Israelis Show their Support for Ukraine at Tel Aviv Rally

On Monday, a protest took place in Tel Aviv in support of Ukraine close to the embassy of the Russian Federation.

Russia had invaded Ukraine back in February and the conflict is still raging between the two countries.

The rally

‘Israeli Friends of Ukraine’ was the NGO that organized the rally and it was a response to the latest round of huge drone and missile attacks from Russia on the infrastructure and civilian population of the beleaguered country.

The attacks saw 19 people lose their lives and more than 100 people got injured. In addition, it also resulted in the destruction of a number of buildings in Ukraine.

Even though the rally coincided with the beginning of Sukkot in Israeli, there were dozens of visitors and Israelis who participated.

The protestors came to the rally with Israeli and Ukrainian flags, antiwar slogans and banners and also sang both Ukrainian and Israeli national anthems.

In addition, they also demanded that Russia should cease all its military activities on the areas of sovereign Ukraine and also should also de-occupy the lands that it had taken.

Moreover, the protestors also called to declare Russia as a state that is in favor of terrorism.

Even though it was a peaceful event, the organizers said that the police had been concerned about potential violence and vandalism, due to which they had pushed away the protestors far from the Russian embassy.

Current government’s response

Apart from that, Monday also saw Yair Lapid, the Israeli Prime Minister, also made an official statement condemning the attack on Ukraine by Russia.

It is the first time that a Prime Minister of Israel has officially made such a statement. Lapid stated that he condemned the attacks on Kyiv’s civilian population, as well as other cities of Ukraine.

He also expressed his condolences to the people of Ukraine and the victims’ families. Israel had also said in recent weeks that it did not recognize the annexation of the various areas of Ukraine by Russia.

When the war had broken out in late February, Lapid had condemned Russian actions back then as well, but he had held the position of foreign minister at that time.

Previous government

The Prime Minister at that time, Naftali Bennett, had not openly condemned Russia’s actions, partly because he was trying to mediate between Kyiv and Moscow.

However, it was primarily because they did not wish to ruin their own relations with Russia since it allows the Israel Air Force to use its northern border for attacking Iranian targets.

The Russian Army has a significant presence there. Moreover, the government also refrained from explicitly condemning the invasion for the wellbeing of Russian Jews.

The government had also provided humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, but not any military assistance had been given, which had drawn a negative reaction from Ukraine.

But, it now appears that Israel might be changing its stance, considering that Russia continues to be aggressive in its attacks on Ukraine.

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