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Israel's Netanyahu: If We Send Weapons to Ukraine, They Could End Up in Iran Facing Us

Michael W. Chapman | October 24, 2022 | 12:17pm EDT
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Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister of Israel.  (Screenshot)
Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister of Israel. (Screenshot)

When asked why Israel is not sending military weapons to Ukraine, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is running for reelection, said there is a very real concern that weapons sent to Ukraine could end up in the hands of the Iranians and ultimately used against Israelis.

On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Oct. 19, co-host Joe Scarborough asked Netanyahu, "There's been a suggestion since the beginning of this war that Israel has not done enough to support Ukraine. Do you believe the government of Israel should do more?"

Netanyahu replied, "On this one, I think they're [Israel] taking a prudent policy in the following sense: First of all, Israel has welcomed more refugees from Ukraine, Jews and non-Jews, disproportionate amount, they're helping out with field hospitals, they're helping with humanitarian aid."

"On the question of weapons," he added, "there's always a possibility -- and this has happened time and again -- that weapons we supplied in one battlefield end up in Iranian hands used against us."

"In the Golan Heights, where we're trying to prevent Iran from creating a second Lebanon front, a second terrorist front against us, we encountered Israeli-made weapons," said Netanyahu. "So, I think to be circumspect on this is important." 

Israel has repeatedly declined to send military weapons to Ukraine but it has provided humanitarian aid.

Last week, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, “Our policy vis-a-vis Ukraine will not change – we will continue to support and stand with the West, we will not provide weapon systems" to Ukraine. 

Iranians walk past a billboard bearing the portraits of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) and late supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the capital Tehran on August 13, 2022. (Getty Images)
Iranians walk past a billboard bearing the portraits of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) and late supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the capital Tehran on August 13, 2022. (Getty Images)

Also last week, Russia's former President Dmitry Medvedev warned Israel not to supply weapons to Ukraine. “Israel seems to be going to supply weapons to the Kiev regime. A very rash step. It will destroy all interstate relations between our countries,” said Medvedev on Instagram. 

According to Alarabiya News, "Israel needs Russian cooperation to continue its campaign of airstrikes in neighboring Syria, where Russian forces are present and where Israel frequently hits what it calls Iranian-linked targets. Israeli officials have also stressed the need to safeguard relations with Russia given the large number of Jews in the country and to avoid a return to Cold War era conditions, when Soviet Jews were largely cut off from Israel."

"The Israeli stance has infuriated Ukraine," reported Alarabiya News

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