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3 Nov, 2023 17:15

Zelensky to visit Israel – media

The Ukrainian president was spurned by West Jerusalem last month, but will reportedly make the trip next week
Zelensky to visit Israel – media

Preparations for Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to visit Israel next week are at an “advanced stage,” Tel Aviv's Channel 12 reported on Friday. Kiev has struggled for media attention in the West since the war with Hamas broke out.

The Hebrew-language news network stated that a visit by Zelensky “would indicate something of a unified front of Israel, Ukraine, Europe and the US against the Russia-Iran axis,” according to a report in English by the Times of Israel.

The Israeli network claimed that Zelensky’s photograph with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog would “send a message of the enlightened world under attack, standing against the less-enlightened world, attacking.”

Kiev officials have used similar language to describe the majority of the world that does not align with the US and NATO’s position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Most recently, Zelensky’s top adviser, Mikhail Podoliak, angered Beijing by declaring that India and China – both of which have remained neutral in the conflict – have “low intellectual potential.” Previously, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council chief Aleksey Danilov stated that Russians are “Asians,” and therefore lack “humanity.”

Zelensky may visit Israel as soon as Monday or Tuesday, Channel 12 reported. Such a trip would come three weeks after West Jerusalem rejected an offer by the Ukrainian president to visit, with officials reportedly telling him that “the time is not right.” According to Ynet news, Zelensky hoped to use the visit to tie his country’s cause to that of Israel.

With the Israel-Hamas war dominating international headlines, Ukraine has found itself competing with Israel for American ammunition and funding. Despite US President Joe Biden’s promise to keep weapons flowing to both foreign conflicts, the Republican Party – which controls the House of Representatives – has said that it will prioritize Israel, leaving Biden’s planned $61 billion cash infusion for Kiev in limbo.

“If international attention shifts away from Ukraine, one way or another, it will have consequences. The fate of Ukraine depends on the unity of the rest of the world,” Zelensky stated in an interview with France 2 last month. 

Even prior to the eruption of conflict in the Middle East, Zelensky had feared that the West was losing interest in Ukraine. Zelensky’s aides described the president as paranoid and “delusional” in a Time magazine article published on Monday, claiming that he refuses to acknowledge that he will not be given adequate support to defeat Russia.

“The scariest thing is that part of the world got used to the war in Ukraine,” Zelensky told Time. “Exhaustion with the war rolls along like a wave. You see it in the United States, in Europe. And we see that as soon as they start to get a little tired, it becomes like a show to them: ‘I can’t watch this rerun for the 10th time’.”