Bennett says he won’t judge Zelensky for Holocaust comparison

Israeli prime minister said Ukrainian president facing unprecedented circumstances.

By World Israel News Staff

One day after Ukrainian president Volodmyr Zelensky sparked ire among Israeli lawmakers after comparing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to the Holocaust during a speech to the Knesset, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that he would not judge the embattled leader for his comments.

Speaking at Ynet’s “People of Israel” conference on Monday, Bennett said that while he disagreed with Zelensky’s equivocation of the two events, the Ukrainian president is currently under enormous pressure and should not be judged for his remarks, due to the extenuating circumstances.

“His country and people are dealing with a very difficult war, hundreds of dead and millions displaced,” Bennett said.

“Personally, I don’t believe the Holocaust should be compared with any other event. It was a unique occurrence in human history with a methodical and industrial scale extermination of a nation in gas chambers.

“An unprecedented event,” he added.

In what appeared to be a response to Zelensky’s oft-repeated criticism of Israel for not sending military aid to Ukraine or publicly taking Ukraine’s side during the conflict, Bennett said that “at this stage, I am preoccupied with practical ways to help.”

He noted that “Israelis should be proud of what we are doing for the civilians in Ukraine. From the first moments, we sent planes over with tons of medical equipment and medicine. We are helping in many aspects, including in mediation efforts.”

Bennett said that Israel has provided refuge to upwards of 15,000 Ukrainians in a relatively short period of time, noting that “some will ultimately immigrate here, [while] others will remain in Israel until the fighting ends. We have nothing to be ashamed of and should be very, very proud,” he said.

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Speaking about a potential end to the fighting, Bennett noticed that the gaps between Ukraine’s and Russia’s demands were closing.

“The Russians originally demanded Zelensky’s removal and a disarming of Ukraine’s military. Both are off the table now,” Bennett said.

“Ukraine’s basic demand was to join NATO, that too has been removed, so there is some progress. But like I said, there is still a long way to go.”