Following the reports from Bucha, Israeli Foreign Minister denounced what he described as “war crimes” by Russia in Ukraine yesterday. This is the first time during the battle in Ukraine that Yair Lapid effectively increases Tel Aviv’s condemnation of Moscow.
Israel used to enjoy close security and economic ties with Russia during the past years. As such, Tel Aviv preferred to take an objective stance following the Russian invasion, sufficing to advisory comments for peace.
“The images and testimony from Ukraine are horrific. Russian forces committed war crimes against a defenseless civilian population. I strongly condemn these war crimes,” Yair Lapid asserted in a latest comment.
Israeli Prime Minister had already criticized the massacre of people in the Ukrainian Bucha near the capital. Despite this, Naftali Bennett refrained from blaming Russian soldiers for the disaster. Bennett said “we’re shocked by the terrible sights in Bucha – awful scenes – and we condemn them. The suffering of Ukrainian citizens is immense, and we’re doing everything we can to assist.”
Tel Aviv has been circumspect in its condemnation of Russia, noting Bennett’s attempts to mediate a settlement. Israel also aims to preserve communication with the Russian army troops in Syria, where it frequently conducts air strikes on local targets.
The revelation about the Russian massacre after Russian soldiers withdrew from Bucha sparked a worldwide outrage. The scenes were proofs of genocide, according to Kyiv. Russia has denied any wrongdoing and claimed Ukraine is attempting to discredit it.
Within Israeli government’s bipartisan alliance, Bucha has caused schisms. One liberal officials condemned the deaths as war crime. Another right-wing partner offered heeding to Russian denials concerning the tragedy.
Bucha; Exposing a Hypocrisy
Israel’s shift of policies over Russia in Ukraine war occurs in a condition that the country faces various similar allegations. Since the takeover of large parts of the Palestinian lands seven decades ago, Israel implemented various projects in the country deemed as illegal, inhumane, and violent by international organizations and humanitarian groups.
The International Criminal Court is has launched an investigation to explore whether Israel committed war crimes in Gaza in 2014. When Israeli armed troops stormed into the densely populated area, they launched excessive strikes and willfully killed people.
There are also loads of other operations and plans for which Israel is under question. Keeping up with the illegal settlement plans, implementing the forced eviction of Palestinians from the mother lands, and attack on the al-Aqsa mosque are among the most prominent ones.
The callous brutality is unconscionable. At least 254 civilians in Palestine have died in the latest phase of this profoundly uneven battle last year. Among the victims were 66 minors.
Israel has vehemently opposed any inquiry by the ICC, arguing that it is illegal and empowers “terrorist organisations.” The International Criminal Court was established two decades ago to probe and prosecute criminal offences. Israel backed and organized a disinformation operation against the court along with then-US President Donald Trump.
Former extremist PM Benjamin Netanyahu went so far as to say that the ICC investigation of war crimes in Palestine was “pure anti-Semitism.” He also persuaded right-wing administrations to criticize the court, including some with blatantly anti-Semitic sentiments.
The condemnation of Bucha tragedy exposes in inherent contradiction within the Israeli governance. Tel Aviv foils war crime allegations that took place during the decades while openly blaming a fresh one in Ukraine. Bucha is the Stage of modern hypocrisy in form of condemnations.