Alt-Media totally misunderstands – and oftentimes deliberately misportays – President Putin’s relationship with Israel, which a reading of the official Kremlin website’s most relevant links indicates is a lot better than most people may think.
Alt-Media dogma indoctrinates its followers with the notion that it’s impossible for Russia and Israel to be on friendly terms with one another, let alone allies, because President Putin is supposedly on an “anti-Zionist crusade” to “save the world”, which isn’t true whatsoever. Many websites have popped up and fed into this delusional “wishful thinking” with outlandish headlines and false narratives in order to reap revenue from increased web traffic and the donations that they hope to solicit as a result.
When confronted with the facts, many people who have been exposed to Alt-Media dogma for too long of a time react with verbal violence as they writhe in the throes of cognitive dissonance, unable to countenance that everything that they thought they knew (or rather, were brainwashed to believe) was a lie. For the bulk of them, their binary thinking has made it impossible to accept that any person or country that “legitimizes” Israel can ever be praised for anything else that they may ever do, meaning that these folks consider it unacceptable to sympathize with anything that President Putin and Russia do anywhere else in the world for the simple fact that both of them are on exceptionally friendly terms with Alt-Media’s supposedly biggest foe.
It’s every person’s prerogative to adhere to whatever belief complex they want, but the facts are the facts, and disregarding them for the sake of “political convenience” or because they’re “ideologically inconsistent” with one’s larger views or the causes that they hold most dear leads to the creation of echo chambers, groupthink, and ultimately an Alt-Reality that’s completely divorced from real life. It’s in the interests of “popping this bubble” and setting the record straight about President Putin’s real relationship with Israel that the author set about documenting his official statements on the topic.
It should be cautioned that the below list of quotes from the Kremlin website isn’t comprehensive and purposely focuses on the most praiseworthy comments that the Russian leader has made. The Alt-Media Community is already well aware that Russian representatives support a so-called “two-state solution” and the independent Palestine that comes with it, having condemned Israel for violating UN Resolutions prohibiting the construction of settlements, so there’s no need to redundantly go over these remarks, especially when it wasn’t President Putin saying them. Instead, what follows is a collection of comments that will irrefutably debunk the Alt-Media dogma that President Putin is on an “anti-Zionist crusade” and hopefully broaden the reader’s understanding of the complex “balancing” strategy that Russia envisions itself playing in the world.
The rest of the article is structured according to the three main topics of strategy, terrorism/military affairs, and overall friendship that President Putin spoke on in regards to Israel, with each one including a one-sentence summary before every pertinent quote. The President’s words are then followed by the hyperlinked name of the occasion that the Kremlin website quoted him speaking at and the date that the comment was made so that interested readers can verify each individual reference. That being said and without further ado, here’s what President Putin really thinks about Israel in his own words, which is sure to surprise a lot of people:
Russia Will Balance Between Israel And The Arab Countries:
“And we understand that all the positive experience accumulated over the years in the relations between Russia and the Arab countries and what has recently emerged between Russia and Israel, all that positive experience can be used to resolve this complicated situation. We are ready to put it at the disposal of the negotiating parties.” – Interview with the German Magazine Focus, 19 September, 2001
Russia’s Approach To The Mideast Is “Cardinally Different From The Attitude Of The Former Soviet Union”, And “Those Times Are Long Gone”:
“First, the attitude of Russia to the problems of the Middle East is cardinally different from the attitude of the former Soviet Union. As you know, in former times the Soviet Union restricted foreign travel. In general, a totalitarian regime tends to isolate itself, and those times are long gone.” – Interview with the American Broadcasting Company ABC, 7 November, 2001
President Putin Will Do Everything In His Power To “Win The Confidence Of [The Israeli] People”, Which Means That “They Must Come To See That Russia Takes An Even-Handed Position And Pursues A Policy Aimed At Settling The Conflict And Ensuring…The Interests Of Israel”:
“Our attitude to émigrés from the Soviet Union has changed dramatically. In the Soviet Union all these people were seen as almost enemies of their country, as defectors, traitors and so on. There is nothing like that today. I think there is a good and positive potential for the development of inter-state relations. And we of course must use it. But for that potential to be tapped it is necessary to win the confidence of these people. They must see that Russia takes an even-handed position and pursues a policy aimed at settling the conflict and ensuring the interests of all the people who live in that region, including the interests of Israel.” – Excerpts from a Talk with German and Russian Media, 7 April, 2002
