Photo Credit: Israel Embassy in Moscow
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in Moscow, Russia, to meet with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, on April 21, 2016.

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin during a face to face meeting in Moscow on Thursday that Israel would not relinquish the Golan Heights. The meeting marked 25 years of Israeli-Russian relations.

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“Israel has clear red lines for self-defense,” Netanyahu told Putin according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office. “We act to the best of our ability to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry from Iran and Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon,” he said.

Russian troops and airpower are fighting alongside the Syrian army, Iranian forces, and the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah against a host of rebel militias in Syria’s ongoing civil war. Netanyahu recently acknowledged that Israel conducts military airstrikes in Syria as well.

“I came here with one central goal: to strengthen the security coordination between us in order to prevent accidents, misunderstandings, and unnecessary conflict,” Netanyahu told Putin.

“As for the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu continued, “we will not return to the days when they fired on our communities and children from the heights of the Golan. Therefore, with or without a deal, the Golan Heights will remain under Israeli sovereignty.”

The firm declaration comes amid reports that some in the international community intend to demand that Israel withdraw from the Golan Heights as part of a peace deal in the Syrian civil war. Israel captured the northern territory from Syria in the 1967 war and formally annexed it in 1981 in a move not recognized by the international community.

To counter such an initiative, Netanyahu held a rare cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights on Sunday, vowing never to withdraw from the territory. Following the unusual public display, US State Department Spokesman John Kirby announced that “those territories are not part of Israel and the status of those territories should be determined through negotiations.”

Netanyahu and Putin also reached an agreement about pensions paid by Russia to citizens that have emigrated to Israel—a deal Netanyahu described as “a nice Passover present.”

After Putin offered a blessing for the Jewish holiday of Passover, which begins on Friday night, Netanyahu replied that “during the holiday, the people of Israel will sit at the Seder table, including over a million Russian-speaking Israelis, who form the living bond between our peoples.”

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Russia today is a better friend to Israel than Obama. The Russians have an 18% Muslim population, they have a long and tragic history of being invaded, and they understand Israel's present difficulties.

    Israel has approximately one million Russian speakers, and has become a favorite vacation destination for Russians on holiday. After Turkey shot down a Russian aircraft, Putin mentioned that Israel could substitute for Turkey in agriculture and tourism.

    Over the next few decades, assuming the Russian Federation survives in its present form, Israel will probably align its interests with Russia, China, and India, while gradually detaching from western Europe and North America which today have become pro-Muslim and anti-Zionist.

  2. Jews will never gain prominence or extorted support from the east. There is a reason why Jews have never been successful colonizing in places like China, India, South Korea, Japan etc.. The reason is that Jews blend in with these populations. Imagine what the chinese would think if there was a "white" guy at the head of every bank, media outlet, corporation, etc in China by means of nepotism. This is the reason why Jews have gained prominence in western nations, but never in eastern nations. Unless the Jews have control of key industries in eastern nations, to the point that they can extort these nations to support the cause of the Jews, don't expect these eastern nations to sacrifice too much for the Jews.

  3. As if the world has not already taken several positions against the will of God; now they have added to their erroneous ways! The Bible states that God will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel. Sounds so simple to understand but most of the world today is living in a state of delusion. All of today’s wars, economic problems, weather issues, and the great efforts being made today to give world wide authority to one body to solve the problems of war and economic issues fits what the Bible points out for us to look out for in the coming tribulation period! Because we can see things occurring and falling into place rapidly we should know that a one world government is near and so is the rapture of the church! We obviously are living toward the end of the church age in what is called the end times or last days. I wrote a small book about the end times, Biblical prophecy, and the tribulation period. It’s just for your information and consideration and it’s free. I don’t even accept donations on my or anyone else’s behalf. It’s a short read of about 7 pages. I encourage you to take a look. http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next

  4. With the recent meetings between Israel and Russia, I can't help but wonder what it would be like to have " Allies " that can be trusted to stand up for their allies. Our allie, USA ,under Obama-Clinton-Kerry has constantly helped to demonize Israel, Put it's mortal enemy into the nuclear arena, etc etc. I could go on fore the next 15 minutes about how the US has been treating Israel as a problem to get out of the way,rather than an ally, a friend.
    Russia has stood by it's allies ,almost to the point of absurdity.

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