Terrible Revenge – Kommersant Newspaper No. 210 (7411) of 11/14/2022

Israel is disappointed with Ukraine’s UN vote. Twice in the last two weeks Kiev has supported anti-Israel resolutions. It is possible that in this way Kiev will demonstrate its dissatisfaction with the refusal of the Israelis to supply Ukraine with weapons. For the first time, Ukraine’s vote in Israel was perceived as an accident, but the second time they saw a trend. Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky said that such a position of Kiev “does not contribute to understanding and trust” between the countries.

In Israel they are concerned and outraged by Friday’s vote by the Fourth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (on decolonization and special policy issues). The committee approved by a majority of Palestine’s proposal to submit a request to the International Court of Justice in The Hague on the legal status of “long-term occupation, settlement and annexation by Israel of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967”.

Now the corresponding resolution must be submitted to the vote of the United Nations General Assembly. If it is passed, which few doubt, the International Court of Justice will be able to decide on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation for all states and for the UN as a whole. That is, in the future, we could talk about sanctions against Israel or individual Israeli politicians, although the decisions of the courts are not binding. In addition, the Fourth Committee passed five other resolutions that the Israelis consider directed against them. They concern aid to Palestinian refugees and their rights, and also criticize the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid strongly condemned the outcome of the vote. “This move will not change the reality on the ground, it will bring nothing to the Palestinian people and could lead to an escalation,” he said Saturday night.

The prime minister called on all countries that supported the resolution on the International Court of Justice to reconsider their position and oppose it during a future General Assembly vote.

98 countries voted to refer the Israeli issue to the International Court of Justice, but Israelis were very surprised that Ukraine was among them. “Ukraine’s support for a United Nations resolution denying Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and requiring an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice is extremely disappointing. Support for anti-Israel initiatives at the UN does not help build trust between Israel and Ukraine,” Israeli Ambassador to Kiev Michael Brodsky wrote on social networks. At the same time, controversy erupted in the Russian-speaking segment of the Israeli Internet.

The fact is that this was the second time in the last two weeks that Ukraine has passed resolutions affecting Israel’s interests. Thus, at the end of October, the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, as part of a procedure repeated year after year, approved the resolution “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”. The document is believed to be anti-Israel in nature, as Israel is the only state in the Middle East that possesses nuclear weapons, although it does not officially recognize it.

Ukraine, like many other countries, has not changed its position on the issue of the nuclear-free status of the Middle East for years and votes as usual. But in Israel they expected the Ukrainians to change sides. Well, or at least they won’t vote in solidarity with Russia. Moreover, Israel itself has supported Ukraine in all UN votes since February 24th.

Recall that in recent months, Kiev has repeatedly appealed to the Israeli leadership with a request for the supply of weapons, mainly air defense systems and communications. However, in the end, he only received humanitarian aid, bulletproof vests and helmets.

However, those people in Israel and Ukraine who support the development of Israeli-Ukrainian cooperation have been discouraged by Kiev’s position. “I think that such a vote by Ukraine in the UN is a terrible mistake that will undo months and years of cooperation, support and negotiations. It could destroy the efforts of everyone who has worked so hard to expand aid to Ukraine into Israel,” he wrote in an open letter addressed to the Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba, the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Moshe Reuven Azman.

For his part, the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel Yevhen Korniychuk has tried to shift the blame for what happened to the Israelis. “These votes are repeated from year to year for 20 years. Ukraine has not changed its position, advocating the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. However, we could very well change that and abstain. To do this, it was necessary for us to be contacted with a corresponding request, ”he said in an interview with the Russian-language Israeli website Details. According to Korniychuk, Israeli diplomats did not address any requests to their Ukrainian colleagues.

In October, Israeli officials did not react in any way to Ukraine’s vote in the United Nations. Especially since he was actually on duty. The situation with the International Court of Justice is different, as evidenced by Yair Lapid’s cutting statement on the situation in general and Michael Brodsky’s comment on Ukraine’s actions in particular.

However, Israel continues to provide humanitarian assistance to Kiev. Even contacts are not cut off at the highest level. It is no coincidence that the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky was one of the first to congratulate Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu on his victory in the elections, expressing the hope that after the formation of the new Israeli government “the level of Ukrainian cooperation -Israeli match the security challenges” facing the two countries.

Marianna Belenkaja

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