US in 'hourly contact' with Israelis on Russia-Ukraine war, envoy says

Israel "has done everything the US asked it to do," Ambassador Tom Nides said during a virtual event with the left-wing group Peace Now.

President Isaac Herzog shakes hands with US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides at the ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem earlier this month at which the new ambassador presented his credentials. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
President Isaac Herzog shakes hands with US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides at the ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem earlier this month at which the new ambassador presented his credentials.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

The Biden administration is in "hourly contact" with Israelis over Russia's war against Ukraine, US Ambassador Tom Nides said as he expressed satisfaction with the mediator role Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has played to help resolve the conflict.

"The Prime Minister has not made a move without talking to the White House," Nides said during a virtual event Tuesday with the left-wing group Peace Now.

"We have no complaints with the Israelis," Nides said, as he noted the unique position Israel was in vis-a-vis Moscow given Russian military presence in Syria, which borders the Jewish state. Israel has a deconfliction agreement with Russia that allows the IDF to operate in Syria against Iranian military entrenchment.

Bennett has been one of a handful of world leaders who have tried to mediate an end to the war.

Those leaders have placed themselves in a "precarious" position by placing themselves in-between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, said Nides who is the US envoy to Israel.

 Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky  (credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/REUTERS) Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/REUTERS)

"We are very happy with the positions of the countries that are engaged [as mediators], including Israel," Nides said.

"It is never risk-free to get yourself in the middle of these discussions," Nides added.

Israel "has done everything we have asked it to do. All the communication has been clear...we have no complaints with the Israelis," Nides stated.

The Ambassador spoke of the hopelessness of the situation as he called on people to write checks to charity to help the Ukrainians and to "do a hell-of-a-lot of praying,"

Nides added that "hopefully we will find a solution in the days ahead, but I am very concerned, as I think the world is, over what his happening there [in Ukraine]."