The Concept Of “Broader Europe” Must Include Israel:
“I think a lot of time will be required for all the European countries to realise and become conscious of the need for a “broader Europe”, which would include your country as a key partner. If we really want to be influential players in international relations, if we want to play a role in the world’s future, ensuring its prosperity and security we must understand that the united Europe that includes Russia with its 150 million citizens, will contribute to our economic growth and will strengthen our military potential. We should also think about the Balkan countries and other candidate countries, for example, Turkey. I think that the European future must also include Israel. This is the path on which we have embarked. I have confidence in this path.” – Transcript of a Plenary Session of the Russia-European Union Summit, 31 May, 2003 (of note, free trade talks between the Eurasian Economic Union And Israel have recently resumed)
Russia “Always Discusses” Syria And Iran With Israel, People “Do Not Need To Ask In (The) Future [Whether They] Discussed These Questions Or Not”:
“We discussed today the issues of arms supplies to Syria and the Iranian nuclear programme. We always discuss these issues when we meet with the Israeli leadership. You do not need to ask in future, did we discuss these questions or not. We always discuss them. The question is one of we say and what views we exchange.” — Press Statement and Answers to Questions Following Talks with President of Israel Moshe Katsav, 28 April, 2005
Russia Keeps Israel Updated On Its Ties With Iran At Tel Aviv’s “Request”:
“At Mr Olmert’s request, Mr Putin also spoke about the results of his recent visit to Tehran, where he took part in the second summit of Caspian states and held talks with the Iranian leadership.” — Vladimir Putin met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during Russian-Israeli talks, 18 October, 2007
Ahmadinejad Should Have “Avoided A Wording That Could Be Improperly Quoted Or Interpreted Differently” When He Spoke Of Israel Vanishing From The Pages Of Time, And That “Iranian Threats Towards Neighboring Countries, Especially Israel…Are Absolutely Unacceptable”:
“Vladimir Putin: A response to your question could take hours. It’s so complex. I will try to be as concise as possible. First, I have repeatedly voiced Russia’s official stance – Iran has the right for a peaceful nuclear program and it cannot be singled out for discrimination. Second, we need to be aware that Iran is located in a very challenging region. I have told our Iranian partners about that. That’s why Iranian threats made towards neighbouring countries, in particular Israel, threats that Israel can be destroyed, are absolutely unacceptable. This is counterproductive.
Oksana BOYKO: This is not a proper quote of the Iranian president.
Vladimir Putin: It doesn’t quite matter whether it’s a proper quote or not. It means it’s best to avoid a wording that could be improperly quoted or could be interpreted differently. That’s why the focus on Iran does have a reason behind it.” – Visit to Russia Today television channel, 11 June, 2013
Russia Will Aid The “Normalisation Of Relations” Between Iran And Israel, But That “It Is Impossible To Move Ahead” Unless Moscow Helps “Maintain The Security Of All Nations In The Region, Including Israel”:
“Here I believe we should jointly identify what is in the way of normal relations between Iran and Israel. I think that we should not only bear in mind everything that hinders the normalisation of relations between the two states, but we need to analyse all the aspects and minimise the negative side of this process. This is in the interests of Iran, I am sure this is also in the interests of Israel and the entire international community. When I recently spoke in my Address [to the Federal Assembly] of the progress we have made regarding Iran, you may have noticed that I said we should maintain the security of all the nations in the region, including Israel. This is an important aspect, without which it would be difficult, even impossible to move ahead.” – News conference of Vladimir Putin, 19 December, 2013
Russia’s Federal Intervention In Chechnya Prevented Terrorists From Traveling To The Mideast And Waging War On Israel:
“One of the militants’ chieftains, Shamil Basayev, said recently that he was planning to send 150 of his gunmen to the area of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Imagine 150 top-notch experts in ambushing, mining, hostage taking and torture of prisoners. It is not the number of gunmen but the fact that they would lend a totally different character to the conflict. If I may ask you a counter question: if we had not launched a counter-terrorist operation in the region, how many of his men would Basayev have threatened to send to the conflict area? And how far would he have gone in his plans of expansion?” – Interview with the French Newspaper Le Figaro, 26 October, 2000
Israel Provides A “Good Example” Of “How To Deal With Terror” After its “Decades Of Suffering” From It And “Is An Element Of Stability In The Middle East, And Hence In The Whole World”:
“First of all I would like to say that the way the Israeli Government and the whole society in Israel deal with terror is a good example of how policy in this sphere should be designed. And I think that policy has grown out of the decades of suffering endured by the Israeli people. In resolving political issues you can have political contacts with anyone. But there should be no negotiations with terrorists.
