Since Russia greatly expanded its war on Ukraine in February, much has changed in international relations. Eran Lerman examines how these changes have affected the Jewish state:
Israelis are sensitive to the tragic aspects of the crisis, and sentiments of support have been aroused by the Ukrainians’ resolute stance and by the unique figure of Zelensky. . . . At the same time, in almost all aspects, the war has enhanced Israel’s national security equation—and bolstered its position in world affairs.
An element of immense importance, from a national and Zionist perspective, is the dramatic rise in the number of people making aliyah, in the face of danger and deprivation in both warring nations. Over 13,000 olim from Ukraine have arrived in Israel since February, and almost alone among the millions of war refugees, it has been the Jews (including those who may be non-Jews but are entitled to aliyah because they have one Jewish grandparent) who had a home to go to. A steadily growing flow is coming from Russia, as socioeconomic conditions keep deteriorating and the partial mobilization of reserves has been declared.
Meanwhile, . . . Israel’s defense industries, which provide an indispensable contribution both to the IDF’s qualitative edge and to the national economy, have been on the unimaginable brink of really taking off ever since the war broke out. During Prime Minister Lapid’s visit to Berlin, the option of a contract with Germany for the sale of Israel’s Arrow 3 missile defense system for more than $2 billion was put on the table.
Moreover, Lerman notes, the war has made the West more sensitive in general to the sorts of military threats Jerusalem faces every day, and in particular to the dangers posed by Iran, which has remained loyal to Moscow.