Israelis who want to rally for Ukraine? Why is this remarkable when there are rallies in other parts of the world?
Because the antisemitic murderous savagery of Ukrainians was only second to Nazi Germans. (Some will take me to task on this generous statement and rightfully so.)
Most of the Israeli rally enthusiasts are emigres from Ukraine, who lost ancestors in horrendous Ukrainian atrocities against the Jews. An estimated 2M people lie in unmarked graves throughout Ukraine, murdereed at the hands of Germans and their enthusiastic collaborators, Ukrainians. One of the most tragic pogroms in Ukraine against the Jews happened in 1946, after the tragedy of the Holocaust was over, at the hands of Ukraine national hero, Stepan Bandera and his loyalists.
The man and his army of citizens who stood against communism but savagely killed Jews and collaborated with Germans in pursuit of his ultra-nationalist agenda had no trouble attracting a huge army of followers. Eventually, he fled to Germany but was killed by KGB. Today, streets throughout Ukraine are named after this Satan…
Before this evil, another murderous Anti-Semite by the name of Symon Petliura presided over Ukraine:
Prior to the advent of Hitler, the greatest mass murder of Jews occurred in Ukraine during the Civil War. All participants in the conflict were guilty of murdering Jews but the Ukrainian Volunteer Army had the most Jewish blood on its hands. The number of Jews killed during that period is estimated to be 35,000 - 50,000. A total of 1,236 violent attacks on Jews had been recorded between 1918 and 1921 in Ukraine. Among them, 493 were carried out by Ukrainian People's Republic soldiers under the command of Symon Petliura, 307 by independent Ukrainian warlords, 213 by Denikin's army, 106 by the Red Army, and 32 by the Polish Army. And that's for starters. Today a number of Ukrainian Churches are named in
More recent history has Ukrainians sought after by the Nazis at the concentration camps. They could always be counted on for excessive brutality and that's why so many served as camp guards.
Lest we forget, it was the Russian Red Army that liberated remaining tortured Jews from the Ukrainian-guarded Auschwitz.
This is what Ukraine represents to Diaspora Jews and Israel, make no mistake! Yet…
Yet…we’re once again witness to the incredible benevolence of Jews towards itheir torturer, Ukraine. And this, after establishing a brand new, ground-breaking political and economic relationship with Russia. A country that considered Israel enemy since the birth of the Jewish State. Israelis have a lot to lose here - Putin’s wrath will not forgive or forget.
Incidentally, when did Ukraine rally for Israel? When did Ukrainians march in support of Israelis sitting in bomb shelters under the barrage of thousands of Hamas rockets? When did Ukraine send aid, military or moral to Israel, in which of dozens of wars on Israel…?
Something to put into perspective: Jews will always forgive. They will always err on the side of helping fellow man, often to their own detriment. Ergo, the non-violent, vengeance-free, but tragic history of the Jewish people.
The Israeli government was one of the first to extend aid and declare support. Prime Minister Bennett has flown to Europe to try to end the fighting. But make no mistake, this will never be reciprocated, nor is expected to be. Ever. Not from Ukraine and not from any other country.
…and let’s make sure the bittersweet irony of a brave Jewish man leading Ukraine in her darkest hour against a mammoth enemy is not lost on us. And neither is the strikingly profound significance of Zelensky’s role in history, no matter his fate.
Valerie Sobel is an Economist, writer, philanthropist, and a pianist living in Canada.