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Biden and Israeli Leaders Will Discuss Food Crisis Worsened by Ukraine War

In a call on Thursday as part of President Biden’s four-day visit to the Middle East, leaders of Israel, the United States, India and the United Arab Emirates will discuss the global security crisis, according to the White House† Such a focus highlights the profound effect the Russian war in Ukraine, which has exacerbated a global grain shortage, has had on international diplomacy, even in countries far from Ukraine itself.

Ukraine’s policy has been a point of friction between Israel and the United States. Israel has been wary of being too critical of Russia lest it provoke Moscow into causing problems for Israel’s military strategy in the Middle East. And that caution has occasionally caused American criticism.

Israel has expressed repeated support for Ukraine, whose president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is Jewish. It has sent humanitarian aid, promised to send protective equipment, set up a field hospital in western Ukraine and voted to suspend Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

But it has not sent weapons or imposed formal sanctions on Russian oligarchs.

Naftali Bennett, who had been Israel’s prime minister most of the time since the war’s start in late February, generally avoided direct criticism of Russia. He emphatically left the Kremlin’s convictions to his foreign minister, Yair Lapid, who succeeded him as prime minister this month.

Israel has portrayed that delicate balancing act as an attempt to allow Israel to mediate between the two sides, to prevent Jews in both Russia and Ukraine from being exposed to anti-Semitic attacks, and to expand its delicate relationship with the Russian military in Syria. preserve.

For much of the past decade, the Israeli Air Force has attacked military targets in Syria without intervention, trying to stem the flow of weapons Iran is sending to its proxies in Syria and Lebanon.

But Russia also has a significant military presence in Syria, and Israel needs Moscow’s blessing to continue operating there with ease.

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