Palestinian factions and MKs slam Zelensky's speech before the Israeli Knesset

Palestinian factions and MKs slam Zelensky's speech before the Israeli Knesset
3 min read
West Bank
22 March, 2022
"Insolent", "mistaken" and "Zionist", were among the critiques to Zelensky's speech by Palestinian factions and Palestinian members of the Knesset.
Zelensky'sspeech was skipped by members of Palestinian parties at the Knesset and by far-left Hadash party [Getty]

The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is "mistaken to seek help from Israel," the spokesperson of Fatah, Hussein Hamayel, told The New Arab, in reaction to Zelensky's speech before the Israeli Knesset on Sunday.

"Israel is an apartheid state and anyone who thinks that they can strengthen their position by treating it as a potential ally will lose at the end," Hamayel said. 

The Fatah spokesperson's comments were echoed by  Hani Khalil, PFLP's spokesperson, who equally slammed Zelensky for saying that Ukraine is facing a similar threat as Israel.

"Comparing the Palestinian people to occupiers and comparing the occupation state to victims is insolent and an insult to people's intelligence," Khalil said, adding that "those who have a just cause do not humiliate themselves as Zelensky did in the media."

For its part, the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas did not comment on Zelensky's speech.

🇵🇸#Palestine | "The threat we face is the same, for us and for you. The destruction of a people and even a name, #Ukraine. I want you to think about this. '' This was stated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaking in liaison with the Israeli Knesset. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/BgVC8CUXNj

— ✌️🇵🇸✌️ Mohammed Najjar (@hamada_pal2020) March 20, 2022

The comments by the Palestinian political factions came after a flurry of criticism of Zelensly's speech was made by Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset, who boycotted the speech.

On Monday, the day after Zelensly spoke, Palestinian MK Aida Suleiman said that "Zelensky has dragged his country into war and now he is complaining about the results of his own actions," as quoted by Palestinian media.

Meanwhile, Palestinian MK Ahmad Al-Tibi said in a tweet that "Zelensky's speech was a Zionist one by excellence, hitting its bottom when he gave Israel the historical status of victim by quoting Golda Meir."

Both Suleiman and Al-Tibi were among the group of Knesset members who did not attend the speech at the Knesset on Sunday, which was also skipped by MKs from the far-left Hadash party, such as Ofer Cassif.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking by calling the Israeli Knesset, said: "The threat we face is the same, for us and for you."
What a funny lie, do you compare rockets to stones?
Also, the stones that the Palestinians throw in defense of themselves🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/QsXlqDz9Tu

— Ibrahim Jabr (@IbrahimJabr22) March 21, 2022

The Kyiv-based president of the Palestinian community in Ukraine, Hatem Odeh, also deplored Zelensky's speech.

"As Palestinians in Ukraine, many of whom are Ukrainians, we are very upset by the clear -Israel-bias of president Zelensky's speech", he told The New Arab.

"While Ukrainians are telling us that they understand the Palestinian plight better, now that their country is being occupied, Zelensky tries to relate to Israel," he added.

Zelensky's speech also received criticism from Israeli Jewish MKs, like Yuval Steinitz. The member of the Likud party tweeted that "any war is a terrible thing (...) but comparing any war no matter how hard it is to the extermination of millions of Jews in gas chambers is a complete falsification of history," in reference to Zelensky's comparison of the Russian war to the Nazi Holocaust.