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Israel troubled over picking sides in Russia-Ukraine war

Despite being at opposite ends of the Zionist spectrum, Israel’s prime minister and foreign minister, Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, have managed to maintain a fairly consistent foreign policy.

The news: Israel is playing safe as Russia was roundly condemned in the West. Bennett, wary of dragging Israel into a losing battle, effectively stated that the war was none of Israel’s business.

  • The differences highlighted the dangers Israel faces as war rages across Europe: support the Western ethos that Israel has embraced since its inception, or keep an eye on the Russia that looms on Israel’s doorstep in Syria.
  • “The Russian attack on Ukraine is a serious violation of international order,” Lapid said at a press conference and at noon Thursday on Twitter.
  • Bennett spoke of planning evacuations of Israelis from the region, assisting those Jews who want to leave and offering humanitarian assistance.
  • He said “continued regular discussions and assessments of the situation to evaluate future consequences (to the extent that there are any) for Israel.”
  • “Israel condemns the attack.”
  • Jonathan Schanzer, the senior vice president at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies said Israel, has to get Russian clearance to fly over Syria.
  • “Russia controls the airspace in Syria,” he said.
  • “Israel sees the need to continue to conduct operations in Syria to combat Iranian smuggling and other malign activity and it needs at a minimum tacit approval from the Kremlin. So, it will find that its hands are tied, so long as it prioritizes these military operations,” he added.
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