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 Sweden enters NATO, but Israel may be key to end Ukraine war

By Sigurd Neubauer


A heartfelt congratulations to Sweden. It has not been an easy journey.

On these pages, we support NATO as it provides the only framework for protecting Western Civilization as we know it from external enemies and strategic competitors.

At last, Sweden will be able to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg brokered its accession with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban has also pledged to follow suit once a Turkish decision was reached. 

What’s left for Sweden to become a NATO member should now be a mere formality: its accession needs to be ratified by the Turkish and Hungarian parliaments, respectively. Both Erdogan and Orban’s political parties enjoy super majorities in their legislatures. 

The timing of the Turkish approval comes on the eve of 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where a unified alliance will not only support Sweden’s accession but coordinate their position on how to support Ukraine in its existential struggle against Russia. 

Finland joined NATO in April. With Stockholm joining,  all Nordic and Baltic states  – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland as well as Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia – will be NATO members. 

This is certainly a strategic game changer for NATO as thousands of additional Swedish and Finnish troops will be joining the alliance. 

While Sweden’s NATO accession is a diplomatic victory for Stoltenberg, Erdogan also deserves praise for his pragmatism. 

It is premature to speculate whether the de-facto agreement between Stoltenberg and Erdogan over Sweden will open up the door for Turkey to join the European Union or whether Ukraine should become part of NATO.

But irrespective of the positive strategic development a unified Nordic region under the NATO umbrella represents,  it is unclear if this fundamentally changes President Vladimir Putin’s calculations vis-a-vis Ukraine. 

But let’s be honest about this:

Ukraine cannot survive without U.S. assistance, whether it is economic or military. 

At the same time, there are no indications that Russia is about to lose in Ukraine or that Putin’s grip on power has weakened. Nor is it likely that China, Washington’s principal strategic rival, would allow for the collapse of the Putin government should that even be a possibility. 

What is clear, however, is that eventually Russia and Ukraine will have to negotiate an end to the war.  

Such a decision will have to be made by the U.S. President, whether it is Joe Biden or his successor. 

The rise of Israel

When the time comes for Washington to seek a negotiated settlement to the Ukraine war,  the only international leader capable of such a momentous task appears to be Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Throughout his tenure as Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Jerusalem has emerged as a regional power house; his vision for Arab-Israeli peace has largely been realized; and he’s successfully kept Iran at arm’s-length. 

Netanyahu enjoys personal relationships with Biden and Putin spanning decades; he’s also close to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has recently invited him to visit Beijing

How the Ukraine war ends will inevitably involve Russia, China and the United States.  Netanyahu, if asked, stands out as perhaps the only intermediary capable of even approaching such a momentous task.

This fact may very well help explain why Israel has resisted popular pressure to break with Putin and why it has chosen not to provide Ukraine with strategic weapons, including its very own Iron Dome anti-missile system

For Netanyahu, it is all about preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, which he considers to be an existential threat to the Jewish state. Should he eventually be tasked with finding a settlement between Russia and Ukraine, curbing the Russia-Iran relationship will likely be part of the equation. 

Whether or not this will be part of his agenda during the upcoming visit to Beijing remains to be seen. 

Should Netanyahu eventually be tasked with finding a settlement between Russia and Ukraine, curbing the Russia-Iran relationship will likely be part of the equation
Benjamin Netanyahu is Israel's longest serving Prime Minister. Photo credit: LIKUD (The National-Liberal Party)
Throughout his lengthy tenure as Prime Minister, Netanyahu has cultivated close relationships with world leaders, including Biden, Putin and Jinping
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