Arab parliamentarians skip Zelensky’s Knesset address — Analysis
The Ukrainian authorities are ‘shamelessly’ working with neo-Nazis, some Arab lawmakers have said
Each of the Arab parties represented in Israel’s Knesset skipped the video address given by Volodymyr Zilensky from Ukraine. The one that was left saying that they were wrongly portraying the conflict between Kiev & Moscow in Western media is the other.
One out of ten Arab lawmakers attended the Zoom conference on Sunday with Zelensky. This was Walid Taha from the Ra’am (United Arab List) party, which is part of Israel’s ruling coalition. Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas snubbed the event as he was addressing a conference in the city of Haifa at the time.
The opposition Joint List, which unites four Arab parties and holds six seats in the parliament, boycotted the Ukrainian president’s speech altogether.
This was made public by the Left Hadash party which is the leader of the alliance. Ofer Kassif was its only Jewish member. He explained Saturday. “unlike the claims we hear in the Western media, and also hear day and night, that this war is like war of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness… but it isn’t.”
“For years, there were crimes against the Russian minority in Ukraine,” Kassif said, apparently referring to up to 14,000 people killed in Kiev’s attacks on the breakaway republics in Donbass since 2014 and the clampdown on the use of the Russian language by the Ukrainian authorities.
“In Ukraine, the regime shamelessly works hand in hand with neo-Nazi militias such as Azov. It is true. There is no Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness here,”According to the lawmaker,
Kassif, however, stated that he is still opposed to the Russian military intervention in Ukraine and asked Moscow for a swift withdrawal of its troops from the country.
“Our position is that NATO and its leader America imposed this war,”A spokesman for HadAsh chief Mansour Dhamsheh and the Joint List told The Times of Israel Sunday.
One of Moscow’s demands during the ongoing peace talks with Kiev is for Ukraine to declare itself a neutral country, so it cannot become part of NATO’s eastward expansion, which Russia sees as a major threat to its national security.
Zelensky (Jewish) shamed Israel for failing to do enough for Kiev and refraining from sanctioning Russia during his speech. While insisting that Israel sends air defense systems to Ukraine, Zelensky also made a comparison between the Holocaust and the Jewish state.
This was a point that angered many Jewish lawmakers, who accuse the Ukrainian leader destorting history and trying to obstruct justice. “to erase the involvement of the Ukrainian people in the extermination of Jews.”Zelensky’s statement “borders on Holocaust denial,”Yuval Steinitz, Likud Party insisted.
The Israeli government didn’t show as much emotion, and Foreign Minister Yair Lapi thanked Zelensky. “sharing his feelings and the distress of the Ukrainian people”The Knesset “We will continue to provide assistance to the Ukrainian people in any way that we can,”He said.
Moscow sent its troops into Ukraine in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics with capitals in Donetsk and Lugansk. These protocols, which were French and German-brokered, had been created to regulate the status of these regions in the Ukrainian state.
Russia now demands that Ukraine declare itself neutral and vows to not join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev claims that the Russian invasion was unprovoked. It also denies any plans to take the republics with force.