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Mixed feelings in Israel over Bennett’s mediation efforts on Ukraine

The Israeli opposition is criticizing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett as overeager to drag Israel into the Russia-Ukraine quagmire.
RONEN ZVULUN/AFP via Getty Images

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger used to say, “Israel has no foreign policy, it has only a domestic policy.” This observation has been often invoked by pundits commenting on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s intense efforts to serve as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine.

He was lauded for his secret trip to the Kremlin March 5, and since then, for his frequent phone calls with the presidents of both Russia and Ukraine. But why does Israel feel the need to insert itself into this diplomatic quagmire, and why was Bennett so eager to get into the game? Was it national interest that motivated him, or was it personal?

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