Ukrainians have a long history of murdering Jews. We do not need to save them. We need to save the Jews and get out of there. Time to abandon Ukraine.
There are about 200,000 Jews in Ukraine, but there are about 10 times more Jews who were murdered and buried there, and in the last century alone. Ukraine is a Jewish graveyard. We need to get out of there.
In fact, Jewish graves have been attracting Jews back to Ukraine, particularly to Uman, where Rebbe Nachman of Breslov is buried. We haven’t been able to escape yet because a large part of our nation is buried there. Many Jews still feel a strong attachment to them.
The dead will forgive us if we move on towards our Redemption. We do not need to live with the dead in that graveyard of a nation. Rise up from the ashes, O Israel, and abandon the lands of your torment. Time for all Jews to come to Israel, to the Land of the living.
A Jewish President in Ukraine
Ironically, we now have a Jew in charge of Ukraine (Volodymyr Zelensky). He is fighting for them and has chosen to remain. He might even be blocking Jewish men from leaving. He needs all men of fighting age to remain, to resist the Russian invasion. He is even calling for other Jews to fight for Ukraine.
We don’t need a Jew to fight for Ukraine. If anything, it could only make matters worse for Jews everywhere. The main benefit of a Jewish Ukrainian president would be if he had enough compassion for the Jews of that country to help them escape to Israel.
A Gentile leader could be ruthless to the Jews of Ukraine. He could blame them for all his problems. He could let the Ukrainians vent their anger upon them, or trap them in the crossfire, blocking their escape. Zelensky can help facilitate the exodus of hundreds of thousands of imperiled Jews to Israel.
Putin is Not Our Enemy
Vladimir Putin, the leader of Russia for the past 22 years, is not our enemy and we do not need to make him our enemy. He has been good to the Jews of Russia, raising up Jewish oligarchs to serve him and forcing Russians to respect the Jews there.
There are roughly 265,000 Jews in Russia, according to 2010 figures. Those Jews were previously free to traverse the world and come to Israel. With the tough sanctions currently in place, it is hard to fly out of Russia these days.
Bennett flew to Russia on a private jet, with US approval, to secure humanitarian corridors for Jews to escape the conflict, among other things. But it is not only the Jews of Ukraine who are at risk.
We need Putin as a friend to help secure the safety of Russian Jews. If possible, we need to help them escape as well, since US President Joe Biden seems hellbent on raising up a new iron curtain that could cut them off from Israel. This could include other nations with Jewish populations under Russian influence.
Putin helps secure the safety of many Jews who would otherwise be at risk. We should not be fighting against him to save Ukraine, and we certainly should not want to topple him. Ukrainian Jews would be safe under Putin’s protection. The same cannot be said of the Ukrainian militias rising up to resist a Russian occupation.
Ukraine Under Russian Occupation
Biden seems to have accepted that Russia would occupy Ukraine. He did so, even before the invasion, when Putin amassed a huge army at its borders. Biden encouraged Russia to attack when he said an attack was inevitable, and that America would not send troops to defend Ukraine.
What surprised the world was Zelensky’s fighting spirit. He roused Ukrainians to powerfully resist the Russian invasion. This was not expected, and it has only made matters worse. Now the West is strangling Russia with sanctions and supplying Ukraine with enough weapons to fuel a protracted war. Zelensky, a Jew, has become Putin’s foremost enemy.
Russia had mechanisms in place to control Ukraine, which were further upended by Zelenksy’s populist rise to power. How does a Jew rise to power in a place like Ukraine? Zelensky produced and starred in a tv series, ‘Servant of the People,’ in which he depicts a high school teacher who unexpectedly rises to power, after a video of him ranting against government corruption goes viral.
The tv show aired for three seasons, from 2015 to 2019. In 2018, Zelensky took advantage of its popularity, and his production team formed a political party under the same name as the tv show. In 2019, Zelensky was elected the president of Ukraine in a landslide victory.
Zelensky rose to power on an anti-corruption platform. Corruption in the former Soviet states is tied to the sale of state assets at huge discounts and the granting of monopolies to favorable parties, known as oligarchs.
The rise of the oligarchs is connected to Russia, and Russia wields political influence outside its borders through them. In the shadow of their demise, Russia is losing control. Zelensky has been steering Ukraine into the hands of the West, a process that is unacceptable to Putin.
Russians are willing to fight for Ukraine because it has been theirs for hundreds of years, and historically, Russian civilization originated there, in the Kievan Rus’. Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine, but ‘Rus’ is phonetically related to Russia, along with neighboring Belarus. Russians consider that region their historic heartland, and they refuse to see it fall to the West.
Russia has been “occupying” Ukraine for hundreds of years already. Perhaps Putin was willing to accept an independent and neutral Ukraine, but not a Ukraine aligned with the West, and certainly not one allied with NATO against him.
The Euromaidan protests, beginning in late 2013, lead to the ousting of the Russian-leaning Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, in early 2014. This was the impetus for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and its annexation of Crimea, which it feared would fall into Western hands. Zelensky’s rise to power in 2019 marked an even greater threat to Russia.
In 2019, Donald Trump was the President of the US. He helped reduce the tensions surrounding Ukraine. When Biden came to power in 2021, everything changed. Biden started off with a slap in the face to Putin, calling him a killer in March 2021. Tensions rapidly escalated after that concerning Ukraine, to the point of international crisis and ultimately war.
Not Our War
Western paramours have been seducing Ukraine to run off with them. They offer many economic incentives to the impoverished Ukrainians. Russia is not pleased with its estranged Ukrainian wife. We do not need to stand between them and take the fire. We need to get our people out of there.
It might even be in our interests to help Putin at this juncture, to let him end the war quickly and claim some sort of victory, not to turn this into a bloodbath that could topple him and destabilize the region.
Contrary to what people are saying these days, Putin remains a voice of reason and a friend of Jews in that dark region. Don’t expect there to be anyone better than him there.
And don’t let the media fool you. This is not a war for freedom. Ukraine will be subjected and exploited either way, most likely for its grain. Either Ukraine will serve the West and enrage the Russians, or it will realign its interests with Russia and the threat of a major conflict may be averted.
Our interests do not necessarily align with the interests of other nations in this conflict. Best if we stay out of it. Ukraine is not our war. Saving the Jews is. Time for Jews to abandon Ukraine.
Yshai Amichai is a father of six and an author with a legal education, whose books advocate upholding the Torah as a national Constitution. He may be contacted at: [email protected]