Under U.S. Pressure, Israel Issues First Statement on Ukraine Crisis

Terse statement, which precedes Lieberman-Kerry meeting in Rome, is careful not to insult Russia or President Vladimir Putin.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

After pressure from the United States government, the Israeli government issued its first official statement on the crisis in Ukraine Wednesday night. In its laconic statement, Israel did not comment on the Russian invasion into Crimea but only underscored that it hopes the crisis will be solved peacefully.

"Israel is following developments in Ukraine with great concern for the well-being of all its citizens, and hopes the situation does not deteriorate to the point of loss of life," the statement read, which was published by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's office. "Israel expects the crisis in Ukraine to be solved diplomatically and peacefully."

The statement was issued after a long silence by the government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to address the issue in recent days and Lieberman did not speak about it either. Jerusalem's radio silence was especially conspicuous in light of the fact that most Western countries, especially U.S. allies, sharply criticized the Russian invasion and expressed support for Ukraine's territorial sovereignty.

A source at the Foreign Ministry noted that in recent days, the U.S. increased pressure on Israel to issue a statement, ahead of the meeting scheduled to take place in Rome on Thursday between Lieberman and his counterpart U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The statement was ultimately publicized just hours before Lieberman's departure for Rome. It is unclear whether the terse statement, which was careful not to insult Russia or President Vladimir Putin, will satisfy the Americans.

Kerry will also be meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Rome.

PM Netanyahu and FM LiebermanCredit: Emil Salman

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott