Eli Lake: The World Has Changed and We Must Change Along With It
Zelensky’s bravery in the face of overwhelming odds has proved a reminder that great peril can produce great leaders. America is in desperate need of such leadership today. Our country has been mired in self-doubt. We have forgotten who we are. The nationalist right and the socialist left don’t agree on much, but they both regard America’s recent wars as moral abominations and the country’s economic realities as marks of an irredeemable corruption. Who are we to judge or intervene, when we have tortured prisoners and droned wedding parties? Who are we to promote equality when we have income inequality?David Horovitz: If PM can’t say it, we Israelis must: Zelensky, we’re with you; Putin, stop the war
It’s time for both parties to soundly reject this myopic politics. American global leadership is the only way that weaker democracies can survive. It is the only chance for long-term peace. And for all the ugly chapters in American history, our enemies have done and are doing and will do worse. We remain a beacon of hope for all people who struggle for freedom, whether we know it or not.
Rejecting the recent myopia and division requires some faith in the American people as well. The campaign against “disinformation”—much of it based in the idea that stupid Americans were wildly susceptible to Russian manipulation—has resulted in pointless censorship. We should not make that mistake again. Consider that all of Russia’s propaganda and bribery in Europe, aimed at weakening the continent’s resolve during a war like this, has failed miserably. Putin’s menace and Zelensky’s heroism galvanized Europeans and their leaders to impose unprecedented sanctions on Russia and reinvestment in their militaries in record time. There is no need to ban Russian state propaganda from the Internet. Moscow’s lies are self-discrediting.
This moment should also stir the Republican Party to take a hard look at its future. Donald Trump is too enamored with strong men to carry on America’s tradition of fighting tyranny. He views their amorality as a new kind of realism. Republicans have every reason to look higher.
And so, too, does Joe Biden. He is the leader of the free world—but he seems be more concerned about his position as the leader of a domestic political party whose elites have spent the past two years embracing the idea that America was born in evil and is awash in racist sin even now. He has greeted the challenge from Putin with resolve, but he has also defaulted to a strangely passive notion that Putin will fail in his goals because “freedom” will somehow triumph over “tyranny.” That’s not how it works. Tyranny must be resisted and boxed in as a precondition for freedom’s eventual victory. It will not happen on its own. It never does, and it never will.
If Biden cannot find a way to greet this moment by saying unambiguously that we are the good guys, that our cause is just, and that we are engaged in a titanic struggle with evil regimes that believe that the only way they can rise is if we fall, history will dub him a dominated weakling.
We must prepare for the long struggle ahead. The world has changed. We must change along with it.
Unforgivably, the prime minister’s neutral posture has already led Israel to snub Zelensky by initially refusing to let a president pleading for help to save his country address the Knesset — with the speaker of the House risibly explaining that, oh, sorry, parliament is going into recess and, oh, such a shame, but there is renovation work being done in the building– before changing tack and arranging an invitation.Honest Reporting: How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine is Fueling Holocaust Distortion
Dismally, it has seen Israel snub our most important ally by declining to co-sponsor the UN Security Council resolution condemning Putin’s invasion on February 25, with the disingenuous excuse that the resolution was destined to fail anyhow given Russia’s veto power.
Some in the corridors of Israeli power assert that the various global leaders trying to bring this crisis to a halt and prevent a drift into World War III do not merely indulge Bennett’s mediation efforts but encourage them. That may be so. But his neutrality has placed Israel on the wrong side of history for two weeks and counting.
On behalf of those Israelis unburdened by the ostensible realpolitik restrictions on taking a clear moral position and conveying it unmistakably to Moscow, let it be stated here: The people of Ukraine manifestly believe that their country does in fact exist; do not loathe their government or regard it as a manifestation of Nazi evil, and do not seek liberation by Russia. And Israel stands in solidarity with them.
Hopefully, our prime minister, in the difficult, constricted conversations he is having with a brutal, wayward, ally-of-sorts in the Kremlin, has at least tried to emphasize that people have the right to a life free from murderous assault; that, whatever Russia’s grievances, the killing has to stop.
