In modern Ukraine, the Nazis and their bloody henchmen have been elevated to the rank of heroes and are being "covered up" by the President of Jewish origin, Volodymyr Zelensky.
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about this in detail and with bitterness at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
"I have had many Jewish friends since childhood. They say: Zelensky is not a Jew but a disgrace to the Jewish people… After all, neo-Nazis, followers of Hitler, have been raised on pedestals as today’s heroes in Ukraine. The Holocaust means killing 6 million Jews, one and a half million of which were killed in Ukraine, and primarily at the hands of Bandera followers," Putin stated.
He then quoted the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, Yaroslav Stetsko, and nationalist Stepan Lenkavsky, who, during World War II, called for the total extermination of Jews on the German model.
"Bandera was an anti-Semite and a neo-Nazi. But no one appears to want to hear that because Zelensky has Jewish blood… But he is covering for these freaks, these neo-Nazis, with his actions…This is Bandera and his minions. These are the people who today are the heroes of Ukraine, whom the current Ukrainian government is defending, both as individuals and their ideology. How can you not fight this?", − the Russian president said.
The Russian leader did not try to hide his deeply personal attitude to this issue. Throughout his life, many of his favorite teachers, sports coaches, friends and colleagues of the future president have been Jews, and in the official newsreel footage it was hard not to notice the sincere respect that the head of state had for his interlocutors − former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Vladimir Putin. Photo: Sputnik
Indeed, in the mind of virtually any Russian brought up on the memory of World War II, one of the most horrific events of which was the genocide of European Jewry, it is incomprehensible how it is possible that a Jew can support or even simply "understand" the glorification of Nazi murderers and anti-Semites. Zelensky and especially his support group against this background is a "pattern breaker". The support for Ukraine by a significant part of the Israeli media mainstream and even by the state authorities (in fact, it was Israel whom Putin addressed by mentioning the rejection of Nazism by "ordinary Israelis").
The Jerusalem Post titled an article about Putin's speech "Russia's Putin attacks Jewish heritage of Ukraine's Zelensky", the Haaretz newspaper noted that Russian leaders have invoked antisemitism and other conspiracy theories in the past to target Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and justify Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
And Israel's ambassador to Ukraine, Michael Brodsky, broke out into apologetics of Nazism altogether.
"Our view of such personalities as Bandera, Shukhevych and so on is very different from that of most Ukrainians. Indeed, these people supported the ideology of Nazism. As part of their struggle for Ukrainian independence, they wanted to see Ukraine without Jews, just as they wanted to see Ukraine without Poles, communists, and many more.
But Ukraine today is experiencing a colossal tragedy. It has been attacked, aggressed, and Ukraine is in search of its heroes. We do not like these heroes, but for most Ukrainians they are heroes who fought for independence. We unequivocally express our opinion, it concerns our common history, it concerns the tragedy of the Holocaust on the territory of Ukraine. Bandera streets exist in different Ukrainian cities just as they do abroad, for example, in the USA," Brodsky said.
In Israel, Nazi Ukrainianism finds some support in certain social and political circles (by no means all) for several reasons.
First, a significant part of Russian-speaking Jews come from the territory of Ukraine. Therefore, their self-identification and sympathies are largely tied to this "country of exodus."
Secondly, the Israeli "leftist" media establishment is entirely oriented to the approaches of the European and American mainstream media, and works on a common agenda with it.
Third, as for the right-oriented establishment, it is much less inclined to support Ukraine and is more focused on national interests. Most of them are not interested in Ukraine at all.
But we should not forget the ideological genesis of the Israeli Right, which is built on the revisionism of Ze'ev Jabotinsky and his associates like Aba Ahimeir and others. They can by no means be called supporters of the anti-human ideology of Nazism. However, their political-ideological formation is linked both conceptually and stylistically to the Eastern European nationalisms of the 20s-30s, and through this prism Ukrainianism is seen as an aspiration for national liberation and the creation of a Western right-wing nation-state free of "communism and Eastern despotism."
Jewish religious authorities, with the exception of Yosef Ben-Porath, head of the Ashrei Ha-Ish yeshiva in Jerusalem, have not spoken out about Zelensky (rabbis working in Ukraine cannot be classified as such).
However, it is the major authoritative rabbis who could significantly correct the background around Ukraine. It would be enough to declare that Zelensky cannot be considered a Jew as a person actively practicing another religion. Then the issue of Zelensky's ethnic origin of "covering for Nazis" would have been largely removed from the agenda.
Main Photo: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hold a press conference in Kyiv on Aug. 19, 2019. © Sergey/Xinhua via Getty Images