August 18, 2022

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Israeli Envoy Responds after Zelensky’s Critique

3 min read
Naftali Bennett

On Thursday, Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, voiced criticism about the lack of support they have received from Israel amidst its ongoing war with Russia. On Friday, Michael Brodsky, the country’s ambassador to Ukraine, responded to the criticism.

Israel is Doing Everything Possible

The Israeli envoy said in an interview that they understood how difficult things were for the Ukrainian people because of the Russian invasion of their country. He said that they understood their suffering and were doing everything possible to assist Ukraine. Brodsky said that the situation in Ukraine was undoubtedly tragic, as they were facing heavy losses on a daily basis, in terms of both infrastructure and human lives.

He added that everything seems possible in the 21st century, as they could never have imagined that there would be a brutal war in Europe after the World War II. Nonetheless, the Israeli ambassador said that the nation was at the forefront of offering all kinds of assistance to Ukraine. Brodsky said that they would continue doing so and would assist the war-stricken country in different fields.

Zelensky Expressed Disappointment

On Thursday, Zelensky had spoken to faculty members and students of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University by video. He had voiced his disappointment at the lack of support they had received from Israel. The Ukrainian president said that they had very close ties and this meant that they should have a strong level of understanding.

He referenced Zionist pioneers who had grown up in Ukraine, such as president Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, writer Sholem Aleichem and prime minister Golda Meir. The Ukrainian president told the Jerusalem students that they had not gotten the kind of assistance they wanted from Israel. He also criticized the lack of harsh sanctions by Israel against Moscow.

Brodsky Touts Israeli Problems

While Brodsky echoed some of the comments that Zelensky had made, he said that they would have to adapt themselves to the war. He also added that even though Israel would continue to focus on the condition in Europe, the nation has a ton of its own problems to deal with for now. Referring to the political turmoil in the country, the Israeli envoy said that the country was going through a very sensitive and challenging situation for now.

Furthermore, Jerusalem has not been very active in the war efforts because it does not want to anger Russia, mostly because of the country’s foothold in Israel’s neighbor, Syria. Brodsky said that the country has to put its own interests above everyone else’s. He added that he understood Zelensky’s ‘requests’ and the criticism, but he said that they were assisting Ukraine in a lot of ways, not only in the humanitarian aspect.

He also noted that they would not stop providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but said that their assistance could never be enough because the Ukrainian economy had become quite damaged. He stated that it would take years to rebuild the country and they would definitely participate in this effort. He also noted that the country’s diplomatic staff had returned to the Israeli embassy based in Kyiv, having shifted to Lviv earlier.

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