Ukraine's President Zelenskyy to Address Israeli Legislators Next Week

The Knesset speaker pledged that at least half of the parliament's 120 members be present for the address, but no final date has been set yet

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday.Credit: /AP
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address Knesset members over Zoom next week. Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy and the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel have chosen two potential dates in the coming week for the speech.

Levy had invited Zelenskyy via Ambassador Yevhen Korniichuk; the Knesset speaker pledged that at least half of the parliament's 120 members be present for the address. The two figures had planned for the speech for about a week, but had previously set no date for it.

On Sunday evening, the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial rejected a request by Zelenskyy to organize an event there, in which he would speak via Zoom.

Yad Vashem clarified that a mass rally on its grounds, with politicians, mayors and public officials in attendance, is not suitable for an institution dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust.

Yad Vashem officials expressed concerns that during such an event, comparisons would be made between the war in Ukraine and the Holocaust, something the memorial strongly opposes.

A Ukrainian official slammed the institution on Monday, accusing Yad Vashem of having “leaked” its decision to the media while discussions were ongoing. “They were dealing with the corrupt money of Russian oligarchs. That’s why they are problematic. Nobody else can talk about genocide but them,” the official said.

Sources at Yad Vashem added that the institution’s leadership explained to the Ukrainian ambassador in Israel that it has not given a final rejection to Zelenskyy’s request, and the two sides are continuing to talk, although there is disagreement on the format of the suggested event.

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