Naftali Bennett (Israeli PM) and Vladimir Putin (Russian President)

For what reason could Israel rebuke Russia? After all, Putin is us

There is no significant difference between Putin’s attitude towards Ukraine and Israel’s attitude towards the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Rogel Alpher (Translated from Hebrew Haaretz by Sol Salbe)

Donald Trump is not alone in his admiration for Vladimir Putin. “Genius”, was the term he used in an interview when describing the moves of the Russian president in an interview. “How clever it is,” he marvelled. Since most Israelis adore Trump, they are probably natural members of the Putin-affiliated club through that connection. After all, Trump’s admiration for Putin’s cunning in Ukraine is completely consistent with his worldview when he was president, and that worldview is the very reason why he is so beloved here. In general, in the war discourse that has developed between Putin and Biden, Israel as a nation has tended to be on of Putin’s side since the dawn of time.

One can talk as much as one wants about the “liberal” and “democratic” values shared between Israel and the United States, but that is nonsense. The truth is that Putin’s extreme nationalism, his vision of turning history’s wheel back and restoring former glory, and denying the very existence of Ukraine, as presented in his last speech, are the dominant values in Israel. Politically it is in the Biden camp but spiritually it is in the Putin camp.

There is no significant difference between Putin’s attitude towards Ukraine and Israel’s attitude towards the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Not at the ideological level, not in the military aspect, nor in all that has been said about the disrespect of international law and the contempt towards [international]ly recognised borders. All of Putin’s nationalist messianism, and his fascism, are much closer to Israel than Western “liberalism” and “democracy.”

Putin is also geographically closer — Moscow is only a three-hour flight away — and he understands Israel’s needs in Syria. Israel is emotionally close to Trump’s US and alienated from Biden and the Democratic Party. The government’s inability to condemn Putin also stems from fears of disrupting cooperation in Syria, but in practice, especially on the symbolic level, it marks Israel as outside the US camp and its allies. And for what reason could Israel condemn Russia? For what could it rebuke him? About conquering another people on the pretext that the land they live on once belonged to his ancestral forebears and is the cradle of his nation and culture? For the recognition of the sovereignty of settlers from his people in occupied territory? What is the fundamental difference between this and the annexation and application of Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank settlements? Simply expressed, Putin is us.

“He’s determined,” Anshel Pfeffer (Haaretz, 22 Feb) wrote of him, “while there’s still a breath in his body, to turn back time until his narrative is reality”. And the settlers aren’t determined to do exactly that thing? And the governments of Israel have been them for generations, that allow them to do so? Putin’s public humiliation of Sergey Naryshkin has also aroused much interest here. And Netanyahu was not known for humiliating his ministers? And didn’t he nurture a Putin-like cult of the personality towards himself? And Netanyahu is also said to be a genius. After all, Trump has long since identified himself as a “very stable genius.” What to say, in Israel we love geniuses. This is the Jewish genius.

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