Is Israel Joining the Collective West in the Proxy War Against Russia?
According to a report by the Times of Israel, an Israeli defense contractor is providing anti-drone defense systems to Ukraine’s military in its fight against Russia’s military incursion. Though, there’s an interesting twist here: The Israeli defense contractor is supplying the defense system through Poland per a report by Zman Yisrael.
According to a source in the Israeli defense contractor, the equipment was sold to Poland to bypass Israel’s official policy of refusing to sell advanced weapons to Ukraine.
The company informed the Israeli Defense Ministry that the sale was to Poland. The company appeared to be unaware of the fact that Poland was behaving like a middleman that would end up transferring the weapons to Ukraine.
The Times of Israel noted that Ukrainian forces have been using the defense systems to stave off Russian forces.
Defense industry sources highlighted that anti-drone systems — designed to throw off and intercept unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)— fall under the category of “advanced defensive technology.” Based on this category, the Israeli government and private actors connected to it are not allowed to sell such weapons to Ukraine.
After Russia launched its military incursion into Ukraine on February 24, the Israeli Defense Ministry has opposed the sale of offensive and advanced defensive systems to Ukraine. It has rationalized this move on the basis it would significantly damage Israel’s “sensitive relations” with Moscow.
Israel is getting a sneak preview at what multipolarity will start looking like in the decades to come. Due to the rise of Russia, which has become more assertive in its near abroad and the Middle East, Israel has to tread lightly. Israel shares a de facto border with Russia due to Russia’s presence in Syria.
As a result, Israel has a geopolitical tightrope to walk. While Israeli corporate actors may work lockstep with the Collective West, as multipolarity becomes the norm in international affairs, Israel will have to re-adjust its foreign policy ambitions. It must do so by taking a more balanced approach to the way it conducts foreign affairs and start interacting more with Eurasian powers such as Russia and China.
The days of American unipolarity are over and Israel, being one of America’s most prominent client states, must acclimate to this new environment accordingly.