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Zelenskyy slated to address Knesset early next week

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address the Knesset via video from Kyiv early next week, several Israeli news outlets are reporting.

Though the Knesset is in recess, Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, will likely address its members on Sunday, and arrangements will be made to assure as many members as possible will participate, according to YNET.

Zelenskyy spoke to the Canadian Parliament on Tuesday and will speak to Congress on Wednesday. He has already addressed the British Parliament.

But Zelenskyy’s government encountered some resistance in Israel in the past week after requesting that the Ukrainian president address a rally at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial. Since the Russian invasion began, Zelenskyy has compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Hitler, and his campaign in Ukraine to the Holocaust.

According to Walla, Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan turned the Ukrainian request down in a meeting with the country’s ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Kornichuk, saying he didn’t want the renowned Holocaust memorial and museum to be politicized.

Russia has also invoked the Holocaust as it tries to defend its attack on Ukraine. Putin has said he aims for the “denazification” of the country and has assailed Zelenskyy as a Nazi sympathizer.

Israel finds itself in a delicate position vis à via Ukraine and Russia. While it has expressed support for Ukraine and joined a U.N. vote condemning the invasion, it is loath to criticize Putin, whose good will helps ensure that Israel can continue to carry out airstrikes on Iran-linked targets in Syria, where Russia has a strong presence.

Israeli officials have also taken measures to help the tens of thousands of Jews still in Ukraine, as well as the estimated more than 150,000 living in Russia, including those Russian Jews who have expressed a desire to emigrate to Israel since the conflict began.

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