Message to Congress on Israel’s ‘Neutrality’

Israel’s Neutral Stance on the War in Ukraine: Why one should not question it

Israel is certainly a vibrant democracy and if there were no other considerations, I’m certain that Israel would join the West’s stance unequivocally. However, there are many other significant considerations:

Israel’s main foreign affairs issue is the threat coming from Iran which has sworn to destroy the country and that threat must be taken seriously. This includes not only a nuclear threat but also terrorist and cyber threats. There are two issues here:

The US administration under President Biden, sadly, has made reestablishing the deal with Iran a priority. Biden, has thus indicated, based upon this and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, that Israel cannot depend on the US when it comes to Iran. It is even rumored that Biden will go through with the deal and remove the IRGC from the terrorist list even if he only gets assurances that Iran will not commit terrorist attacks against the US alone. Thus, he is throwing Israel “under the bus”. He continues to favor his enemies over his allies such as by removing the Houthi’s from the terrorist list. The billions that will be released to Iran as a result of the deal will not go to the poor suffering people of Iran, but rather to support Iran’s terrorist activities throughout the world. (The entire world situation would have been different under a strong Republican leader as the Afghanistan withdrawal would have been more orderly, protecting our troops and allies there. Putin would never have started the war in Ukraine because of fears of a strong US response and the entire question would have mute.

Since Israel’s primary concern is Iran and Israel needs to eliminate Iranian incursions into Syria, it must maintain the security cooperation with Russia in the skies over Syria. Loss of that cooperation could lead to disastrous complications of a Russian-Israeli military conflict which Israel could not handle, especially with the anti-Israel (or at best neutral) attitude of the current administration.

Israel is the only Jewish state in the world and from that perspective needs to make the survival of Jews in the world its number one priority. There were tens of thousands of Jews in the Ukraine and hundreds of thousands in Russia. Antisemitism in both countries has a very real and long history! And despite a Jewish president in Ukraine there is still a significant proportion of that population that condemns the Jews for everything. The Ukrainians were very supportive of the Germans during the Holocaust and aided killing tens of thousands of Jews. And Russian anti-Jewish pogroms go back centuries. Jews in both countries are a vulnerable population. Israel has opened its doors to Jewish refugees from the Ukraine, even while maintaining “neutrality”. They can’t risk jeopardizing the Russian Jewish population by following Western sanctions as any other simple democracy can as the Russian Jewish population would pay the price.

Please don’t forget that Israel has sent millions in humanitarian aid as well as a field hospital to help the people of Ukraine through this difficult time.

One benefit of Israel’s unique position is that Israel has been able to try to negotiate a solution to this unfortunate war and hopefully their efforts will bear fruit. (No other approach has yet succeeded either.)

Please judge Israel by its unique yardstick and not by an uninvolved Western country’s yardstick.

About the Author
Strong religious zionist background: First trip in 1963 - bar mitzvah, spent a summer volunteering at Hadassah in 1970, spent a year in Yeshiva in Jerusalem in 1971-72, parents made aliya in 1979, Tried to make aliyah in 1983 but was told I wouldn't fit into the system (after completing a fellowship in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) Professional: Board certified in general surgery, private practice in Manhattan for 28years, the Chief of the ENT / Head & Neck Service at the Phoenix VAMC, Clinical professor of surgery at Univ of AZ-Phoenix for 8 years. Finally made Aliyah in 2016 to work in Rambam. Licensed and Board certified in Israel Hobbies: Skiing, Hiking, Creating
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