Zelensky said his country will emerge from the rubble a 'big Israel.’ What did he mean?
While I applaud Zelensky's efforts to protect the continuity of his nation, I grow weary of these articles that attempt to chastice the west for "not doing enough." There is a very sound rationale for not accepting Ukraine into NATO. Namely, that they have been a redline for the second/third most powerful nation in the world and they've been plagued with corruption since their inception. The US has been first among allies to provide economic and military support to Ukraine since the mid-90s. We have given them hundreds of millions of dollars per year since at least the mid-2000s. And let's not mince words over the many revolutions that have occurred there as efforts to clean up their governments. After both the 2004 and 2014 revolutions the Ukrainian government had the opportunity to get their acts together and yet they chose to continue to engage in massive corruption, many times in league with our politicians like McCain, Graham, Obama, the Biden's, and Kerry, to name a few. We have providing training and access to weapons technologies that the Russians could only dream of having access to. The major victories in the Ukraine thus far aren't a result of just the fortitude of their people, though commendable. It is is also a result of our massive investments there over the last 25 years. So let's stop with the virtue signaling that Zelensky and Ukraine are being snubbed or not properly supported.
Anyone viewing the truly sad and alarming White House ceremony with the jug-eared former President, holding court and ignoring and dissing a confused Biden, who wandered aimlessly, would have good reason to withhold any reliance on the United States. Biden has gone from being merely a catastrophically bad president to a truly dangerous one. If you think talk of invoking the 25th Amendment is overheated, you just might be in a seriously self-delusional state, yourself.
Politics aside, I have always admired Israel because they will not take any shit.
They live the creed "Expect to Self Rescue, No one is Coming"
Very interesting piece, with lots of information I had no idea about.
While we are pointing out Europe's failure t wean itself from Russia's energy, we should also point out the US's (and the world's) dependence on China-adjacent chip fabs. Unlike with Russia's oil, there are few to no large scale producers in other regions. We must fix this now, or our complacency looks worse than Germany's.
Thank you for a truly insightful analysis. One of the things I appreciate most about Bari's newsletter is these guest posts. Keep them coming please! I don't necessarily agree with everything the commentators say, and disagree with most of the comments generally, but I can rarely find such clear-headed non-ideological thinking elsewhere.
Those who love life and liberty also love Israel.
Glad the author finally got to the crux which is Joey depends is the one who greenlighted this disaster with his policies and blurts. Under Trump, Israel flourished. Under Trump, America was strong. Under Joey depends and the Obama, the world sees America as faithless.
Ukrainian is not a core American interest. It is incredibly depressing that Israel and Turkey are working for peace, which is a core American interest. Unfortunately the uniparty Washington DC war party wants this war(like all wars) to continue.
Let’s not wrap this in “waning American hedgemony”. That is too cute of a narrative that the globalists love. This is about corruption plain and simple. Criminal corruption, starting with but far from ending with the POTUS. The international politico-military money laundering machine have used Ukraine for decades.
And the losers are everyone.
Thanks for the lesson I’ve received from this article. I didn’t know about a lot of this. It is smart for Israel to understand that they cannot rely on the US. We have only two viable political parties and they often switch off every two to eight years. One party is often anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian, while the other is pro-Israel and sometimes overly intrusive into Israel’s politics. But there is one very problematic issue right now, which is that President Biden is wholly incapable of doing anything on his own. He is compromised in total due to his mental incapacity and he knows it, as does the entire world. That’s why he’s happy and relieved to leave the country’s problems and our global problems to the feckless Obama holdovers while he gets to go to Delaware most weekends and forget it all.
None of this is good for America, or frankly the world. It’s devastating to see that the world can no longer count on us.
Zelensky wrong footed Israel when he engaged in a level of Holocaust denial in his claim that during WWII, the Ukrainians chose to save their Jews. To be fair, that was probably what he was taught as a child growing up in the Soviet Union. Also, while proudly parading his Jewish affiliation, his actual knowledge of its history and religion is lacking. Had he been better informed, he might more convincingly have asked Israel for help for the sake of and in memory of the 2,500 or so Ukrainians who number among the “righteous among the Gentiles” at Yad Vashem. Of course, that type of bargaining would put Ukraine in the shoes of a latter day Sodom, but extraordinary times require extraordinary gestures. In any event, it was a missed opportunity - and, quite shockingly, Ukraine continues to vote mostly against Israel in the UN.
All that said, countries have interests not friends and Thucydides observation, often given as “the strong do what they can, the weak do as they must”, continues to resonate.
Ukraine should have begun to learn this lesson when Russia took Ukraine in contravention of the Budapest Agreement that guaranteed its territorial integrity. President Obama allowed the US to turn its back on its pledge, reckoning that he would not interfere with Russia’s greater interest in Ukraine - what he called its “equities” in the Iranian context which is also why the US red line vanished in the sands of Syria.
Whether Ukraine can become a “big Israel” remains to be seen. Then again, whether the West is capable of taken a long term stand against naked aggression or will push for any settlement, no matter how disadvantageous it may be to Ukraine, just to get back to business as usual also remains to be seen.
Whatever the future course of events, China and Iran are watching just as intently as Taiwan, Israel and the Gulf States.
Terrific, deep, and insightful analysis, Lahav. Thank you. As someone far smarter than me once said, "Nations have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, only permanent interests."
Israel's permanent interest is to not just to stay alive, but to thrive, in the angry sea of Jew-haters who wish to see the state drown.
Very clearly missing from this article is any mention of Obama, whose hostility towards Israel was visceral. It was Obama's contempt for Israel, especially with the Iran deal, that led Israel to let go of the historical relationship that the US and Israel have had.
Biden is following in Obama's foolish footsteps by trying to revive the Iran deal. When Biden asked the Saudi's to increase oil production they told him to pound sand. The Democrat's obsession with sucking up to Iran has ruined not only our relationship with Israel, but now Saudi Arabia too. The Saudi's see Iran as a threat just like the Israeli's do.
Why the author omitted mentioning Obama, who started poisoning out relationship with two important middle east allies, is a mystery.
Very informative. I am not alone among Americans in viewing the decline of our influence in international affairs as good news. The DC blob is so self-absorbed and detached from reality they are a danger to any country they curse by getting involved with. It is a national shame
This was a very helpful perspective. It saddens me that the U.S. is such an unreliable partner. Biden’s desire to compound Obama’s mistake with the (non-binding) JCPOA is dramatically disruptive of both U.S. , Israeli and Gulf interests. The silver lining, as Harkov delineates, is that other freedom loving nations will have to take more responsibility for their own strategic welfare. The “woke” U.S. increasingly behaves like the demented uncle at a Thanksgiving gathering.
Lava Harkov, this was an educational post. With self-preservation as the ultimate motivator, Israel's moves define realpolitik. I'm continually impressed and amazed at the country's political fighting skills. US leaders could learn from it.