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HomeGeopolitical CompassEurope, Russia, OceaniaWhy Zelensky's Dream of Ukraine Becoming 'Big Israel' Makes Moscow Nervous

Why Zelensky’s Dream of Ukraine Becoming ‘Big Israel’ Makes Moscow Nervous

Author:  Jonathan Cook

Affiliation: Middle East Eye

Organization/Publisher: Middle East Eye

Date/Place: April 12, 2022/UK

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 1900 

Link: https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/russia-ukraine-zelensky-big-israel-moscow-nervous-why

Keywords: Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Azov Battalion, De-Russification

Brief:

The writer discusses the relationship between Ukraine and Israel after the Russian attack on Ukraine. The Ukrainian president asked Israel for direct military support and has tried to draw parallels of Jewish suffering during the Nazi era with what is happening today in Ukraine. Israel has refused to supply arms to Ukraine or join the West in waging economic war on Russia. It is not in Israel’s interest to antagonize Russia because it influences Israel’s regional neighborhood. For example, Israel coordinates closely with Russia on its regular air strikes in Syria in violation of international law.  At the same time, Israel does not want to lose its principal ally, the United States, so Israel is doing its best to follow a difficult diplomatic path on Ukraine. By offering a role as mediator, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett sought to urge Zelensky to accept the Russian ceasefire proposal. But Zelensky, by exploiting Western sympathy for his country, seeks to push Israel to adopt a support position for Ukraine. The author highlights Israeli policy in the occupied Palestinian territories and raises an important question about the Ukraine that Zelensky seeks to build. For decades, the Israeli army and settler militias have worked hand in hand to expel Palestinians from their land (ethnic cleansing) and keep them isolated and away from the Jewish communities built in their place (apartheid). Is this what Zelensky meant when he spoke of a highly discriminatory society in which the Ukrainian army and militias expel those perceived as not Ukrainian? The writer urges the international community to make every effort to impose a ceasefire on both sides as soon as possible. Instead, Western countries are fanning the flames by flooding Ukraine with weapons to intensify the fighting and raise the death toll. In the author’s opinion, that will lead to a worsening of the internal situation in Ukraine, as Western weapons will remain in the hands of Ukrainian extremist militias such as the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.

By: Taqwa Abu Kmeil, CIGA Research Assistant

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