It’s about time someone just came out and said it.
Israel destabilizes the Middle East more than Iran, Russian Ambassador Anatoly Viktorov told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
“The problem in the region is not Iranian activities,” Viktorov said at the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv. “It’s a lack of understanding between countries and noncompliance with UN resolutions in the Israel-Arab and Israel-Palestinian conflict.”
Asked if the relatively limited scope of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians destabilizes the region more than Iran does through proxies around the Middle East, like the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon, Viktorov balked at the notion of Iranian funding the Shi’ite terrorist group.
“Israel is attacking Hezbollah; Hezbollah is not attacking Israel,” he added, referring to Israel bombing Iranian and Hezbollah and weapons convoys in Syria.
Viktorov said he has seen the tunnels from Lebanon into Israel, which Hezbollah operatives have used to attempt to attack Israel, and argued there is “no proof Hezbollah created the tunnels.”
The ambassador said Israel must “not attack the territories of sovereign UN members.”
Asked whether this is a change in the position, by which Israel gives Russia advanced notice before it attacks Iranian positions near the Syria-Israel border, Viktorov said no, because “coordination is about the safety of the Russian military in Syria.”
However, he added, “there is no way that we are approving any Israeli strikes on Syria, never in the past and never in the future.”
With regard to recent International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran has developed more centrifuges to a further extent than permitted by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is known, Viktorov said he does not agree that Iran has violated the agreement.
“The first step was made by… our American colleagues who unfortunately decided to quit the JCPOA [in 2018],” he said. “They quit the plan and that allowed the Iranian side to undertake some steps which are not in full compliance with the plan, which is unfortunate as well.”
Though Viktorov would only call Joe Biden “the possibly elected president” of the US, pointing out that he was only “appointed by the press” and not officially declared the victor, he said Russia “took note of some statements” that Biden seeks to rejoin the JCPOA.
If the US returns to the deal, “it will make many things simpler,” he said. “It will be helpful to reduce concerns and allow the Iranians to develop a peaceful atomic energy program and allow [the IAEA] to look at what is going on in the military sphere.”
As for whether Russia would sell arms to Iran after the UN arms embargo was lifted earlier this year, he said: “Iran is a sovereign state, why not? I am not familiar with specific plans; it’s a matter of negotiations.”
Viktorov said Russia is supportive of the Abraham Accords, in which Israel established diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, and said “any move towards interaction is a positive development, in of itself.”
Still, he said, “Israel should sit down and talk about how to take everybody’s legitimate concerns into account and not create alliances and blocs against somebody else,” an apparent reference to partnerships with Gulf states against Iran.
“We strongly believe that the Palestinian question should not be put aside. The normalization should not replace a Palestinian-Israeli settlement because this problem will remain and will continue to endanger not only the countries and peoples of the region but also many others around the globe,” he stated, while calling for a two-state solution.
It feels good to clear the air.
Shockingly, the Western media isn’t bothering to report on this and call Russia evil anti-Semites for suggesting that it is possible for a Jew to do something wrong.
I suspect that they will sweep it under the rug, and just hope that Russia doesn’t start making this a regular talking point.
The Israel issue is a difficult one for the left. As we know, the left is completely Jewish, and thus they are supporters of Israel. However, the left is also obsessed with brown people, and talking all the time about how great brown people are, and how they’re so oppressed, and that narrative collides with the reality of the brutal Jewish state.
Basically, they just don’t talk about it. When it comes down to it, of course, they will side with the Jews over the Palestinians or any other Moslems. But they prefer not to talk about it. That is why BDS groups are cracked down upon harder than really any other group short of outright white nationalists – because they create this huge hole in the leftist narrative.
“If you’re for the liberation of brown people, why do you support an apartheid system in Israel?” is a question that they do not have a clear answer to.