Even now, more than a month after the conflict, the Israeli Prime Minister has not openly blamed Russia, but instead has a delicate line between Israel’s western allies, including the United States, and the Kremlin’s strategic relationship. I’m trying to balance.
A bipartisan parliamentary group saw Israel, which receives more US foreign aid than any other country in the world, send weapons to Ukraine and participate in sanctions imposed by the United States, Europe and others. He expressed surprise and disappointment that he did not.
Senator Angus King, independent of Maine, said last week, “They should step up like any other part of the world. I don’t understand.” Light from Russia about the attack on Iran’s assets in the Middle East … but that is very disappointing, especially given the enormous amount of military aid we have provided to them. “
The United States provides Israel with $ 3.8 billion annually in military foreign aid and $ 500 million in missile defense. In contrast, the United States has provided Ukraine with two military aid packages since the invasion of Russia began, totaling nearly $ 1.5 billion.
Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat in Maryland, said he had talked with the US ambassador to Israel about Israel’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Israel “tried to find a way of humanitarian assistance” for Ukrainian refugees, but Cardin said last week he believes Israel “can do more.”
“They are pretty sophisticated countries because they have a lot of capabilities and military power, we know that, so I think they can do more,” Cardin told CNN.
Israel has established a field hospital in the only country, western Ukraine. He also upheld a UN General Assembly resolution condemning Russia. However, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tried to walk by calling the tightrope walk “responsible and measured.” “Approach” in a speech in early March.
Bennett repeatedly talked with both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin and tried to act as some sort of mediator, while other countries seriously negotiated Putin for a ceasefire. I’m warning you not.
Bennett stood next to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday, only mentioning the war towards the end of the opening remarks, Israel mentioning Russia and accusing Putin of starting the war. Instead, he insisted that he “stands firmly with the people of Ukraine.”
Blinken, meanwhile, began his statement with “an effort to stop the devastating suffering that the Russian invasion is causing to the Ukrainian people.” He went on to thank Israel for the Ukrainian field hospital.
During his visit to Israel this weekend, Blinken reiterated that the United States appreciates Israel’s diplomatic efforts, saying they are closely coordinated throughout.
In a press conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Yale Rapid, Blinken emphasized US appreciation for Israel’s efforts to support Ukraine in the event of a crisis.
“Just talking to Israel, first of all, I am very grateful for the strong denial of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and also very much for the Foreign Minister’s commitment to prevent Israel from being used as a back door of any kind. Thank you. To avoid sanctions. “
Brinken, along with his counterparts in Israel, Morocco, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, emphasized at a summit meeting in Negeb, Israel, that he “considers this not just a Ukrainian issue or a European issue. He continued. This is a truly global issue, and all these countries are interested in confronting a rule-based order. “
“They all agreed to use their level of influence on both sides and, like everyone else in the region, to drive the end of the war if they had it,” officials said. Added.
Israel has good relations with Moscow and Kyiv, and there are quite a few Jews living in both countries, but the relationship between Israel and Russia has a strategically important aspect for the Jewish state. I have.
Israel needs Russia’s acquiescence to strike on neighboring Syrian targets, primarily Iran’s positions or targets for arms transport to Lebanon.
By not interfering with Ukraine, Israel “could not only protect our interests, but also serve us,” Bennett said in early March.
The statement came a few days after Israeli public broadcasters reported that Bennett had refused Zelensky’s request to send weapons to Ukraine to Ukraine.
Even enthusiastic Israeli supporters, such as South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, wondered why one of America’s closest allies wasn’t doing any more.
In early March, Graham told Fox that he would “call Israel” after “obviously” learning that Israel had rejected the request to send anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine. Iron Dome short-range missile defense system.
Last weekend, Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger suggested on Twitter that the billions of dollars the United States would provide Israel with military aid each year should depend on Russia’s response to the invasion of Ukraine.
“I deeply support my relationship with Israel, but supporting my friends does not mean that we see the differences in the past,” he tweeted.
“If we don’t want to attack Russia directly, our power is united in sanctions and support for the Ukrainian people in the world, which includes everyone and is special to Israel. There is no exemption. Things I hope they do right, “he said on Twitter.
Bennett traveled to Moscow and had a three-hour meeting with Putin on March 5, after which he repeatedly called both Putin and Zelensky. Bennett had an invitation from Zelensky, but the trip would only take place if negotiations between the two parties progressed, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
But in public, Bennett is almost silent about Russia. If CNN asks Bennett spokeswoman Kelen Hajioff whether Israel will give refugees to Zelensky, the only Jewish world leader outside Israel, if he chooses to leave Ukraine The answer was “no comment”. This is a notable indicator of how far Israel will go to avoid publicly proclaiming its side. One of Israel’s basic laws is the right of Jews around the world to create “Aria” and emigrate to Israel. The Prime Minister’s Office refused to publicly declare that the law would also apply to Zelensky.
While some US lawmakers are openly dissatisfied, others have a better understanding of Israel’s unique position in the Middle East.
“Israel is surrounded by enemies, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah in Gaza, so I think they have a very delicate geopolitical balance that needs to be maintained,” said the Senate Foreign Relations Commission Republican Ranking. Member Florida Senator Marco Rubio told CNN. “Many of the strikes they carry out and what they have to do and what they do against Iran in the area are in a difficult situation as they need to resolve the conflict with the Russians. Their position, their position. There are several realities in the vulnerability. “”
Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican of Rubio and Texas, believes Israel is doing its best in delicate situations.
“Israel is a strong ally of the United States and is surrounded by neighbors in the most dangerous parts of the world. It is not Israel’s job to win the war in Ukraine. The United States taking advantage of the war in Ukraine The attack on Israel is wrong in doing so, “said politicians.”
Senator Jacky Rosen, a Democrat in Nevada, emphasized Israel’s humanitarian aid through the ongoing crisis.
“They are accepting many Ukrainian refugees and providing a lot of humanitarian aid. We will need to keep talking to them,” Rosen said last week. That. “