Thursday, July 29, 2021

Russia ties forged by Netanyahu could quickly disintegrate - Amnon Lord

 

​ by Amnon Lord

The new government's decision to bolster ties with Biden's administration may have led to a shift in Russia's approach to Israel. The White House is more hostile to Russia now, accusing it of meddling in US domestic affairs.

From Israel's standpoint, no changes have been made to the ongoing battle between the Israel Defense Forces and Iran in what has come to be known as the War Between Wars. The campaign against anything and everything that moves and could serve to bolster Hezbollah or the Iranians' grip on the country continues apace. Intelligence officials have doubted the veracity of Russian reports they have succeeded in intercepting Israeli missiles launched at the kind of targets of interest to Israel.

Declarations by a senior Russian officer that within the framework of coordination with the US, the Americans told the Russians they oppose Israeli strikes on Syria are also apparently false. The Russians are frustrated by their inability to effectively defend Syrian airspace. At one point, one minister with close ties to then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Israel may have pushed things too far. After all, the Russians have needed to stand by and watch as Israel screws its partners in the Syrian civil war.

Since the Russians have not seen good results from Syrian military units, they have recently brought in advanced BUK-M2E missiles. Russian advisers have also served in Syrian anti-aircraft units in the past. Nevertheless, things may have changed. Israel's defensive campaign has begun to take on the appearance of what we saw in the War of Attrition in the Suez Canal. At that time, Soviet anti-aircraft units, as well as Mig fighter jets and Russian pilots, were stationed in Egypt. There was a great deal of friction between the sides, but Israel did not have a sufficient answer to Soviet anti-aircraft missiles at the time.

Ever since September 2015, there has been unprecedented coordination through open channels between Israel and the Russians stationed in Syria's airport. The IDF attributed Israel's freedom of action all these years to the personal talents of then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also maintained close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It may be the new government's decision to bolster ties with US President Joe Biden's administration led to a certain shift in Russia's approach to Israel. The democratic administration is more hostile to Russia, accusing it of meddling in US domestic affairs. Former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said a few weeks ago that the most pressing issue was to restore Israel-US to their former state. Since ties were more than excellent under former US President Donald Trump's administration, the objective has been to improve ties with Democrats.

Israel will not alter its policy in Syria, and if need be, will operate in a more challenging environment, meaning against a Russian opponent. What is lacking right now is a demonstration of the independence of the Naftali Bennett-Yair Lapid—led government to renew understandings and ties with the Russian leadership. The diplomatic ties and security coordination system Netanyahu built could quickly disintegrate. Preaching against Russia and its leadership won't help. Russia is not Poland. A coordination initiative is needed before Israel finds itself in a real crisis.

 

Amnon Lord

Source: https://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/russia-ties-forged-by-netanyahu-could-quickly-disintegrate/

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