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.
Upping the ante of superpower war in the Middle East, Russia is deploying two state-of-the art defense systems in Syria. One fires missiles called "Gladiator;" the other, "Giant." Israel's concern is that Russia might use the missiles to shoot down Israeli fighter jets.
There is a growing sense that a military showdown between the US and Russia is inevitable. In Syria and throughout the Middle East, minor players are likely to step aside and run for cover.
Israel regards the United States as its closest and most important ally in the world. Accordingly, it has a keen interest in this years Presidential campaign. Last night the candidates, Trump and Clinton, debated. This is one Israeli perspective on that debate and what the contest means.
What would it be like to sit down with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, in dialogue, ask him about Israel's relations with Russia, the US, China, Africa, Latin America and more? Last Friday it happened. This a transcript, and video, of that exchange.