Israel Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, intervenes to end Russia-Ukraine war.

Zelenskyy, Bennett and Putin

Israel Prime Minister Has Embarked On Diplomatic Visits To Russia, Germany To End Ukraine War

“Israel has a moral obligation to try to bring an end to the human suffering in the war in Ukraine” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

The remarks came soon after Bennett spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday by phone, for the third time in 24 hours, updating him on the prime minister’s one-day journey to Moscow, on Saturday, 5th March, to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and then Berlin, to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

An Israeli official reported that Bennett is coordinating his efforts in the crisis with the United States, France and Germany.

The Israeli prime minister is the first leader of a democracy to meet with Putin since Russia invaded Ukraine 10 days prior.

Bennett and Putin

Prime Minister Zelennsky and Prime Minister Bennet are Jews.

Paraphrasing a well-known rabbinic adage that “as long as the candle is burning, there is time to fix things,” Bennett said: “As long as the candle is burning – we must try, and maybe we can still act.”

Bennett and Putin discussed the war in Ukraine, including the situation of Israelis and Jewish communities in Ukraine who are faced with death as a result of the conflict.

In addition, Bennett said that Israel is preparing for a large wave of Aliyah, Jewish immigration, in light of the war which will lead to the bringing home of hundreds of thousands of Jews trapped in Ukraine.

“This is a challenge for the State of Israel, but it is a challenge that we withstood in the past, time after time,” he said. “Moments like this, in which the world is facing an upheaval and Jews are no longer safe where they are, remind all of us how important it is that there is a home for Jews, whoever they are, and how important it is that we have the State of Israel.”

French President, Emmanuel Macron had spoken to Bennett before he flew to Moscow to brief him on his own conversations with Putin, the Elysée Palace official said.

In 2021, President Zelensky had asked prime minister Bennett to try to mediate between Russia and Ukraine, an offer that President Putin rebuffed last year, but last week when Bennett brought it up again, he accepted to hold talks with him.

While Israel condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and a vote in the UN General Assembly, it has said it will maintain contact with Moscow, in the hope of helping to ease the crisis.

Even though Bennett is a religious Jew, he flew to Moscow, in violation of Sabbath law as Judaism permits this when the goal is to preserve human life.

Ukrainian born housing Minister, Zeev Elkin, accompanied him on the trip and served as an interpreter in his talks with Putin, as he had done in the past, with former Prime Minister, Benjamin Neyanyahu.

Source: Reuters

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