Tel-Aviv to Vote Against Russia at UN but Israelis Say it Will Jeopardise Country's Security
10:20 GMT 01.03.2022 (Updated: 17:25 GMT 15.01.2023)
© Sputnik / Evgeny BiyatovIsrael Russia flags
© Sputnik / Evgeny Biyatov
Over the years, Israel and Russia have coordinated activity when it came to Syria, where it did so to avoid potential clashes in the skies over Syria. Additionally, Russian authorities have been playing a pivotal part in mediation between Israelis and the Palestinians.
Just days after Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid condemned Russia's military operation in Ukraine, he has come up with yet another dramatic declaration.
This time around, he says Israel would vote to condemn Russia at the United Nations General Assembly, a vote that's expected to take place later today.
According to reports, Israel is also mulling over an option to join the Western sanctions slapped on Russia but a decision in this regard hasn't been taken yet.
Lapid's announcement has already stirred lively discussions on Telegram's various groups, with some users backing the move.
"Great! Finally we have a foreign minister with some guts," said one commentator.
Another one added: "we need to be on the right side of history. Nothing will happen to Russia as a result of this vote, that will surely pass with a big majority. Our vote at the UN is more a PR move... nobody wants that encyclopedias will write that Israel voted in favour of Russia together with Syria, Iran, China and North Korea".
But the vast majority of users who participated in that discussion said Lapid's decision was a fatal mistake.
"Lapid is an idiot on steroids," commented one user.
"Do not forget, who allows you to target Iranian weapons that arrive in Syria," reminded another.
Since 2015, when Russia started its operation in Syria aiming at preserving the rule of the country's President Bashar Al Assad, it coordinated its actions with Israel to avoid potential clashes in the Syrian skies.
Over the years, Israel has reportedly carried out dozens of attacks on Syria. It eliminated multiple military targets allegedly belonging to Iran and its regional ally, the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah. Russia reportedly was informed about those attacks and has purportedly turned a blind eye to the situation, allowing Israel to act freely.
Now, with Lapid taking sides, Israelis are concerned that that move will eventually backfire.
"I would recommend everyone to watch a documentary about Putin. He is an exceptionally smart man but he is also a man of revenge. He never forgets. Also, he tends to serve his revenge cold. He is waiting for the right time. It might as well be that he will wait until Lapid becomes prime minister and then he will square accounts," wrote one user.
However, Israel's free operation in Syria is not the only issue that bothers Israelis. Traditionally, Moscow has enjoyed good ties with the Palestinians, and has often served as a mediator between them and Israel at times of escalation.
And this is the reason why losing the support of Moscow at a time when Hamas, an Islamic group that controls the Gaza Strip, is still threatening Israel is considered by many as a mistake that begs to be corrected.
"Russia has prevented various actions against us at the UN, at times when there were less supportive US administrations. What Lapid has done was a tactical mistake. We could have avoided it. Or we could have found another solution. Tomorrow, when we will have another problem with Gaza, we will have nobody to cry to".
Others agreed: "well, good luck to us all, when it comes to another military confrontation with Hamas. It will soon come".
Yet, there were also those, who were trying to calm down the panic.
"Russians are not stupid. They understand Israel has its own reservations. They were expecting this. So we have nothing to worry about".
So far, it seems that Israel and Russia are continuing business as usual. Moscow has reiterated that it will keep on sticking to its coordination with Israel when it comes to Syria.
The Jewish state has also offered its assistance to mediate between Russia and Ukraine, by convening a summit in Jerusalem, something that Moscow hasn't agreed to yet.
Will that be enough to soothe Russia? It might, as long as Israel doesn't back its words with actions, and as long as it doesn't join western sanctions that have been damaging the Russian economy.