A week ago I took part in a debate on whether Israel should try to mediate or stay out of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. My position was, “Stay out.”
Israel is fortunate enough that there is a conflict that has the attention of the world and that does not in any way, shape or form involve it. Unfortunately, everyone is trying to drag Israel into it anyway. Including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the head of a dysfunctional leftist coalition, whose efforts to “mediate” between Russia and Ukraine, have satisfied neither side and only infuriated everyone…
Prime Minister Netanyahu recently called out Bennett’s foolish posturing, saying that, “In days like these, it’s advisable to take positions with the utmost caution.”
“I call on the government to behave responsibly, to speak less about what they don’t need to talk about and to deal more with existential security threats,” he urged.
.Thus far, this has led to…
1. A Zelensky rant to Israel’s parliament which resulted in a spike on online attacks on Israel after the Ukrainian leader spread revisionist history about his country’s role in the Holocaust and attacked Israel for not providing weapons.
2. More demands from the Zelensky government now include Israeli guarantees for any deal with Russia.
“The head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Zelensky @andriyyermak, tells reporters Ukraine want also Israel to be among the countries that will give guarantees any agreement between Ukraine and Russia”
Have they confused Israel with America or the EU?
Israel is a country of about 7 million. (It would have been more if the Nazis and their Ukrainian allies hadn’t killed quite so many Jews). Ukraine has a population of 44 million.
Israel is 8,600 square miles while Ukraine is 233,000 square miles.
Also, Israel is about 3,000 miles away from Ukraine and in another part of the world.
Bennett’s foolishness in getting involved has undermined Israel’s image and has escalated all the way to demands for security guarantees for a vastly larger country in a conflict with an even bigger country.
Israel, which is dealing with an existential threat from Iran (a major trading partner of Ukraine), is in no position to do any such thing. And yet Bennett can’t say no. Israel needs to get out of this mess and stay out. Otherwise it will be dragged in even deeper and pressured into making disastrous commitments and providing resources that it is in no position to allocate while the Ukrainian government keeps pushing harder. If Israel doesn’t want to be a party to this war for the next generation, the time to get off the bus is now. Yes, Zelensky will attack Israel, but guess what, he’s doing it anyway.
The best time to exit an abusive relationship is yesterday.