Democrat And Republican Congress Members Party in Israel As Putin Moves to Take Ukraine

Chris Menahan
Feb. 23, 2022

As Putin geared up to take Ukraine, Democrat and Republican congress members were busy partying in Israel on an all-expenses-paid AIPAC-affiliated junket to affirm their "unwavering support" for America's "great ally" -- even though Israeli officials have made it abundantly clear they will not be participating in any war over Ukraine, lest it jeopardize Israel's close relationship with Russia.

Twenty-seven Republicans and 14 Democrats along with many of their spouses and Kevin McCarthy's mother took part in the junket this week, according to reports from the Times of Israel and Jewish Insider.

Thirteen Democrats (including Adam Schiff) also went to Israel last week on a junket with Nancy Pelosi.

Florida Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch "double-dipped," attending "Nancy Pelosi's trip last week and the AIPAC one" this week, Mondoweiss reported.

Naftali Bennett reportedly pressured "our" congress members to get tougher on Iran.

Nancy Pelosi told pro-Israel billionaire and top Democratic donor Haim Saban at the 2018 Israeli American Council National Conference that if America's "Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain would be our commitment to our aid" to Israel.

In contrast, Israel is refusing to get involved with Ukraine despite pressure from the US to help out (Israel also refused to send a single troop to take part in the US war in Iraq despite Netanyahu lobbying for it before Congress).

Israeli officials had to have their arms twisted into even stating they'd side with the US over Russia in the event of a larger conflict.

As the Middle East Eye reported on Monday:
Knesset foreign affairs and defence committee chairman Ram Ben-Barak told the 103 FM radio station that if the US were to place sanctions on Russia, it would put Israel in a "difficult situation".

However, ultimately, "if we ever have to choose a side, we will choose the US side", he added, as quoted by Haaretz.

Israeli Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli also told 103 FM on Monday that "there is no question that the special relationship that Israel has with the United States, that this government is working to rehabilitate and rebuild, is not the same relationship that Israel has with Russia".

"Our heart is in the direction of the United States," Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai told Channel 12, adding that Israel was working hard not to "take a clear public position, with the great hope that this crisis will end without fire, without casualties and without a military confrontation".

[...] Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid offered a more nuanced response to the tensions surrounding Ukraine, saying that Israel needs to be cautious in its approach.

"Traditionally, of course, we go with the Americans," Lapid told Israel's Channel 12 on Sunday, but noted that there are also large Jewish communities in Russia and Ukraine. He added that "our border with Syria is, for all intents and purposes, a border with Russia."

For over six years, Israel has coordinated its air force activity over Syria with Russia, allowing Israel to target Iranian forces stationed in Syria while Moscow controls the airspace.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Lapid said he has to be "more careful than any other foreign minister in the world".

"I think there is an understanding of this," he said. "This is where the special relationship [with the US] comes into play. They understand this because they understand us. We have a mutual vocabulary, a language that we share."
This is our "greatest ally"?

[Header image by Amos Ben Gershom / Government Press Office (Israel) via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0]

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