(January 29, 2018 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the lesson of the Holocaust is to “stand up to murderous ideologies,” and called for Israel and Russia to work together to “promote security and stability” in the Middle East.
Netanyahu, who toured Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center with Putin, said that the visit “reflects our common struggle against the greatest evil that humanity has known, and the awful price paid by my people, the Jewish people, and the Russian people and the great sacrifice of 20 million Russians alongside our 6 million, and the heroism of the Red Army in achieving victory over the Nazis.”
“I think that the main lesson of the rise of the Nazis and, afterwards, their defeat, is that one needs to take a strong and timely stand against murderous ideologies,” Netanyahu said.
Putin thanked Netanyahu for meeting him at the museum, saying, “It is very symbolic, since these days the whole world is reminded of the victims of the Holocaust,” referencing last Saturday’s marking of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“As you know, in our country there were many victims, in nearly every family,” Putin stated. “Among the Jews who were murdered by the Nazis, there were many citizens of the Soviet Union. They are the ones who made a great contribution in the defeat of the Nazis. We will use this opportunity to talk about our bilateral relations and to discuss the situation in the region.”
Netanyahu, who was joined on his visit to Moscow by Israel’s National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat and IDF military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi, is likely to speak with the Russian leader about the situation in Syria, in addition to Iran’s growing presence throughout the Middle East as well as its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Last week, Netanyahu urged European leaders to “fix” the Iran nuclear deal, which Russia helped negotiate as a member of the P5+1 powers.