Bennett sided with ruthless killer Putin – Global Affairs

A man takes a photo of an apartment building that was badly damaged as the conflict escalated, in Kyiv, Ukraine. Credit: UNICEF / Anton Skyba for The Globe and Mail
  • Idea by Alon Ben-Meir (New York)
  • Joint press service


One cannot help but feel outraged by the behavior of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. He, like millions around the world, is witnessing the ongoing horror of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but chooses to remain neutral. Neutral in the face of a broken country that seeks nothing but freedom, and neutral in the face of indiscriminate bombings of death and devastation.

How can an Israeli prime minister remain neutral in the face of cities turned to ashes and millions of refugees petrified of what tomorrow will bring? As a father, how can he remain unreasonably neutral when children are dying in the weeping arms of mothers and helpless young girls cower in fear of running out of space? hide?

How can an equally devout man display such morbid aloofness as he watches schools, hospitals and facilities be brutally ravaged and brutal defiance? patience for human rights, when ten million Ukrainians become refugees or internally displaced, and when so many innocent people are on the verge of death from thirst and hunger?

One may ask, what does neutral mean? If you are neutral, what does this really mean in light of the unspeakable crimes Putin is committing against innocent Ukrainian citizens?

In this case, it simply means that while crimes against humanity were taking place in broad daylight, Bennett refused to condemn the Russian butcher for cold-blooded political calculations, which he justified. for the national security of Israel.

Whether Bennett’s decision to remain neutral is because he wants to act as a trusted interlocutor between Ukraine and Russia, or because he wants Russia to continue cooperating in Syria to bomb Iranian military installations, or because he wants to appeal to Russia’s support for a new deal or a combination of Iran. In all three, Bennet seriously betrayed Israel’s founding moral principles.

Bennett’s absurd neutrality has deeply disappointed Israel’s allies, especially the United States, the only credible power committed to Israel’s national security against Iran or any other country. any other enemy. Given what is happening, we should look at Bennett’s reprehensible behavior from two perspectives: Israel’s moral standpoint and Israel’s relationship with the United States.

Israel’s Ethical Position: Can Israel, with its foundation tied to its long and fraught Jewish history, take a neutral stance when war crimes of such magnitude as So it’s happening for all to see? How could Bennett abandon basic Israeli ethics perhaps because of national security concerns over Iran’s nuclear weapons program?

By maintaining “neutrality”, Bennett is siding with a thug and a ruthless killer who has become a war criminal and villain who discredits all who have do not condemn him in the strongest terms.

When the Prime Minister of Israel does not stand up to fate and do what is morally right by standing with Israel’s democratic allies and saving the lives of thousands of innocent civilians, he is harming the dangerous international position of the country. both on moral and political grounds.

With indiscriminate bombardment, missile and drone strikes killing thousands, executing civilians, and flattening entire cities, the invasion of Ukraine was a terrible crime in itself. terror against a sovereign state and a serious violation of international law.

Mass graves discovered in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, confirm that Russian forces have indeed committed war crimes. Civilians were executed with their hands bound and their bodies placed in shallow graves containing hundreds of bodies.

These war crimes are yet another encroachment on humanity, a combination of Russia’s violation of everything we hold dear and sacred – including the dignity of human life and the right to life free from violence, brutality and cruelty.

With all the horror going on, Bennett still refused to provide an air defense system to stop these atrocities. Indeed, by refusing to provide systems that could intercept bullets without killing Russian soldiers, which he wanted to avoid, understandably, he was indirectly complicit in death and economic destruction. King.

Israel’s detractors rightly question: did Israel’s decades of occupation and harsh treatment of the Palestinians leave Bennett morally numb and indifferent to the tragedy growing of the Ukrainian people?

No wonder; Bennett was born just five years after the occupation began; For him and many others, oppressive and cruel occupation was simply a natural phenomenon. Bennett and his followers should recall what the philosopher and theologian Abraham Heschel once said: “Who is the Jew? A person’s integrity is impaired when unmoved by the knowledge of another’s wrongdoing. ”

Bennett must remember, politically or otherwise, Putin will disappear sooner or later, but the moral failure of Israel under his rule will haunt it for decades to come.

Israel’s Relationship with the United States: For Bennett to publicly and repeatedly express outright opposition to the United States’ attempt to strike a new deal with Iran, and by rejecting President Trump’s calls President Biden on military support for Ukraine, Bennett effectively defied only significant power. unwavering commitment to Israel’s national security.

Although Biden has made it clear that the US will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, Bennett insists, like his predecessor, that Israel will act against Iran as it sees fit. , as if Israel could fully implement Iran’s nuclear program on its own, which is an illusion.

This is where Bennett proved to be acutely nearsighted. America has stood with Israel through every thick and thin and has never wavered. As the philosopher Cornel West has observed, “We must realize that there cannot be relationships unless there is commitment, unless there is loyalty…”

It is the United States, not Russia, that has provided massive economic and military aid amounting to tens of billions of dollars in the past decade alone. It was the United States, not Russia, that shielded Israel politically in all international forums and vetoed a series of anti-Israel resolutions at the UNSC and neutralized any threats to the country’s national security. this.

Bennett seems to forget that the United States, not Russia, will support Israel on all fronts when necessary, especially if it is necessary to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, which Israel can never do alone. all that could be implied. And in the end, it was the US, not Russia, whose strategic alliance with Israel stood the test of time.

Thus, when Israel does not join the United States in supporting Ukraine in this hour of desperate need, Israel is opening itself up to questions about its allegiance and strategic relevance to the United States when almost all all the democracies of the world sided with the US and mobilized them. resources against Putin’s evil design.

Putin’s disaster on Ukraine also raises questions about whether Israel deserves better treatment from the US, especially since the country has rejected Biden’s call for Ukraine to be generously aided. meaning to save people’s lives.

Although the United States continues to support Israel openly, as Secretary of State Blinken recently expressed while visiting Israel, the Biden administration hopes that Bennett will change his mind by offering help and cooperation with NATO. and EU.

Bennett must respond to the desperate pleas of Ukrainian President Zelensky by providing air defense systems, such as the Iron Dome, to intercept the bombs and missiles that are turning Ukrainian cities into rubble.

Bennett’s betrayal of Israel’s moral foundation for cold-blooded political calculations will haunt him and render him morally naked in the eyes of Israel’s friends and enemies alike. Bennet must also realize that Israel’s fate is closely tied to America’s, and the more closely tied, the more in Israel’s favor.

There should be no daylight between them, especially in the way of dealing with Iran’s nuclear threat. It is a place that ensures Israel’s supreme security while remaining strong to deter any enemy. This could be Bennett’s last chance to redeem himself and put Israel on the right side of history.

The whole world is watching.

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a retired professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University (NYU). He has taught courses in international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies for over 20 years.

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© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service

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