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Zelenskyy evokes Holocaust, asks Knesset for weapons, sanctions

In a scathing video-screened speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy likened the war in his country to World War II and to the Nazi persecution, asking Israel to help Ukraine with weapons and with immediate economic sanctions against Russia.
Demonstrators gather to watch Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's speech to the Knesset, broadcast at Habima Square, Tel Aviv, Israel, March 20, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed on the evening of March 20 Israeli mediation efforts with Russia and suggested mediation could take place in Jerusalem. Speaking in his daily video appeal to his fellow citizens, Zelenskyy said, "Of course, Israel has its interests, strategy to protect its citizens. We understand all of it. 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. That's the right place to find peace. If possible.”

Earlier in the evening, Zelenskyy addressed Israeli lawmakers via Zoom. Most Knesset members joined the broadcast, despite the Knesset being in winter recess. Only members of the Arab Joint List abstained, noting they did not wish to take sides in the conflict. Last week, after the announcement of the speech, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said they would attend the Zoom meeting. Apparently both men were concerned that only few legislators would join the video speech because many of them are vacationing abroad.

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