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Netanyahu meets leader of Ukraine party, including neo-Nazis

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) met with members of a Ukrainian parliamentary delegation in Jerusalem on 10 July 2019 [IsraeliPM/Twitter]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (CR) met with members of a Ukrainian parliamentary delegation in Jerusalem on 10 July 2019 [IsraeliPM/Twitter]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday met with the head of the Ukrainian Radical Party, whose members include neo-Nazis and extreme nationalists, the Times of Israel reported.

In a tweet by the office of the Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu can be seen shaking hands with Oleh Lyashko, the head of the Ukrainian party.

Lyashko has been known to stir up controversy. In 2015, he criticised then-President Petro Poroshenko for apologising for the role of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators during the Holocaust in his speech before the Knesset , saying that his remarks were a “humiliation” for Ukraine and that Poroshenko was “proclaiming [the] inferiority of his people.” Earlier this year, Lyashko accused current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a Jewish comedian and politician, of “lacking patriotism”.

Notable Ukrainian Radical Party members include Artyom Vitko, who was filmed in 2015 singing a song celebrating Adolf Hitler. Another member is nationalist Yuri Shukhevych, son of Nazi collaborator Roman Shukhevych, whose troops committed war crimes against Jews in World War II.

READ: Israel depends on anti-Semitism

Netanyahu has come under fire for failing to truly confront anti-Semitism and historical whitewashing. In 2015, he was accused of whitewashing Hitler’s crimes against the Jewish people by insisting that the leader of the Nazi party had no intention of exterminating Europe’s Jews until a Palestinian persuaded him to do it.

Last July, Netanyahu hosted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has been condemned by Hungarian Jews for glorifying the Nazi-allied Miklós Horthy regime and minimising the role Hungarians played in the extermination of half the country’s Jewish population. Last September, he echoed Adolf Hitler in a tweet warning that the “weak are slaughtered” and the “strong survive”.

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