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‘Netanyahu Left With No Choice But to Fly Back and Forth to Moscow,’ Russian Political Activist Says

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Russian chess giant and political activist Garry Kasparov addressing the Gatestone Institute. Photo: Raymond Hamlin.

Russian chess giant and political activist Garry Kasparov addressing the Gatestone Institute. Photo: Raymond Hamlin.

Berating the West in general and the United States in particular for leaving a “vacuum” now being filled by pernicious global forces and Vladimir Putin’s Russia, international chess icon and political activist Garry Kasparov told The Algemeiner that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been left with “no choice but to fly back and forth to Moscow.”

Kasparov, whose open opposition to Putin has made him a target of the Kremlin, made this remark on Tuesday, while addressing an event hosted by the Gatestone Institute — a conservative New York-based think tank specializing in strategy and defense issues — and promoting his recently released book, Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped.

“Netanyahu has to [meet with Putin] to talk about security issues, because Russian planes and troops are now a few hundred miles from the Israeli border,” said Kasparov. “There is also an issue of Russian missiles getting into the hands of Hezbollah,” the Lebanon-based Palestinian terrorist organization that has been fighting in Syria on behalf of the Iranian and Russian efforts to keep President Bashar Assad in power.

“But [such missiles] don’t have to go from Putin directly,” he said. “They could go via Iran.” And, in the wake of the “disastrous deal” Tehran reached with the P5+1 countries, “It’s only a matter of time before Iran becomes a nuclear power.” This he attributed to an earlier American administration, that of former President Bill Clinton.

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“Who helped Iran build its nuclear program — Mars?” he quipped, answering his own rhetorical question: “Few people remember that it was in 1995, when the US Congress passed a bipartisan resolution giving Clinton the authority to give an ultimatum to [Russian President] Boris Yeltsin to stop the first transfer of Russian nuclear technology to Iran, threatening to cut off financial aid. But Clinton, fresh from his ‘success’ in North Korea, decided it was unnecessary. So 21 years ago, when an American president could have stopped an Iranian nuclear program, he failed.”

Returning to the topic of Israel – and asked about the sense in the Jewish state that Putin, unlike many of his cronies from the former Soviet Union, is not an antisemite, Kasparov claimed, “Putin’s interest in the region is very simple; he needs a bigger war, because his lifeline is high oil prices. And what could be better for pushing oil prices up than a big war in the Middle East? True, he’s not an antisemite. But he doesn’t care. If Arabs and Jews kill each other, that’s fine, as long as it helps him to stay in power. It’s convenient for him now to actually play with Israel, but if he has to sell more weapons and supplies to Iran’s friends, he will do so — not because he’s antisemitic, but because he’s a brutal dictator who doesn’t care how many people are killed if it helps him stay in power an extra day.”

He also scoffed at the notion that Russia has withdrawn militarily from Syria. “It announced it was pulling out,” he said.

Kasparov currently resides in New York, after being subject to alleged arrests and beatings by Russian authorities. His book, he pointed out, has been translated into 40 languages, but Russian is not one of them. He said that “the day it can be sold there is the day it will no longer be necessary.”

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