MOSCOW—”There is one answer to antisemitism, first of all, a strong State of Israel,” declared Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting Wednesday in Mocow with Russian Jewish leaders.
Netanyahu was speaking to the Jewish community after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Prime Minister described as “good and productive”.
‘’The Russian-speaking public, over 1 million people, has changed Israel and, together with the Jewish community here in Russia and Moscow, constitutes a living bridge between these two peoples,’’ Netanyahu told the Jewish leaders.
He added : ‘’It is no small thing that the State of Israel has such good ties with one of the strongest powers in the world. But we are not concerned just for ourselves. We are concerned for Jews everywhere. We know, of course, that we need to struggle together against displays of antisemitism. Yesterday I spoke with the Chief Rabbi of Buenos Aires. We see what is happening in parts of Europe and in North America as well.’’
Among those attending the event were Russian Jewish Congress Chairman Yuri Kanner, Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia and Director of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center Alexander Boroda and Moscow Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt.
During his meeting with President Putin, the to leader talked about the Iranian presence in Syria and the S-300 air defence system that Russia delivered to Syria in September.
Netanyahu said: “Israel will continue to operate as it needs to protect itself from Iranian aggression in Syria”. But he stressed that Israel will do this in close coordination with Russia to avoid accidents.
It was the first proper meeting between the two leaders since an incident in September in which a Russian surveillance aircraft was shot down by Syrian missiles. Moscow blamed Israel for the incident as the Syrian missiles were fired after Israeli planes bombed targets in Syria. Senior diplomatic officials said the incident was discussed at the meeting, but added that both countries had moved beyond it.
This was the Prime Minister’s 11th meeting with Putin since 2015, a number surpassed only by leaders from former Soviet-bloc countries.