The fact that the Israeli government has now apparently approved the supply of electronic systems for drone defense to Ukraine is a remarkable change of course. After the outbreak of the war, the country even tried to mediate between Moscow and Kiev.

Above all, Israel did not want to provoke the Russians, because Putin's tacit endorsement was a prerequisite for Israeli operations in Syria. The Russian armed forces control the airspace of their Syrian ally to a large extent.

Israel's Self-Interest

That Netanyahu is not seeking a complete break with Russia can be seen from the fact that Israeli officials present the matter as purely defensive support. In addition, the country's self-interest is emphasized, because the Israelis could test in Ukraine how well their defense system works against Iranian drones that Russia uses there.

This may have played a role in the decision for export licenses, but above all the whole thing also shows a geopolitical shift: Israel has apparently come to the conclusion that the Russians must reduce their military involvement in Syria. Among the many costs that the Ukraine war is imposing on Russia is the weakening of its position in the Middle East, which has been built up with some effort.