Hopefully, Bennett will soon also find himself able to make that publicly clear, begin to reroot Israel firmly on the side of freedom and democracy, and start to undo the damage that has been done.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the dire humanitarian crisis that it is causing has been the top story globally for the past two weeks. Prominent news organizations have covered fast-moving developments on the ground, along with their possible long-term geopolitical implications. Yet, a disconcerting trend has emerged: the use of Holocaust-related analogies and imagery in relation to the conflict.
The devastation being caused by Europe’s most severe military crisis since World War II is undeniably horrific.
But there is no genocide — such as the systematic extermination of some 6 million Jews by the Nazis — currently taking place in Ukraine.
Accordingly, the media is, in most cases inadvertently, painting a distorted picture of the current situation, and thereby diminishing the magnitude, memory and lessons of the Holocaust by uncritically disseminating language being used by leaders worldwide.
Consider the following quote included in a March 6 Washington Post article titled, Israeli Prime Minister Bennett says brokering between Ukraine and Russia is ‘moral obligation’:
Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, went further… accusing [Israel] of forgetting Ukraine’s history of aiding Jews during the Holocaust.”
Another example is found in a March 5 CNN piece titled, Israel’s fraught Russia-Ukraine balancing act:
At the same time, Israel has other critical interests to protect. As a state created as a safe haven for world Jewry in the wake of the Holocaust, Israel pays a price for appearing to waffle in the face of a predatory power preying on a weaker state.”
Meanwhile, Business Insider on March 8 published Chuck Schumer says ‘there’s a Holocaust going on’ in Ukraine amid push to send billions in aid to the country:
The Ukrainians lack food, they lack clothing, they lack shelter, electricity, medicines — we must get them these things. There’s a Holocaust going on. When you see that people are lined up on buses to just leave a conflict zone, and Putin’s artillery shells those buses, that is just below humanity, below dignity.”
Moreover, the leaders of Russia and Ukraine have both invoked the Holocaust. A February 23 New York Times piece uncritically cited as follows one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s justifications for launching the war:
‘I have taken the decision to carry out a special military operation,’ Mr. Putin said. ‘Its goal will be to defend people who for eight years are suffering persecution and genocide by the Kyiv regime. For this we will aim for demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine…’”
No Quiet Place Left on Earth
Whether the Russian occupation forces will indeed have “no quiet place on this earth” is a question I put to Michael Kofman, director of Russia studies at CNA, and one of the very few analysts who accurately predicted the Russian invasion. Kofman was one of the few who pointed out the inevitability of the invasion and its scale based on the amount of military resources that were being assembled on the Ukrainian border starting in December, at a time when almost all other Western observers believed that Vladimir Putin was only making empty threats.Russia Supplied Planes to U.S. Enemies during the Cold War. We Should Not Forget
But why were Russian assumptions about the war, and about how quickly the Ukrainians would surrender and disperse, so delusional? “The entire war is premised on nonsensical views of [Ukraine] as well as flawed assumptions about what force could achieve,” Kofman explained. “Nothing was organized, and [the Russians] lied to their troops about what they were going to be doing when they pushed them into the country and sent them down hostile roads, driving as if they were still in their own country.” The resulting lack of morale on the Russian side led to a shocking number of Russian POWs and demoralized troops who abandoned lots of significant equipment to the Ukrainian army.
“The initial operation was a failure, and Putin indeed got the worse of everything,” Kofman went on. “They do seem to have a way forward to achieve military victories but will not be able to achieve their core political objectives. The Russians will likely trickle in more and more resources to achieve whatever sort of victory.” Kofman impishly speculated that “the opening of the initial Russian campaign looked as it it was planned by the ghost of Pavel Grachev [Boris Yeltsin’s defense minister], who oversaw the disastrous Russian attempt to take Grozny in 1994 and once infamously boasted to Yeltsin that a single regiment of Russian paratroopers could take Grozny in two hours.”
