Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations has given Israel’s position on the Russia-Ukraine war which is edging Israel from a more neutral position to one of the US-led Western positions. The speech included condemnation of Russia’s aggression, support for needy Ukrainians and an offer of mediation between the two sides to bring about peace. The speech also included a quote from the Bible – something that needs to happen more often at the global forum.
On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly held an emergency session on Ukraine. During the debate, Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN Noa Furman called Russia’s invasion “a serious violation of the international order” and urged Moscow “to heed the calls of the international community to stop the attack and respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.”
Furman expressed Israel’s willingness to act as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine to bring an end to the war, saying, “Given our deep ties with both sides, we are willing to contribute to the diplomatic efforts if so requested, and have been trying to do so in the last couple of weeks.”
She also explained how Israel was helping to counter the developing humanitarian crisis that is emerging from the war. Israel has already sent 100 tons of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
Importantly, Furman quoted the Bible in her speech. The Jewish state clearly has a deep connection to the Bible, and it is common for Israeli politicians to reference Scripture during speech. However, it is always encouraging when the Bible is spoken in the halls of the UN, where the Bible is scarcely heard but greatly needed.
Furman said, “I will end with the words of the prophet Isaiah which express in this context and beyond my government’s prayers and I would hope the prayers of all those sitting in these halls. ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore.'”
The Scripture comes from Isaiah 2:4. It is part of an explanation of the End Times from Isaiah 2:2-4, which explains that there will be a time when the word of the Lord will go out of Jerusalem and God will judge the nations who will put down their weapons and not seek war anymore. That time is not yet, but we believe it is going to happen and at that time everyone will know the truth of the Bible.
2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
3 Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
And rebuke many people;
They shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.
Full speech of Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN Noa Furman:
“Israel is a country that has experienced many wars and, therefore, knows first hand that war is not the resolve conflicts. War sows destruction, chaos, and tragedy – not a brighter future.
The Russian attack on Ukraine is a serious violation of the international order. We have condemned it and we call upon Russia to heed the calls of the international community to stop the attack and respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.
Israel has longstanding and positive relations with both Russia and Ukraine. Given our deep ties with both sides, we are willing to contribute to the diplomatic efforts if so requested, and have been trying to do so in the last couple of weeks.
Israel expresses its concern for the safety of the people of Ukraine, including the numerous Israeli citizens living there and the sizeable Jewish communities in the affected areas.
We are gravely concerned by the growing humanitarian crisis. In that regard, Israel is providing 100 tons of humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine, including medical supplies, water purification systems, emergency water supply kits, and winter gear. We are calling upon the parties to facilitate humanitarian access.
Mr President. Let me conclude by echoing the call of the Secretary-General to turn to the path of dialogue and peace and to resolve this crisis through peaceful means in accordance with the principles of the UN charter.
I will end with the words of the prophet Isaiah which express in this context and beyond my government’s prayers and I would hope the prayers of all those sitting in these halls.
“Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore.”
I thank you, Mr President.”