Herzog on Ukraine: 'There are things we cannot provide'

"There are secrets that we can't deliver," the president said. "But wherever we can help, we are trying to help."

 Israeli President Isaac Herzog looks on during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, not pictured, in Washington, DC, on October 25, 2022. (photo credit: STEFANI REYNOLDS/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Israeli President Isaac Herzog looks on during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, not pictured, in Washington, DC, on October 25, 2022.
(photo credit: STEFANI REYNOLDS/POOL VIA REUTERS)

Israel is limited in the aid that it can provide to Ukraine, but is exploring options on the matter of Iranian drones, President Isaac Herzog, who is visiting the United States, told CNN in an interview on Wednesday evening.

"There are things that from a strategic and technical point of view we cannot provide to Kiev...in regards to dealing with Iranian drones - we are definitely analyzing the situation," said Herzog.

"There are things that we don't want to fall in [to] the hands of our enemies. There are secrets that we can't deliver. But wherever we can help, we are trying to help."

President Isaac Herzog

Herzog was asked repeatedly about Israel's plans to provide Ukraine with air defense systems. In response, he emphasized the various ways in which Israel was already providing humanitarian aid. He also pointed out that Israel has "supplied a variety of products that are non-lethal to the Ukrainian people. And we've offered the Ukrainian government help in early warning detection systems against missiles and drones."

The pressure is on

US President Joe Biden and Israel President Isaac Herzog, 26 October, 2022. (credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)US President Joe Biden and Israel President Isaac Herzog, 26 October, 2022. (credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

In regards to the pressure being placed on Israel by both Ukraine and the United States to provide the Ukrainians with weapons, Herzog stated that "it's very easy to come to Israel with questions and comments on this issue. After all, there are many many solutions and products that can be supplied to Ukraine. [However,] there are things that we can't even do technically."

The president pointed out that Israel faced limitations in sharing defense technology. When pressed on the issue of providing strategic defense systems, Herzog simply stated, "It depends which air defense systems...For example, there are weapons that we don't even have an export version for. There are things that we don't want to fall in [to] the hands of our enemies. There are secrets that we can't deliver. But wherever we can help, we are trying to help."

The looming threat of Iran

Herzog was very clear on the topic of Iran's nuclear program as well as their providing weapons to the Russians. He asserted that "Iranian policy, activity and school of thought...is extremely dangerous to the world." He implied that trying to make an agreement like the JCPOA or making any attempt to strike a deal with Iran would be fruitless as long as the current regime is in power.

"Iranian policy, activity and school of thought...is extremely dangerous to the world."

President Isaac Herzog

To bolster his point, he provided a list of Iran's recent activities - assassination attempts, terror and violence against Iranian citizens - and emphasized again that Iran is "extremely dangerous...to world order and stability."

Israel's intentions specifically in how to deal with Iran were not explicitly revealed in the interview, but Herzog did say: "we carry out a lot of operations. Part of it [has] to do with our frontier with Syria - it's not a secret. ...And we're trying our best to mitigate and limit the Iranian influence in the region."

Finally, Herzog called on the international community to recognize the "danger that emanates from Iran."

Antisemitism and Kanye West

The issue of American antisemitism and Kanye West's recent remarks came up at the end of Herzog's CNN interview. "It's an issue of morality which goes way beyond any other issue of the relationship that we have with other nations," the president said. He also mentioned that, historically, in times of global crisis, "the first ones to be blamed...are the Jews." Herzog also praised President Biden, saying that in their meeting earlier that day, Biden was "crystal clear and on target in fighting antisemitism with all tools possible."