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21 September 2015


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Putin: Syria does not intend to fight with Israel

MOSCOW./TAS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday expressed confidence that Syria does not need warfare with Israel.

"As for shelling, we know, we condemn that shelling. As far as I know, makeshift missile systems are used in it," he said at talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"As for Syria, we know and understand that the Syrian army and Syria on the whole is in a position when maintaining its own nationhood comes to the forefront, not opening a second front," Putin said.

Putin: We know that your friends of Jabhat al-Nusra are firing "makeshift missiles" at Israel to get help against the Syrian army. Syria has no interest to fight Israel right now. As for Hizb and Iran - who cares. And by the way. F*** off.

Margaret Steinfels

AND...arms transfers to Hezbollah:

"Sources close to Netanyahu said he would present Israeli intelligence accounts of past transfers of arms, some of them Russian-supplied, to Hezbollah, and seek reassurances Moscow would maintain control of its latest reinforcements.

“What’s important is Putin’s commitment not to get mixed up in arming Hezbollah, which should help Israel, if it goes in there, to keep a safe distance from the Russians. It is pretty clear that Putin is not looking for a fight with Israel,” Netanyahu’s former adviser said.



b, Colonel,

Isn't it interesting how Bibi 'assumes' that he can bully anyone he chooses and get away with it, and how his caustic behavior more often backfires on his menial cranium than not.

Stephen Cohen commented that Putin was one of the most if not the friendliest Russian leader to the Jews in all of Russian history. And even Putin has a limit on how much BS he will tolerate from the temper-tantrum throwing Bibi. If Bibi isn't careful, Putin will hand him a bedpan and tell him to go off in a corner to do his Bibi pouting in his own excrement, and not around him.

João Carlos

It is simple: he said that if Putin don't attend his demands, US will start a war against Russia...

That is the leverage Israel have in Moscow, but I think Russia will call it a bluff. My fear is that it is NOT a bluff...

David Habakkuk


Two interesting views on Putin's attitude towards Jews. Interviewed by Fareed Zakaria in March last year, Stephen F. Cohen remarked:

'Putin has been better for Russian Jews than any leader in Russian history. And if you want evidence of that, just ask Israel.'

(See http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1403/02/fzgps.01.html .)

The following month, RT did ask the former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. An excerpt from an account in the Israeli press of Barak's remarks:

'He appeared to compare Putin favorably with US President Barack Obama, when he said – ''Russians in top positions always told me, 'We don't want to deal with our allies the way that the Americans dealt with Mubarak,' which is a very live example in the minds of many.

'''But in many other ways,” Barak went on, ''Putin dealt in an extremely disciplined and responsible way in regard to how to support to an extent his allies, oppose them when they are wrong, but basically don't the whole thing deteriorate out of any kind of control.''

'He also complimented Putin's approach to Jews. ''Israel always has a special filter to look at things and that is the attituded toward Jews,” he explained. ''Putin, when you compare him to the people who sat in the Kremlin in the last 500 years, 600 years, he is the most open one, and I look at the attitude to Jews from the Kremlin as telling, and Putin has the most kind of open, normal, intuitive [approach].''

(See http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/179997#.VgAIiN9Vikp .)

Also in March last year, Putin's former German teacher, Minda Yuditskaya, who made aliyah in the Seventies, described to Ynetnews how in 2005, when she heard he was visiting Tel Aviv, she went to the Russian consulate and said she wanted the chance to look at him.

She was invited to a meeting, after which his people organised for a flat to be bought and fitted out for her.

(See http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4504539,00.html .)

My hunch is that, as with so much in relation to Putin, some of this was for propaganda purposes, but not all.

In relation to Israel, as also with Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Putin will what he can to maintain and indeed improve relations – insofar as this is possible without compromising what he regards Russia's core interests. Quite clearly 'containment' and if possible 'rollback' of the jihadist threat in the Levant is one of these.

Incidentally, a translation of a quite detailed and technical article on the specifics of Russian activities in Syria has just appeared on the 'Vineyard of the Saker'.

(See http://thesaker.is/russia-is-constructing-a-military-base-in-syria/ .)


Maybe this is why Bibi is scurrying to Moscow.



Does Bibi foolishly think he can get away with a false flag attack against a Russian Federation force like the IDFAF did to the USS Liberty in 1967 and expect to have Putin not to launch a retaliatory strike like President Johnson?




No leverage, but perhaps Israel offered something else.


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Like what? PL

r whitman

Maybe he is actually scared of an accidental encounter with Russian forces. He would not have any US military backing in such an instance.

Bill Herschel

And to think, four, just four, Sukhoi Su-27's are enough to send Bibi to Moscow. I thought the Israeli Air Force (not to mention the U.S. Air Force) was the best in the world and could brush aside the backward Russians.

Putin is an agent of peace. Bibi and Obama and the rest of the "West" are agents of war and are furious that their war plans could be stymied by Putin. Prove it wrong.

FB Ali

The only leverage that Netanyahoo has is Russia's desire to maintain reasonably good relations with Israel - especially because of Russia's poor relations with most Arab states.

