Netanyahu References Purim at Meeting With Putin in Moscow: Persia’s Heir, Iran, Trying to Destroy Jewish State
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Moscow on Thursday for a meeting with Russian President Vladmir Putin — their fifth in the past year and a half.
In remarks delivered before the meeting at the Kremlin in the Russian capital, Netanyahu referred to the Jewish holiday that begins this coming weekend — saying, “2,500 years ago in ancient Persia, there was an attempt to destroy the Jewish people that did not succeed and we mark this on the holiday of Purim. Today there is an attempt by Persia’s heir, Iran, to destroy the state of the Jews. They say this as clearly as possible and inscribe it on their ballistic missiles.”
“Of course,” Netanyahu continued, “I would like to say as clearly as possible: Israel is a state today. We have an army and we are capable of defending ourselves. But the threat of radical Shiite Islam threatens us no less than it does the region and the peace of the world, and I know that we are partners in the desire to prevent any kind of victory by radical Islam of any sort.”
The prime minister said his frequent meetings with Putin in recent times “reflect genuine friendship and a tightening of relations in economics, technology, tourism and culture, as well as the living bridge of the one million Russian speakers living in Israel.”
“One of the things that we are fighting together is radical Islamic terrorism,” Netanyahu stated. “Of course, in the past year there was significant progress in the fight against the radical Sunni Islamic terrorism led by Daesh [ISIS] and al-Qaida; Russia has made a very important contribution. Naturally, we do not want this terrorism to be replaced by the radical Shiite Islamic terrorism led by Iran.”
Netanyahu’s traveling entourage for the Moscow visit included Acting National Security Adviser Jacob Nagel and Likud Minister Zeev Elkin — a Russian-speaker who was born in the Soviet Union and serves as the prime minister’s translator during his meetings with Putin.
On Sunday, Netanyahu said Syria and the international diplomatic efforts to hammer out a deal to bring the six-year-old conflict there to an end would top the agenda of his Moscow trip.
Earlier this week, Sarah Fainberg — a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv with expertise on Russia — told The Algemeiner that Israel was seeking to become “an integral part in the talks about the future redesign of Syria.”
“Israel needs to enter that conversation because the threat to Israel is not only a few missiles crossing the border into the Golan Heights, but the establishment of a permanent ‘Hezbollah-stan’ on its northeastern border,” she stated.
Watch Netanyahu disembark from his plane in Moscow on Thursday below: