Monday, December 23, 2019

Russia: Moscow’s trouble with Israelis has a deeper meaning

Via JNS:
Israel has long had a complicated relationship with Russia. As an ally of some of the Jewish state’s fiercest enemies, such as Iran and Syria, Jerusalem interacts with Moscow carefully and purposefully, walking a fine line to maintain warm ties. However, the recent imprisonment of Israeli-American Naama Issachar in Russia has brought the complex relationship between the two countries into the public eye.

A Russian court rejected Issachar’s appeal on Thursday to mitigate her sentence of seven-and-a-half years in prison on drug offenses after a small amount of marijuana was found in her luggage at a Moscow airport in April. On the same day, 15 Israelis disembarking their plane in Moscow were taken in for questioning by Russian authorities; a similar incident involving 40 Israelis occurred earlier this week. […]

The Syria arena has also created tensions between the two countries.

According to Aharonson, these cases are “surrounded by so many other things, such as the growing anger of the Russian military and security establishment towards Israel.”

For instance, after foreign-media reports emerged earlier this month that Israeli fighter planes carrying out a mission in Syria had to flee from Russian Su-35 planes, Russia came out in the media aggressively, stating that Israel used the airspace of Iraq and Jordan to carry out the mission. Since this was secret and not reported by Israeli media at the time, Russia’s tattling was perceived in Israel as revenge.
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