Avigdor Goes to Russia; Taking Israel With Him?
As the U.S.-Israel relationship seems to cool, the new foreign minister visits the Kremlin.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was in Moscow this week to meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. Among the items up for diplomatic discussion were Iran’s nuclear program and Russia’s policy of engaging with Hamas. Lieberman told the Jersualem Post that Israeli-Russian relations are “probably at their highest point” since the two countries established them 18 years ago. Lieberman, of course, is Russian (born in Kishinev, now Moldova, his most famous native occupation was a nightclub bouncer), and speaks the language fluently. And not a few of his critics have described his political style as Putinesque, which raises the interesting question of whether this meeting will facilitate Jerusalem’s rapprochement with the Kremlin, or jeopardize it (when two thugs collide, etc.):
At a time when U.S.-Israeli comity looks to be flagging, in large part due to the fundamental disagreements between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu over settlements and the two-state solution, is there a chance that Israel, with a right-wing Russian as its face to the world, will grow closer to a country from whose soil so many of its citizens came and that has never shied from finding new strategic partners in the Middle East?
Lieberman ‘Deeply Disappointed’ Over Russia-Hamas Contacts [Jerusalem Post]