The conflict in Ukraine is a complex beast, and there are many angles that could be examined on many aspects of it. What I’d like to take a look at here is the behavior of the Jewish President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. His behavior represents an ideal for the behavior of Jews in the countries that host them – courageous and fiercely protective of their nation’s independence and sovereignty, and free from obsessions about racial divisions and imaginary anti-Semitism.
When the war broke out, pretty much all of the military commentators expected Russia to trounce Ukraine, snatching up the capitol and sweeping across the country in a matter of days. Zelenskyy was offered safe passage out of the country by the US, to which he reportedly responded “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride”. For the leader of the country to remain in the capitol as a symbol of resistance when it has a good chance of being overrun is a powerful act of bravery. It flies in the face of the stereotype of Jews as being quick to flee in the face of physical danger and loyal only to other Jews.
After this start, he has continued to do everything in his power to inspire the fighters under his command and to get more support from any side. While I do not believe that the United States should intervene directly in this conflict for a number of reasons, I don’t fault Zelenskyy for asking, as it’s in both his and Ukraine’s interest to show that he’s exploring every option, even the things that he knows won’t happen.
Further, in a move that will mystify Western Liberals who will do anything to appease the ADL, he has made accommodations with the various far-Right Neo-Nazi militias that had sprung up to defend the Donbass. Many of them have been integrated into the Ukrainian Military, most prominently in the Azov Battalion, fighting in Mariupol, and they reportedly make up some of the best soldiers in many units.
There’s a lot to consider there, but for now, from an American perspective, I will salute President Zelenskyy for putting the defense of his country above complaining about Nazism. A lesson we could all stand to take – every country’s most fanatical patriots are valuable, even if some of their opinions may be a bit unsavory. So regardless of what your overall position on the war is and how it ends up going, let’s give Herzl’s Beard to President Zelenskyy for showing us how a Jew in charge of a nation with a variety of religions should behave.