Did Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu just travel to Moscow or did he also simultaneously go to a latter- day Canossa? Did Bibi obsequiously succumb to an outside power (in the manner of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV who prostrated himself before pope Gregory VII in medieval Canossa)?
Reportedly Netanyahu rushed off to Moscow to plead with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin not to sell Syria advanced rocketry. Previous Israeli and American entreaties failed to dissuade Russia from pressing ahead with the deal or, earlier, from the startup of Iran’s only nuclear plant.
With the Cold War behind us, we might expect a cooperative rather than an audaciously obstructionist Russia. What we witness, however, is too déjà vu for comfort, too eerily reminiscent of the defunct USSR.