Why’s Israel Center Stage Amid the Russia-Ukraine War?

Whatever the motivation, it’s remarkable that Israel’s mediation efforts are being taken seriously by Moscow, Kiev, Berlin and Washington

Ukraine's ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, gives a statement to the media in Tel Aviv. Kiev has focused much of its war efforts on courting Israeli support.
Ukraine's ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, gives a statement to the media in Tel Aviv. Kiev has focused much of its war efforts on courting Israeli support. Photo: Avshalom Sassoni‎‏/Flash90

Israel has no direct stake in the Russia-Ukraine conflict (though it does have important peripheral concerns). And yet the Jewish state has in many ways found itself at center stage amid current events in Eastern Europe.

This has been seen in the international mainstream media coverage of the conflict repeatedly taking note of Israel’s political position and, in recent days, overt diplomatic efforts to mediate a ceasefire.

All other concerns aside, it is remarkable that time is being made by the leaders of the world, including those directly engaged in the hostilities, to meet with and take calls from the prime minister of the tiny State of Israel.

See: Israeli Shuttle Diplomacy: Bennett on Secret Mission to Moscow

Shuttle diplomacy between belligerents used to be the domain of the United States and other great powers. Why give the time of day to anyone without the clout to actually make a difference? And now we see Israel filling that role as the great powers themselves line up on opposite sides of the conflict.

What clout or influence has Israel that Vladimir Putin, Olaf Scholz, Volodymyr Zelensky, Joe Biden and others would stop everything else they’re doing amidst this ongoing crisis to speak with Israeli leaders?

Only God knows, and perhaps that’s the point. Whether they admit it or not, whether they consciously recognize it or not, the nations of the world see something different, something special in Israel.

“Then the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” Ezekiel 37:28

See: Ukraine, and Why It’s Always About Israel

 

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