US pressuring Israel into supplying weapons for Ukraine – leaked docs

Since the onset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Israel has avoided publicly taking sides in the conflict.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

The U.S. government is consistently pressuring Israel to send lethal weapons to Ukraine and outlined a number of scenarios in which Jerusalem could be forced to break its neutrality in the conflict, according to confidential Pentagon documents that were leaked online.

A document from late February viewed by NBC News explains that “the most plausible” scenario for Israeli material support for Ukraine would see Jerusalem finally cave to U.S. pressure and sell Kiev “lethal defense systems or provide them through third-party entities.”

Publicly, Israel would call for peace and offer “to host mediation efforts,” the document said.

The U.S. is particularly interested in seeing the Israeli Javelin missile system transferred to the Ukrainian military.

The document also suggested that Russia’s support of Iranian militias in Syria or its support of Iran’s military initiatives could be wielded against Israel to convince Jerusalem to formally side with Kiev.

Since the onset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Israel has avoided publicly taking sides in the conflict.

One reason for Israel’s refusal to align with the U.S. and Europe on the conflict is due to the fact that Russia has de facto control over Syrian airspace. Israel regularly carries out strikes on Iranian assets in Syria and would likely lose the ability to continue the practice should it align itself with the Ukrainian cause.

Although Israel has provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine, such as setting up a multimillion-dollar field hospital in the country, both Kiev and Washington have urged Jerusalem to abandon its neutrality.

After President Joe Biden took office in January 2020, relations between the U.S. and Israel have soured.

In a symbolic message to Israel and shifting American foreign policy priorities, Biden did not phone Netanyahu for a month – an unusually long time for a U.S. president – following his inauguration.

Biden recently expressed his disapproval of legislation that would reform Israel’s judicial system. He also said he would not invite Netanyahu to the White House in the “near term.”