Israel Shouldn’t Let Poland’s Holocaust Law Interfere with an Important Alliance

While Amnon Lord finds himself in agreement with the substance of Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s condemnation of a recent law passed by the Polish parliament ending any Jewish efforts to seek restitution for property stolen during and after the Holocaust, he argues against antagonizing Warsaw. It is better, Lord writes, “to be smart, not just right.”

The important thing . . . is that the Poland of today, despite its nationalism, is a type of ally—or it was until elements in Israel decided gradually to destroy relations with it. Cooperation with [Warsaw] in terms of military aviation is a cornerstone of [Israeli] national security. The Poles also buy weapons and other systems from us. Poland is an important potential partner for Israel, together with the member countries of the Visegrad Group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) in its effort to crack the West European bloc that holds anti-Israel views. Despite the desecration of Jewish gravestones in Poland, we can dare say that the Jews living there today are safer than the Jews living in France and some parts of the United States.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Holocaust restitution, Israel diplomacy, Poland

Russia’s Alliance with Hizballah Is Growing Stronger

Tehran’s ongoing cooperation with Moscow has recently garnered public attention because of the Kremlin’s use of Iranian arms against Ukraine, but it extends much further, including to the Islamic Republic’s Lebanese proxy, Hizballah. Aurora Ortega and Matthew Levitt explain:

Over the last few years, Russia has quietly extended its reach into Lebanon, seeking to cultivate cultural, economic, and military ties in Beirut as part of a strategy to expand Russian influence in the Middle East, while sidelining the U.S. and elevating Moscow’s role as a peacemaker.

Russia’s alliance with Hizballah was born out of the conflict in Syria, where Russian and Hizballah forces fought side-by-side in an alliance with the Assad regime. For years, this alliance appeared strictly limited to military activity in Syria, but in 2018, Hizballah and Russia began to engage in unprecedented joint sanctions-evasion activities. . . . In November 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury exposed a convoluted trade-based oil-smuggling sanctions-evasion scheme directed by Hizballah and [Iran].

The enhanced level of collaboration between Russia and Hizballah is not limited to sanctions evasion. In March 2021, Hizballah sent a delegation to Moscow, on its second-ever “diplomatic” visit to the country. Unlike its first visit a decade prior, which was enveloped in secrecy with no media exposure, this visit was well publicized. During their three days in Moscow, Hizballah representatives met with various Russian officials, including the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. . . . Just three months after this visit to Moscow, Hizballah received the Russian ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Rudakov in Beirut to discuss further collaboration on joint projects.

Read more at Royal United Services Institute

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Lebanon, Russia