While Ukrainian air defenses have held up so far—mostly a testament to Russian military incompetence—the Russians have been able to dominate the air, and the Ukrainians have ceased flying what is left of their air force because those planes have often been knocked out of the sky.
Moscow now needs to take the Black Sea coastline in order to push the Ukrainian economy underwater, as well as the major roads and power stations that will leave Ukraine with no practical means of importing weapons or ammunition from the Europeans and Americans, and no light or heat in the middle of winter. Kyiv, meanwhile, is trying to hold on to two major urban population centers in the hope that the Russians would never be so desperate or suicidal as to engage in urban warfare.
Kyiv is now in the midst of trading territory for time in order to exhaust the logistics of its overstretched and demoralized opponent, even as the Russians continue to maintain numerical and qualitative superiority. In the long term, Russia does not have the forces inside Ukraine to occupy large parts of the country while huge swaths of the population continue to resist. Any siege of Kyiv—which now has at least 100,000 armed Ukrainian men and women patrolling its streets—would be incredibly costly to the Russian army.
NATO has balked at that idea for the moment, arguing that it would lead to direct conflict between NATO and Russia. Yet the experience of the Cold War demonstrates this is not at all the case, as Russia supplied planes, and even pilots, to armies in direct conflict with the U.S. in Korea in the early 1950s and to Syrian forces fighting Israel in the 1980s, without setting off a broader war in either of those cases. What’s more, Russian forces are more exposed than ever at the moment, meaning Ukraine air power could prove decisive and deal Russia’s invasion a lethal blow.
There are promising signs that the West is reconsidering its position, amid reports that the U.S. is in talks with Poland about Warsaw’s potentially sending warplanes to Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said as much on Sunday, indicating that the U.S. is prepared to back Poland if it sends planes to Ukraine.
History should guide them. In the Korean War, American pilots reported hearing “North Korean” MiG-15 pilots speaking Russian. The suspicion that the Soviets not only supplied aircraft but the pilots to the North Koreans was later confirmed. Yet this did not result in a broader conflict with Russia, or the USSR, at the time. A couple decades later, the USSR supplied Egypt and Syria with massive quantities not just of defensive weapons, such as SAM batteries, but also offensive weapons, such as fighter jets, which both Arab countries used in their wars against Israel. As in Korea, Soviet pilots actually flew the aircraft in many cases. Yet this did not draw the USSR into direct conflict with Israel.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on not to providing Polish fighter jets to Ukraine: "It seems to me that Vladimir Putin simply deterred the U.S. government from providing these aircraft by saying they would view this as escalatory." pic.twitter.com/lC1QrczJ3H— CSPAN (@cspan) March 10, 2022
In the '60s, the Mossad got an Iraqi pilot to defect to Israel with a MiG-21, subsequently discovering that it had a blind spot, and allowing it to be effectively shot down as a result. It's a cool story! https://t.co/frDVvTbwKb https://t.co/tFbB3dxed0— Noam Blum (@neontaster) March 10, 2022
Mossad warns Ukraine rabbis to flee country
Mossad has warned rabbis in Ukraine they are being targeted by invading troops and should leave, according to the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel.Some uncomfortable Ukraine-Israel analogies
Speaking at his weekly shiur, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef welcomed the Chief Rabbi of Kyiv, Yonatan Markovitch, after his dramatic evacuation from Ukraine just days before.
Rabbi Yosef praised the Kyiv Rabbi, saying “he was there until Thursday, caring for his community, and took care of all the needs of the community”.
He said that Rabbi Markovitch had received warnings from Mossad and the Shin Bet on Thursday “that the Chechens wanted to harm him,” so he was smuggled out by soldiers along with other Ukrainian Rabbis. Chechen fighters are among Putins’ invading forces.
Israeli intelligence agencies are known to share information with diplomatic staff around the world. They alert Jewish and Israeli communities abroad about potential threats to their lives or their wellbeing.
