Putin-Netanyahu talks to focus on rising Islamist power: Cairo then Damascus
The Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt – and soon, possibly,
in Syria – will have pushed to the sidelines such obvious topics as
Iran and gas when Monday, June 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin on
a short visit to Israel meets Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
On this subject at least, the Russian and Israeli leaders will find
common ground: Both are concerned, to put it mildly, by the chain of
Muslim Brotherhood governments rolling out along Middle East shores –
Libya, last year; Egypt, yesterday; and Syria, tomorrow. In their
view, this process is a menace to regional stability which rivals even
that of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Putin counts US President Barack Obama’s sponsorship of Muslim
Brotherhood power as a strategic threat to Russian national security
because of it could be the match which lights the flame of radical
Islam in the Caucasus and among the Russian Muslim populations of the
Volga River valleys.
As for Netanyahu, his calm-sounding congratulations for the new,
democratically-elected Egyptian president, disguise trepidation. After
one domino fell in Cairo, he fears another will fall in Damascus
leaving Jordan vulnerable to having its king pushed over by the
kingdom’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood.
Israel would then be under siege from three Islamist-ruled neighbors -
“moderate” in Obama’s eyes, alarmingly “extremist and expansionist” in
the view of Putin and Netanyahu.
In contrast to the Israeli prime minister, the Russian president makes
no bones about his utter disapproval of the US President’s
“pro-Islamic” policies. His blunt words in support of Syria’s Bashar
Assad at the G20 in Mexico Sunday, June 18, were meant as a monkey
wrench for US plans to continue to install Muslim power in Arab lands.
What Putin hears is that Obama is so eager to have a Sunni Muslim
installed in Damascus that he is willing to put up with retaining the
Assad clan in power, even Gen. Asif, a chief instigator of the
regime’s bloody savagery.
So both Putin and Netanyahu, when they talked in Jerusalem yesterday,
knew they were stumped for a strategy to hold back the Islamist tide
washing across this region and potentially farther afield – any more
than a diplomatic solution has been found to stall Iran’s nuclear