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Zelenskyy Criticizes, Then Praises Israel’s Efforts for Ukraine in 2 Addresses
Israeli demonstrators gather at Habima Square in central Tel Aviv on March 20, 2022 to attend a televised video address to Israeli Knesset members by Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)

Zelenskyy Criticizes, Then Praises Israel’s Efforts for Ukraine in 2 Addresses

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised Israel for its efforts to mediate between Ukraine and Russia and again floated the idea of holding peace talks in Jerusalem in an address to Ukrainian citizens posted on social media, hours after he criticized Israel and called on Israel to do more to help his country in an address to the Knesset.  “Russian propagandists have a tough task today because for the first time in history, a president of a foreign nation spoke on video recording in the Knesset and to the whole nation of Israel… the president of Ukraine, who is accused of Nazism in Russia,” Zelenskyy said in the daily update for his citizens. Zelenskyy in his address to Israeli lawmakers over Zoom, which also was publicly broadcast in Habima Square in central Tel Aviv, invoked the Holocaust, calling Russia’s offensive a “final solution” against his people, and noting the Russian use of Nazi terminology in justifying its attack on Ukraine. He reminded the lawmakers that Russian rockets stuck Babi Yar, the site of and memorial to the worst massacre of Jews during World War II. Zelenskyy also asked Israel to send its Iron Dome missile defense system to Ukraine to protect his citizens, and to supply Ukraine with defensive weapons. “I reiterate my condemnation of the attack on Ukraine and thank President Zelensky for sharing his feelings and the plight of the Ukrainian people with members of the Knesset and the government,” Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a tweet following Zelenskyy’s address. “We will continue to assist the Ukrainian people as much as we can and we will never turn our backs to the plight of people who know the horrors of war.”

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