Category Archives: Ukraine

UKRAINE AND ISRAEL

BLOG 562

April 18, 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

With my grandson Mike in Jerusalem, I am receiving eye-witness reports on what is happening on the street as well as in politics. The uproar in the Temple Mount this week was almost predictable as Passover, Ramadan, and Easter came in the same period. By and large, Israelis blew it off as just another “one of those things” caused by Palestinians throwing rocks and seeking confrontation.

However, the United States expressed its “deep concern” over the Friday morning violence at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, where hundreds of Palestinian worshipers clashed with Israeli police in scenes akin to those that prefaced last May’s Gaza war. “We call on all sides to exercise restraint, avoid provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount,” the State Department reported. Under the current 54-year-old status quo, Muslims can pray at the holy site while Jews are allowed to visit  under heavy restrictions, in a predetermined route and only for several hours on weekdays but not pray there. 

On the European front, the view was distinctly different.

The final hours before Passover found the chief rabbi for Kyiv and Ukraine in a cemetery. Before he could mark the Jewish people’s escape from slavery in Egypt thousands of years ago, he was burying a man felled by a more modern danger: a Russian bullet.

Rabbi Moshe Azman doesn’t know how many Jewish people have been killed in Russia’s invasion. But on Friday, on a rural hillside, he buried one more. “People of all nationalities, they are in this tragedy,” he lamented. This Passover, “I pray to God he will make miracles, the way he made miracles for the Jewish people in Egypt,” the rabbi said.

Viktoria Kovalenko bore witness to the death of her husband and elder daughter when their car was hit by a shell in northern Ukraine. By the time her loved ones got a proper funeral, she was 500 kilometers (310 miles) away, able to watch the burial only on a cellphone video sent to her by relatives. Even in the relative peace of Lviv, a city little touched by violence in the war with Russia, it was an ordeal she couldn’t endure.         

“Tears do not let me watch until the end,” she  cried as she played the video in a wooded area where she was pushing her one-year-old daughter Varvara in a stroller.

On this Easter Sunday, over 2,000 years after the crucifixion and resurrection we are still witnessing the battle between destruction and resurrection. Gives one a sobering thought.

Readers of my Wise on the Middle East blog will be fascinated by my latest book MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

ORDER NOW!

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Filed under Gaza, Israel, Jews, Russia, The Middle East, Ukraine

UKRAINE And ISRAEL – Pt. 3

BLOG 558

March 21, 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

Part 3

The world continues to be  horrified by Russia’s unprovoked  and brutal attack on Ukraine. Certainly, this is true in the Middle East. In addition, to what you’ve seen in the media, here is what is being reported in that part of the world.

British Chief of Defense Intelligence Lt. Gen. Jim Hockenhull stated Russian forces have changed their approach after failing to take major Ukrainian cities during the three-week invasion. He said that the battle of attrition “will involve the reckless and indiscriminate use of firepower. This will result in increased civilian casualties, destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure and intensify the humanitarian crisis.”

Western officials say Russian forces have enough artillery ammunition to keep up the bombardments for weeks or even longer. Despite the fact that there have been thousands of Ukrainian civilian casualties, Russia denies targeting civilians during what it calls a special military operation in Ukraine.

The UN migration agency estimates that nearly 6.5 million people have now been displaced inside Ukraine, on top of the 3.2 million refugees who have already fled the country.

Also on Friday the head of the Russian delegation in talks with Ukrainian officials claimed the parties have come closer to an agreement on a neutral status for Ukraine. Of course, no one believes or trusts Russian declarations with their constant “dis-information” campaigns.

Putin insisted Russian forces were doing “everything possible” not to target civilians, though action on the ground such as a strike on a theater sheltering civilians in the besieged city of Mariupol belies this claim.

Authorities in Kyiv reported one person was killed when a Russian rocket struck residential tower blocks in the capital’s northwestern suburbs, and a school and playground were also hit. A body lay under a sheet, near a huge crater, after the blast blew out every one of the school’s windows.

Fourteen-year-old Anna-Maria Romanchuk’s lip trembled after the missile exploded outside her school, the Gymnasium No. 34 Lydia. “Scary,” she lamented in halting English, her face pale with shock as her mother comforted her. “I just hope that everything will be OK.”

Ukraine feared the biggest single toll yet from Russia’s invasion in the port city of Mariupol, after the Drama Theater was bombed on Wednesday despite signs proclaiming that children were sheltering there. Officials said that up to 1,000 people may have been taking refuge in a bomb shelter underneath the theatre. At least 130 were rescued safely by Friday evening, but the fate of the rest was not yet clear.

