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Heller, Aron. “Duterte visit showcases Netanyahu’s roster of tough-guy pals.” The Republic, September 2, 2018.

Given Judaism’s natural promotion for ethical and moral arguing and the “speaking of truth to power”, why would an Israeli president court the favor of the world’s most emergent autocratic leaders?

Here’s one approach to an answer.

I would not blame Netanyahu for Putin’s development of centrality in the adjacent conflict zones. Neither Israel, the more general “west” nor the Palestinians (and now the Syrians) will ever escape the effects of Soviet meddling in the middle east on the heels of the cessation of WWII. While it may be to Putin’s credit (and Lavrov’s) that the Kremlin has shifted some policies concerning the Jews, it is certainly to the west’s discredit that so little interference (to none) has forestalled the depths of the agony experienced in Syria by Syrians of all backgrounds.

The above noted, I liked the article. For my purposes, it underscores the powerful drift backward in the world toward feudal absolute power. Modern liberal Israel may not itself have the power to express pique or impose sanctions with effect: it is the smallest of states as regards that kind of financial or military power. The best it may do — and appears to be doing — is to walk the MaligNarcs (“malignant narcissists”) through a little bit of history from the Jewish perspective and to encourage the autocratic to reconsider what each budding or established dictator  appears to be missing in conscience.