Impact of the Ukraine Crisis on Israel

(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University) Col. (res.) Eldad Shavit, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Udi Dekel, and Dr. Anat Kurz - An American response to a Russian attack on Ukraine, which would isolate Russia and deepen the sanctions imposed on it, is expected to have negative consequences for Israel. As part of the Russian response, it is possible that Moscow would cut off the Russian-Israeli operational coordination and try to thwart Israeli strikes in Syria using Russian air defense systems and interception aircraft. Simultaneously, it is possible that Russia would refrain from restraining Iran and even encourage it to use its proxies, not only against the American forces in Syria, but also against Israel. However, Israel's special relations with the U.S., which are an essential political-diplomatic shield for it, do not leave Israel a choice - even if it were to prefer to sit on the fence - other than to side with Washington's position fully and without any signs of hesitation. At this stage, Israel should continue to maintain channels of dialogue with Moscow - including regarding the essential ongoing need to avoid military friction in the northern arena, but should also prepare for a scenario in which the connection and the operational coordination between Israel and Russia is cut off. Col. (res.) Eldad Shavit, a senior researcher at INSS, previously served in senior roles in Israeli Defense Intelligence and the Mossad. Brig.-Gen. (res.) Udi Dekel, former head of the IDF Strategic Planning Division, is Managing Director of INSS. Dr. Anat Kurz is Director of Research at INSS.

2022-02-24 00:00:00

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