All Israel
russia-ukraine war

Front and center again – Israeli prime minister fields phone calls from both Putin, Zelenskyy

How did Prime Minister Bennett become the point man to handle Russian and Ukrainian grievances?

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (Composite photo by ALL ISRAEL NEWS)

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett found himself yet again at the center of mediation between Russia and Ukraine after fielding back-to-back calls from the leaders of both countries on Monday.

Bennett was called out of a Cabinet meeting on Monday evening to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to reports. The Prime Minister’s Office did not release a statement of the calls, as it usually does, but Israeli media reported that a diplomatic official told journalists the call with Putin lasted for about 90 minutes during which Putin unloaded about what he called “barbaric” acts by Ukrainian soldiers in Donetsk, a separatist region that Putin declared independent before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Zelenskyy tweeted on Monday that he spoke with Bennett and “exchanged information on our joint steps and steps of our partners against the background of Russian aggression. Agreed on further actions.”

Bennett has found himself an unlikely negotiator in the Russia-Ukraine war. Prime minister for less than a year, he has had to navigate a careful diplomatic path between the two nations, both of whom Israel has mostly friendly relations. While Israel condemned the invasion of Ukraine in a United Nations vote, Bennett himself has refrained from condemning Russia. Ever cognizant of the Russian military presence in Syria, Israel has aimed to maintain a status quo understanding of its alleged air strikes against Iran targets there while Moscow turns a blind eye.

While little is known about the content of any of these discussions, Bennett is repeatedly tapped as a go-between of sorts for both leaders. Zelenskyy has even suggested that ceasefire negotiations take place in Jerusalem. Since the invasion, Zelenskyy has phoned Bennett several times. In addition to a few phone calls with Putin, Bennett met the Russian leaders at the Kremlin last Saturday.

Ukraine has even further requested to stage a large rally at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem for an address by Zelenskyy, according to Walla News – a request turned down by the Holocaust Remembrance Center. Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan said the venue should not be politicized.

Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS

A message from All Israel News
Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
Current Top Stories