In the latest anti-Israel United Nations General Assembly resolution requesting a legal advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice regarding the nature of the Israeli “occupation of the Palestinian territories,” the General Assembly members voted 87 in favor to 26 opposed, with 53 countries abstaining.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry took special pride in the fact that it has succeeded in significantly improving the numbers in the initial vote, from only 17 opposed to 26, and that Ukraine has changed its vote from supporting the resolution to simply not showing up for the vote at all.
Israel was also not present at this vote, as it took place on Shabbat. The US entered Israel’s nay vote in its place.
In the previous anti-Israel UN vote (and most other UN votes), Ukraine voted against Israel. That did not go over well in Israel. Israel has also been a world leader in supplying Ukraine with humanitarian aid.
According to a report by Barak Ravid, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday evening asking Ukraine to vote against the UN resolution. Zelenskyy demanded reciprocity and a change in Israeli policy, asking Israel to supply defensive weapons to Ukraine, in particular, against Russian ballistic missiles and the Iranian suicide drones that Russia has been using to attack Ukraine.
Netanyahu reportedly refused to answer or commit to anything, only to talk about it in the future. Zelenskyy didn’t like the answer and refused to commit to abstaining or opposing the UN vote.
Israel has its own sticky problem with Russia sitting on its border in Syria and getting cozy with the Iranians. Russia voted against Israel in the UN vote.
In the end, Ukraine didn’t vote against Israel or abstain. They simply didn’t show up for the vote, “in order to give a chance to the relationship with Netanyahu,” a Ukrainian official said.