Will Israel Reduce Foreign Aid After Ukraine War?
Despite any past troubles between Ukraine and its Jewish community, the free world must rally around Ukraine. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett recently met with Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin, the first foreign leader to do so since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Bennett is trying to broker an end to the conflict, and his visit was made in consultation and conjunction with the Biden administration. As Israel faces other challenges, including the possibility of a new nuclear deal that won’t stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb, the Jewish state is walking alone like it hasn’t in many years.
If nothing else, the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine shows that, ultimately, only Israel can guarantee its own security.
Clearly, on many fronts, there is a new world order. Russia, China, and Iran pose dangers, and those states don’t fear America.
In 2013, Naftali Bennett noted, “Today, US military aid is roughly 1 percent of Israel’s economy. I think, generally, we need to free ourselves from it. We have to do it responsibly, since I’m not aware of all the aspects of the budget, I don’t want to say, ‘let’s just give it up,’ but our situation today is very different from what it was 20 and 30 years ago. Israel is much stronger, much wealthier, and we need to be independent.”
Israel is less dependent on America than it has been before. And that’s likely to continue regardless of how the Ukraine situation unfolds.
Will Bennett make good on his past comments, and try to reduce the country’s dependence on US aid? Will Israel say that with Ukraine standing alone, there will be less dependence on foreign aid? In a world where an Israeli prime minister meets a Russian president accusing a Jewish comedian of running a Nazi state in Ukraine, anything is possible.
Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur and author.