Israel's dilemma: Condemn Russian aggression or stay on Putin's good side?

Analysis: After Russia marched forces into separatist regions in Ukraine, Israel is expected to side with international community's resistance to Putin, yet Jerusalem stays on the fence; meanwhile, Israeli embassy expedites evacuation to Lviv
Itamar Eichner|
Hectic talks are ongoing in Jerusalem right now regarding Israel's response to Russian troops marching into Donetsk and Luhansk, the two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.
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  • The Foreign Ministry and National Security Council are expected to announce the conclusions of the discussions and the official Israeli stance on the events unfolding.
    (Russian tanks heading towards separatist regions)
    Most estimates predict Israel will have to condemn Russian aggressions, mostly due to the clear-cut stance of the international community which strongly disapproves of Moscow's moves and is ready to impose sanctions.
    Though it's unlikely that Israel will detach itself from this consensus, the scope of the Israeli reaction is still being debated. Israel will attempt to avoid angering Putin while remaining on the team of "the good guys."
    During the deliberations, which also included American advisers, a top Israeli official said, "we can't just ignore what the Russians did."
    The Foreign Ministry is pushing to evacuate the staff of the Israeli embassy from the capital Kyiv to Lviv in western Ukraine on Tuesday instead of Wednesday morning as originally planned in response to Putin advancing his forces into the eastern breakaway territories.
    Israeli diplomats, among them Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky, were evacuated in a car convoy to Lviv — an eight-hour drive. The temporary embassy in Lviv will continue providing consular services to Israelis who chose to remain in the country.
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    אנשים שעזבו את מחוז דונייצק מזרח אוקראינה מגיעים ברכבת לעיר ניז'ני נובגורוד ברוסיה
    אנשים שעזבו את מחוז דונייצק מזרח אוקראינה מגיעים ברכבת לעיר ניז'ני נובגורוד ברוסיה
    Leaving Donetsk
    (Photo: AP)
    Embassy staff arrived in Lviv, we'll continue to provide services to Israeli citizens from here. We're continuing to call on all Israeli citizens to leave Ukraine as soon as possible," Ambassador Brodsky stated.
    Despite being notified in advance of the decision to evacuate the Israeli mission in Kyiv, the Ukrainians expressed their disappointment with the move.
    The Americans, British, Australians, Japanese, and several other countries pulled their diplomats out of the country long ago.
    Israel is expected to freeze all air travel to and from Ukraine if the Russians invade Ukraine and leaving the country will only be possible by land. Israel intends to offer rescue missions through Romania, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Moldova.
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