It’s No Election Campaign Gift or Friendship: Putin Just Blackmailed Netanyahu

“Saturday Night Live” likes to portray Vladimir Putin as the real ruler in the White House – the guy Donald Trump owes for his great victory in 2016. On Thursday, at the residence of our prime minister, we also got to see the real master of the house in Jerusalem. Haughty, almost giddy, Putin celebrated his easy domination of Benjamin Netanyahu.

– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 57

Hijacking the Holocaust for Putin, politics and powerHaaretz Weekly Ep. 57

The event at the residence on Balfour Street also included the unavoidable presence of “the first lady,” who at the start of the visit pushed herself into the middle of the two leaders’ photo op. At the end of it, she wouldn’t let go of the hand of the embarrassed Yaffa Issachar. It was the ultimate humiliation ceremony. The ironic smile on Putin’s lips told the whole story.

It wasn’t humanitarianism that prompted Putin to offer a few words of reassurance to Yaffa, whose 26-year-old daughter is in a Russian prison on drug charges. It wasn’t reassurance to the nation whose heart goes out to the young woman who has become a hostage in the hands of an evil regime.

It certainly wasn’t compassion. It was the joy of the victor, the poise of professional blackmailers whose scheme has succeeded. It wasn’t a heartwarming “election gift” but a tiny payment that the blackmailer gives the blackmailee for an incomparably more valuable asset.