Blog post by Azriel Bermant, published by Institute of International Relations Prague, 4 March 2022
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put Israel in a particularly awkward position. Israel has sought to avoid taking sides in the war between Russia and Ukraine. It has close ties with both countries but has shown a deep reluctance to take a stand against Russia.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Israel has sent humanitarian supplies to Kyiv but has withheld arms supplies. The media has reported that Israel blocked the transfer of its Iron Dome missile defence system to Ukraine, although Iron Dome would have been of little use in addressing the threat from Russian missiles, as the Ukrainian ambassador in Israel has pointed out. The strongly pro-Israel Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, claimed that Ukraine had called on Israel to send it anti-tank Stinger missiles but it declined. Israel voted against Russia in the UN General Assembly vote on 2 March but pointedly sent its deputy permanent representative to the debate instead of its ambassador Gilad Erdan, possibly to downplay the significance of its action.
Dr Azriel Bermant
Foreign Policy and International Security Analyst, Historian, Lecturer, Author