As Israel prepares to finally jump in and work directly with Ukraine in helping them defend against Russia, it appears to be Russia’s close relationship with Iran and its reliance on Iranian drones that has convinced the Netanyahu government to pick a side in the war.
The old axiom “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” appears to be partly responsible for Netanyahu’s about face when it comes to supplying Ukraine with defensive weaponry like the Iron Dome. After all, Russia has been utilizing Iranian attack drones in its assault on Ukrainian infrastructure as well as armed forces.
When Israel allegedly knocked out the Iranian drone factory in Isfahan, Iran more than a week, Russia became incensed. They even threatened Israel. The fact is, the Mossad was said to have carried out the attack with the help of Iranian Azeris and Kurds. Both groups together form approximately 35% of Iran’s populace and are highly discriminated against.
Russia’s close alliance with Iran has grown even closer and in response to the destruction of Iran’s advanced drone factory, the Russians have been reportedly mulling the possibility that Iran would move its drone production to Russia – where it would be safe from Israeli attacks.
In a quid pro quo, Russia has decided deliver fighter jets to Iran. Iran has also asked Russia to stop all of Israel’s attacks against Iranian targets in Syria.
With all of this going on, Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen is set to travel to Ukraine visit. While Israel has struck a neutral tone in the conflict, will Russia’s burgeoning alliance with Iran will Israel change its tone? Ukraine has made three requests of Israel.
- Israeli condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine
- $500 million loan
- Missile defense technology
Up until now, Israel has refrained from taking sides. However, that was based on the understanding that Russia would continue to allow Israel to attack Iranian targets in Syria. If Russia gives into Iran’s demands, then there is nothing keeping Israel from supporting Ukraine.
If that happens, expect Putin to target Israel as well. I wrote the following in a post this past summer:
“After all, Putin sees Israel connected to his drive to conquer Ukraine. Religion plays a huge role in Putin’s decision making and both Kiev and Jerusalem are cradles for the Eastern Orthodox Church.”
“Looking at Russia’s behavior as intentional sheds a new light on the current deterioration in the relationship between Israel and Russia. While Lapid can be faulted as enabling Putin’s decisions – the decisions appear to be part of his plan to eventually corner Israel into submission. If this is the case, then there may be nothing Israel can do stop the next stage of the Russian-Israeli conflict from unfolding.”
Israel has been walking a tight rope, but like anything else this dance may have to come to an end. After all, Russia’s intention has always been to take both Ukraine and Jerusalem. This appears to be the trap that Putin has set for Israel. Can Bibi find a way out of it?