15 Apr 2022 3:44 pm
President Zelensky not only draws questionable parallels between the Holocaust and “war crimes” in Ukraine. He also dreams of making Ukraine a “big Israel” in Europe. Paradoxically, this reinforces the Russian narrative used to justify the military operation in Ukraine.
by Seyed Alireza Mousavi
In the course of the Ukraine war, President Vladimir Zelensky was repeatedly condemned for his outspoken and exaggerated criticism of the Russian military operation. Especially when he tried to draw questionable parallels between the Holocaust and “war crimes” in Ukraine. Recently, Israeli security officials have been particularly concerned that Zelensky — himself a Jew — has repeatedly used images of the Holocaust to coerce Israel into supplying arms to Ukraine.
Zelensky recently caused a stir again in a speech in which he explicitly said that Ukraine plans to look to Israel, and not to Switzerland, for national security issues after the end of the war. His country will not be neutral like Switzerland, but a “big Israel,” he said. The mainstream media in the West did not pay attention to Zelensky’s vision for Ukraine’s future in their reporting. In his speech, the Ukrainian President rejected a European concept based on the EU model. He instead presented the idea of a “big Israel” as his vision for Ukraine in Europe.
In his spectacular speech, Zelensky implicitly praised the militarization of Israeli society and considered it a model for Ukraine: “We will have representatives of the armed forces or the national guard in all institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, and there will be people with guns,” said Zelensky. He is sure that the security issue will be the top priority in Ukraine in the next ten years.
The human rights organization Amnesty International recently accused Israel in its new report with regard to dealing with the Palestinians before “the crime of apartheid”. Amnesty International said Palestinians – whether they live in Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank or the Israeli heartland – are treated as an “inferior racial group” and are “systematically” deprived of their rights. According to Amnesty International, Israel’s “cruel policy of segregation, expropriation and exclusion” in these areas clearly borders on “apartheid”.
The Palestinians are often portrayed as “terrorists” in Israel, while right-wing conservatives view them as an “existential threat” to the Zionist project.
Ukraine’s rapprochement with Israel began some time ago under Zelensky. In 2020 pleased he israel by taking the ukraine out of the UN committee for the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. This UN committee was established in 1975 to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination.
When Zelenskiy now speaks of “big Israel” on European soil, he uncritically adopts Israeli narratives and automatically turns the Palestinians or the Russians into a metaphor for evil.
Israel is highly militarized and the Palestinians are treated as the enemy. The complicated relationship between the Jewish state and the Israeli Arabs has long been smoldering in the background. In the wake of the new escalations in Israel and the occupied West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called on the Israelis to take up arms. According to Secretary of Defense Benny Gantz, the Department of Defense is prepared for the “immediate” recruitment of thousands of reservists who will work with the police to patrol the streets and act “wherever operational action is needed.”
Paradoxically, Zelensky’s vision of Ukraine’s future reinforces the Russian narrative used to justify the military operation in Ukraine. President Putin declared that Ukraine must be “denazified” – a charge that met with sharp rejection in western capitals. The Kremlin leadership accuses Ukraine of having infiltrated the Ukrainian army with fascist elements (such as the Azov battalion) to carry out ethnic cleansing against a large population of ethnic Russians in the Donbass region. That the Ukrainian Ambassador, Andrei Melnyk, recently in Berlin no difference between the Russian government and the Russians, and thereby declared all Russians to be enemies across the board, once again confirms the arguments of the Russian leadership for the Ukraine war.
In order to secure moral and military support, Zelensky also tries to create a fictitious dichotomy between the so-called free western world and the “aggressive” Russian cultural area. Zelensky is thus forming a new zone of conflict on the EU’s borders, in which Ukraine is demanding unconditional support from Europe. And he also draws parallels between the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Ukraine war. However, a Ukraine modeled on Israel would endanger Europe’s security. Because Selenskij thus conceived a highly moralizing narrative that nips any criticism of his line in the bud.
This policy is now bearing fruit: the Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin is constantly meddling in the host country’s internal affairs, while fearing no consequences for his undiplomatic behavior. Despite Germany’s massive support for Ukrainian refugees, the Ukrainian government exposes German politicians by, for example, inviting German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier without fear of a deterioration in relations between the two countries.
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