Jerusalem24 – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to the Israeli Knesset on March 20, is receiving backlash from both Palestinians and Israelis.
For Palestinians, Zelenskyy’s Ukraine which is currently under Russian invasion and occupation as many describe, is facing a similar occupation to the one they are under.
In his speech, Zelenskyy, said that the Russian threat is the same as what Israel is dealing with, “the threat we face is the same, for us and for you. The destruction of a people and even a name, Ukraine. I want you to think about this” he said. A statement many described as ironic.
The sheer irony of Zelensky’s choice of words in his speech to Israel’s parliament … 👀 pic.twitter.com/exPDaVJAhR
— Ahmed Eldin | أحمد شهاب الدين (@ASE) March 20, 2022
#Zelenskyy plays the #Zionist card to the #Israeli Knesset, knowing very well that #Apartheid #Israel has already helped arm #NeoNazis embedded in the #Kiev regime which he currently represents. pic.twitter.com/NCCRbCex48
— tim anderson (@timand2037) March 21, 2022
Zelenskyy’s speech to the members of the Knesset Sunday night was politically absurd. Appealing to lawmakers that maintain & entrench an illegal occupation for help in fighting an invasion, while managing to compare 🇺🇦 to 🇮🇱 to the horror of #Palestinians. https://t.co/lukBeVtyHD
— Nour Odeh 🇵🇸 #NojusticeNopeace (@nour_odeh) March 21, 2022
Zelenskyy also compared the Russian assault to the so-called “Final Solution” – the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jewish people during WWII.
“The Russians use the terminology of the Nazi party, want to destroy everything. The Nazis called this ‘the Final Solution to the Jewish question,’” Zelenskyy said during his speech to the Knesset.
“And now in Moscow, they’re using those words ‘the final solution.’ But now it’s directed against us, against the Ukrainian question,” he added.
Warning Israelis that they would have to live with their choices, Zelenskyy , who is Jewish, said Russia’s president was waging an “all-out war, illegitimate, intended to destroy our people, our country, our cities, our culture, and our children. Everything that makes Ukrainians Ukrainian”.
“Everybody knows that your missile defense systems are the best … and that you can definitely help our people, save the lives of Ukrainians, of Ukrainian Jews,” Zelenskyy , told the Knesset.
While Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressed his rejection of the criticism by Zelenskyy, yesterday. Many took to Twitter to comment on Zelenskyy’s speech saying it was irresponsible and not strategic.
It’s not that Zelenskyy’s speech in the Knesset fell on deaf ears. It’s that comparing the ongoing war in Ukraine to the Nazis’ Final Solution to a parliamentary chamber composed of, mainly, Jews — who most have had family exterminated in the Holocaust — was not strategic.
— Yoni Michanie (@YoniMichanie) March 20, 2022
“We are managing this unfortunate crisis in a sensitive manner and with high responsibility while balancing the various and complex considerations,” Bennett said during a farewell ceremony for an Israeli delegation that will go to Ukraine to establish a field hospital.
“The people of Israel are proud of their country’s contribution and assistance to Ukraine,” Bennett added. “There are not many countries that work this hard to help the Ukrainian people.”
Zelenskyy’s reference drew condemnation from Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial in Jerusalem to the six million Jews killed by Nazi Germany in World War Two. It said such “irresponsible statements” trivialized the historical facts of the Holocaust.