Russian missiles struck an aircraft repair site close to Lviv’s airport in Ukraine’s far west, extending the war to a relatively unscathed region near the border with NATO member Poland.

Putin meanwhile held a triumphalist rally in Moscow about capturing the Crimea despite signs that his ground offensive is failing. He even quoted a biblical saying of Jesus to rally his captive audience.  A sign that he must becoming somewhat desperate.

Western governments have condemned Putin’s vision for peace. In Odesa, on the Black Sea, civilians are braced for attack, with tanks deployed at road junctions and monuments covered in sandbags.

“Our beautiful Odessa,” exclaimed Lyudmila, an elderly woman wearing bright lipstick, as she looked forlornly at her city’s empty, barricaded streets. “But thank God we are holding on! Everyone is holding on!”

From a Middle Eastern perspective, the situation is not good.

I have new books coming out!

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE

by Robert L. Wise

You can obtain a copy through Amazon.

 This compilation of miracle stories will inspire, challenge, and give you new insight into divine interventions.

Order today!

MAN ON FIRE can be ordered on Amazon or at your local book store. 

MAN ON FIRE can be ordered on Amazon or at your local book store. 
I hope you’ll avail yourself of this inspiring story!
Also these fine books are available now:
I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II
Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!
by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)
You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

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)

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)

Leave a comment

Filed under Russia, The Middle East, Ukraine, United Nations, War

UKRAINE AND ISRAEL Pt. 2

BLOG 557

March 714 2022

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Having traveled and worked in the Middle East since l968, Robert L. Wise e 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

Part 2

Surprisingly enough, the Middle East has surfaced as possibly having a role to play in halting the Russian attack on Ukraine. The suggested involvement came from Ukrainian President Zelensky himself.

Volodymyr Zelensky suggested on Saturday that negotiations between Ukraine and Russia to end the war could be held in Jerusalem. The Ukrainian leader also told media he believed Israel could provide security guarantees for his country, and said he hoped Prime Minister Naftali Bennett would have a positive influence on negotiations. He said he told Bennett he did not believe negotiations could take place in Russia, Ukraine, or Belarus. Zelensky spoke at a special briefing for reporters from Kyiv, under heavy guard.

“We generally support mediation by anyone,” he said in an answer to a question about Israel’s potential role. “But I wouldn’t call Prime Minister Bennett ‘anyone.’ You can play an important role because Israel is a country with a rich history.”

Zelensky added that Ukrainian immigrants were among Israel’s founders, “who brought with them their history and their desire to build a great country, as it is now. So, it’s not bad at all for us to have such mediation.”

Zelensky said his government assessed that some 1,300 Ukrainian troops had been killed in the fighting so far. He insisted that Russian losses were far higher. He also said Russia “will conquer Kyiv only if they kill all of us. They’ll need to live in a world without us. They won’t find friends among Ukrainians.”

Israel has been engaged in diplomatic efforts to try to end the war in Ukraine, with Bennett traveling to Moscow last Saturday for hours long meeting with Putin. He was the first foreign leader to sit down with the Russian president since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Asked how the city was significant in this context, Israel’s Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky said: “As a city of all the faiths. A city where individuals and people of different faiths live in coexistence. A city that is equally important for Ukrainians and Russians.”

Earlier in the day, a top adviser to Zelensky denied a report that Israel had pushed the Ukrainian leader to accept an offer from Russian President Vladimir Putin that would see Kyiv make significant concessions to end Russia’s invasion.

Mikhail Podolyak tweeted that Bennett did not urge Ukraine to agree to the Russian demands, as was reported Friday by two Hebrew-language outlets.

Any light at the end of the tunnel? Not yet, but keep your flashlights on.

I have new books coming out!

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE

by Robert L. Wise

You can obtain a copy through Amazon.

 This compilation of miracle stories will inspire, challenge, and give you new insight into divine interventions.

Order today!

MAN ON FIRE can be ordered on Amazon or at your local book store. 

MAN ON FIRE can be ordered on Amazon or at your local book store. 
I hope you’ll avail yourself of this inspiring story!
Also these fine books are available now:
I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II
Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!
by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)
You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

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)

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)

1 Comment

Filed under Israel, Russia, The Middle East, Ukraine

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.

I have a new books coming out.

MAN ON FIRE can be ordered on Amazon or at your local book store. 

MAN ON FIRE can be ordered on Amazon or at your local book store. 
I hope you’ll avail yourself of this inspiring story!
Also these fine books are available now:
I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II
Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!
by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)
You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

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)

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)

Leave a comment

Filed under Russia, Ukraine, War, World