Thousands March for Ukraine in Tel Aviv
Thousands gathered in Tel Aviv’s HaBima Square and Rothschild Boulevard Saturday, February 26, to protest the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as what they say is Israel’s lackluster response, as the war concluded its third day.
The rally-goers marched toward the Russian embassy building, where police kept them several dozen meters away from the mission.
Vyacheslav Feldman, the founder of protest organization Israeli Friends of Ukraine, told The Times of Israel that the demonstration’s first priority was to “stop the war,” and the second was for the Israeli government to take a more active role.
“We’re asking the Israeli government to take a clearer step,” he said. “We want Israel to take a side. Humanitarian assistance is nice, but what Ukraine needs is defensive weapons.”
As Russia attacks Ukraine, Israel has avoided taking a stance aligned too closely with either side. This is believed to be at least partly due to its need to work with the Russian military presence in neighboring Syria.
Israel has expressed concern regarding the invasion and offered humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people, but Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has avoided condemning Russia or even mentioning the country by name in his statements since the launching of the widespread military operation across Russia’s border. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid issued a clearer condemnation of Moscow Thursday, February 24, calling the invasion “a grave violation of the international order.” (TOI / VFI News)