(March 24, 2022 / JNS) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “went too far,” according to JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin. In his speech to the Knesset, the embattled leader sought to ramp up pressure on Israel to disregard its own strategic interests and intervene in the war against Russia. But in doing so, he made an inappropriate Holocaust comparison and then seemed to attempt to rewrite history by claiming that most Ukrainians had helped Jews during the Holocaust, thereby undermining his credibility.
Tobin pointed out that because he ignored the considerable aid Israel has provided to Ukrainian refugees while accusing it of “indifference” to his country’s struggle, Zelensky’s appeal was “unpersuasive.”
In discussing the way that the international community had embraced the cause of Ukrainian nationalism, Tobin pointed out that the same respect ought to be accorded to Zionism and the right of the Jewish people to sovereignty over their homeland.
Tobin was then joined by columnist Melanie Phillips to discuss both the attempts to drag Israel into the middle of the Ukraine war and the Biden administration’s policies towards Israel, in addition to its appeasement of Iran.
Phillips said the comments of U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides about Israeli actions in the administered territories betrayed the “malice” that is behind the administration’s attitudes towards the Jewish state. She also pointed out that President Joe Biden’s willingness to make Russia the “gatekeeper” of a new Iran nuclear deal contradicted his efforts to isolate Moscow that will bust any sanctions imposed on the regime led by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I can’t begin to exaggerate the extent of the perfidy of this and the stupidity of it,” said Phillips. “First of all … this deal will be exposing not just Israel but the West to a hugely empowered and eventually nuclear Iran. But it’s doing so in a way that actually also facilitates Russia to avoid the sanctions that America is trying to impose.”
Phillips then posed the question as to how the West would react to a situation in which Iran had Hezbollah terrorist auxiliaries attack Israel with thousands of missiles the way the Russians are now bombarding Ukraine. She believes that “decades of propaganda and lies” about Israel from its left-wing opponents mean that Europe will be indifferent to “Jewish suffering.”
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