Volodymyr Zelensky becomes unhinged when he talks about Israel. It’s unsettling. He is so angry that Israel still refuses to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons, especially with its anti-missile systems such as Iron Dome, that he talks about Israel as if it has done nothing for Ukraine. He calls Israel to account for practicing “neutrality.” But Israel has not been neutral. It has done a great deal for Ukraine. It has built and fully staffed a 100-bed field hospital. It has supplied more than 100 tons of humanitarian aid, including medicines, medical equipment, water purification systems; it has supplied Ukraine’s military with helmets, flak jackets, boots, and winter clothing. It has provided Ukraine’s military with intelligence on the weaknesses, and strengths, of the drones Iran has supplied to Russia. It has offered to supply Ukraine with an early-warning system for its civilians. Zelensky sounds as if none of that Israeli aid has registered on his brain. All that matters, in his view, is that Israel has not sent Kyiv those anti-missile systems it keeps asking for. A first Jihad Watch report is here, and more on Zelensky’s latest outburst against Israel can be found here: “Zelensky says Russia-Iran alliance wouldn’t have happened had Israel helped Ukraine,” Times of Israel, October 24, 2022:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tells an Israeli conference that Russia wouldn’t have been collaborating militarily with Iran if Jerusalem hadn’t decided not to send military aid to Kyiv.
The Russia-Iran alliance would not have happened if Israeli leaders had agreed to help protect Ukraine’s skies, he tells a conference organized by the Haaretz daily, speaking on video.
Zelensky adds that the Moscow-Tehran alliance will likely see Russia help Iran develop its nuclear program in exchange for the drones supplied by the Islamic Republic.”
He asks whether Israel is “with the democratic world, which is fighting side by side against the existential threat to its existence? Or with those who turn a blind eye to Russian terror, even when the cost of continued terror is the complete destruction of global security?”
Everything Zelensky said in his address to an Israeli audience was both offensive and wrong. Of course Israel is “with the democratic world.” No one can doubt that Israel is on Ukraine’s side, and that it has done its level best to help Ukraine, short of sending the defensive weapons that Israel feels would trigger a Russian response in Syria. What Israel rightly fears is that if it were to give anti-missile defense systems to Ukraine, the Russians would end their policy of looking the other way as Israeli planes bomb hundreds of targets in Syria.
Just the other day, another warning to Israel came from the former President of Russia, Dmitri Medvedev, who warned Israel that were it to supply Ukraine with defensive weapons, that would “destroy the political relations between the two countries.” And he added that an Israeli decision to army Kyiv “would be a very reckless step.” These warnings from Russian officials make clear that if Israel were to send weapons to Ukraine, Moscow would no longer be willing to let Israeli planes continue to enjoy freedom of the skies over Syria.
But aside from the Russian decision not to try to bring down Israeli planes over Syria, in other ways Russia has been Iran’s close ally. Moscow decided in 2015 to help prop up the Syrian regime which, whatever its faults, was preferable, the Russians believed, to the Sunni jihad groups that formed a large part of the Syrian opposition. Shi’ite Iran, also alarmed at the Sunni opposition in Syria, and determined to help its fellow Shi’ite, the Alawite Bashar Assad, was glad to ally itself with Russia back in 2015. That “Moscow-Tehran alliance” was formed seven years before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Israel’s unwillingness to send anti-missile systems to Ukraine was not the cause of that alliance, which was already in place. Had Israel agreed to “help protect Ukraine’s skies,” Zelensky claims that the “Russian-Iran alliance would not have happened.” This is historically false – that Russian-Iranian alliance was already in place — and indeed, any defensive weapons Israel supplied to Ukraine would make the Iranians even more eager to supply Putin with thousands of drones that, should a sufficiently large number of them be launched in a short period of time, or ideally simultaneously, at Ukraine, they could overwhelm even Iron Dome’s ability to shoot them down. Some would get through to hit their target. The Iranians would welcome the chance to test out that strategy in Ukraine.
Zelensky tried a scare tactic in his address to an Israeli audience: He claimed that the Moscow-Tehran alliance will likely see Russia help Iran develop its nuclear program “in exchange for the drones supplied by the Islamic Republic.”
The notion that Russia would help Iran’s nuclear program, which would send the entire Western world into a frenzy, is preposterous. The Russians have had their own experience with Muslim — Chechen — terrorists. Muslim Chechens murdered 313 hostages, including 188 children, at a school in Beslan in 2004. Other Chechen terrorists murdered more than 140 audience members at the Dubrovka Theatre in Moscow in 2002. The Russians are not about to help any Muslim country to acquire nuclear weapons.
He [Zelensky] asks whether Israel is “with the democratic world, which is fighting side by side against the existential threat to its existence? Or with those who turn a blind eye to Russian terror, even when the cost of continued terror is the complete destruction of global security?”
Yes, Zelensky knows perfectly well that Israel is “with the democratic world,” and that it has not turned “a blind eye to Russian terror,” but repeatedly denounced it. He knows just how much aid Israel has provided the Ukraine. He knows that, reluctantly and more in sorrow, Israel’s leaders believe that they cannot, at this time, supply defensive weapons to Ukraine without harming Israeli security. They still need to keep a modicum of Russian goodwill, so that Israeli planes can continue their mission in Syria of interdicting, through airstrikes, Iranian attempts to transfer precision-guided missiles to Hezbollah. Zelensky’s palpable want of sympathy for Israel’s unique problem is startling. Would that he could comprehend that, while Ukraine has been fighting for its territorial integrity since February 24, 2022, Israel has been fighting for its very existence since May 15, 1948.