyship’ with the Kremlin.




Dr. Azriel Bermant is a lecturer in International Relations at Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University. His latest book is Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East (Cambridge University Press, 2016). Twitter: @azrielb


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