Terrorists perceive any negotiations with them as a sign of weakness and are encouraged to try to use terror to achieve political goals. That cannot be tolerated. I think international cooperation in this sphere is a must. I think the Russian public understands that we must and will cooperate with Israel in this field. And it is no secret for the public in Israel either. The reasons for such cooperation are clear and it is justified.
The international significance of terrorism was highlighted by the fact that quite recently a leader of the terrorists operating in Chechnya called publicly through the mass media for the extermination of the Jewish people…Let me remind you that the Soviet Union was one of the initiators and supporters of the creation of the State of Israel. Today Russia believes that Israel is an element of stability in the Middle East, and hence in the whole world.” — Answers to Questions at a Joint Press Conference with President Moshe Katsav of Israel, 23 January, 2001
Palestine Must “Put An End To Terrorist Actions” & “Develop On A Democratic Basis”, And The World Must “Ensure The Security Of The Jewish State Of Israel And Its Citizens”:
“As for the overall situation, we believe that it is necessary, on the one hand, to do everything to put an end to terrorist actions, to allow the Palestinian state to develop on a democratic basis and to ensure the security of the Jewish state of Israel and its citizens.” — News Conference after the G8 Summit, 28 June, 2002
Russia Will Never “Violate Any (Regional) Balance” Against Israel Through Its Arms Sales To Syria, And Will Ensure That All Shipments “Cannot Be Unnoticeably Handed Over To Terrorist Organizations”:
“He then asked me about possible deliveries of serious rocket equipment, including to Syria, which really could cause concern in Israel and reach the territory of Israel from dislocation points in Syria. We refused this deal because we do not want to violate any balance, however fragile it may be, that exists in the region. As for the deal that was signed with Syria and will be realised, this concerns close-range anti-rocket systems. These systems can attack air targets in visible range. Furthermore, these systems are set on vehicles, and they cannot be unnoticeably handed over to terrorist organisations. Furthermore, our military have the right to control and inspect them in places they are stored and stationed.” — Interview with Israeli Television Channel One, 20 April, 2005
Russia And Israel Agree That Terrorism Is “The Most Dangerous Challenge Facing Humanity”:
“The declaration affirms, in particular, the two signatory countries’ intention to develop their cooperation in the fight against modern threats and challenges. Russia and Israel unequivocally condemn as criminal and without justification all terrorist acts, methods and practices, no matter where and by whom they are carried out. Russia and Israel consider terrorism one of the most dangerous, if not the most dangerous challenge facing humanity.
