| 30 May 2024, Thursday |

Zelenskyy says ‘time for Israel to make its choice’ and back Ukraine

Following Russia’s invasion, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked Israel to forsake its neutrality, saying the time had come for Israel to firmly back his country.

The request was made by Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, during a videoconference address to Israeli MPs, the latest in a series of lectures to foreign legislatures.

“Ukraine made the option to preserve Jews 80 years ago,” Zelenskyy stated in remarks that at times equated Russian aggression to the Holocaust.

“Now it’s up to Israel to make a decision.”

Since Russia’s incursion on February 24, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has walked a fine diplomatic line.

Bennett has sought to maintain sensitive security cooperation with Russia, which has soldiers in Syria, across Israel’s northern border, by emphasizing Israel’s close links to Moscow and Kyiv.

Bennett has kept in touch with Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin on a frequent basis, including a three-hour meeting with Putin on March 5 in the Kremlin.

While Ukrainian officials have expressed gratitude for Bennett’s mediation efforts, Zelenskyy said on Sunday that this, too, had been a mistake.

“We can negotiate between states, but not between good and evil,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko remarked.

  • AFP