Arab Members of Israeli Parliament 'Snub' Zelensky's Knesset Speech, Blame NATO for Ukraine Crisis

© AP Photo / Maya AlleruzzoPeople gather in Habima Square in Tel Aviv, Israel, to watch Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a video address to the Knesset, Israel's parliament, Sunday, March 20, 2022
People gather in Habima Square in Tel Aviv, Israel, to watch Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky  in a video address to the Knesset, Israel's parliament, Sunday, March 20, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.03.2022
In his address to the Knesset on Sunday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reproached Israel for failing to supply Kiev with military hardware and slap sanctions on Russia over its ongoing special military operation in Ukraine.
The Joint List, a left-wing alliance of Arab parties in the Israeli Parliament snubbed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's speech to the legislature, as only one Arab lawmaker out of their 10 Members of Knesset (MKs) showed up, according to The Times of Israel.
The newspaper quoted party officials as saying that the online speech was skipped by Joint List chief Ayman Odeh, followed by two other lawmakers from the alliance's Hadash Party.

Referring to Moscow's special operation, Mansour Dahamsheh, Hadash's secretary-general, told The Times of Israel that "our [party's] position is that NATO and its leader America imposed this war".

This came as Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel and several MKs from other parties harshly criticised Zelensky over making comparisons between the Holocaust and Russia's special operation during his Knesset speech, in which he apparently ignored some Ukrainians' complicity in the Nazi-led genocide of Jews.

"I admire the Ukraine president and support the Ukrainian people in heart and deed, but the terrible history of the Holocaust cannot be rewritten", Hendel tweeted, adding that part of the genocide "was also carried out on Ukrainian land".

Israeli media outlets also quoted unnamed senior ministers as lashing out at what they dubbed Zelensky's "outrageous comparison". The ministers argued that the Ukrainian president "[…] distorted the part his country played in the murder of Jews".
Likud MK Yuval Steinitz asserted that Zelensky's comparison "borders on Holocaust denial".

"War is always a terrible thing […] but every comparison between a regular war, as difficult as it is, and the extermination of millions of Jews in gas chambers in the framework of the Final Solution is a complete distortion of history", Steinitz claimed.

In his speech that was delivered via Zoom, the Ukrainian president also wondered why Kiev cannot "receive weapons" from Israel, including its Iron Dome missile defence system, and why the Jewish state "has not imposed powerful sanctions on Russia or is not putting pressure on Russian business".
The US and its allies imposed packages of tough sanctions on Russia after it launched a special military operation on 24 February to demilitarise and de­-Nazify Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly stressed that the operation only aims to destroy Ukrainian military infrastructure with high-precision weapons strikes.
On Monday, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov noted that since the beginning of the special operation, 216 unmanned aerial vehicles, 1,506 tanks, and 152 multiple rocket launchers of the Ukrainian Army have already been obliterated. Russian troops also eliminated 592 field artillery pieces and mortars, as well as more than 1,260 units of special military vehicles, according to him.
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