After Trump Meeting, PM to Jet to Moscow – And Return With Issachar?

YERUSHALAYIM -
Russian President Vladimir Putin with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum, Jan. 28. (Abir Sultan/Pool via Reuters)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to leave Washington Wednesday, after meeting again with President Donald Trump on the “deal of the century” peace plan – but he will not be returning to Israel directly; instead, Netanyahu will head to Moscow, where he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin – and when he returns home, he is likely to have Naama Issachar with him on the plane, analysts said.

A Moscow panel on Monday approved Issachar’s request for clemency, after she was sentenced to more than seven years in a Russian prison on what many consider to be trumped-up drug charges. Issachar was arrested for carrying less than 10 grams of cannabis in her luggage, and was nabbed by Russian police in the international transfer zone at Moscow’s airport en route from India to Israel. The request was also approved by the head of the Moscow district courts.

With the request for clemency approved, there is just one missing element – the signature of Putin on a document pardoning Issachar or commuting her sentence. That is expected to happen when Netanyahu visits Moscow, and it is possible that the jailed girl could be home for Shabbos.

Netanyahu’s office did not confirm that Issachar would be coming home with him, and did not mention the issue. The official reason for the visit, the office said, was to update Putin on details of the Trump peace plan.

Last week, Putin, in Israel for the International Holocaust Forum, met with Netanyahu and Yaffa Issachar, mother of the detained Israeli. After the meeting, Putin said “I told [Yaffa Issachar] and I will say it again – everything is going to be okay.”