Several Israeli lawmakers criticize Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for drawing comparisons between the Holocaust and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during his speech to Knesset members.
“I admire the Ukraine president and support the Ukrainian people in heart and deed, but the terrible history of the Holocaust cannot be rewritten,” Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel tweets.
Hendel notes part of Nazi Germany’s genocide of Jews “was also carried out in the land of Ukraine.”
“The war is terrible but the comparison to the horrors of the Holocaust and the final solution is outrageous,” he says.
Hebrew media outlets quote unnamed senior ministers railing at Zelensky’s “outrageous comparison.”
“Zelensky also distorted the part of his country in the murder of Jews,” they say, according to the Ynet news site,
Likud MK Yuval Steinitz, a former minister, says Zelensky’s speech “borders on Holocaust denial.”
“War is always a terrible thing… but every comparison between a regular war, as difficult as it is, and the destruction of millions of Jews in gas chambers in the framework of the final solution is a complete distortion of history,” he says in a statement.
A number of Religious Zionism MKs also criticize Zelensky, with the far-right opposition party’s leader Bezalel Smotrich slamming the Holocaust comparisons and accusing the Ukrainian leader of trying “to rewrite history and erase the involvement of the Ukrainian people in the destruction of Jews.”
But Yisrael Beytenu MK Eli Avidar, a maverick coalition member, calls Zelensky’s speech “moving.”
“Indifference does kill. Mediation efforts are important but they can’t come at the expense of values. We need to be on the side of good against evil,” he says in a statement.