Israeli diplomats in Ukraine and neighbouring countries have been working non-stop on the ground to evacuate thousands of Jewish and Israeli refugees, often assisting them to reach the border and then to pass over into neighbouring countries. They have also helped many Arabs and other non-Jews.
Let's leave aside, for the moment, the hypocrisy of the PA or Hamas accepting donations from the earnings of a model whose outfits flagrantly violate the Islamic strictures that are the law in both the PA territories and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. The PA's constitution says "Islam is the official religion in Palestine" and that "the principles of Islamic Sharia [law] will be the main source of legislation." The garb promoted or imposed upon women under the PA and Hamas differs quite noticeably from that which is worn by Hadid on the runway.Seth Frantzman: Iranian media slanders Zelensky with antisemitic article
Instead, let's focus on Hadid's analogy. "Hands off Ukraine, Hands off Palestine," she tweeted, and supporters of the Palestinian Arab cause everywhere surely are nodding their heads in agreement.
For decades, the Arab regimes surrounding Israel have been supporting the violent Palestinian Arab terrorist-separatists in Judea, Samaria and Gaza − just like Russia has been supporting the terrorist-separatists in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of eastern Ukraine. The Arab regimes have periodically launched wars against Israel based on the pretext of the "suffering" of those separatists − again, just like Russia's war against Ukraine.
The Arabs, like the Russians, are the aggressors, trying to take over a country that belongs to somebody else. Israel, like Ukraine, is an embattled democracy with deep roots in their land.
As for the suffering of innocent civilians − again, there's a valid comparison, just not the one that Gigi Hadid or Nihad Abu Ghosh have in mind. The repeated Arab invasions of Israel have claimed the lives of thousands of Israeli civilians. The daily attempts by Palestinian Arab terrorists to shoot, stab or stone Jews to death cause constant suffering to Israeli civilians. I wonder when Hadid will donate some portion of her earnings to alleviate their suffering.
So, by all means, let's examine the Ukraine crisis for comparisons to Israel, even if what we find proves uncomfortable for PA.spokesmen, pro-Palestinian cultural celebrities or other advocates of the Palestinian cause.
Fars then links this theory to a film Zelensky appeared in, arguing that the movie is a model for how the former actor manages his own affairs. “This film well illustrates the pattern of Zelensky's managerial behavior, and it can be said that Zelensky has practiced and modeled his business management style in this film."
"We have to look at Zelensky through a camera frame that was placed behind or in front of him for years to reflect and reinforce his worldview and ideology," the article says. "He is a follower of the school of hedonism, which legitimizes the attainment of pleasure in any way possible, and this school has spread to all aspects of his existence.”
Overall, the article is full of slander against Zelensky. What is important here is how Iranian media tries to hint at various conspiracies and takes from Turkish and other sources to weave a tale of negative stereotypes against him.
This is clearly part of the Iranian regime's agenda to attack and tarnish the Ukrainian leader as part of Tehran's desire to have some closer relations with Russia.
Iran’s media doesn’t go the full distance of claiming more wild antisemitic conspiracies such as the Elders of Zion, but this media dog-whistling is part of the worldview linked to the far-right Islamists that push ideologies similar to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hamas and others in the Brotherhood have long pushed anti-Jewish conspiracies, such as linking Jews to the French revolution and sex crimes. In addition, those like Malaysia’s former leader Mahathir Mohammed have often pushed antisemitic conspiracies about Jews being behind the world’s conflicts.
The Nazis claimed Jews were sexually immoral, and Iran’s media builds on the same hate speech. The Iranian article is a word salad of these conspiracies, linking Zelensky to “Zionism,” to oligarchs, and to Epstein via Trump – and then to “hedonism” and various other to defame him.