Both countries are certain that the fight against terrorism, which is not linked to any one particular ethnic group or religion, requires consistent and decisive action on a comprehensive and long-term basis. Both sides will continue to work actively together in the uncompromising fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.” — President Vladimir Putin and Israeli President Moshe Katsav signed a Joint Russian-Israeli Declaration following their talks, 28 April, 2005
President Putin Will Award “The Medal For Services To The Fatherland” To Anyone Who Brokers A Russian-Israeli Fighter Plane Deal:
“Now, for the “sweetest” part of your question – the possibility of selling Russian aircraft to Israel. If you could help us sign contracts with Israel for the sale of fighter planes worth, say, a couple of billion dollars, I would give you the Medal for Services to the Fatherland.” – Press Statement and Answers to Questions Following Talks with President of Israel Moshe Katsav, 28 April, 2005
“Russia And Israel Should Improve Coordination Of Their Efforts In The Fight Against Terrorism, Extremism And Ethnic Intolerance”:
“Mr Putin expressed his confidence that the victory celebrations on May 9 would become another symbol of the international community’s unity in the fight against the threat of terrorism. There can be no place for xenophobia, chauvinism or religious intolerance in the twenty-first century. Mr Putin noted that the agreements reached with the Israeli leadership during his visit will help to resolve this problem in Russia, for which, as a multiethnic state, any manifestations of nationalism have a destructive effect.” — Russia and Israel should improve coordination of their efforts in the fight against terrorism, extremism and ethnic intolerance, 28 April, 2005
Following The 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah War, Russia Reaffirmed Its “Long-Term Interests” In Israel And The Importance Of “Protecting [Its] Civilian Population…From Terror”, As Well As Cooperating With It Against “Threats Such As Terrorism, Extremism, Ethnic Intolerance And Local Conflicts”:
“There can be no doubt that stable bilateral relations are in the long-term interests of both Russia and Israel, and that strengthening these relations will contribute to ensuring regional and international stability. Our countries are united in their desire to combat the threats of the twenty-first century, threats such as terrorism, extremism, ethnic intolerance and local conflicts. The only way to break out of the vicious circle of violence is to end mutual accusations, free the hostages and resume peaceful negotiations. It is extremely important to protect the civilian population of Israel and its neighbours from terror.” — Press Statements following Russian-Israeli Talks, 18 October, 2006
Russia “Strongly Condemns” The 2012 Terrorist Attack Against Israeli Tourists In Bulgaria That Was Reportedly Carried Out By Hezbollah:
“Vladimir Putin sent a telegram expressing his condolences to Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu following a terrorist attack in Bulgaria, strongly condemning the criminal act.” — Condolences to Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, 19 July, 2012 (details of the incident are available here)
It Was A “Barbaric Act Of Terrorism” For Palestinians To Kidnap And Kill The Three Israeli Teenagers Whose Murder Sparked “Operation Protective Edge”:
“Please accept my profound condolences following the atrocious murder of three Israeli teenagers. We resolutely condemn this barbaric act of terrorism and we hope that the organisers and perpetrators will be caught and receive the punishment they deserve. I ask you to pass on my words of sincere sympathy and support to the victims’ families and the entire Israeli people.” — Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, 1 July, 2014 (later that month Israel commenced “Operation Protective Edge” in response)
Israel Is Russia’s “Unconditional Ally” Against Terrorism:
“We also talked about the need to join ranks in countering international terrorism. Israel knows first-hand how to fight terrorism, and, in this sense, we are unconditional allies. Our countries have considerable experience in combatting extremism. We will continue strengthening contacts with our Israeli partners in this area.” — Statements for the press and answers to journalists’ questions following Russian-Israeli talks, 7 June, 2016
It’s A “Terrorist Attack” For Palestinians To Ram Trucks Into IDF Troops:
“Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu following a terrorist attack in Jerusalem.” — Condolences to Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, 8 January, 2017 (details of the incident are available here)
Russia And America Put Aside Their Differences In Order To “Maintain Stable Cooperation…On Many Issues, Including The Southern De-Escalation Zone (In Syria), Where Israeli…Interests Are Also Present”:
“I have to note that other countries, including the United States, are greatly contributing; even though they are not participating in the talks in Astana directly, they are influencing these processes behind the scenes. We maintain stable cooperation with our American partners in this sphere, on this track, even though not without disputes. However, there are more positive than negative elements in our cooperation. So far, we have managed to agree on many issues, including the southern de-escalation zone, where Israeli and Jordanian interests are also present.” – Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, 19 October, 2017
President Putin Has “Many Personal Ties With People Who Live In Russia And Israel”, Including A “Major Political Figure” In The Latter:
“I have many personal ties with people who live in Russia and in Israel. One of them became a major political figure in Israel…” – Opening Remarks with Representatives of US Business Circles, 23 September, 2003
Israel “Strives For Peace” And Has “Suffered A Great Deal Over The Last Decades”:
“Mr Prime Minister, I think that we will have a chance to talk in more detail about the situation in the Middle East. We know that Israel strives for peace. The Jewish people have suffered a great deal over the last decades.” — Opening Remarks at a Meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 3 November, 2003
The USSR’s Bad Ties With Israel “Were Not To The Benefit Of…The Soviet Union”:
“Russia and Israel have special relations, I believe. The Soviet Union was one of the founders of the state of Israel, when as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, in the post-war period, it actively supported the creation of the state of Israel. Later, during the cold war, everyone knows how relations between the countries developed, and these relations were not to the benefit of Israel or the Soviet Union, in my opinion.” — Interview with Israeli Television Channel One, 20 April, 2005
Russian-Israeli Relations Have “Reached A Completely New Level”, Partially Because Of The Former Soviet Diaspora:
“I would like to start by saying how pleased we are to see you here on precisely this day – the day that marks 15 years since the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Russia. Relations between the Russian Federation and Israel have reached a completely new level over recent years. They have become more trusting. We have fundamentally changed our attitudes toward our compatriots. We consider those who left Russia and the former Soviet republics to take up permanent residence in Israel as our compatriots. Today we think, not without reason, that they are a major resource in further improving the relations between our two countries.” — Beginning of Meeting with Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert, 18 October, 2006
Ariel Sharon Was An “Outstanding Statesman And Military Commander” Who “Upheld The Interests Of Israel”, “Enjoyed International Respect”, And Was “A Consistent Supporter Of Friendly Relations” With Russia:
“Vladimir Putin sent a message of condolences to Prime Minister of the State of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu on the passing of the former Prime Minister of Israel, an outstanding statesman and military commander Ariel Sharon. The President of Russia highly praised Ariel Sharon’s personal qualities, his activity to uphold the interests of Israel, noting the respect he enjoyed among his compatriots and internationally.
Mr Putin stressed that Ariel Sharon will be remembered in Russia as a consistent supporter of friendly relations between Russia and Israel, who made a significant contribution to expanding mutually beneficial cooperation. Vladimir Putin conveyed his words of sympathy and support to Ariel Sharon’s family and the entire nation of Israel.” — Condolences on the death of Ariel Sharon, 11 January, 2011
Russia And Israel Share “Common Humanitarian Values” And “It Is In Russia’s National Interests To Secure…Peace And Order For The People Of Israel”:
“We fought Nazism together – I want to emphasise that we really fought together. This means that we have common humanitarian values – this is the sturdiest foundation for cooperation…It is in Russia’s national interests to secure peace and order in the Middle East, peace and order for the people of Israel. It is no accident that the Soviet Union was among the initiators and supporters of the creation of the state of Israel.” — Meeting with President of Israel Shimon Peres, 25 June, 2012
Russia And Israel Are In A “Multifaceted Partnership” That Even Extends Into “Space Exploration” And “Satellite Communications Systems”:
“This visit to Israel has once again reaffirmed for me that the strong ties of friendship binding our countries and peoples are not just words, but are a real and solid foundation upon which we are building fruitful political dialogue, a multifaceted partnership, successful bilateral cooperation and work together to help resolve the biggest issues facing the world…We have agreed to expand our cooperation in space exploration. Russian rockets will carry Israeli spacecraft into orbit, and our specialists are developing satellite communications systems for our Israeli partners.” — Meeting with Prime Minister of Israel Binyamin Netanyahu, 25 June, 2012
President Putin Congratulated Shimon Peres For “Strengthening Humanitarian, Scientific And Educational Ties Between Our Countries”:
“I would also like to congratulate the President of Israel on being awarded the title of Honorary Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Mr President, this title is in recognition of your contribution to strengthening humanitarian, scientific and educational ties between our countries.” – Statements for the press following Russian-Israeli talks, 8 November, 2012
The USSR “Was The First Country To Recognize The State Of Israel” And “A Solid Foundation Of Trust And Understanding” Has Since Developed:
“Mr Netanyahu’s visit was timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of restoring Russian-Israeli diplomatic relations. Of course, our relations actually extend further back in history: we established diplomatic relations in 1948, and the Soviet Union was the first country to recognise the state of Israel at the time. We noted in our statement today that in the quarter century since restoring diplomatic relations we have developed our cooperation in a dynamic and productive way. We have a solid foundation of trust and understanding to rely on as we make plans for the future.” — Statements for the press and answers to journalists’ questions following Russian-Israeli talks, 7 June, 2016
Israel Is A “Key Country In The Mideast” That Has An “Historical Relationship” With Russia:
“We in Russia think highly of our contacts with Israel — not only because Israel is a key country in the Middle East, but also because of the historical relationship between our nations.” — Beginning of meeting with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, 7 June, 2016
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.