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Israeli “Mediation”

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Israel cuddling up to Russia continues to go as well as you might expect:

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy that he recommends Ukraine take the offer made by Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war – which includes many Ukrainian sacrifices – in a phone call on Tuesday, according to an official in Ukraine’s government. According to the official, Zelenksy did not take Bennett’s advice.

The source claimed that the phone call was initiated by Bennett. “If I were you, I would think about the lives of my people and take the offer,” Bennett reportedly said. 

Zelenksy’s response was short. “I hear you,” he said.

What on earth is Israel doing here? How can it think telling the Ukranians to just surrender no matter what Putin is doing is going to do anything but make it look bad to the rest of the world?

Of course, we all know what the real issue is:

In the past two weeks, and especially since Bennett’s visit to Moscow, the prime minister’s office and the Foreign Ministry have been claiming that Israel’s mediation efforts force them to keep an even more cautious and balanced approach. This message was also passed quietly to Zelenksy’s office. The official also said that Israel asked Ukraine not to request more military and defense aid because such a request could harm the mediation efforts.

According to the official, however, Zelenksy’s office isn’t seeing results from the mediation. He said that Bennett isn’t mediating so much as he is functioning as a mailbox and just passing messages between the two sides. According to him, a mediator needs to try to put together a compromise between the two sides and make his own offers.

“We don’t need a mailbox,” said the official. “We have enough of those. If Bennett wants to be neutral and mediate, we would expect to see him appoint someone to work on it day and night and try to get a compromise.”

Ukrainian officials believe that Bennett’s involvement in diplomatic efforts comes from his not wanting to take a clear stance regarding the Russian invasion from fear that it will harm Israel’s ties with Russia.

Israel refuses to anger Putin. That’s the real issue.

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