Last week and back-to-back, Netanyahu and Erdogan made day trips to the Russian capital for personal meetings with Vladimir Putin. Polite to both, he also dismissed the worries that brought his guests to Moscow. Why?
It would be a mistake to think there is, or will be, smooth sailing between Jerusalem and Trump's new administration in Washington D.C. When Netanyahu meets with the new US president, he will have four pressing concerns.
While the US and the West have focused recent attention on condemning Israel, Russia's President Putin has been a busy boy. He has announced a peace process that might stop, if not resolve, the civil war in Syria. Elevating Russia's standing in the Middle East, it is a process in which the US and the West are excluded.
As Israel and Egypt renew diplomatic ties, significant differences remain between the two states. As one ambassador arrives in Tel Aviv and the other in Ankara, both are walking on eggshells.
According to one assessment by Israeli intelligence, Russian President Vladamir Putin and Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan are scrambling to take advantage of the power vacuum left in the Middle East by US President Barack Obama. As Moscow soldifies it superpower presence there, it is already carving up a portion of Syria for shared control with Ankara.