Netanyahu: Putin told me that if it weren’t for me, Israel and Russia could be at war

December 26, 2019 by Arye Green -TPS
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a rare media interview on Wednesday, in which he said that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him that if someone else was serving as Israel’s prime minister — Israel and Russia could have been at war.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Vladamir Putin Photo by Avi Ohayon/GPO on 31 May, 2018

“I have special relationships with many world leaders, including President Putin… This manifests in the IDF’s freedom of movement in Syria and elsewhere with respect to the Russian air force in the region. As Putin told me, if it weren’t for you, and our personal relationship, our countries might have already been at war,” he said.

Netanyahu said that Israeli and Russian forces have had several close calls, nearly sparking a military clash. “Only because we meet every three months this has been avoided,” he said.

Netanyahu spoke ahead of the Likud leadership primary, in which he has been challenged by Member of Knesset (MK) Gideon Sa’ar. Netanyahu listed his various achievements in his decade as prime minister, boosting Israel’s financial, diplomatic and military might.

Netanyahu’s remarks about his personal contribution to Israel’s ties with Russia came at a time when the countries have experienced a decline in their bilateral relations.

A major issue causing much of the tension is Israeli-American Naama Issachar, who is currently serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence in a Russian prison for a minor drug offence.

Russian and Israeli diplomats recently convened in Jerusalem to discuss the matter of Issachar’s imprisonment, as well as the recent detainment of dozens of Israelis at Russian airports.

Netanyahu promised at a rally last week that he would “Bring Naama Home,” but his spokesperson later clarified that doing so would likely take time.

When asked if he regrets promising to bring her back to Israel, Netanyahu said he stands behind what he said.

“I plan on bringing her back, and I will get it done. And I can tell you, it will not take seven-and-a-half-years, it will not take years,” he declared.

“The ruling is absurd and should not have been given. Putin has the right to pardon her, I hope and believe that he will execute his right. I have spoken to him many times about it and asked in every possible way,” he said.

Comments

One Response to “Netanyahu: Putin told me that if it weren’t for me, Israel and Russia could be at war”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Really, I don’t believe this comment about war between Israel and Russia. The Israel PM must be getting desperate to retain power before the election.

    However we all know that Russian and the United States like “testing” their fighter aeroplane ordnance and tank ammunition out on the lives of people in poorer nation like Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and before that Vietnam and so on. The military-industrial complexes of both super powers have to much power and really call the shots with their respective governments. It is all about job and sales as far as the super powers are concerned and not just defence.

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