Not a slam dunk
In the letter “Israel must condemn Putin”(March 31), the author demands that Israel unequivocally condemn Putin. This might seem like a slam dunk but, unfortunately, for Israel in its hostile Mideast neighborhood, this is not so simple.
Israel has on its border with Syria two very bad actors: Iran and Russia. Iran has been trying to build up another launching pad of rockets, just like they already have staged in Lebanon and Gaza. Iran also continually smuggles arms through Syria. This is an existential threat to Israel: There are thousands of missiles in these places to destroy Israel, which is the stated goal of Iran. Israel attacks these Iranian efforts with fighter jets that fly into Syrian airspace. They are only able to conduct these missions through a tacit agreement with Russia, which can control the Syrian airspace and could prevent these Israeli attacks at any time. This stance by Israel is existential and we are not in any moral position to criticize it.