Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has begged Israel to sell its Iron Dome missile defense system to Ukraine.
“Everybody knows that your missile defense systems are the best … and that you can definitely help our people, save the lives of Ukrainians, of Ukrainian Jews,” said Zelenskyy, who is of Jewish heritage.
He spoke in an address to the Israeli parliament by video link on Sunday.
He questioned Israel’s reluctance to sell the system, often used to intercept rockets fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza.
“We can ask why we can’t receive weapons from you, why Israel has not imposed powerful sanctions on Russia or is not putting pressure on Russian business,” he said in the address, one of several he has made to foreign legislatures.
Zelenskiy also welcomed the mediation efforts of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has held numerous calls with him and Putin.
“Sooner or later we will begin to have talks with Russia, possibly in Jerusalem,” he said in his daily video address to Ukrainians.
“Either way, the choice is yours to make, brothers and sisters, and you must then live with your answer, the people of Israel,” Zelenskiy said.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin two weeks ago in Moscow and has spoken frequently with him and Zelenskiy, since then, was among the more than 100 of the parliament’s 120 members who took part in the video call.
He made no immediate comment after the Ukrainian leader spoke.
In his address, Zelenskiy drew a comparison between the Russian offensive and Nazi Germany’s plan to exterminate European Jewry during World War Two.
“Listen to what is being said now in Moscow, listen to how they are saying those words again: the final solution. But this time in relation to us, to the Ukrainian question,” he said.
Zelenskiy cited no evidence in making that allegation or identify who might have used the term.
Putin has used an expression which means “final decision/final resolution” once in the past 30 days, according to Reuters monitoring of his remarks, but not in a context that carried the same resonance or meaning as the Nazi terminology.