‘You Can’t Win War with Antibiotics’: Israel-Ukraine Relations Deteriorates

Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk. (Photo: via Al Mayadeen)

Israel’s balancing act in the Russia-Ukraine war might be coming to an end.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgeni Kornichuk will be summoned to Israel’s Foreign Ministry to be ‘officially reprimanded’ for his public condemnation of his host’s relationship with Russia, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced during a press briefing on Sunday.

Kornichuk had accused Israel of siding with Russia under the guise of “neutrality,” claiming “a series of controversial events that have occurred since the beginning of 2023, along with the almost complete lack of humanitarian aid to Ukraine.”

Denouncing the Ukrainian diplomat’s “harsh” remarks, Cohen countered, “Despite the complexity with Russia, Israel stood with Ukraine from the beginning of the war until today, publicly supported its territorial integrity and its sovereignty, and voted to condemn Russia in international forums.”

“Israel sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine in an unprecedented manner,” he claimed, alleging that this year’s sum would surpass even last year’s total of 80 million shekels ($22 million) and pointing out that the missile warning system Israel was currently “adapting” to Kyiv would ultimately save Ukrainian lives.

‘Fictional Assumptions’

In addition to complaining about insufficient financial aid, Kornichuk’s post stated that Cohen’s visit to Kyiv in February had been “fruitless” and accused rightwing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of devising “entirely fictional and speculative assumptions” to justify refusing to arm Ukraine.

In an interview last week, Netanyahu told the Israeli Jerusalem Post newspaper that he had “concerns” that any weapons systems given to Ukraine could ultimately end up with Iran and be used against Israel itself.

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“That’s not a theoretical possibility,” Netanyahu claimed. He was quoted as saying that “it actually happened with the Western anti-tank weapons that we now find at our borders. So, we have to be very careful here.”

Kornichuk dismissed those claims, denying the weapons in question were newly arrived from the Ukrainian front.

So-called ‘Neutrality’

“Not providing (Ukraine) with weapons is just a decision to please the Russians,” he said, declaring Israel’s “so-called ‘neutrality’” was also “a clear pro-Russian position.”

Israel could only “be on (the) right side of history” – and “support freedom and democratic world order” – by arming Ukraine, Kornichuk argued, claiming the country was ignoring the wishes of the “global Jewish Diaspora” by declining to supply missile defense systems like its coveted Iron Dome to Kyiv.

“You can’t win a war with bandages and antibiotics,” Kornichuk wrote.

Israel has struggled to maintain neutrality regarding the Ukrainian conflict. Tel Aviv signed a deal with Moscow last month to open a branch of the Russian Embassy in West Jerusalem, further angering Kyiv.

(The Palestine Chronicle, RT)

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