The Prime Minister of Israel for the first time in 20 years to visit Ukraine: what to expect from the historic visit

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Ukraine on 18-20 August. Over the last 20 years this is the first official visit of the representative of the Israeli government in Kiev. About it writes BBC.

Премьер Израиля впервые за 20 лет посетит Украину: чего ожидать от исторического визита

Screenshot: YouTube/euronews (in Russian)

Netanyahu plans to visit Ukraine immediately generated a wave of comments in the media. Because this meeting will be held on the background of aggravation of the situation in the middle East and even in the midst of an extremely tense election campaign in Israel, which could be decisive in his political career, Prime Minister of Israel.

“The score of 13:0”

The first thing that catches the attention of the media in Israel is that the “Kiev dropped out of the geography of visits of the Israeli Prime Minister” for two decades.

Journalist Shimon Briman said: “If we look at the number of visits of Netanyahu to Moscow and Kiev, the score will be 13:0, 13 visits to Russia to meet with Putin over the past four years and zero visits to Ukraine over the past 20. Once Bibi (so-called Mr Netanyahu in Israel) was in Kiev in the late 90-ies and he met with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. Since then, Ukraine has changed four presidents”.

According to Mr. breeman, the impetus for the visit of Israeli Prime Minister in Kiev was elected “a new President — a young and lovely Jewish origin, which, as we know, sympathetic to Israel.”

“One of the main reasons is the desire to balance the obvious bias in favor of Moscow, — he stressed. — Also visit to Ukraine has the goal of a personal acquaintance with the President.”

Without Groisman

Evident by the fact that in terms of visit of the missing Prime Minister of Israel with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Groisman.

Israeli media noted that “Ukraine is the only country, besides Israel, where the President and the Prime Minister – the Jews.”

Obviously, Mr. Netanyahu, known as a hardliner in the negotiations with the Palestinians, and have not forgotten about the voting of the Ukrainian delegation in support of the UN resolution 2016, condemning the construction of Jewish settlements on the West Bank of the Jordan river.

Then Netanyahu was so furious that he personally ordered to cancel the official visit of Vladimir Groisman to Jerusalem a few hours before it started, accusing Ukraine of “anti-Israel” behavior.

Own your for his

And yet most of the media associated with a two-day visit, Netanyahu in Ukraine, with early parliamentary elections to be held in Israel on 17 September 2019.

For the first time in the history of its residents go to vote for the second time this year due to the inability of the Likud party, which is headed by the Israeli Prime Minister, to form a coalition government after the April elections.

And prevented this small but stubborn political force Israel Our Home (Yisrael Beiteinu), which is also called “party of the Soviet immigrants”. It is the voice of immigrants from the former Soviet Union can be decisive in the September elections. And therefore a fierce fight for them and lead to Netanyahu, and the leader of the Institute of Avigdor Lieberman.

Recently the Jewish Agency Sohnut published statistics on immigration to Israel during the first six months of 2019. It turns out that Ukraine remains the second largest supplier of immigrants, after Russia. From January to July this year there permanently checked out more than 3,000 Ukrainian citizens.

Now Israel is home to more than 200,000 immigrants from Ukraine. Therefore, the priority for Netanyahu is to show that it deals with the problems of immigrants from Ukraine. This, according to the media, is the “political value of Netanyahu’s visit” to Kiev.

Netanyahu mediation?

Amid reports about the visit and in Israel and Ukraine began to spread rumors about a possible mediation of the mission of Benjamin Netanyahu in the conflict between Kiev and Moscow.

The basis for these conversations, the rumors became somewhat free interpretation of the responses of the Israeli Prime Minister on the question of the journalist, a native of Ukraine, about, would Mr. Netanyahu to join the process of considering his good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Prime Minister said that already received similar proposals from countries in Africa and Latin America, however, the problems of Israel and the fear of not justify the hopes of forcing him to abandon such proposals. “But if you asked, I’ll think about this opportunity again,” he said.

“From the point of view of international law, Israel remains the occupier country the Golan heights and Palestinian territories. Given this fact, it is hard to imagine that Netanyahu suddenly starts hard to lobby for the de-occupation of the Crimea or the best option for Ukraine to end the war in the Donbass”, — noted Ukrainian media.

“The most important thing that Israel is interested in maintaining reasonable relations with the Kremlin, because these relations depend, for example, the ability of Israeli troops safely to bomb Iranian special forces in Syria”, — write media.

“Hope that Netanyahu will take the side of Ukraine, finally after a quarrel with Putin and causing damage to the national interests of their own country, it is naive” — according to the Ukrainian edition.

Skeptical about the assumptions of the mediation efforts of the Israeli Prime Minister and Ukrainian political analyst Olesya Yakhno. In an interview with Israel radio, she explained: “we should Not exaggerate the ability of any mediator, no matter who offered their services. If there are contradictions force majeure on both parties, it is not a question of intermediaries. Nobody believe,” she said.