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Israel rushes to de-escalate diplomatic crisis with Russia

Israeli President Isaac Herzog is now trying to discreetly resolve the diplomatic dispute between Moscow and Jerusalem so that the Jewish Agency can continue its activities there.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog meets with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (not pictured) inside Number 10 Downing Street, London, England, Nov. 23, 2021.

Five months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Israel finds itself at a stand-off with President Vladimir Putin. The sophisticated balancing act executed by former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett between Putin and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, inter alia offering his services as a mediator, provided Israel with a period of grace during which it somehow managed to hold the stick at both ends.

The changing of the guard between Bennett and his Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid earlier this month put an end to that strange honeymoon. Russia is now threatening to close down the activity of the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency, which encourages Russian Jewish immigration to Israel.

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