Ukraine’s President Zelensky has been refused his own request to visit Israel out of “solidarity” after the Oct. 7 deadly attacks by Hamas, in yet another awkward moment for Kiev.
He was reportedly told by the Netanyahu government that “now is not the time” for such a state visit, according to Hebrew-language media. However, his office was told that there might be a later date for such a visit.
Israel’s i24News wrote that “The yet unexplained denial of Zelensky’s solidarity visit comes as the U.S. President Joe Biden is reportedly expected to visit Israel as soon as Wednesday.”
Zelensky had since the start of the new Gaza war issued series of strong statement in support of Israel. “The world must stand united… so that terror does not attempt to take or destroy life anywhere and at any moment,” he had said.
He has also claimed that Russia is stoking conflict in the Middle East, also as a way to distract from its operations in Ukraine, but without offering any evidence.
Last Wednesday, Axios reported that “Zelensky’s office sent an official request to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office asking to coordinate a visit, the Ukrainian and Israeli officials said.”
It seems the pro-Ukraine cause in general, including efforts in Congress and by the Biden administration to keep the billions in aid flowing, has been sapped of its prior enthusiasm and momentum.
And it’s perhaps also the case that Israel perceived that Zelensky is trying to link Ukraine’s cause with Israel’s as a matter of PR.
This is bad news for Zelensky. Artificially linking the Ukraine War to the Israel-Gaza War is imperative to stay relevant and get the necessary attention and funding. The war appears to be lost for Zelensky. pic.twitter.com/zfBsHkKYKq
— Glenn Diesen (@Glenn_Diesen) October 16, 2023
At this moment, a major Israeli full offensive by air and ground appears imminent, though it’s been delayed after there was an expectation that it would start this weekend. Some reports have said that bad weather is a factor.
But the Jerusalem Post has offered a different perspective, writing Monday, “Yet, now we have arrived at late Monday, and if anything, the signs (which could also be psychological warfare) are that the invasion is further away, and not yet imminent.”