By Haider Abbas
There is a rapid development in geo-politics as on April 25, there is to be a ‘debate’ at United Nation Security Council, under the rotating Presidentship of Russia, which Russia had assumed this very month alone, on the issue of Palestine, which Israel wanted postponed, but Russia came out with a refusal. This step from Russia will surely attract international ramifications from US, which has been the strongest ally of Israel, since its very inception. US has been the foremost supporter of Ukraine against Russia in the Russia-Ukraine war, which has been raging since February 2022.
Russia has formally dug-its heels and has denied to Israel’s request to move the debate, which is being construed in diplomatic circles as a ‘revenge’ by Russia, towards which Israel will be compelled to strategize, as the debate is not slated to be postponed. The rescheduling request by Israel, for the key-debate, has been put down, as Israel wanted it to be dated later, for the sake, that Israel observes April 25, as Israel’s Memorial-Day. The Jewish State mourns its fallen soldiers on it. This was conveyed to Russia through Israel ambassador to UN, Gilad Erdan, who had put that it was to be insensitive to organize a debate on Israel’s Memorial Day, when Israel would mourn it’s dead, and that too on a subject of Israel-Palestine conflict. The event is to be chaired by Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Why has Russia done it, at such a crucial juncture, when Russia-Ukraine war does not seem to come to an end anytime soon. Moreover, there are signals that NATO would openly indulge in war against Russia, as Germany has already come-forward to it. US, Europe and NATO are all aligned against Russia, and therefore, Israel is not to be left-behind, as there have been numerous reports of Israel supply of armed vehicles and military supplies to Ukraine. This is what has angered Russia. Israel, which had earlier denied it, has now for the first time, announced, as per Times of Israel 1 to allow to sell defense military equipment to Ukraine, particularly its air-defence system, to counter Iran’s drones supplied to Russia.
The Russian quid pro quo is widely perceived as Moscow’s retaliation to Jerusalem support to Ukraine. Russia could do it, and it is at the helm of Rotating-Presidentship, a move which was heavily criticized by Ukraine and its allies. Actually, Russia was already much-snarled, as Israel on February 24, on the first anniversary of war, had voted against Russia at UN General Assembly, calling for Russia to leave Ukraine. The report in Times of Israel 2 claimed ‘Israel joins UN resolution calling for Russia to leave Ukraine. Non-binding General Assembly resolution passes 141-7, with 32 abstentions. Israel stands ‘alongside people of Ukraine in solidarity both on the ground and here in UN’. India abstained from vote.
This February stand of Israel had surprised the international strategists, as Israel had walked-away from its earlier position, of course after its new far right PM Benjamin Netanyahu had assumed office in December 2022, as in November 2022, Israel was the only Western country to have abstained from vote against Russia at UNGA. Ironically, 94 had then voted for it, 13 against and 74 had abstained. Within three months Russia seems to be getting ‘quite-cornered’ at UN. But, this time the mask has fallen off, as the fine-line of supporting Ukraine and also not to antagonize Russia, is a thing of the past, and Israel is ‘readying’ itself to jump into the war from the Ukraine side. This is what would serve the purpose of US as US, more after the ‘Pentagon Leaks’ always wanted to coarse Israel to join the war.
The big question is why Israel wants to hazard its position when Russia had signaled that Israel might-be-in-trouble due to large military presence of Russia in Syria-in immediate neighbourhood of Israel? It may be mentioned that the Syrian regime of Basshar Al Asad could survive in the last decade only due to Russia and Iran’s support, or else was to have been decimated. Yet, there are everyday reports of Israel’s air violations from Syria as Israel regularly bombs Syria military installations. The latest happened on April 1, as per Al Jazeera 3 when ‘Israel had launched air raids on outposts in Syria’s Homs province, wounding at least five soldiers, according to the Syrian Ministry of Defence. The raids were the third in recent days, including an attack on Friday that killed two military advisers with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to Iran’s semi-official Mehr News Agency.’ Syria lies in North of Israel.
Israel, is now to sit in anti-Russia bloc. It has now decided to supply and train Ukraine in its early warning system technology from missiles from the Russian side. In fact, after Iran’s supply of drones, which Iran denies, to Russia, Israel had been itching to go-ahead with Ukraine, as a natural corollary, as a war of Israel-Iran with US support to Israel, had been long on the cards. Officially, Israel had declared that it won’t supply the ability to intercept rockets, but given the ability of Israel’s camouflage, with world media support, who knows, after months or years, through some further-leaks, it might turn-out to be otherwise!
Benjamin Netanyahu wants to arm Ukraine and also not to provoke Russia, but this time Russia is keen to answer Israel on the critical question of Palestine, and this is what is now to lead to further acrimony between the two. Russia has traditionally been critical of Israel expansionism inside Palestine, as there are regular flare-ups from Israel through raids on Al-Aqsa mosque and on Palestinian inhabitations, as had happened in the first week of April again.
What also ought to be mentioned is that the Zionist State of Israel ultimate agenda is to build a Temple-Mount on the site when Al-Aqsa mosque stands, which is the third holiest Muslim site, and Israel had again raided the site, after Jewish groups gave a call to make ‘Passover goat’ sacrifice inside Al-Aqsa, which triggered the Palestinians, after which Israel police in riot-gear beat the Palestinians holed-up inside Al-Aqsa, according to NPR 4 . This happened in the holy month of Ramadan. This is a regular feature of Israel-Palestine conflict of the last seven-decades.
How will Russia’s step reshape the body-politic at international level is to be keenly watched. Will now Israel give-into the long Ukraine’s demand to supply lethal weapons to it? Will Israel also now provide its Iron Dome and David Sling Defence System to Ukraine? Israel has just signed a $ 345 million deal with Finland over David Sling Air Defence System on April 5, tells Breaking Defence 5 , and it may come out soon that such-a-deal with Ukraine also takes place. Will Israel take such a ‘drastic’ step, particularly, when Israel has seen unprecedented protests in its history of 75 years, over Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy to subdue the judicial-system, is all yet to unfold. Netanyahu has however paused the purported judicial overhaul, as Israel military had also joined the protests. The proposal will help the government to ‘pick-and-choose’ Supreme Court judges ‘of its choice’ and also to provide to Parliament to overrule the SC judgments. This will obviously kill the whole judicial system in the country! Israel ‘people at large’ feel that the question of ‘rights of Palestinians and Al-Aqsa mosque’ lies in the backdrop of such extreme-moves, as then the extremists inside government, will have the ‘sweet will’ to override every institution in the country. Going by what is happening inside Israel today, there are fears of another ‘intifada’ as the most imminent fallout.
How will Israel contain its internal and external politics is all what is to unfold. Meanwhile, the world is waiting to watch how Russia and Israel spar at UNGC on April 25.
The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner and writes on international politics.
5- Finland approves $345 million deal for David’s Sling long range air defense system – Breaking Defense
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The acquisition will deliver a “new capability for the Finnish Defence Forces to intercept targets at high altit…