The NYT reports that Putin did say that "it was important to prevent the transfer of weapons to the organization" (ie, Hizbullah). How accurate that report is, and how far Putin meant it, are another issue.

Outrage Beyond

While there is no AIPAC in Russia, there are some possible sources of influence.

1. Russian oligarchs, many of whom are Jewish. The prosecutions of several such oligarch would appear to diminish the potential for influence from this quarter; but nonetheless it may be a factor.

2. The substantial Russian population in Israel. Perhaps not so much a source of direct influence as a way to point out a reason for political agreement.

3. Influence over Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-Israeli alliance, while largely covert, has been growing. Recalling Bandar's threat to unleash jihadis on Russia, Netanyahu might claim to have the ability to control the mad-dog Saudis. Such a claim strikes me as pure chutzpah, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be made.

4. Israel's nuclear weapons. Mini-MAD; Netanyahu as the mad dog.

While all of these possibilities seem minor or insufficient, one has to recall previous Netanyahu visits and their results. Specifically, when previous reports that S-300 deliveries to Iran were imminent came out, Netanyahu visited Moscow and all of a sudden the delivery didn't happen. Did Netanyahu influence Putin to cancel the delivery? It seems possible, although again, the exact mechanism for making that delivery not happen is unclear.


He could offer Putin some of the dozen of oligarchs who have found refuge in Tel Aviv and surroundings over the years because they were wanted in Russia.


One of the curious aspects of the relationship between Russia and Israel is their Visa Waiver Program. Especially since we do not have one with Israel. Russians may well be historically anti-Semitic but it doesn't seem to interfere with business.


Czarist Russia was notoriously anti-Jewish. That's why Russian Emigre and American financier Schiff bankrolled Japan in the Russo Japanese war.

However the Soviet Union was very different. Marx was Jewish, Lenin, a quarter Jewish. Then there were Trotsky et al. Minister for foreign affairs Litvinov had to be replaced to facilitate relations with Nazi Germany. But all in all, the Nazis used that as a talking point for their agenda, that many Bolshevisks were Jewish.

Solzhenitsyn has a book "300 years together" describing the love hate relationship. Don't know of any complete English translations. Interestingly, i read that most of the Soviet Jews that emigrated to Israel were marginally Jewish.

Back to the point of the article- Bibi's leverage is his influence with the considerable number of Israeli citizens with dual nationality that vote in Russian elections and his influence with the Israeli Firsters that own U.S. foreign policy.

William R. Cumming

IMO with 20% or more of Israel citizens with heritage from the former Soviet Union and with over 1M Jews residing in Russia and Ukraine both Bibi and Putin know their relationship complicated by that history. Besides Russian and Israel organized crime have very close links.


I don't know enough about Russia to say what influence Israel might have but I believe some of the oligarchs have ties to Israel. The neocons also seem to be orchestrating U.S. efforts against Russia. The Pollard affair illustrates a way Israel has influenced Russia in the past.


Maybe Netanyahu could offer to seek to remove the sanctions on Russia.

Paul Escobar

Mr. Lang,

As you say, Israel has as a resource: "illegal deployment of AIPAC's galaxy of satellite pressure groups and their money for and against individual members of congress."

They could offer to put those resources to work in the United States on Russia's behalf...or threaten to increase their work against Russia.

Though I doubt the Russian's would view any of these offers as compelling...when it comes to Syria.



Bibi did not have a good time in Moscow. He went there to negotiate the status of Israeli air supremacy over Syria, which is no longer the case, with Russian military now in on the Syria conflict. Netanyahu asked Putin for the OK to continue to attack Hezbollah convoys inside Syria, believed to be carrying weapons across into Lebanon, and he was rebuffed. The best he got from Putin was a promise that, so long as Russia has a significant military presence on the ground in Syria, Hezbollah will not launch attacks against Israel from inside Syrian territory. Putin also made clear he knows that the million Russian Jews in Israel are no longer in Bibi's camp, so any questions, Bibi has to come directly to Putin.



I, like most Americans, assumed that the USSR heavily suppressed its Jews. I rethought that after reading Amy Chua's 2004 book "World on Fire" and an amusing anecdote in it. The book explores the explosion of free market economics and focuses on the increases in economic power of ethnic minorities in various countries. In particular on ethnic Chinese minorities in the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and other countries in the East. But not only ethnic Chinese. During her research for the book she discovered, to her surprise, that 6 of the 7 Russian oligarchs were Jewish. When she noted this to her Jewish husband, he raised an eyebrow and said: "Only 6?" in a humorous response.

Obviously the USSR's Jews were pretty influential in the former USSR or the oligarchs would not have been in a position to garner that power from the economic spoils of the USSR change to capitalism.

SO my view somewhat changed. Lots of people were trying to leave the USSR in those days because of their stifling economic system. Jews had more support from Israel and the US and were able to achieve more emigration based on the notion they were oppressed.




Actually, the Russian Air Force planes in Syria might actually be SU-30M "Flanker-C" variants- which is considered a 4+ gen fighter.



Do the Israelis still have deep intelligence networks in America that can produce saleable products for Bibi to offer Putin?

Netanyahu would come to Moscow with stick and carrot.

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