BREAKING: Ukrainian troops have killed Russian Maj. Gen. Andriy Kolesnikov, commander of the Eastern Military District: Ukraine military statement.— Jack Detsch (@JackDetsch) March 11, 2022
Kolesnikov would be the 3rd ???? general killed in ???? in 15 days of war, after Maj Gen Vitaly Gerasimov & Maj Gen Andrei Sukhovetsky
Belarus may be preparing to invade Ukraine
Ukrainian authorities believe that Putin ordered the military to provoke an air raid by Russian planes on the borders of Belarus and Ukraine, and Lukashenko - to begin preparations for an offensive by the Belarusian armed forces by 9 p.m. on March 11.
According to Ukrainian intelligence, in Moscow, the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin each made a phone call.
At least 1,582 civilians in Ukraine's southeastern city of Mariupol have been killed as a result of Russian shelling and a 12-day blockade, the city council said in an online statement on Friday.
"We will never forget and will never forgive this crime against humanity," it said.
Russian forces plan to fire on Belarus from the territory of Ukraine in order to draw the Moscow ally into the war, Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov warned on Friday afternoon. According to Ukrainian media, the Russian shelling may have already begun.
Reznikov added that Russia intends to carry out an attack from Ukraine's airspace to cover up the crime.
According to the minister, the purpose of the provocation is to force the current leadership of Belarus to go to war against Ukraine.
Mariupol Minefield Thread 2/— Tomi T Ahonen Standing With Ukraine (@tomiahonen) March 8, 2022
Mariupol is a city of nearly half a million. Same size roughly as Tampa or Minneapolis, a bit bigger than New Orleans or Cleveland. It is at SouthEastern edge of Ukraine near Russian border so Russian army quickly encircled the city. Laid siege to it pic.twitter.com/6p4MCz1WdG
If you don't recognise these tactics, then you haven't been paying attention. From Kharkiv's frontline, #Ukraine @dcinfocus and Feras. With thanks to our local team. @BBCNews @BBCWorld Graphic content warning. pic.twitter.com/hhGK1tudpp— Quentin Sommerville (@sommervilletv) March 10, 2022
MEMRI: Russian Columnist Popov: The Ukraine War Will Create A New Elite And Sweep Away Decadent Intellectuals And Oligarchs
Dmitry Popov a columnist for the mass circulation Moskovski Komsomolets wrote an article titled The De-Westernization of Russia: A War on Our Land that Cannot Be Lost in which he settles accounts with pro-Western oligarchs and intellectuals. A welcome byproduct of the fighting is that these will be now swept aside by a new elite formed on the battlefields of Ukraine.Biden to Join Allies in Revoking Russia’s Favored Trade Status
As Popov himself remarks in the article he never liked the old establishment including the ruling United Russia party. But now, the ruling party has nowhere to go and they no longer can be agents of the oligarchs and foreign agents. Thanks to the war, Russia can have a renaissance and purge itself of the corrosion that had set in.
"In a week, things have by and large become clear with Ukraine; demilitarization and de-Nazification are progressing coherently, unhurriedly and irresistibly. These goals will be concluded. Right now, the other side is somewhere between bargaining and acceptance. Another issue is of far greater salience: how will Russia's de-Westernization go. After all, right now we are living in a moment with the potential for an era of rebirth, and for a Russian renaissance.
"Regarding the purely military aspects, it's worth noting Russia's complete air superiority (Ukraine's air defense has ceased to exist, its aviation was effectively destroyed), the ZSU's [Armed Forces of Ukraine] dwindling fuel supplies, and, of course, the huge salient in the DNR and LNR, in which the most combat-ready Ukrainian units have already been trapped.
"These military aspects have already affected Zelenskyy's rhetoric, who, first, 'has grown cold to NATO' (having finally realized that Western partners are willing to fight [with Russia] only with Ukrainian hands), and second, commenting on recognition of Crimea as part of Russia and the independence of the LDPR, he stated that 'we can discuss it and find a compromise on how people will live there.'
President Joe Biden will move on Friday to revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status, joining with allies to punish Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.Zelensky Ally: President Kamala Would Be a ‘Tragedy’
Biden will announce the plans at the White House at 10:15 a.m.
The White House said Biden would announce “actions to continue to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine.” Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.
