Skip to main content

Will Israeli defense minister's exit impact Russia-Israel cooperation on Syria?

The resignation of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has triggered discussion in Russian circles about whether the departure of a man deemed a staunch advocate for a "special relationship" with Moscow will affect Benjamin Netanyahu's cooperation with Vladimir Putin on Syria.
Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu (R) stands next to his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman as as they look at pictures of Jews killed in the Holocaust during a visit to the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem's Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun - RC1504C794D0
Read in 

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s resignation yesterday sparked debates not only about the fate of the country's current ruling coalition but also about the future of Israeli-Russian relations — especially when it comes to Syria.

Born in the former Soviet Union in what is currently the Republic of Moldova and fluent in Russian, Liberman leads the right-wing party Yisrael Beitenu and has had a reputation as an advocate for stronger relations with Moscow. His party is popular among Jews from the former Soviet Union who made “aliyah” — or homecoming — to Israel in 1990s. Liberman, a controversial politician who has frequently received serious backlash from left-wing parties and human rights organizations for his hateful rhetoric against Arabs, had significant success in the 2009 elections when Yisrael Beitenu won 15 seats in the Knesset and went on to become the second largest party after Likud.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.