UKRAINE AND ISRAEL

BLOG 556

March 7, 2022

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Having traveled and worked in the Middle East since l968, Robert L. Wise has journeyed through the region, giving him insights from behind the scenes. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon. Each week he attempts to present an objective view of current events.

UKRAINE And ISRAEL

Israel’s lack of response to the aggressive invasion of Ukraine has raised questions within Israel as well as with the Ukraine leadership. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was his wishy-washy defense of Ukraine for fear of antagonizing Russia.

One of the first signs that Israel was making a mistake was on Sunday, shortly after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett finished a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The official statement put out by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office was short and concise. The two leaders, it said, spoke on the phone and discussed the “situation” in Ukraine.

And what was that situation? As the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office put out the statement, Russian missiles were raining down on Kyiv, Kharkiv and other parts of the embattled European country. A convoy dozens of miles long was making its way into Ukraine, aimed at the capital, and Israel’s leader had a call with the Russian invader about the situation?

In public comments since, Bennett has expressed sympathy with the people of Ukraine who have been killed and displaced due to indiscriminate Russian attacks. He says he prays for peace and urges dialogue. A condemnation of Russia? That you won’t hear from Israel’s prime minister.

Who will you hear some words of censure from? Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. Last week, hours after the invasion, Lapid called the Russian attack a “serious violation of the international order” and said that “Israel condemns the attack.” But a few days later, after missiles struck near the Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial in Kyiv, Lapid was more careful. He said that Israel condemns the strike and calls for the memorial to be respected. Who attacked? Why they attacked? That, Lapid did not mention.

Government officials admit that the two heads of the coalition are playing something of a good cop/bad cop routine with Russia. When there is no alternative, Lapid is tough, while Bennett, who is responsible for direct ties with Putin, never mentions Russia.

Even though it is factually true that Israel officially condemned Russia in Lapid’s original statement when war erupted and at the United Nations General Assembly, that narrative is not sticking.

It’s hard to believe Israel hasn’t joined the rest of the world in being irate about Russia’s unprovoked assault on Ukraine.

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I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II
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82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable
Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!
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by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable

Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

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Filed under Russia, Ukraine, War, World

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