The Reut Group has released an English-version of their latest systemic overview regarding the Coronavirus pandemic. Their analysis reviews the links between the coronavirus and selected issues facing Israel’s resilience, relationship with world Jewry and national security challenges in the Middle East. The document aims to provide initial insights to help Israelis in position of leadership, authority and influence better prepare for the potential implications and opportunities of the crisis.
The Coronavirus is not only a physical health threat to Jewish people around the world but also strategically compromises the ability of Jewish communal organizations to provide vital elements important for Jewish identity and continuity. At the same time, the communal structure of Jewish communities around the world provide an effective social organizing model to be utilized as a genuine social and economic safety net during the crisis. This model also offers the potential for the Jewish community to provide a unique contribution to the world during this crisis.
The overview also offers a rethinking of the region’s security challenges. Israel’s security establishment projected the year 2020 to be one of significant regional escalation, potentially culminating in a military confrontation between Israel and Iran and its affiliates. At this point in time, Corona seems to have diverted the attention of the region’s major actors, lowering the likelihood of a flare-up in the immediate future. This is particularly true since the ideal of spreading the Islamic Revolution by Iran turned into the reality of spreading a plague
Finally, the document attempts to assess the potential shifting balance of foreign power in the Middle East due to Corona, and in particular, the opportunity given to China and Russia to challenge America’s position in the region. Any weakening of the U.S. in the Middle East will have an impact on Israel.
The complete overview is available here.