UN Mideast debate scheduled for Israel’s Memorial Day, Russia refuses to change the date

The rejection of Jerusalem’s formal appeal is seen as payback for Israel’s support for Ukraine.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

As current president of the United Nations Security Council, Russia has rejected Jerusalem’s request to postpone the discussion on the Middle East that is scheduled for Remembrance Day, in a move that is being regarded as payback for Israel’s support for Ukraine, Channel 12 reported Saturday night.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, sent a formal letter to his Russian counterpart explaining the importance of the day to Israel’s citizens, saying that Moscow should take this into consideration if it wants to play a neutral role between Israel and the Palestinians. However, the report said, not only did the Kremlin not accede to the request, it even upgraded the discussion to the level of foreign ministers, and told Jerusalem so.

The report by the UN’s emissary to the region takes place quarterly and regularly devolves into a condemnation of Israel regarding the Palestinian issue.

It is already known that the account will cover Israeli police actions on the Temple Mount during Ramadan against Palestinian rioters and IDF counter-terror operations in Judea and Samaria. These are subjects that are usually depicted in a negative light by UN staff, who downplay the security danger Israel faces and disregard the security forces’ attempts to avoid casualties to non-combatants.

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The Palestinians, the report added, consider the rejection a great victory. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki will participate in the debate, as will Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov.

A political source told Channel 12 that the reason the Russians did not respond to the Israeli request is some kind of reaction, signal or a political price tag for the rapprochement between Israel and Ukraine, which Russia invaded 14 months ago.

Israel has denied repeated requests from Kyiv for offensive weaponry due to its concerns that Russia will stop turning a blind eye to the IDF’s constant airstrikes against Iranian military targets in Syria, where Russian forces could activate the advanced air-defense systems they have installed in their client state. However, last month, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen reportedly told President Volodymyr Zelensky that Jerusalem had approved the private sale of defensive electronic systems to Ukraine that could help protect the country against drone attacks.

Russia had warned Israel in February against supporting Ukraine with anything more than the humanitarian aid it has sent.

A Ukrainian official told Walla News at the time that while Kyiv would be happy to receive these systems, what it really needed was anti-missile systems, saying, “On that, we have a gap that we are not managing to solve.”

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Israel has refused Ukrainian appeals for its famed Iron Dome batteries, saying it does not have enough of them yet to even fully protect the whole country, let alone export any abroad.