There is no information about the results of the phone conversation that took place the other day between the Russian and Israeli Foreign Ministers. And this is even more alarming
Modern diplomacy involves at least some basic reporting. It is almost impossible to totally hide what diplomats talk about. The two interlocutor governments report the results of their talks in order to promote their agenda and to spread their own narrative. There is an absence of any news on the contents of the Cohen-Lavrov talks, and when I look at the reaction of my Israeli friends who are closely following this situation, this silence disappoints them.
The new government of Israel resumed negotiations with Lavrov (the previous government of Yair Lapid had suspended them), because they consider everything that was done by Lapid's government to be wrong. And this applies not only to Russia's war against Ukraine, but in general to any actions of the previous government in domestic and foreign policy. Therefore, one should not expect any consistency in Israeli politics, and thus we are seeing a radical departure from previous principles and positions.
It is not difficult to imagine what Lavrov had to say. We've heard these speeches many times, and this one was obviously no different. And in this sense, the new head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry skillfully nodded and said "ken, ken, ken" (yes, yes, yes). I don't think they would deny trying to discuss things with Lavrov. I do not think that was the point. Of course, Israel is concerned about increased cooperation between Russia and Iran. Unfortunately, those predictions, including mine, that Russia will actively blackmail Israel through this cooperation with Iran, have come true. And Israel, unfortunately, will fall for this blackmail. We are seeing this with our own eyes.
The media wrote that shortly after being named prime minister for the third time, Benjamin Netanyahu, in a telephone conversation with Zelenskyy on Friday, December 30, asked him that Ukraine vote in the UN General Assembly against the resolution calling on the International Criminal Court to issue a legal opinion on consequences of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories, known as the West Bank. Instead, the Ukrainian president allegedly said that in exchange for this vote by Ukraine, he would like to hear how the new Israeli government plans to change its position on aid to Kyiv, in particular, whether it can count on arms to protect against ballistic missiles and Iranian drones.
Bibi Netanyahu behaved like a classic Arab official. In response to Zelenskyy’s request, he said Inshallah bukra - "God willing, tomorrow." Frankly speaking, I have not heard what the Hebrew equivalent is. But I suspect that Bibi Netanyahu, who has been involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict for a long time, has learned well the Arab way of politely saying no. That is, we must understand that it is a "no," and not something else, and act accordingly. At this point, there are no chances or grounds to say that Ukraine can somehow influence Israel to make a decision that interests us.
Moreover, when we talk about Yair Lapid's government, this government was the most complementary to Ukraine, but it still failed to provide us with arms. What can we talk about now, when people who are very far from Ukrainian interests have come to power in Israel, whose voters did not see us at the top of their list of interests. Frankly speaking, the chances that Bibi will agree to any cooperation with Ukraine regarding weapons are minimal. Therefore, we need to act accordingly. I understand that Ukraine did not vote for that resolution in the UN, Ukraine left the hall, and this, I hope, is Israel's last concession, considering that with this government, we can hardly expect any positive decisions to come our way.