Old and New Problems

Corona is being pushed out of the headlines. Now we have to deal with new and, unfortunately, old problems. Will there be a war in Ukraine? And in Jerusalem?

Travelers at Ben Gurion Airport during check-in for a flight to Ukraine. Aren't they afraid of a Russian invasion?
Travelers at Ben Gurion Airport during check-in for a flight to Ukraine. Aren't they afraid of a Russian invasion? Photo: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

Corona and Omicron are almost nearly forgotten as national problems here in Israel. In fact, you now have to search for news about Corona. That’s because there are other, more interesting topics. Above all, concerns about a Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is the top headline item these days. A war between Russia and Ukraine will also affect Israel. Israel maintains good relations with both countries. But how will our government behave in the event of Russian aggression? Good relations with Russia are important for Israel. If only because of the need to strike Iranian targets in Syria, which has been tacitly approved by Russia so far. Can Israel allow itself to speak against Russia along with other countries in the world? Israel already felt how sensitive the whole situation is a week ago, when Foreign Minister Yair Lapid angered the Ukrainian ambassador for his comments on the conflict.

See: Ukraine to Israel: ‘Stop Spreading Russian Propaganda, This is War!’

It is interesting that despite Israel’s urging its citizens to leave Ukraine immediately, there are still people flying to Ukraine from Ben Gurion Airport. Can it be that we imagine the situation in Ukraine to be much more dramatic and dangerous than it actually is? It’s actually no different with Israel. Anyone who doesn’t live here and only relies on the reports they get from the media also thinks that it’s very dangerous here.

Yes, there are always tensions here, too. As a reader of Israel Today you are well aware of this. We’ve been reporting on the tense situation surrounding the riots in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, or Shimon HaTzadik as it is known in Hebrew. Now, like last year, right-wing member of the Knesset Itamar Ben Gvir has moved his office to this part of the city, further aggravating the already tense situation. In May 2021, shortly after his office was relocated, the confrontation with Hamas in the Gaza Strip began. Hamas warned yesterday that the current unrest in Sheikh Jarrah could lead to a renewed wave of violence. Will the events of May 2021 be repeated?

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