The administration will revoke Russia’s “most favored nation status” over its invasion of Ukraine, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference earlier on Friday.
Stripping Russia of its favored nation status paves the way for the United States and its allies to impose tariffs on a wide range of Russian goods, which would further ratchet up pressure on an economy that is already heading into a “deep recession.”
The coordinated moves by Washington, London and other allies come on top of a host of unprecedented sanctions, export controls and banking restrictions aimed at pressuring Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the largest war in Europe since World War Two.
Each country must implement the change in Russia’s trading status based on its own national processes, administration sources said.
In the United States, removing Russia’s “Permanent Normal Trade Relations” (PNTR) status will require an act of Congress, but lawmakers in both houses — and on both sides of the political aisle — have already signaled their support.
A close ally of imperiled Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday blasted U.S. vice president Kamala Harris, whom the Biden administration has sent to Poland amid Russia's bloodthirsty invasion of Ukraine.Ukraine Ambassador Urges Israel to Step Up Support, Sanction Russia
"It would be a tragedy if this woman won the presidency," former Zelensky press secretary Iuliia Mendel tweeted. Mendel was responding to a video of Harris smiling and laughing after a journalist asked a question about Ukrainian refugees. She later deleted the tweet for unknown reasons.
Harris is in Poland to reassure NATO allies that the United States will defend them in case of Russian aggression. But her efforts have hit "early diplomatic speed bumps," as NBC News wrote.
The Polish government this week proposed storing fighter planes at a U.S. base with the goal of eventually sending them to help in Ukraine's defense against the Russians. The Biden administration quashed any prospect of the deal on Tuesday.
Harris at a Thursday news conference with Polish president Andrzej Duda equivocated on what NBC called "the diplomatic rift" with Poland, one of the United States' closest allies in the war-torn region. A journalist at the conference also asked Harris and Duda a question about setting up a "permanent infrastructure" for Ukrainian refugees.
"OK," the vice president responded, looking at Duda. "A friend in need is a friend indeed." She then started laughing.
"Only Kamala Harris would find it appropriate to laugh when talking about the topic of Ukrainian refugees," conservative podcast host Benny Johnson tweeted alongside the video, prompting Mendel's reply.
Ukraine’s ambassador urged Israel on Friday to step up its support for Ukraine by sanctioning Moscow, accepting more Ukrainian refugees and sending defense equipment.Yeshiva University Students Set to Embark on Aid Mission to Help Ukrainian Refugees
Israel has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sent humanitarian aid, but has maintained contacts with Moscow, with which it coordinates strikes in Syria and which has influence in international nuclear talks with Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on March 5 and has also spoken several times with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an effort to mediate between the sides.
In a briefing, Ambassador Yevgen Korniychuk told reporters in Tel Aviv that Israel did not have “exclusivity” in the mediation process, adding: “Saying that ‘we are mediators, that’s why we have to be neutral to both parties’ — that’s not the name of the game.”
“What we expect from Israel at the moment, the government, (is) to join the sanctions of their allies, including but not only the US and European Union,” he said, speaking in English.
“We do believe that the current war is a war of values,” Korniychuk said. “We hope that morally the decision will be taken by every single big business in Israel to stop collaboration with Russia.”
New York’s Yeshiva University is sending a group of undergraduate students to Vienna, Austria, next week to participate in a Ukrainian humanitarian relief mission, a campus newspaper reported.Christians United for Israel raises $2.5M to bring Ukrainian Jews to safety
The delegation of roughly 18 students will embark on their trip on Sunday night and return March 20, according to The Commentator. The students will be led by the school’s Vice Provost of Values and Leadership and Sacks-Herenstein Center Director Erica Brown and Mashgiach Ruchani Rabbi Josh Blass. While in Vienna, the group will aid the Jewish community’s refugee efforts by helping to sort donations, deliver supplies, complete needed paperwork and other tasks, said Brown, who has participated in past humanitarian missions to Cuba, Ethiopia, Moscow, Kyiv and Belarus.
