Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is set to address Israel’s parliament on Russia’s invasion of his country and has asked for comments to be videoed to the main Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, officials said on Thursday.
The plans indicated Kiev’s efforts to win over Israel,
after his government adopted a cautious public stance while trying to broker peace and coordinate with Russia in Syria.
Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy said he and Ukraine’s Ambassador Yevgen Korniychuk agreed that Zelenskiy would update the 120 members of the assembly via Zoom “in the coming days”.
Zelenskiy has tried to garner support with video briefings for foreign viewers, including the US Congress and UK Parliament. Israel’s Knesset said earlier this week that its upcoming hiatus could make hosting such an event more difficult.
Levy “reiterated his solidarity with the Ukrainian people at this difficult hour and wished them strength,” the statement said.
Separately, Yad Vashem – the World Holocaust Remembrance Center said it had received a request from Zelenskyy to contact its chairman and experts. The chairman and Korniychuk will discuss the idea on Sunday, it said.
The Ukrainian embassy initially had no comment.
Both sides of the conflict have invoked the Holocaust.
Russia has said it wants to “denazify” Ukraine, a claim dismissed as nonsense by Kyiv and Western countries. Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, said Russian shelling near Babyn Yar, a Holocaust memorial in Kyiv, on March 3 indicated that “history (itself) is repeating itself.”
Israel has condemned the Russian invasion and sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine – but has also defied Kiev’s call for arms.
Bennett has been cautious in his public statements, possibly to keep a door open in the Kremlin while trying to broker an end to the crisis at the behest of Ukraine.
Earlier Thursday Yad Vashem said it had suspended a strategic partnership with Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch who also has Israeli citizenship and has faced sanctions abroad since invading Ukraine.
Yad Vashem announced last month that Abramovich’s pledged funding would strengthen its Holocaust research and remembrance efforts.
Britain also froze the assets of Abramovich, owner of Chelsea football club on Thursday.
Source: US Time Today