Azerbaijan's recent war against Armenian fighters in Nagorno-Karabkah, an area that Azerbaijan claims, has led to a major victory by Baku and celebrations have gone on for days. Numerous social media users have posted photos of Israeli flags among the sea of Azerbaijan and Turkish flags.
Turkey supported Baku's war effort and Azerbaijan has purchased drones and munitions from Israel over the years, and is seen as a strategic partner. ...
The question now emerges whether this will strengthen Baku's relations with Jerusalem. Israel and Azerbaijan share several interests, one of which is energy trade and defense trade. Beyond that, there are other considerations: Azerbaijan is a Muslim, Shi'ite country and Israel has been making inroads with Muslim countries in recent years. In addition to Azerbaijan, Israel has enjoyed warm relations with Senegal and used to have better relations with Turkey. There are also new openings in the Gulf and in Kosovo.
Israel and Azerbaijan have shared interests, particularly in energy and defense trade.
Together, these are relationships based on numerous layers, one of which is coexistence and tolerance. Israel has much to offer Baku in the way of technology and cooperation. Azerbaijan is a neighbor of Iran and Iran's regime is one of Israel's main threats in the region.
There are questions about Turkey's growing role. Turkey is hostile to Israel, seen as a growing security challenge. Turkey hosts Hamas terrorists and has vowed to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli control in the last year, accusing Israel of having similarities with the Nazi regime.
Questions now arise as to whether Turkey will seek to exploit its role in Azerbaijan, to spread religious extremism or its regional agenda. Turkey is allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Qatar, as well as the Tripoli-based Libyan government and it has been fanning the flames of religious extremism in recent months, particularly with Syrian rebel groups it recruits. However, Azerbaijan was more tolerant historically and more secular.
On the flip side, Israel-Armenia relations have been damaged.
The waving of Israeli flags in Baku is an illustration of Azerbaijan's openness to Israel. There have also been pro-Azeri rallies in Israel. On the flip side, Israel-Armenia relations have been damaged. These relations were just starting out after years of the cold shoulder. Armenians posting online messages blame Israel for their loss and there is widespread anger. That is unfortunate, because Jews and Armenians each share a history of suffering.
However, complex modern politics have got in the way, one of which is the power-politics of international relations and how strategy has meant Azerbaijan, which borders Iran, is more important to Israel than Armenia.
Israel enjoys amicable relations with Russia and would generally like to see peace in the Caucasus, a place where Israel has no political interests. Similarly, Azerbaijan rarely expresses deep interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, seeing the Middle East as further away from its traditional corridors of influence.
The recent war may change that and it means Israel will have to tread carefully in coming years as it looks to keep the strategic relationship as strong as ever.
Seth Frantzman is a Ginsburg-Milstein Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and senior Middle East correspondent at The Jerusalem Post.