Pro-Israel Republican senator blasts Israel’s ‘unnerving’ stance on Russia-Ukraine war

Lindsey Graham slams new Israeli foreign minister: “To stay quiet about Russia’s criminal behavior will not age well.”

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham slammed Israel’s new Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Twitter over the latter’s intention to maintain Jerusalem’s neutral stance regarding the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, Israel has avoided taking sides in the conflict, remaining one of the few democracies in the world to maintain relations with both Moscow and Kyiv.

“I’m glad to see Mr. Cohen, the new Israeli foreign minister, is prioritizing the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship and supports continued humanitarian aid to #Ukraine,” Graham tweeted on Monday.

“However, the idea that Israel should speak less about Russia’s criminal invasion of Ukraine is a bit unnerving,” he continued, referencing a speech that Cohen made in which he said he planned to continue Israel’s policy of neutrality.

Cohen also said that he would be speaking to his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, the following day.

“I hope Mr. Cohen understands that when he speaks to Russia’s Lavrov, he’s speaking to a representative of a war criminal regime that commits war crimes on an industrial scale every day,” Graham added.

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“To stay quiet about Russia’s criminal behavior will not age well.”

In an interview with Fox News last March, Graham said he would pressure Israel into providing weapons to Ukraine.

“[Ukraine] asked Israel for stinger [missiles], and apparently Israel said no. So I’ll get on the phone to Israel. You know, we stand up for Israel with the Iron Dome,” he said, suggesting that the U.S. could force Israel to provide the weapons as quid pro quo.

Israel has mostly refrained from statements condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin and has not levied sanctions against the country. Russia has de facto control over Syrian airspace, and Israel has reportedly sought permission from Putin before carrying out airstrikes on Iranian and terror assets in the country.

Early on in the conflict, then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett flew to Moscow in an attempt to negotiate a ceasefire between the two countries.

Ukrainian leaders have grown increasingly vocal in demanding that Israel supply them with weapons and military technology – a request that’s been steadfastly refused.

Some Ukrainian officials have compared the Russian invasion to the Holocaust and insisted that Israel has a special responsibility to support the embattled eastern European nation, while continuing to support anti-Israel measures at the UN.