Underlining the historical ties between peoples, Zelensky laments the lack of Israeli support

Underlining the close historical and cultural ties between Kiev and Jerusalem, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that his country is disappointed with the level of material and diplomatic support it has received from the Israeli government.

“Unfortunately, for most of the aid we would like to receive from Israel, we cannot say that we have received such assistance,” Zelensky said, speaking on video to students and faculty at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, one day before the four months of the year. invasion of Russia.

“Please remember how connected we are, how our ties are and what the level of understanding between us should be,” he continued, after referring to the Zionist pioneers who grew up in Ukraine, including Prime Minister Golda Meir, the author Sholem Aleichem and President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi.

“When governments impose sanctions against Russia, it’s not about business,” he stressed, wearing the khaki shirt with Ukrainian insignia that became the dress code of choice for senior Ukrainian officials during the war.

“It’s about values ​​and general safety. It is all those who are willing to destroy another nation [having] be held accountable. Unfortunately, we have not yet seen Israel enter the sanctions regime. “

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Jerusalem has tried to preserve its ties with Moscow and until recently refused to send defensive equipment to Ukraine, instead sending over 100 tons of humanitarian aid and setting up a hospital. field in western Ukraine for six weeks.

Jewish University student who fled Kharkiv asks President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky a question, June 23, 2022 (screenshot)

In May, Israel shipped 2,000 helmets and 500 bulletproof vests that the Defense Ministry said would be given to relief forces and civilian organizations.

It did not send Iron Dome batteries despite repeated public requests, and Kiev recently began openly criticizing Israel for not agreeing to rehabilitate a significant number of wounded Ukrainian soldiers.

Workers load Israeli humanitarian aid packages for Ukraine onto the El Al plane at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport on March 1, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni / Flash90)

“Why we have misunderstandings, communication problems with government representatives, I don’t know,” Zelensky complained.

The Ukrainian leader contrasted Israel’s position with that of small countries such as Luxembourg and other countries threatened by Russia such as Poland, both of which have made significant contributions to the defense of Kiev.

“We understand it’s not an easy situation,” he admitted.

At the same time, Zelensky stressed his admiration and gratitude towards the Israeli people.

We will have to look each other in the eye for many years to come.

“I love your country,” he said. “I am grateful to the people of Israel. I am grateful for your sincere and emotional support for Ukraine, for your support for the Ukrainians, I am grateful for the Ukrainian flags in your streets. We see and appreciate it very much “.

Addressing the Russian army, Zelensky accused Moscow of “very primitive tactics”.

A Ukrainian military man stands in front of a burning vehicle during an artillery duel between Ukrainian and Russian troops in the city of Lysychansk in the eastern Ukrainian Donbas region on 11 June 2022. (Aris Messinis / AFP)

“They are burning our cities, they are destroying everything in their way,” he said. “They are shooting people on the street, torturing people, raping minors, boys and girls. They have created filter camps where they torture people ”.

After his speech, Zelensky answered questions from students, including some of the Ukrainian students who fled Kharkiv to study at the Hebrew University. The leader showed the softer side of him as a nervous Ukrainian student struggled to get his question.

“Forgive me, this is the first time I have spoken to the president,” he said, amid applause. Zelensky smiled and told her to take her time, and that it was okay to ask the question in Russian.

Zelensky concluded by saying that he cares deeply about the future of Israel-Ukraine relations.

“We have a common future, a great future,” says Zelensky. “Because we have this great history and a great past”.

“We will have to look each other in the eye for many years to come.”

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