In February 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Twenty months later, tens of thousands of civilians are dead, and Russia remains committed to its war on Ukrainian sovereignty. The need to aid Ukraine did not end on Oct. 7 when Hamas terrorists slaughtered more than 1,000 innocents in Israel. The crisis in the Middle East has exposed the partisan loyalties of many. But abandoning either Ukraine or Israel is not an option.
The rampant hypocrisy on display from both sides is breathtaking. For nearly two years, those on the Left have passionately declared support for Ukraine against Russia. Now, some are either silent concerning the attacks in Israel, or worse: loudly antisemitic. Another scenario is present on the Right. Unwavering support for Israel is good. But far too many view the war in Ukraine as “not America’s problem.” They forget that our national security and international security grow stronger with the defeat of Russia, as well as the defense of Israel.
On Oct. 30, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) posted the following on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Russia still needs to be defeated. Taiwan still needs to be defended. But we have to get our Israeli allies the aid they need, as fast as possible, for as long as it takes them to utterly eradicate Hamas. The overwhelming majority of the Senate and House is ready to support an aid package for Israel. We should pass Israel aid immediately.”
Cruz is correct that Israel needs immediate aid. But there is no need for legislative decoupling. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), ever a GOP outlier, supports combined aid. He stated, “If we’re going to have a piece of legislation that actually becomes law, it’s going to include support for Ukraine as well as Israel. There may be other elements that are attached to it, but it’s not acceptable to abandon Ukraine.” Romney is not alone in this fight. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) holds a similar view.
Aid packages to Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, and elsewhere are good investments. Establishing stability abroad directly affects American citizens individually and our nation as a whole. Both Ukraine and Israel were attacked by those wishing to dominate their existence. Supporting both countries does not require blanket acceptance of all actions taken by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The horror that took place in Israel is fresh in our minds, and rightly so. It was not a meeting of soldiers on a battlefield. Instead, it was wanton butchery in a quest to annihilate an entire people group. Israel deserves support. But no less important is the fight in Ukraine against Russia.
America may be an imperfect nation, but it exists as a force for good. The specifics of the conflicts in Ukraine and Israel are different, but the military and humanitarian needs are the same. And equally urgent.
Kimberly Ross (@SouthernKeeks) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog and a columnist at Arc Digital.