US urges Israel to take 'clear stance' on Russia's invasion of Ukraine: report

US urges Israel to take 'clear stance' on Russia's invasion of Ukraine: report
Washington has reportedly asked Israel to express a clearer stance on its position regarding Russia's invasion of Ukraine, after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has shown hesitancy under the guise of "remaining neutral".
2 min read
04 March, 2022
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett has not yet issued a clear position on Russia's invasion of Ukraine [Getty]

The US has requested that Israel takes a clearer stance on Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, Israeli media outlets reported.

Washington was reputedly aware that Israel needs to "strike a balance" between its public position on the Ukrainian crisis and its bilateral relations with Russia, as well as its military coordination with Moscow in Syria, according to the Israeli daily Walla.

The site quoted officials of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office as stating that there was no issue with the US administration regarding Israel's policy.

Though Walla noted that the reality appears to be contrasting amid ongoing talks between Washington and Tel Aviv, with what Bennett’s officials had to say.

"Israel has been mistaken in its intelligence assessments in this regard," said the officials.

Other Israeli officials however, were allegedly stating that the White House was not putting pressure on Israel over its Ukrainian stance, but "expects that a right-minded Israeli voice" will be raised.

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Israel failed to condemn Russia’s military aggression on Ukraine, and Bennett reportedly urged ministers to "keep a low-profile" on the issue, according to Israel’s Channel 12.

Bennett, who is close with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he had sought to maintain "neutrality".

Israel also maintains good diplomatic relations with Kyiv.

Speaking from the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN Noa Furman called on Russia to "cease its attack on Ukraine," reported The Times of Israel.

Furman added that Israel called on the two sides to choose the "path of dialogue".

Also on Tuesday, Ukraine’s envoy to Israel pleaded Bennett to send adequate war aid, reported Reuters. Ambassador Yevgen Korniychuk said that Israel did not meet its Western allies standard in providing defensive weapons.

Israel did end up voting alongside a host of other nations at the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly condemning Russia on Wednesday, yet Bennett’s attitude towards Russia’s unprovoked invasion remained circumspect.