President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized on Sunday that the Israeli government was not clearly on the side of Ukraine and opposed Russia’s invasion during a virtual speech to Israeli lawmakers.
Important reason: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is one of the few leaders who has contacted Russian President Vladimir Putin and has communicated a message between Putin and Zelensky to reach a ceasefire.
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What they are saying: “Why are you busy with calculations? [regarding Russia]?? Would you like to mediate without your side? You can mediate, but not between good and evil, “Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian president compared Russia’s invasion with the Holocaust and said Russia wanted to unleash a full-scale war aimed at destroying Ukrainian people like Nazi Germany and destroy Jews.
Zelensky criticized the Israeli government’s policy on the entry of Ukrainian refugees and complained that Israel refused to supply Ukraine with the Iron Dome missile defense system and other defense weapons and equipment.
The Ukrainian president also criticized the Israeli government for failing to impose sanctions on Russia like the rest of the West.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Rapid After the speech, he condemned the attack on Ukraine and said he would like to thank Zelensky for sharing the feelings and pains of his people with the members of the Knesset.
Opposite side: The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused to comment on Zelensky’s speech. A high-ranking Israeli official told Axios: He is in great distress and his people are dying. “
Flashback: Zelensky’s speech reflected the harsh criticisms expressed by Ukrainian officials at the beginning of the month. Interview with Axios.. “Bennet is basically telling us to surrender, and we are not going to do that,” said a senior Ukrainian official.
Behind the scenes: Zelensky wanted to give a speech in front of the Knesset plenary session, but was refused. The Knesset chair said that was not possible because the members were adjourned and the plenary session was being refurbished.
Israeli officials said this is all true, but not the only reason. The Israeli government was concerned that if Zelensky addressed the Knesset, Putin would ask him to do the same — no one in Jerusalem wants to happen.
After facing criticism on social media, Knesset speakers offered a compromise that Zelensky would talk to members via Zoom.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with a new reaction to the speech.
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