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Israel's benefits from the Russian war

Ukrainians and Israelis who support them gather during a protest against Russian attacks on Ukraine, on 26 February 2022, in Tel Aviv, Israel. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]
A protest against Russian attacks on Ukraine in Tel Aviv on 26 February 2022 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Although Israel appears, in its position on the Russian war on Ukraine, as if it is a free player in choosing a certain neutral policy, as well as in changing and altering it sometimes, a closer look shows that this policy is mainly based on the benefit of the occupation state, whether on the foreseeable horizon, or in the long run. What can be said, at this current point in time, is that there are benefits to that war, some of which we will discuss in this article, but this does not mean that matters will remain confined to opportunities and will not result in losses.

Perhaps the first benefit, which is clear as of now, is the increased demand, especially from Europe, for the products of the Israeli security industries, whether governmental or private. According to reports in the Israeli economic newspaper, TheMarker, these industries are currently in a state of euphoria, due to the haste of German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, around the time of his quick visit to Israel, announced that his country will allocate $113 billion from its 2022 budget to strengthen the German army. He also said that the government will raise the German defence budget and spent at least 2 per cent of its GDP every year, suggesting that this commitment be added to the German constitution.

According to officials in the Israeli security industries, the volume of requests received by these industries in the recent period is insane, and from all of Europe. The requests are mainly from countries neighbouring Russia or adjacent to the battlefield, such as Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden, and they are interested in being immediately supplied with drones, electronic combat systems, control and surveillance systems, and communications and armament systems.

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Based on what is confirmed by a high-ranking source in the Israeli security industries, the Europeans have realised, after the current war, that the source of the danger has changed. Their past assessments indicated that the most dangerous security threat was China, and did not take Russia in consideration. They now know that the threat is from China and Russia, and perhaps from a combination of both, as everything that happened in Ukraine began after the meeting between Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Since then, tension was renewed after China's threat to Taiwan. According to the source, just this matter created unprecedented opportunities for Israel and its security industries, and the future possibilities are even crazier.

Needless to say, Israel does not view this issue only from the economic point of view, despite its importance, but also from the point of view of acquiring partners in its political method towards the issue of Palestine and at the regional level, as is the case with its view of security trade deals with dark regimes around the world.

The second benefit is the influx of Jews from Ukraine, Russia and Europe. I need to reiterate here that Israel considers the demographic issue a top area of ​​interest in terms of its national security. In the demographic context, it uses various means under the guise of preserving its national security, including passing laws and regulations to guarantee its Jewish character, foremost among which are the Law of Return, the Citizenship Law and the National-State Law. Another means it uses is implementing a strict policy regarding entry visas to the country, under the supervision of the Population and Immigration Authority and the security services.

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Thirdly, it uses the means of constructing separation walls, most notably the separation wall in the West Bank. Forth, strengthening relations with the Jewish communities in the world and encouraging the immigration of Jews to Israel. To achieve this, it has two ministries: the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, in addition to the activity of the Jewish Agency. Added to this is the fact that the demographic balance between Jews and Palestinians remains, from Israel's point of view, being greatly influential on the issue of Israel's permanent borders, whether in the context of negotiations with the Palestinians, or in the essence of Israeli political discourse directed to the world.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Felesteen on 10 March 2022

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

ArticleEurope & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastOpinionRussiaUkraine
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