Ukraine shows hating Israel isn’t about the Palestinians

Any war, anywhere, is always Israel’s fault.

A protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine at Jerusalem City Hall on Feb. 28, 2022. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
A protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine at Jerusalem City Hall on Feb. 28, 2022. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli-born journalist who writes for conservative publications.

A war is raging three thousand miles away from Jerusalem, between two nations that share no borders with Israel and in which it has no troops, no interests and no involvement.

And yet somehow, the war between Russia and Ukraine has come to be about Israel.

“Israel Needs to Make Up Its Mind on Ukraine,” a Foreign Policy Magazine op-ed blares, as if the Jewish state were somehow a major player in a war between two much larger countries thousands of miles away. It’s as absurd as demanding that the Dominican Republic (which is larger than Israel) make up its mind on the border clashes between India and China.

“Israel’s reaction to #Ukraine will have bearing on future aid from the US to #Israel,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) warned on Twitter. Whatever “bearing” it has won’t come from the Never-Trumper ex-Republican who is retiring after becoming unelectable. But that hasn’t stopped him, or assorted politicians and media outlets, from threatening Israel anyway.

“Ukraine asked Israel—no bigger fan of Israel than Lindsey Graham—for Stingers, and apparently Israel said no,” said Sen. Graham. “So I’m going to get on the phone with Israel—you know, we stand up for Israel with the Iron Dome.”

The only thing more baffling than why Graham felt the need to refer to himself in the third person is why the senator is demanding that Israel supply U.S. missiles to Ukraine. Isn’t that his job?

Despite Israel delivering 230 tons of humanitarian aid, including bulletproof ambulances, setting up a field hospital and taking in thousands of refugees, the pressure campaign insists that it isn’t doing enough. And that the war not only involves Israel, but that the outcome depends on it.

There’s notably much less interest in India, a country of 1.3 billion, which buys Russian oil, has close ties to Russia and refused to condemn the invasion, than in Israel, a country of 6.5 million, which doesn’t buy Russian oil and did vote to condemn the invasion at the United Nations.

No matter what the position on the war is, the consensus is that Israel is doing the wrong thing.

The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a Soros-Koch project that attacks America for being too tough on China, Iran and Russia, demanded to know, “Why is Israel MIA on Ukraine-Russia crisis?”

The outrage at Israel for not being involved enough in the Ukraine crisis is being directed by the same leftist-libertarian group that is warning against America getting involved with articles like, “Washington Should Think Twice Before Launching a New Cold War.”

The Catch 22 hypocrisy is as obvious as the hate. If Israel is involved in a war, it’s evil, but if it’s not involved in a war, it’s also evil. Whatever Israel does or doesn’t do is an outrage.

The hatred of Israel never had anything to do with the so-called “Palestinians,” the Arabs, Muslims, or anyone in the Middle East. That’s why the same political interests are capable of taking a war in Ukraine thousands of miles away and making it all about the Jewish state.

The Ukraine war has trotted out the familiar toolbox of tropes, with the insistence that Israel somehow has the ability to resolve a war it didn’t start, even as Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett scrambles around on the impossible mission of bringing peace to people who don’t want it.

There’s the Holocaust inversion, with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and assorted critics depicting Ukraine as the new Jews facing a new Holocaust, with the Jews now reinvented as the unfeeling bystanders. And that leads to the anti-Zionist contention that Israel’s nationhood is at odds with “Jewish values.”

“Ukraine War Ignites Israeli Debate Over Purpose of a Jewish State,” the New York Times argued, complaining that Israel hadn’t taken in enough refugees after it took in 15,000. Compare that to France, which took in 26,000 Ukrainian refugees despite being 10 times the size of Israel. But France, like India, isn’t full of Jews. And so there’s no contention that France, which proportionally took in far fewer refugees than Israel, should just stop existing.

(The number of Ukrainian refugees taken in by the New York Times is estimated at zero.)

The magical ability to make any war anywhere about Israel with the same set of familiar anti-Zionist tropes shows that these arguments were never contextual responses to regional conflicts, but a general opposition to the existence of Israel regardless of anything else.

Whatever war is going on wherever, it’s Israel’s fault and evidence that it shouldn’t exist.

The media’s attempts to link Israel to the war in Ukraine are often so tenuous as to take on their own form of surreal absurdity.

NPR found it vitally important to write an entire story based around the fact that there was a bar named the Putin Pub in Jerusalem (it’s since been renamed). When a media outlet is this desperate to negatively connect Israel to the Ukraine war, the agenda is clear.

(This is the same media outlet which claimed that it didn’t want to report on Hunter Biden’s laptop because “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories.”)

Ukraine’s government has colluded in the international hate campaign against Israel.

Zelensky and his government have berated Israel, exploited the Holocaust and demanded everything from Iron Dome (designed to stop rockets fired by terrorists, not a full assault by a world power) and the Pegasus cyber-warfare tool (it won’t stop Russian tanks), pushing for Israeli sanctions on Russia even while his government refuses to stop doing business with Iran.

In the latest bid, the Ukrainian government is demanding security guarantees from Israel, despite the fact that Israel is a country of 8,600 square miles while Ukraine encompasses 233,000 square miles. Ukraine is not only vastly bigger than Israel, it has seven times Israel’s population. That’s like Canada demanding security guarantees from Cyprus.

But that’s just the ex-comedian doing what he does. In his lecture to Congress, Zelensky invoked Pearl Harbor and 9/11. When addressing the Arabs, he brought up Syria. While speaking to the Japanese parliament, he called the Russian invasion a “tsunami” and referenced Japan’s nuclear disaster. The shallow formula of namechecking deep traumas in other countries while linking them to Ukraine and complaining they’re not doing enough to stop history from repeating itself has become a trite routine to anyone actually paying attention.

It’s the media’s fault for gleefully weaponizing Zelensky’s pressure campaign and amplifying outright anti-Semitism from leftists and Islamists who are happily exploiting the narrative.

Continuing his virtual world tour, Zelensky phoned in to Qatar’s Doha Forum. The Emir of the Islamic terror state of Qatar had opened the event by comparing “Palestinians” to Ukraine.

The Al Thani scion allied with Iran and Hamas then complained that, “The accusation of anti-Semitism is now used wrongly against everyone who criticizes Israel’s policies.”

Or who, like Qatar’s Al Jazeera propaganda channel, broadcasts raw, uncut anti-Semitism.

Back home, the propaganda campaign against Israel is offset with weapons-grade hypocrisy as bad actors tied to totalitarian regimes berate Israel over Russia and Ukraine.

William Cohen, Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Defense, went on CNN to rant to Christiane Amanpour that he was “deeply disappointed” with Israel. Cohen (despite his last name, he’s a Unitarian) and Amanpour both have a long history of hating Israel. And of taking cheap shots at it.

“Are you with the Russians or are you with the United States and the West? They do have to make a decision here,” Cohen railed.

Amanpour neglected to mention that the Cohen Group has an office in Beijing, that Cohen serves on the Board of Directors of the U.S.-China Business Council and that his group includes “Chinese nationals with extensive experience in Chinese government ministries.”

The Cohen Group also boasts of “decades of experience working with officials in Moscow,” and “building relationships with government decision makers.”

Two years ago, Cohen was claiming that “President Putin is going to try and step in and be the peacemaker here” between America and Iran.

“I’m a bit more optimistic that the Russians will come in as a peacemaker,” he told CNBC.

This exciting new hatred of Israel is not about Ukraine, any more than the old variety was about the “Palestinians.” Hating Israel is in the end always about one thing and one thing alone.

Hating Jews.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

This article was first published by FrontPage Magazine.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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