“Prime Minister Lapid will continue his course of further cooling of relations with the Russian Federation”
Last week, Yair Lapid officially took office as Prime Minister of Israel. The politician will lead the Cabinet until the announcement of the new composition of the government. This will happen following the results of early parliamentary elections on November 1 – the fifth in the last three years. Tel Aviv's policy towards Moscow is expected to undergo some adjustments. The expert told what exactly will change in Russian-Israeli relations under Lapid.
The new Israeli prime minister is known for his critical remarks about Russia. Lapid was among the first Israeli politicians to directly condemn the Russian special operation in Ukraine. He urged Moscow to stop “fire and attacks” and solve all problems at the negotiating table.
At the same time, shortly before the start of the special operation, when possible anti-Russian sanctions were actively discussed, Lapid emphasized that Israel would make decisions on participation in them based on its own interests.
Last year, Yair Lapid served as Israeli Foreign Minister in the coalition government. In this capacity, it was he who rather sharply commented on the words of his Russian colleague about the alleged Jewish origin of Hitler. In response, Yair Lapid noted that such statements are “unforgivable and outrageous.” According to him, they are also “a terrible historical mistake.”
“Fundamentally, Israel’s policy towards Russia will not change with the coming to power of Yair Lapid,” comments MK. Head of the Center for Middle East Studies of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences Irina Zvyagelskaya. – The new prime minister, who also retained the post of the country's foreign minister, always allowed himself & nbsp; tougher statements than his predecessor, Naftali Benet.
However, in this case we are talking not only about statements, but also about specific political actions. Support for the decision of the UN General Assembly to suspend Moscow's membership in the Human Rights Council, the presence of the Israeli leadership at the NATO summit at the Ramstein base (we are talking about the meeting of defense ministers of the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance and a number of other countries in April 2022 – “MK” ;) – all this very clearly indicated the position that Israel now occupies. At the same time, Israel stepped up its military raids in Syria, which also does not contribute to finding mutual understanding with Russia. And, of course, such steps caused a certain cooling of relations.
According to the expert, Yair Lapid, as prime minister, will apparently continue the current course.
“Israel in the issue of Ukraine, including based on its own interests, is forced to listen to its strategic ally,” continues Irina Zvyagelskaya. – At the same time, the Israeli authorities will not go too far in supporting Kyiv, for example, including direct deliveries of weapons and military equipment. They will demonstrate political support.
This position is connected, among other things, with the internal situation in the country. Israel has a fairly large community of immigrants from Ukraine, which has been strengthened by the recent influx of migrants. They take an active position, and the government & nbsp; one way or another takes into account their demands and their influence.
Meanwhile, one should not expect any serious tightening of Israel's policy towards Russia now, the expert believes. Ultimately, the Israeli leadership is not interested in completely spoiling relations with Moscow.
“There are too many ties and mutual interests, and cultural closeness continues,” Irina Zvyagelskaya stressed. – In such conditions, there is simply no reason to lead to any sharp complication of relations. At the same time, attempts to show what does not suit Israel in the politics of Russia, are already taking place & nbsp; and, obviously, will continue».