Israel is rolling out the red carpet for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit, unveiling a memorial to Russian soldiers who died in World War II, a cordial meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, a welcoming parade of top dignitaries and — most important — a big push to strengthen economic and strategic ties.
Putin’s visit spotlights the fact that one-sixth of Israel’s population is Russian-speaking — a reminder of the mass exodus of Soviet Jews in the final stages of the Soviet Union. And these Russian immigrants have become an invaluable asset of human capital in the Jewish state, helping to lubricate relations with Moscow…
..In the meantime, the rise of fanatical Islamism also brought Jerusalem and Moscow closer together. Russia has an important stake in checking the spread and infiltration of radical Islam in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Bibi and Vladimir face common threats on that score.
…While Obama was quick to visit Cairo and to reach out to the Arab world after his inauguration, he has yet to set foot in Israel three years later — an absence that has soured many Israelis…
…And while Obama is stumbling, Putin is only too ready to fill a strategic vacuum and boost Moscow’s leverage across the region.
Read the complete article at American Thinker.