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Russia, Israel, and the War with Hamas

February 21 @ 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

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The relationship between Moscow and Jerusalem has gone through many permutations. The Kremlin had initially allied itself with Yasser Arafat and other revolutionary groups, and during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Russia allied itself with the Arab states, with some Sovietologists even arguing that Moscow had encouraged and escalated tensions helping to provoke the 6 Day War. In the last decade, the relationship between Israel and Russia seemed to reach a status quo. When Putin invaded Syria in 2015, he seemed to allow Israel into their airspace, primarily for self-defensive operations.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, Israel walked a very fine line, diplomatically supporting Ukraine but refusing to impose financial sanctions on Russia.

However, since Hamas’ brutal attacks on Israel on October 7th, relations between Moscow and Jerusalem have been radically upended. On October 26th, shortly after the October 7th massacre, leading Hamas officials, including Abu Marzouk, visited Moscow. On November 2nd, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzia, declared in a speech to the General Assembly that “Israel has no right to defend itself. Since then, Prime Minister Netanyahu has grouped Russia together with its other existential enemies, including Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

What is Russia’s role in this new world order? What does Iran provide to Russia, and what is Russia getting out of its relationship with Iran and its proxy terrorist groups? How is the United States to respond?

To answer these questions and more, come hear Dr. Stephen Blank.

About the Speaker: Dr. Stephen Blank is an internationally recognized expert on Russian foreign and defense policies and international relations across the former Soviet Union.  He is also a leading expert on European and Asian security, including energy issues.  Since 2020 he has been a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute www.fpri.org.  In 2020-21 he also was a Senior Expert for Russia at the U.S. Institute of Peace  From 2013-2020 he was a Senior Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, www.afpc.org From 1989-2013 he was a Professor of Russian National Security Studies at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania.  Dr. Blank has been Professor of National Security Affairs at the Strategic Studies Institute since 1989.  In 1998-2001 he was Douglas MacArthur Professor of Research at the War College.

Dr. Blank has consulted for the CIA, major think tanks and foundations, chaired major international conferences in the USA and abroad In Florence, Prague, and London, and has been a commentator on foreign affairs in the media in the United States and abroad.  He has also advised major corporations on investing in Russia and is a consultant for the Gerson Lehrmann Group. He has published over 1300 articles and monographs on Soviet/Russian, U.S., Asian, and European military and foreign policies, including publishing or editing 15 books, testified frequently before Congress on Russia, China, and Central Asia for business, government, and professional think tanks here and abroad on these issues.  He has also appeared on CNN, BBC, Deutsche Welle, CNBC Asia, and is a regular guest on VOA.

Prior to his appointment at the Army War College in 1989 Dr. Blank was Associate Professor for Soviet Studies at the Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research, and Education of Air University at Maxwell AFB.  He also held the position of 1980-86: Assistant Professor of Russian History, University of Texas, San Antonio, 1980-86, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian history,

University of California, Riverside, 1979-80.

Dr. Blank’s M.A. and Ph.D. are in Russian History from the University of Chicago. His B.A is in History from the University of Pennsylvania.

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February 21
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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