Demonstration against Putin

Pres, Putin of Russia visited Israel for 2 days. He came for scheduled meetings with Israeli Government officials and to emphasize Russian influence, but he also came to Netanya today (Monday) to dedicate a memorial to the 13 million fighters of the Red Army in WWII, of whom ca. 500,000 were Jewish. This memorial consists of two huge white sculpted marble dove wings that rise together towards the sky just near the cliff top overlooking the sea. Of course, Putin has been given all due honor and consideration as befits the head of a friendly State. But, I attended a small demonstration against Putin.

This demo was organized by Jonathan Friedler, who obtained a legal permit from the Netanya Municipality. When I arrived there were only a few people and altogether we were only about 12-15 demonstraters. We were sent by the police into the middle of a field behind a building and behind the memorial, and so could not see it, and certainly could not be seen by Putin. I carried a sign with the slogan “Putin = Assad”. Others carried signs pointing out Putin’s own bad acts, including the murder by radioactivity in London of his Russian opponent Alexander Litvinenko and imprisonment and murder of several journalists.

My motivation in opposing Putin is that he is the major supporter of Pres. Assad of Syria, and as such is responsible not only for thousands of Syrian deaths, but also for preventing concerted international action against the Assad regime and for the continuing death and destruction in Syria. While I am not a proponent of the Syrian opposition, I would like to see Assad toppled, for that would be a clear defeat for Iran, our mortal enemy, since Syria is Iran’s main ally and the conduit for their arms shipments to Hizbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Now with the election of a Muslim Brotherhood President in Egypt, it is quite likely that Hamas will switch its connections from the Iran-Syria Shia axis to the Egyptian Sunni one. But, nevertheless, a removal of Syria from the Iranian camp would be a major defeat for Iran and Putin is the main player standing in the way of this outcome. I hope Putin leaves Israel with that word of advice ringing in his ears, let Assad fall! It may be a defeat for Russia in that its influence in Syria and the Mediterranean area would be reduced and it would lose its only warm water port in Latakia, but it would also come into confluence with the rest of the international community.

About the Author
Jack Cohen was born in London and has a PhD in Chemistry from Cambridge University. He moved to the US and worked at the National Cancer Inst. and then Georgetown Medical School. In 1996, he Moved to Israel and became Chief Scientist of the Sheba Medical Center. He retired in 2001 and worked as a Visiting Professor at Hebrew University Medical School for 5 years.