Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday November 10, 2023
Opinion Piece: Vladimir Putin’s Exploitation of the Mideast Conflict
Vladimir Putin’s calculated manipulation of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, particularly his recent engagement with Hamas, raises serious concerns about his true intentions and further diverts attention from his aggressive actions in Ukraine. By using the turmoil in the Mideast as a means to stir up more problems and keep the world’s attention diverted, Putin is able to continue his bloody conquest of Ukraine without facing the full scrutiny and condemnation it deserves.
The visit of the Hamas delegation to Moscow, less than three weeks after their attack on Israel, is a clear display of Putin’s provocative strategy. This move is seen as a deliberate attempt to bolster Russia’s influence in the Middle East, at the expense of stability and peace in the region. It is concerning that Russia, with its troubled history of anti-Semitism, is willing to engage with a group that has been involved in acts of terrorism against Israel.
Furthermore, Putin’s increasingly close ties with countries like Iran and Syria, both of which are hostile to Israel, strain Russia’s relationship with Israel. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tried to develop closer ties with Putin, Russia’s support for Iran’s nuclear ambitions and its military involvement in Syria have created significant tensions between the two countries. Putin’s actions only serve to complicate an already fragile situation in the region.
The timing of the Hamas delegation’s visit, amidst the crisis in Gaza, further exacerbates the strain between Russia and Israel. Israel has rightfully condemned Russia for hosting the Hamas delegation, as it undermines efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. This event, along with the escalating situation in Gaza, is likely to worsen relations between Russia and Israel, adding another layer of complexity to an already volatile situation.
While it is evident that the turmoil in the Middle East may benefit Russia by diverting attention from its conflict in Ukraine, there are potential risks if the conflict in the Mideast escalates further. The limited time and attention that global leaders can allocate to different problems may result in other countries, such as Ukraine, feeling neglected. This could lead to a deterioration in Ukraine without much effort from Russia, as resources and support are redirected to the Middle East.
It is crucial to recognize Putin’s exploitation of the Mideast conflict for what it is: a calculated strategy to maintain and expand Russian influence at the expense of stability and peace in the region. The international community must remain vigilant and condemn Putin’s actions, holding him accountable for his aggressive actions in Ukraine and his attempts to divert attention through involvement in the Middle East. It is only by addressing and confronting these actions that we can hope to bring about a more peaceful and stable world. (AI)