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Israel Caught in the Middle of Ukraine Crisis


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JERUSALEM, Israel – As the crisis mounts between Ukraine and Russia, Israel is watching closely.  That’s because the consequences of a Russian invasion would ripple far beyond the standoff between the two countries.

This week, the US State Department called for all non-essential embassy staff and families to leave Ukraine.  They’re not the only ones looking to get out.  Some 70,000 Jews live in Ukraine and CBN News has learned there are plans to evacuate them if necessary.  In early 2019, CBN News accompanied 130 Jews immigrating from Ukraine to Israel.  Some left for economic reasons while others did so due the fighting.   

“It was very dangerous.  In the past three years we’ve spent most of our time in the occupied territories with severe shortages of electricity and water and we survived the shellings,” says Ukrainian immigrant Artur Myschchinskyi. 

Feeling caught between two powers, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett offered to mediate the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine.  Russian President Vladimir Putin refused the offer. 

“The United States of course, is our most important ally,” Professor Efraim Inbar, director of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy And Security, told CBN News. “We'll always be on the side of the Americans but we need to realize that we have good relations with Russia and we need the Russians in order to facilitate our military activities in Syria against the Iranian targets.” 

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The Ukrainian crisis presents the first major test to the US after the military pullout from Afghanistan. 

“Why is it important? It's important because it's a test of Biden,” said Mideast expert and author Joel Rosenberg. “What's happening is because of the failure of Biden to be and look strong in Afghanistan, the fact that he surrendered to the terrorist Taliban regime in Afghanistan means that every other enemy in the world is saying, well, if Biden can’t handle the Taliban, what can we do? What could we get?”

Inbar says enemies are closely watching closely, including China.  

“Of course, if they are not going to show a strong position in Europe, the Chinese will believe what they used to say that America is a paper tiger,” said Inbar.

Another country that sees potential gains is Iran, currently involved in nuclear talks in Vienna. 

“If they see weakness, if they see that they are not willing to confront aggression, then they will learn that they can ignore American wishes in the talks about a new nuclear agreement.  And they will not be forthcoming, expecting the Americans will do nothing,” said Inbar.

Given the multiple crises, Inbar says the US leadership needs wisdom.

“We should all pray that God will give wisdom to the American leadership to end this crisis in a positive way that will strengthen the United States rather than losing face.” 

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About The Author

Chris Mitchell

In a time where the world's attention is riveted on events in the Middle East, CBN viewers have come to appreciate Chris Mitchell's timely reports from this explosive region of the world. Chris brings a Biblical and prophetic perspective to these daily news events that shape our world. He first began reporting on the Middle East in the mid-1990s. Chris repeatedly traveled there to report on the religious and political issues facing Israel and the surrounding Arab states. One of his more significant reports focused on the emigration of persecuted Christians from the Middle East. In the past