Russia defends envoy amid Israel’s ire over criticism of Tel Aviv
…from PressTV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: Is this a sign that Russia wants to turn over a new leaf with Israel in terms of not continuing to ignore its destabilizing aggression in the Mideast, which Israel then blames on everyone but itself? Color me surprised, if so.
The knives were out, with the Russian ambassador finally complaining about the continued airstrikes on Syria, and then even saying Israel was lying about the Hezbollah tunnels under Lebanon’s border, as no proof has ever been provided.
This has me wondering about the timing, as the Syrian army is building up in southern Idlib, with heavy Russian bombing strikes on jihadi positions, which in the past has preceded a major advance.
There have also been 100 strikes on some days in the Homs desert to pound down the jihadis who were conducting guerrilla warfare ambushes on Syrian patrols. This all looks like Russia is sending a message to Israel that, if it tries to open a new front on the southern Syrian and Lebanon borders, its relations with Russia might change.
Next we have to see what Putin says, otherwise Netanyahu will consider it huffing and puffing, as the play acting has gone on a long time.
Israel wants constant chaos that it can exploit, so the last thing it wants is peace, as that would focus international demands on its borders being ‘settled’. Israelis have always preferred a ‘fluid’ situation as to its borders, in that they are not done expanding their borders yet… Jim W. Dean ]
First published … December 26, 2020
Russia has defended its envoy to Tel Aviv, who was summoned to the Israeli foreign ministry over an interview critical of the occupying entity, saying his remarks are perfectly in line with Moscow’s well-known position on Middle East issues.
Speaking to Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post on December 8, Russia’s Ambassador to Tel Aviv Anatoly Viktorov said the regime’s conflict with Palestine and other Arab countries, not Iran, is the root cause of instability in the Middle East.
“The problem in the region is not Iranian activities,” he said. “It’s a lack of understanding between countries and non-compliance with UN resolutions in the Israel-Arab and Israel-Palestinian conflict.”
Viktorov also blamed the Israel for fueling violence in the region through conducting airstrikes on Syria.
“Israel is attacking Hezbollah, Hezbollah is not attacking Israel,” he said, adding that Tel Aviv should not attack “the territories of sovereign UN members.”
The Russian ambassador further referred to the tunnels under Lebanon’s border with the occupied territories, which Tel Aviv claims to have been dug by the Hezbollah resistance movement, saying there was “no proof Hezbollah created the tunnels.”
The Israeli foreign ministry summoned Viktorov and said that he was “seriously reprimanded” for his interview by Alon Bar, the ministry’s political director.
“Bar rejected out of hand the comments published in the interview and emphasized that they are inconsistent with the reality in the Middle East,” a foreign ministry statement read.
Israel expects dialogue with Russia to “relate to reality and the threats Israel faces, and not to outrageous and dangerously false illusions,” it added.
Moreover, Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi said, “I think it was made clear beyond all doubt that Israel does not accept these statements, and thus I hope we will bring an end to such embarrassing and unacceptable statements between us and Russia, and in general.”
On Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described Israel’s reaction to the interview as oversensitive.
“We are confused by the overly sensitive reaction to the issues touched upon in the interview of our ambassadors to Israel. The position presented in it has been repeatedly communicated to Israeli colleagues on various levels. All statements by the Russian ambassador quoted in the publication are in line with Russia’s well-known position on the Middle East,” she said in a statement.
Russia has always underlined that the issue of Palestine is central for ensuring peace and stability in the Middle East, Zakharova stressed, saying, “For our part, we are ready to provide every support possible in attaining this goal.”
She also noted that Russia has never concealed its negative attitude towards Israel’s airstrikes on Syria.
“It is hard to deny that such actions further destabilize the complicated regional situation,” she said.