A statement by the ISL on the Russia-Ukraine War

The ISL League, Israel/Occupied Palestine, 08.03.2022

Russia has announced the establishment of safe corridors to allow civilian refugees to leave, but the evacuation routes lead mostly to Russia and its ally Belarus, a route opposed by Zelensky, while Russia continues to pound some cities with rockets even after the announcement of corridors. From Putin’s perspective, Ukrainian refugees escaping to states that are members of NATO is to allow the refugees to join his enemies while for Zelensky escaping to Belarus is to be controlled by his enemy. Short of socialist revolution in both states it will be very difficult to find a solution.

In any case we support the Ukrainian refugees’ right to find asylum in the Baltic states, Poland, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey and other countries like the Russians escaping persecution for voicing their opposition to the war flock to these states as refugees.

Ironically enough Putin has accused Ukraine of preventing Israelis, along with other foreign nationals, from evacuating the country as the invasion continues. According to him Ukrainian men aged 18-60 are barred from leaving the country even if they are dual citizens.

This argument contradicts his basic argument that the refugees escaping to the Baltic states will strengthen his enemies as the men who can fight are not allowed to leave the Ukraine.

The Ukrainian refugees bring to mind the issue of the Jewish refugees in WWII. During WWII the gates of the Western imperialist states that love to speak about human rights were closed to Jewish refugees. On this topic we find in the Encyclopedia of the holocaust:

“In July 1938, a conference of nations met at Evian, France to discuss the issue of Jewish refugees fleeing persecuting in Nazi Germany and trying to enter other countries. The Conference had very little impact on the plight of the refugees. The United States convened the Evian Conference, but, like the other participating countries, refused to change its immigration policies to help more refugees. Although the majority of German and Austrian Jews managed to flee Nazi Germany, many of those who went to other European countries died in the Holocaust after Germany occupied those countries. In July 1938, delegates from 32 countries met in Evian, France for a conference on the refugee crisis. The delegates expressed sympathy for the Jews who were seeking to flee Nazi persecution. Most countries, however, refused to admit more refugees…During the nine-day meeting, delegate after delegate rose to express sympathy for the refugees. But most countries, including the United States and Great Britain, offered excuses for not letting in more refugees. Only the Dominican Republic agreed to accept additional refugees. This offer came as President Rafael Trujillo sought both to rehabilitate his reputation following his government’s massacre of Black Haitians in 1937 and to bring white wealth into his country. Commenting on the Evian Conference, the German government gleefully noted how “astounding” it was that foreign countries criticized Germany for its treatment of the Jews, yet none of them opened their doors” [i]

The Zionists have used this inhuman policy to justify the establishment of Israel and to cover up for their crimes against the Palestinians that most of whom are refugees due to the ethnic cleansing of 1947-8.

“The late Israeli historian Jacob Talmon referred to interpretations which were proposed by ‘extremely nationalistic and certain religious persons . . . who state that the Holocaust was a necessary stage in the Jewish historical drama, as a type of suffering before redemption. . . the price of redemption’. A more ideologically structured viewpoint conceived the destruction of European Jewry as a final apocalyptic vindication of Zionism; an indictment of assimilation, autonomism, territorialism, and other solutions which were to solve the trials and tribulations of the Jewish people. There is no lack of views for which view the Holocaust is an unshakable justification of the Zionist alternative” [ii]

What the Zionists love to hide is their support for closing the gates of the western imperialist states. “The Zionist leadership now began to fear that the future and destiny of Palestine and the plight of European Jewry would be considered as two separate problems. As a result, efforts would be made to solve the problem of European Jewry without using Palestine as a refuge. On 2 December 1938 at a meeting held at the initiative of the Vaad Leumi, the Jewish National Council in Palestine, Ben-Gurion analyzed the events of Kristallnacht. He spoke of the ‘Nazi pogrom’ and stated that he was aware that the Jewish people and the nations of the world were facing a serious problem involving hundreds of thousands – possibly millions – of refugees. He concluded that ‘ideological and territorialist plans would formulate both among the Jews and the Gent that he did not believe in solving the problem by transfer of refugees to various countries: the only possible so Palestine” [iii]

Israel wants Ukrainian Jews to immigrate to Israel to be used against the Palestinians. It does not want to accept non-Jewish refugees.

