Tags: Israel | Russia | israel daniel | trump | putin | netanyahu

Haaretz: Netanyahu Was Right All Along to Invest in Putin

Haaretz: Netanyahu Was Right All Along to Invest in Putin
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By    |   Tuesday, 17 July 2018 09:40 AM

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro said that the country's prime minister made the right decision to "invest" in a relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin following his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Shapiro wrote in Haaretz on Tuesday, noting that Trump gave a joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, "promoting Russian interests, adopting Russian narratives, and wholly unable or unwilling to defend the United States against a major attack," but "not everything Israel heard in Helsinki was negative."

Both Trump and Putin "spoke plainly about the importance of Israel's security, and their desire to ensure that Israel is not harmed by events in Syria."

Shapiro writes that Trump seems "genuine in his commitment to Israel's security," while Putin "seems to take Israel's security concerns seriously," and that "Netanyahu has to be given considerable credit for his ability to maintain a respectful dialogue with Putin over the past three years, enabling Putin to understand Israel's security red lines in Syria and its determination to enforce them."

Israel first started developing closer relations in 2015, when Russia sent troops to Syria, prompting questions in Washington, D.C., about "why Netanyahu was 'cozying up' to Putin at a time when Russia was killing Syrian civilians and engaging in aggression against Ukraine.

"My answer was quite simple: Israel is a small regional power, and all of a sudden, it found that it had a superpower operating in its backyard. Under such circumstances, Israel had no choice but to develop and sustain a productive dialogue with Russia, to ensure that Russia would not do harm to Israel's security or curtail its freedom of action, as it surely could if it wanted to."

Shapiro adds, "Following Helsinki, it is unmistakable that we are experiencing something unprecedented: a U.S. president who identifies more closely with Russian interests and promotes Russian narratives than with those of the United States. The leverage that gives Putin is overwhelming."

He concludes that "regardless of the U.S. approach, what Helsinki confirmed is that Netanyahu was right all along to invest in his relationship with Putin. More than he knew.

"For what he could not have envisioned was the neutering of the United States as a partner on the same set of issues, through its president's adoption of Russian interests as his own."

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Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro said that the country's prime minister made the right decision to "invest" in a relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
israel daniel, trump, putin, netanyahu
384
2018-40-17
Tuesday, 17 July 2018 09:40 AM
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