Ukraine’s embassy in Tel Aviv congratulated Israelis on their day of independence with a video that drew parallels between Israeli sovereignty and the Ukrainian revolution.
The five-minute video [in Ukrainian with Hebrew subtitles], which was posted Tuesday on the embassy’s official Facebook page, was filmed at Maidan, the Kiev square which became the symbol of the revolution that in February swept former president Vicktor Yanukovych from power over his perceived pro-Russian policies.
The Ukrainian-language video juxtaposed footage from the revolution, where crowds chanted “we are united,” with archive material from Israel’s establishment in 1948. According to the end credits, it was co-produced by the embassy.
The juxtaposition came in a series of flashbacks experienced by a Christian Ukrainian after a Jewish man presents him with food and drink on a silver platter – an allusion to a poem by Nathan Alterman, in which Jewish war casualties say: “We are the silver platter on which the Jewish state was given.”
“I think I’m starting to understand,” the actor portraying the Christian says in Ukrainian in the video. He then says in Hebrew the title of the poem, “The Silver Platter.”
The video features other Ukrainians reciting the poem in Hebrew at Maidan while holding a platter made out of metal.
Alterman’s 1947 poem is believed to have been based on a statement by Chaim Weitzman, Israel’s first president, who was quoted by the Haaretz daily as saying in 1947 that ”A state is not handed to a people on a silver platter” during an address in Atlantic city, New Jersey.
The video ended with the Hebrew-language caption: “Thank you for the support from Israel and happy independence day!”
Unlike the United States and many European countries, Israel has condemned neither the Russian-backed takeover of the Crimea Peninsula in March nor its annexation later that month.