A week after Russia launched a full-scale invasion in Ukraine, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Saturday.
As per reports, Bennett has been coordinating alongside Germany, France and the United States to resolve the Ukrainian crisis. Israel has offered to mediate between Russia and Ukraine on the behest of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. During his 3-hour long meeting with Putin, he pointed out how the Jewish community has been stranded amidst the conflict.
Although Israel had condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it still maintains contact with Vladimir Putin in the hopes of easing the crisis. Given that Russia provides military support to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Asssad, communication with Russia prevents accidental firing between Russian and Israeli forces.
The visit of Naftali Bennett, an Orthodox Jew, to Moscow coincided with the occasion of ‘Shabbat’ when religious Jews abstain from work and instead spend time with family. His spokesperson defended the decision by stating that Judaism permits the violation of Shabbat law, only when the objective is to protect human life.
#BREAKING: Israeli PM Naftali Bennett spoke with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zalansky and French President @EmmanuelMacron after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Leaving Shabbat for this crucial meeting is quite big.— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) March 5, 2022
“Saving lives comes before Shabbat is a well-known phrase among observers of Jewish law. Normally, it means that if you have an accident on a Saturday, you can take an ambulance to the hospital despite the prohibition against riding in a car, or that soldiers can protect their country on the Shabbat. This Saturday morning, it meant that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett could take a private jet to Moscow to try to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the war in Ukraine,” read an article in The Jerusalem Post.
Bennett also spoke on the phone with the Ukrainian President and French President Emmanuel Macron. Later, the Israeli Prime Minister flew to Berlin to hold discussions with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. An official informed, “They will stay in touch with the aim of obtaining a ceasefire, and this in coordination with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.”
Israel has announced on Saturday that it will set up a field hospital in Ukraine as part of humanitarian aid. sending a delegation to Ukraine to set up a field hospital in the country. (Health Ministry). It will include a delivery room, primary care clinic and wards for adults and children. The field hospital will be operated by Clalit Health Services and Sheba Medical Center.