The Practice of Friendship Balancing: Russia-Israel Relations, 2015 to 2021

Chen Kertcher, Dima Course

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Since the Gaza war erupted in October 2023, Israel's reactions have been met with criticism from a key friend: Russia. However, Moscow's public condemnation of the humanitarian crisis has not changed its material or normative policies toward Israel in other respects. This article analyzes Russia-Israel relations, especially concerning the Syrian conflict between 2015 and 2021. It demonstrates how the two states developed norms and structural practices—including regular meetings of elites, public statements, and other mechanisms—to mitigate disputes. These strategies created and sustained a friendship balance that prevented rivalry and escalation between the two. This process has helped them maintain their relationship during the recent spike of violence despite increasing strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-82
Number of pages16
JournalMiddle East Policy
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2024

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