Above all, the main question is that Israel sees in the countries of the Visegrád Pact, countries that are more favourable to its position than the majority of European Union countries on the question of the Palestinians. The four countries of the Visegrád Group have positions very close to Israel because they are very close to those of the United States, and they are the countries closest to the United States because they are the ones most frightened by Russia. This is very clear for Poland, a little less so for Slovakia and the Czech Republic, even less so for Hungary. But Israel sees these countries as a leverage to counter European anti-Israeli pressure on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is also a way for the V4 (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia) to say: "we are good Europeans". Finally, it is a paradox because Israel is getting closer to these countries when they have the highest level of anti-Semitism. All these countries are therefore flirting with illiberal democracy, as if to say: "illiberal democracies, join hands".
Can we expect a quick alleviation of these tensions through the intervention of foreign powers?
Two countries can play a role. The United States, first of all, does not want to see two of its allies fighting, and Warsaw and Jerusalem are both close to the Americans. In fact, the Poles have asked for an American military base in Poland without even consulting the Europeans. Secondly, the Russians, because it is doubtful that they have any interest in these tensions escalating. The Russians, in the end, have and want strong ties with Israel, and Netanyahu visits Moscow more often than Jerusalem.
On the other hand, among Europeans, some - including the V4 - are unconditional allies of Israel, while others are very close to Israel but remain very critical of its government. This is the case of France and Germany, with greater difficulty for the latter given their history.
I do not think that there is, in essence, a real change in France's position. French diplomacy always emphasizes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the Quai d'Orsay considers that even if it is not at the top of the nations' diplomatic agenda, this issue is essential because nothing can be resolved in the region without it. Israel's security therefore depends on its legitimacy, which in turn depends on its relationship with the Palestinians. This is France's position, and, on another level, the one advocated by the novelist Amos Oz, for whom the key to peace was the existence of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
What signals does this incident convey about the domestic political situation in Israel?
We must keep in mind that both countries are approaching election periods: April 9 for Israel, and in the fall for Poland. Both governments are therefore campaigning on this issue and have an interest in rallying their electorate. There are therefore domestic policy calculations. The appeasement or lack of it will depend in part on the Israeli elections.
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