Rabbi Weisberg emailed students about the opportunity to participate early Wednesday morning, and by late afternoon, 88 students had already applied for the trip, Rabbi Blass said.
YU student Yoni Mayer said, “I’ve been wanting to do something tangible to aid the Ukrainians, but anything in America felt too distant for me. This would be direct support to the refugees.”
The pro-Israel groups Christians United for Israel has raised over $2.5 million to help Ukrainian Jews fleeing the war in their country reach Israel safely, CUFI reported in a Facebook post.
On Wednesday, members of the CUFI leadership, including founder and chairman Pastor John Hagee, met a group of 150 Ukrainian refugees who landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.
Speaking in a video filmed as the Ukrainian arrivals stepped off the plane onto the tarmac, Hagee said he was witnessing a "miracle in progress."
"There are thousands more innocent women, children, and elderly trapped in Ukraine, seeking safety and freedom," Hagee exhorted.
"Help us help the Jewish people of Ukraine now," he said.
"When we declare 'Never Again,' it is more than a slogan. We are making a promise, and this promise is being fulfilled through the generosity of CUFI's member and partners," the CUFI post read.
The Ukrainian delegation at the Winter Paralympic Games in China held a demonstration for peace at the athletes’ village on Thursday. The group unfurled a banner appealing for peace and observed a minute of silence in response to Russia’s invasion. https://t.co/KxtlSb9hrg pic.twitter.com/JWyelrZcwb— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 10, 2022
Ukraine and Israel—How to Compare the Incomparable
To paraphrase Leo Tolstoy, every peaceful country is alike; every war-torn country is war-torn in its own way. But to hear many analysts in the media tell it, the current crisis in Ukraine is no different from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Media Outlets Use Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine to Attack Israel
Thus, for example, a former Peruvian congressman with more than 125,000 followers asked on Twitter: “The [Russians’] lack of respect for international law is the sole responsibility of the UN, USA and UK by allowing genocidal massacres of Palestinian children with impunity. Now there is no one to establish order. Don’t complain.” In other words, if in the name of an outdated imperialism, Putin decides to invade a sovereign country, then it is the fault of world powers who don’t keep those genocidal Jews in check.
But if this attitude is not surprising among those who openly devote their time and energies to lying about Israel, it is surprising when it is journalists or so-called professional analysts who spread these outlandish charges. Palestinian population figures and life expectancy data quickly disprove claims of genocide. Yet too many analysts, who should know better, never bring up the relevant data. Instead, some now seek to take advantage of Russia’s invasion in order to draw absurd parallels with Israel’s alleged wrongdoing.
For example, a prestigious Spanish journalist asked his numerous followers on social media:
If Trump skirts international law and recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and Biden doesn’t make a peep, what problem does the US now have with Putin and Ukraine [at] war? How many international rights are in place?
What an unconvincing analogy. Russia invaded a sovereign state with internationally recognized borders, while in the Israeli case there is a territorial dispute following Israel’s self-defensive wars. There was never a country called Palestine that Israel decided to occupy from one day to the next. Since 1948 the Jewish state has been systematically attacked by its neighbors and, as a consequence, there is now an “occupation” in an unresolved war. Specifically, the Golan Heights is a plateau where not a few attacks have been launched into Israeli territory.
Ukraine is a 38-hour drive from Israel. The two countries are in different regions of the world. The newspapers who cover them do so from different foreign bureaus, and the US State Department, among other diplomatic entities, has appropriately filed them under different areas of responsibility.NPR Defends Bizarre Claim that Israel ‘Loves’ Putin
Yet, several newspapers — The Washington Post foremost among them — have tried to tie Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to Israel.
There’s a word for such a single-minded obsessiveness with the Jewish state: antisemitism.
In fact, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t anything like Israel’s security situation. Indeed, there is no legitimate comparison whatsoever.
