Israeli Communists Boycott Zelensky Address to Knesset

“Very sad that good leftists are being deceived by false propaganda,” insists Jewish member of Arab-led communist party

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Ukraine, Israeli Arabs, Russia
Ofer Cassif is the sole Jewish member of the Arab-led communist party Hadash. He and his party colleagues believe the Russian narrative regarding the invasion of Ukraine. Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90

Did you know there are communists in Israel, and even in the Knesset? And unsurprisingly, they side with Russia in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

These politicians, who are today a small fringe group, have kept a low profile since the Russia-Ukraine war began, but their position was exposed on Sunday when they boycotted Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s public address to Israel.

There are two Arab parties in the Knesset, one in the government and the other in the opposition.

From the Islamist party Ra’am, which his part of the unity coalition, one lawmaker joined the Zoom call with Zelensky. Party leader Mansour Abbas was speaking at a conference at the time and was unable to attend.

From the opposition Joint Arab List, not a single lawmaker joined the call with Zelensky. This is far from surprising, not only because of the faction’s anti-Israel positions.

The largest of the four small parties that make up the Joint Arab List is Hadash, which is the Communist party in Israel.

The Joint Arab List’s leader, Aymen Odeh, is head of the Hadash Party. Addressing his intention to boycott Zelensky’s speech, a spokesman for Odeh told The Times of Israel: “Our position is that NATO and its leader America imposed this war.”

The one Jewish member of Hadash, Ofer Cassif, was far more blunt in explaining, via Twitter, why he wouldn’t be giving Zelensky any due respect: “Very sad that good leftists are being deceived by false propaganda — and that they even expect my friends and me to toe the line with the lies being fed to us.”

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