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Zelensky after Knesset speech: ‘We understand Israel must protect its citizens’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky changes tack and thanks Israel in his nightly video address, after criticizing Israel in a speech to lawmakers earlier in the day.

“Of course, Israel has its interests, strategy to protect its citizens. We understand all of it,” Zelensky says in a video he posts daily to social media.

“The prime minister of Israel, Mr. Bennett, is trying to find a way of holding talks. And we are grateful for this. We are grateful for his efforts, so that sooner or later we will begin to have talks with Russia, possibly in Jerusalem,” Zelensky says, according to a translation by Reuters.

“That’s the right place to find peace. If possible,” Zelensky says.

In a caustic address to Knesset members on Sunday Zelensky repeatedly invoked the Holocaust and criticized Israel for failing to arm his country and impose sanctions on Russia. His comparisons to the Holocaust drew criticism from some Israeli lawmakers.

“I’m sure you feel our pain, but can you explain why we’re still waiting… for your help… when other countries are giving help? Why isn’t Israeli help, or even entry permits, forthcoming?” he asked.

“What is it? Indifference? Political calculation? Mediation without choosing sides?” Zelensky said.

“I’ll leave you to provide the answers to these questions, but I want to point out that indifference kills. Calculations can be wrong. You can mediate between countries, but not between good and evil.”

“You need to provide answers to these questions and live with them,” he said.

Hebrew media reported that Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid were “surprised” by the ferocity of the Ukrainian president’s critique in the speech, but senior political sources said Israel would not change its policy.

Source: TOI

Header: In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office and posted on Facebook, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, March 10, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)