Photo Credit: Haim Zach/GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his wife Sara and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, June 7, 2016.

Israel abstained Monday night in a vote on a UN General Assembly resolution calling for reparations to Ukraine following the Russian invasion. The vote may have avenged Kiev’s support for the decision last Friday at the same forum to ask the International Court of Justice in The Hague to examine the “Israeli occupation.”

Friday’s draft resolution was titled “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,” and Ukraine supported it, adding to its perfect record of anti-Israel votes at the UN.


Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel Yevgen Karnichuk was summoned to a reprimand at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who was upset about the reprimand, and also about the fact that Israel is not letting in enough non-Jewish Ukrainian asylum seekers (Ukraine Votes to Send Israel to Hague Criminal Court, Upset Israel Rejects Ukrainian Asylum Seekers).

Monday night’s resolution, titled “Furtherance of remedy and reparation for aggression against Ukraine,” was adopted by 94 in favor to 14 against, with 73 abstentions. The Assembly recognized that the Russian Federation must be held to account for any violations of international law, international humanitarian law, and international human rights law in or against Ukraine. The Assembly further recognized the need for the establishment of an international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss, or injury arising from the Russian Federation’s internationally wrongful acts.

Israel was the only Western democracy among those 73 abstentions.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has been cautiously optimistic about its relationship with Israel following the November 1 election. Asked about possible bilateral meetings between Russian President Vladimir Putin and incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that it was too soon to talk about this because the process of forming a new parliamentary coalition in Israel is likely to be a time-consuming one.

As if Bezalel Smotrich wasn’t getting enough pressure from Sara Netanyahu, who gathered the wives of the leaders of her husband’s coalition partners for a get-together and stressed that the sooner they put together a new government, the sooner the left would be out of office. Itamar ben Gvir’s wife showed up with her personal weapon (Ayala Ben-Gvir’s Got a Gun). Incidentally, Revital Smotrich wasn’t able to make it, with or without her gun.

Back in Moscow, Spokesman Peskov said, “We definitely value constructive relations with our Israeli partners, it is certainly important for us to see people at the helm of Israel and the government who share a common approach toward further developing bilateral relations.”

It should be interesting to see Netanyahu restoring Israel’s good relations with President Putin after it has been wrecked by provisional PM Yair Lapid. Count on Bibi to have the skill to maneuver between Joe Biden and Putin, to Israel’s benefit. Maybe Biden will even call off the FBI investigation of Shireen Abu Akleh’s death… (Democrats Pressure FBI to Investigate Shireen Abu Akleh’s Death, Gantz Shows Unexpected Backbone).


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