Ukrainian president Zelensky spoke by phone with PM Bennett. Zelensky asked for military aid, in addition to the humanitarian aid that Israel continues to send. He also asked that Bennett act as an intermediary between Ukraine and Russia, since Israel has good relations with both countries.
Yesterday Zelensky told reporters that he was disappointed at Israel’s stance towards his country and expected Israel to be more supportive. He said, “Today I saw a beautiful picture of people wrapped in the Ukraine flag at the Wester Wall, praying for this country. I am grateful for that. I spoke to the Israeli leaders. We have decent relations, but those are tested in times of crisis. I don’t feel that the Israeli government has wrapped itself with the Ukrainian flag.”
On Wednesday, PM Bennett spoke to Putin by phone, for the second time since the Russians invaded Ukraine. Putin told Bennett that the key to ending the crisis in Ukraine is safeguarding Russia’s security interests. Shortly before their call, Israel joined 140 other countries in voting in favor of condemning the Russian offensive at the UN General Assembly. Bennett initiated both phone calls.
Talks to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal are in their final stages and progressing, but there are still issues to be worked out.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said in an interview to The Atlantic, “We do not look at Israel as an enemy but as a potential ally in various interests that we could seek to achieve together. But it should solve its problems with the Palestinians.”
On Wednesday, a 48-year-old Israeli man was stabbed in the neck and moderately wounded in Hizma, a small Palestinian town outside Jerusalem. On Thursday morning another Israeli man was stabbed at a butcher shop in the town’s industrial park. Authorities believe the same suspect was behind both attacks and that both incidents were driven by nationalistic motives.
El AL, Israel’s airline, will continue operating flights to Russia until March 9 after the Knesset Finance Committee agreed to put up $2 billion surety. The state is required to provide financial guarantees because according to the sanctions imposed on Russia by the west because of the invasion of Ukraine, insurance policies for airlines flying to Russia are not currently valid. El Al currently operates two daily flights between Tel Aviv and Russia. The flights over the next week are designed to bring Israelis back to Israel as well as Russian Jews. The Knesset Finance Committee was told that there are tens of thousands of Israelis in the regions and members of the very large Jewish community wishing to come to Israel. Aeroflot flights between Tel Aviv and Moscow are also continuing to operate.
The Israel Postal Company is on the brink of collapse and requires an aggressive recovery package after it has accumulated losses of NIS 800 million, over the past two years. To read more, click here.
A small property, near the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City, is being claimed by Russia, but the Israeli courts don’t agree. Now PM Bennett will have to make some tough decisions. To read more, click here.
Our thoughts are prayers are with the Ukrainian people in these dark and dangerous times they are going through.