The Washington Post, however, pretends otherwise. On March 7, the newspaper’s global opinion section published an op-ed titled, “The world of inconsistencies between Ukraine, the Middle East, and beyond,” by Khaled Beydoun. The author is an associate professor at Wayne State University where he specializes in “Islamophobia, national security and anti-terrorism law.” But judging by his Post opinion piece, his real expertise lies in historically illiterate comparisons.
In 810-words, Beydoun glamorizes terrorists, misleads about Israel’s security concerns, and omits important history and facts.
The op-ed hails the Ukrainians who are fighting Russian invaders. They have “powered a global narrative of good against evil, imperialism against sovereignty, of David vs. Goliath.” The author adds: “There’s no doubt the governments and commentators rooting for Ukrainians and campaigning for the isolation of Vladimir Putin have been on the right side of history — this time.”
But then he errs, absurdly comparing Ukrainians fighting Russian invaders to “Palestine [sic].” Palestinians, the author asserts, “have long embodied the very struggle put forward by the Ukrainian people.”
In a piece posted to NPR’s website shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reporter Daniel Estrin bizarrely claims that Russian leader Vladamir Putin is “beloved” by Israel. He should know better.
The Feb. 28 piece, entitled “After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Jerusalem’s Putin Pub is now just named Pub,” talks of Israel’s delicate relationships with Ukraine and Russia, and asserts:
Putin remains a beloved ally. His military is stationed in Syria, and he gives Israel the freedom to bomb Iranian and Syrian weapons and soldiers there.
NPR’s claim that Putin is a “beloved” ally to Israel is certainly one opinion. But it’s an unfounded one — far-fetched, unsubstantiated, but nonetheless presented as fact, in an apparent an attempt to splash some of Putin’s unpopularity onto the Jewish state.
What Does NPR’s Standards Editor Say?
When challenged, NPR’s standards editor Tony Cavin stood by Estrin’s claim, insisting it an “accurate” reflection of the relationship.
Cavin, who recently joined NPR, professes to believes in “fairness, honestly, and transparency.” When reporting on subjects, “we try to fairly reflect their positions,” he asserted when applying for his new position. “We need to be honest with the people we are covering and with our viewers. And we need to be transparent, we need to let everyone know what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.”
And yet, the new standards editor steadfastly refused to back up the allegation and avoided addressing the substance of challenges.
Is This Love?
The substance is that polls, Israeli officials, and plugged-in analysts paint a very different picture than the one Estrin presented to NPR readers.
I don’t think that there’s room here for lovey-dovey elements.
In 2020, for example, a Pew poll found that 60 percent of Israelis have no confidence in Putin to do the right thing regarding world affairs, compared to 36 percent who have confidence. As the New York Times reported the day before Estrin’s piece was published, Russian speakers in Israel, too, have been largely unified in “turning on” Putin after the invasion.
And just days after Estrin wrote of a beloved alliance, Israel voted at the UN to deplore Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
(1/2) An Iranian compatriot of mine living in Poland contacted me recently saying he has become a Zionist. I ask why? He said; "I have witnessed Israel and Jewish organizations from around the world move heaven and earth to help Ukranian Jews fleeing into Poland. I am shocked... pic.twitter.com/rBSQMOMsIz— Karmel Melamed (@KarmelMelamed) March 10, 2022
I told him Israel is not only a safe haven for the Jews but it's people have been helping non-Jews suffering around the world... especially Iranian refugees stuck on the Greek isle of Lesbos. @IsraAID is helping Iranian refugees there??https://t.co/OfmBZkzrhE— Karmel Melamed (@KarmelMelamed) March 10, 2022
Friday Sermon by DC Imam Abdul Alim Musa: Russia's Ukraine Invasion Is Justified, They Are Fighting Nazis; It Is a Western Lie That China Is Committing Genocide against Muslims; Taiwan Belongs to China #Russia #Ukraine #China pic.twitter.com/FLkLzaCzfq— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) March 11, 2022
We brought the passenger pigeon back from the dead specifically for this operation. https://t.co/SCE6ehUPPg— The Mossad: The Social Media Account (@TheMossadIL) March 11, 2022
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