Israel’s recognition of Kosovo on Friday came as somewhat of a surprise, after over a decade of ignoring overtures from Pristina.
When Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, Jerusalem declined to follow the lead of many of its allies, including the US, in recognizing it. Israel was among other countries involved in territorial disputes, such as Spain, Cyprus and Georgia, in declining to recognize the fledgling Balkan state.
Kosovo offered to open an embassy in Jerusalem in exchange for recognition in 2018, but Israel’s official position was that it did not want to risk its strong relationship with Serbia – though plenty of countries that recognize Kosovo still have good ties with Belgrade.
The bigger reason why Israel was wary of ties with Kosovo was because of a concern over setting a precedent for the Palestinians.