How Israel Can Respond to the Crisis in Ukraine and the Rise of China

Feb. 11 2022

Examining both Russia’s increasingly aggressive behavior toward Ukraine and the cooperative relationship between Moscow and Beijing, Daniel Rakov notes that the latter two powers are united in their desire to undermine the American-led order of nations. How the U.S.—Israel’s longtime closest ally—reacts to this threat will have implications for the Jewish state:

Whether Vladimir Putin decides to wage war on Ukraine or prefers to adopt the diplomatic path, time seems to be on his side. The multiple diplomatic moves and slow buildup of forces are designed to obscure Russian intentions and undermine Western unity. This path also serves to pressure the West for concessions.

It is likely that the U.S. will take Russia seriously. The current crisis might have a historical impact on European security, similar to the results of World War II or the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It will also [influence] global dynamics when Moscow seeks to draw closer to Beijing, giving it a stronger hand to play with Washington and Brussels.

The expected damage to Israel’s Western partners’ power in favor of Russia, at least in the eyes of Middle Eastern actors, reinforces the need to maintain channels of dialogue with Moscow but might also bolster Western support for Israel’s actions in the region.

Moreover, global powers might find it more challenging to reach a consensus on the Middle East than before, especially considering Syria. This makes it more critical for Israel to get separate understandings or develop new partnerships both globally and regionally to expand its military and diplomatic freedom of action.

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Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: China, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations, War in Ukraine

 

Iran’s Responsibility for West Bank Terror

On Friday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli police officer and was then shot by another officer after trying to grab his rifle. Commenting on the many similar instances of West Bank-based terror during the past several months, Amit Saar, a senior IDF intelligence officer, predicted that the violence will likely grow worse in the coming year. Yoni Ben Menachem explains the Islamic Republic’s role in fueling this wave of terrorism:

The escape of six terrorists from Gilboa prison in September 2021 was the catalyst for the establishment of new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank, according to senior Islamic Jihad officials. The initiative to establish new armed groups was undertaken by Palestinian Islamic Jihad in coordination with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, implementing the strategy of Qassem Suleimani—the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards who was assassinated in Iraq by the U.S.—of using proxies to achieve the goals of expansion of the Iranian regime.

After arming Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Iran moved in the last year to support the new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank. Iran has been pouring money into the Islamic Jihad organization, which began to establish new armed groups under the name of “Battalions,” which also include terrorists from other organizations such as Fatah, Hamas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. First, the “Jenin Battalion” was established in the city of Jenin, followed the “Nablus Battalion.”

Despite large-scale arrest operation by the IDF and the Shin Bet in the West Bank, Islamic Jihad continues to form new terrorist groups, including the “Tulkarem Battalion,” the “Tubas Battalion,” and the “Balata Battalion” in the Balata refugee camp.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror, West Bank