Outrage in Israel as Zelensky compares Holocaust to Russia’s war in Ukraine

Zelensky Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks to Israeli lawmakers and public, March 20, 2022. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was critisised by the American Conservative magazine days before an embarrassing public relations campaign to Israel where he was called out for historical revisionism relating to the Holocaust, attempting to elicit a disingenuous emotional response from the West, and demonstrating the illiberalism of Ukraine by banning political opposition parties.

Zelensky for quoting American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. in his speech to the US Congress on March 16.

“Zelensky also invoked Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, not to advocate for peace and harmony but a no-fly zone, more military aid, and increased sanctions,” the article said in response to Zelensky telling Congress: “I have a dream. I have a need. I need to protect our skies. I need your help, which means the same you feel when you hear the words I have a dream.”

According to the author, the US assistance to Ukraine that Zelensky wants is unrealistic and would be very dangerous if the White House agreed. The journalist also criticized Kiev for exaggerating reality and outright lying. The author cited The Ghost of Kiev, claims of 11,000 dead Russian soldiers in just 11 days of fighting, and the Russians trying to destabilize nuclear material as examples of “when the Ukrainians have lied—or at least greatly overstated the truth—with the hope of eliciting an emotional response from the West that precipitates more Ukrainian aid.”

“I, too, hope Biden is a leader of peace, which is why the president and Congress should not give Zelensky what he wants,” the author concluded.

Although the Biden administration and its predecessors fuelled the war in Eastern Ukraine by arming and funding the Ukrainian military and its Far-Right militia partners, whilst ignoring international law breaches against Donbass civilians, it appears that a No-Fly Zone is an escalation too far even for Washington. None-the-less, this has not deterred Zelensky from lambasting and shaming Western countries for not imposing a No-Fly Zone.

Days later, on March 20, Zelensky caused outrage in Israel after delivering a speech to the Knesset that lawmakers described as “outrageous.” The Ukrainian President had the audacity to draw comparisons between the Holocaust and Russia’s military operation, whilst ignoring some Ukrainian’s complicity in the Nazi-led genocide.

Israeli Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel tweeted: “I admire the Ukraine president and support the Ukrainian people in heart and deed, but the terrible history of the Holocaust cannot be rewritten.” An unnamed senior minister told Ynet:“Zelensky also distorted the part his country played in the murder of Jews.” Religious Zionism MKs also criticized Zelensky, with the opposition party leader Bezalel Smotrich slamming the Holocaust comparisons and accusing the Ukrainian leader of trying “to rewrite history and erase the involvement of the Ukrainian people in the extermination of Jews.”

Although the West is whitewashing the prevalence of Nazi and Far-Right ideology in Ukraine and falsely alludes that the country is a liberal bastion struggling against an authoritarian Russia, the Israelis are not entertaining this notion. Although the West cheaply dismisses Ukraine’s harboring of Far-Right ideology within the political and military apparatus of the country because Zelensky is Jewish, journalists Alexander Rubinstein and Max Blumenthal have already debunked this line of thinking.

More shockingly though, and exposing the illiberalism of Ukraine despite a constant media campaign to claim otherwise, Zelensky banned 11 opposition parties over alleged Russian links. However, even ignoring the contradiction of banning Russia-friendly political parties in a supposedly liberal and free society, many of the banned opposition parties in fact have no links to Russia and even condemned what they termed themselves as an invasion of Ukraine.

Avi Yemini, the Australian-Israeli Chief of Rebel News Australia, tweeted: “Zelensky is so full of s***. First, he demands Israeli weapons from the Knesset, claiming Ukraine was a safe haven for Jews in the holocaust. And then, he banned 11 opposition parties but left the Nazi parties.”

Western media falsely claimed that all 11 opposition parties were Russia-linked, but as Yemini highlighted, the Nazi parties were left alone, something omitted from Western media reports. Western media intentionally omits such information as it once again indicates the illiberalism of Ukraine.

In this way, although Zelensky is mostly receiving endless plaudits from the West, cracks in the official narrative are beginning to emerge. Firstly, American conservatives called out Zelensky for attempting to manipulate the emotions of the US Congress to try and achieve a No-Fly Zone, something which will ultimately lead to a greater conflict. Then prominent Israeli voices did not hold back in calling out Zelensky’s attempts of historical revisionism regarding Ukrainian complicity in the Holocaust. Finally, the banning of 11 opposition parties on March 20, something that alienates and isolates Ukraine’s ethnic Russian community, accounting for about 20% of the country’s population, rounds up Zelensky’s latest illiberal actions.

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