The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

WINEP: Washington “need not be too worried” about Putin’s trip to Israel

with 2 comments

By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
June 24, 2012

Reading Simon Henderson’s policy alert on President Putin’s “working visit” to Israel next week, one might get the impression that the Washington Institute for Near East Policy was created by the America lobby to influence Tel Aviv rather than the other way around:

For the United States, Putin’s trip demonstrates that there is competition for diplomatic leadership in the Middle East; in his view, Israel, the Palestinians, and Jordan have options other than Washington. Putin’s direct talks with regional leaders will be aimed at forcing them to judge which partnership they prefer on certain issues. Although Washington need not be too worried about this, it should press its partners, particularly Israel, to make sure U.S. perspectives are given due prominence during the discussions.

Considering Washington’s abysmal record on pressuring Israel to do anything, Henderson’s suggestion can be taken as pro forma. If there is something the U.S. needs to be worried about here, it’s that the Israel lobby is attempting to play both sides against each other.

UPDATE: The BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus writes suggestively:

The current instability in the Middle East prompts a cautious stance on the part of Moscow. But it is clear that this is something of a hinge moment for Russia.

Its old partnerships are under pressure or very much in decline. New relationships beckon but these are early days yet.

Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

June 24, 2012 at 9:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. All this talk of Russia cozying up to Israel in light of supposed losses of partners in the ME seems to me like wishful thinking on the part of the Israelists. Putin seems to understand how to navigate a pragmatic and even-keeled course for Russia in its foreign affairs and would never resort to leg humping the Israelis in the way the US does.

    For many Americans, Europeans and probably Israelis, Putin seems like a villain and any moves on his part they consider positive suddenly makes them see his potential as a hero (acc’d to their criteria) and they get giddy about the possibilities. But Putin is neither a hero nor a villain, he’s a man who just doesn’t play the game of international politics acc’d to the West’s rules. He doesn’t choose sides. He’s not siding with Assad. He’s supporting the principle of national sovereignty and opposing interventionist meddling. He does a good job balancing the national interest of Russia within a sort of understated ethical fabric. I may be getting carried away but I get the impression he’s a decent man who comes much closer to what you might call nobility than any other leader of a G-8 country.


    June 29, 2012 at 6:16 am

  2. […] than a thinly-veiled threat? If you don’t give us what we want, Tel Aviv appears to be intimating to Washington, we have other options. Share this:PrintEmailTwitterFacebookStumbleUponRedditLike this:LikeBe the […]

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