On Sunday, the president of Ukraine called for Israel to stand firm against Russia. He made an emotional appeal to Israel and compared Russia’s invasion to Nazi Germany.
In a speech to Israeli lawmakers about Zoom, President Volodymyr Zilenskyy stated that it was now time for Israel to take sides, as it has been a key mediatorbetween Russia and Ukraine. He suggested that Israel should follow the lead of its Western allies and provide arms to Ukraine.
He said, “One could ask for a long while why we can’t take weapons from you or why Israel didn’t impose sanctions on Russia, why you’re not putting pressure onto Russian business.” “It’s your choice, dear sisters and brothers.”
Zelenskyy has been able to cater a series similar parliamentary speeches to his audience and made frequent references the Holocaust to try to get support. Israel’s national Holocaust memorial reacted angrily to Zelenskyy’s comparisons, claiming that he trivialized the Holocaust.
Zelenskyy accused Russian President Vladimir Putin, of trying to implement a “final resolution” against Ukraine — using Nazi terminology for the planned genocide 6 million Jews in World War II.
He said, “You will always remember it.” “But, you should listen to what’s coming from Moscow now. They’re repeating the same words: “final solution.” But this time, it’s all about us and the Ukrainian question.
Zelenskyy, himself a Jew, noted that a Russian missile crashed into Babi Yar – the site of a Nazi massacre in 1941. It is now home to Ukraine’s main Holocaust memorial.
“You saw the Russian rockets hitting Babi Yar, Israel. He said, “You know what this means, where the Holocaust victims are buried.”
Zelenskyy clearly tried to reach his audience by using such sensitive language. Israel was established in 1948 to provide refuge for Jews fleeing the Holocaust. Tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors call Israel home, and many of the country’s leaders are survivors themselves.
Putin also tried to portray his enemies in Ukraine, as neo Nazis, in an attempt to legitimize the war in Ukraine. His use of such language, which he calls disinformation, is condemned by historians who note that Ukraine is a democratic country led by a Jewish president.
Yair Lapid, the Israeli Foreign Minister, whose father was a Holocaust survivor and who thanked Zelenskyy, thanked Zelenskyy.
Lapid stated that “we will continue to support the Ukrainian people as best we can” and that we would never turn our backs on the suffering of those who have experienced the horrors war brings,
Yad Vashem (Israel’s national Holocaust memorial), which had condemned Putin’s Nazi references previously, harshly criticised Zelenskyy without naming him.
It stated that propagandist discourse is accompanied by irresponsible statements, completely inaccurate comparisons with Nazi ideology or actions before and after the Holocaust and it was saturated with irresponsible statements. “Yad Vashem condemns the trivialization of historical facts about the Holocaust and the distortion thereof.”
Since Russia invaded its western neighbour on February 24, the Israeli public has been supportive of Ukraine. Many thousands of people, many with Ukrainian flags, assembled in central Tel Aviv to view his speech on a large-screen screen.
Israel’s government, however, has been more cautious in securing a role of mediator in the conflict. On March 5, Prime Minister Naftali Bennet surprised Putin by surprise visiting Moscow. According to his office, he has spoken with Putin at least twice since then and Zelenskyy at most six times.
Bennett used a more muted language to preserve an air of neutrality, despite Israel’s foreign minister strongly condemning the invasion.
Israel is cautious about provoking either Russia or Ukraine, which both have large Jewish populations. Israel has also established good working relationships with the Russian military in Syria, where they maintain a special hotline to ensure that their air forces don’t come into conflict.
Israel has provided tons of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and will open a special hospital in the west this week. It has refused to provide arms or impose restrictions against Russia and its oligarchs . Some of these oligarchs are Jewish and have strong ties with Israel.
Zelenskyy stated that it was time to make this change.
Everyone in Israel knows that Israel’s missile defense system is top-notch. He said that everyone in Israel knows your missile defense is superior, that your weapons are powerful, and that they are great.