ISRAEL - The Tortured Choice: Russia or Ukraine?

Arno Froese

To a devoted Zionist, Israel’s response to Russia’s slaughter in Ukraine is an agonizing sight. That’s because the siege of Ukraine presents a particularly challenging clash between Israel’s strategic and moral interests.

On the one hand, Israel is heavily dependent on Russia as it confronts the radical regime in Iran and its terrorist proxies in Lebanon, Gaza and elsewhere. On the other, Israel was born in the ashes of a holocaust in which six million Jews died, so its leaders can keenly appreciate the torment of Ukraine’s people as they confront Russia’s strongman and his massive military.

Strategically, Israel is heavily dependent on Russia in at least two ways. First, Russia controls most of the airspace over Syria, and has permitted Israel to strike targets there, including Iranian weapons facilities, as well as weapons convoys designed for Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist group, which is positioned just over Israel’s northern border.

Criticism of Israel for its approach is hardly surprising. As Aaron David Miller, a former US negotiator in the Middle East, wrote in recent days, “As a state created as a safe haven for world Jewry in the wake of the Holocaust, Israel pays a price for appearing to waffle in the face of a predatory power preying on a weaker state.”

Today, the world holds Israel to a different standard, subjecting it to undue opprobrium over human rights, while doing little about the world’s truly egregious offenders.

So Israel has learned to take care of itself. Fine. But, however understandable, that can be a bitter pill for Israel’s defenders around the world to swallow., 9 March 2022

Arno's Commentary

When reading international news media from the West, there is virtually 100% condemnation of Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The story looks a little different when viewed from the East. The world’s largest country—Russia—has developed a closer relationship with the world’s most populous country—China. In between these two giants is Israel. Israel indeed sympathizes with Ukraine, since most of the original signatories to Israel’s founding texts were from Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and other Soviet countries.

However, we must ask the question: how were these countries established? With weapons of war, just like any other country on planet earth.

At this point in time, Israel steps very cautiously and calculated in the field of diplomacy. In the north lies Syria, whose president insists that peace will only come when he can claim Syrian territory all the way to the Sea of Galilee. Beyond Syria lies Iran, who does not recognize the Zionist State and insists that it is the Muslim’s religious duty to snuff out that nation by force. 

Here, we Christians have a lesson before our eyes. In Matthew 4:10, we read: “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Note that true service is connected to worship, which is outside the realm of our physical existence. We call the gathering of believers on the first day of the week a “worship service.” We who are born again, follow the Lord in truth and sincerity. We do not oppose our enemies, because we are told to “love your enemies.” It is for that reason, when we pray for those nations involved in a war, we pray for the Church and not for the political identities.

However, Israel is forced to practice what we are instructed not to do: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).

The distinct difference between Israel and all the nations of the world lies in God’s calling of that nation. Israel’s existence is guaranteed, based on the existence of the universe: “If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever” (Jeremiah 31:36).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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