When Volodymyr Zelensky, the Jewish comedian recently elected the president of Ukraine, announced that he was running, the chief rabbi for the eastern Ukrainian region where Mr. Zelensky grew up was shocked by the hostile reaction.
In 2018, there was a drop in anti-Semitic vandalism from the previous year and an increase in the arrest and prosecution of those accused of perpetrating such crimes, according to the 2018 Report on Xenophobia in Ukraine published by the Congress of National Minorities of Ukraine.
Nearly one-third of Ukrainians voted for Volodymyr Zelenskiy in the first round of the country’s presidential elections. Since Zelenskiy is Jewish, and since he is apparently backed by businessman Ihor Kolomoisky, who is also Jewish, many Ukrainians have said that the old stereotype of Ukrainian anti-Semitism no longer applies.
Israel was fighting a clearly defensive war of survival on multiple fronts against numerically superior forces. This is why in part, comparisons to a situation like Russia’s unabashed war of aggression against Ukraine and its occupation of Crimea are wholly inaccurate. Russia was never under threat from Ukraine.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin have been engaged in a flurry of discussions recently, at least some of which are likely tied to Iranian activities in Syria.