You are a Jew and you deserve to live. But if you are not, do not look for life here in the ‘state of the Jews’. Go and die elsewhere.” This is what the Ukrainian ambassador to Tel Aviv, Yevgeny Kornichuk, said at a press conference during which he broke into tears when Israel expelled dozens of refugees who fled the war. [iv]

In a press conference, Kornichuk said: “The last six days Israel turned away dozens of refugees that came from different countries in the world, and in the airport, they were sent back to the places where they came from, instead of granting them asylum” [v]

Under international pressure, “Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked said Monday that Israel will place a cap on the number of Ukrainian refugees allowed in who are not eligible to immigrate to the Jewish state — but did not indicate what that figure would be. “We will approve some sort of humanitarian cap on people who are not eligible under the Law of Return,” Shaked said to Kan public radio on Monday morning. “In the coming days, I will formulate an organized policy because we have to get this situation in order.” [vi]

For the Zionists, this war is a gift as they expect to gain at least 10,000 new Jewish immigrants to be used against the Palestinians.

On Sunday, the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division – which is funded by the Israeli government and falls under its direct control – announced the building of 1,000 housing structures for Ukrainian Jewish families in both Israel and settlements in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories…” Lana Tatour, professor of settler-colonialism and human rights at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia says very correctly: “This is not a humanitarian act that Israel is carrying out. Israel is a settler-colonial state. It is a state that is obsessed with demography and ensuring demographic superiority by Jewish people over Palestinians” [vii]

“According to the emergency plan, the buildings will be located on the northern border, in the Golan Heights, the Negev, Arava, the Valley of Springs, and the Jordan Valley. A government decision is required to implement the plan.” [viii]

The Golan Heights, Valley of Springs, and the Jordan Valley were occupied in 1967.

“To Palestinians, the prospect of a new wave of Jewish immigrants raises the possibility that some will settle in the occupied West Bank… Thousands of Russian speakers from earlier waves of immigration now live in the West Bank, including the current finance minister Israel is welcoming Ukrainians “at the expense of the Palestinians and their land,” said Nihad Abu Ghosh, a Palestinian political analyst and independent member of the Palestinian National Council.” [ix]

While we of the ISL denounce the state of Israel for its racist policy toward the non-Jewish Ukrainian refugees we oppose the (state-sponsored) recruiting of more Jewish Ukrainian refugees as they will be part of the oppression of the Palestinians. They should be accepted in the western imperialist states that closed their gates to the Jewish refugees in WWII.

Down with all the imperialists!

For workers’ states in Russia and Ukraine!

Down with Zionist racism of the apartheid state!

For Palestine red and free from the river to the sea!


[i] https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/emigration-and-the-evian-conference

[ii] Yechiam Weitz Jewish Refugees and Zionist Policy during the Holocaust Middle Eastern Studies, Apr., 1994, Vol. 30, No. 2 (Apr. 1994), pp. 351-368

Yechiam Weitz is the grandson of Yosef Weitz, director of the Land and Afforestation Department of the Jewish National Fund

[iii] A.Y. Kochavi, ‘The Zionist Executive and the Distress of the Jews in Germany and Austria, up to the Outbreak of World War II’, Studies of the Holocaust Period III (1984), p.106 (in Hebrew)

[iv] https://english.wafa.ps/Pages/Details/128284 

[v] https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20220302-ukraine-asks-israel-to-stop-turning-refugees-away/

[vi] https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-to-cap-number-of-non-eligible-ukrainian-refugees-it-accepts-shaked/ 

[vii] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/4/israel-ukraine

[viii] https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/article-698798

[ix] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/07/world/europe/ukraine-israel-moldova-jews.html

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