Bennett, Lapid to join Zelensky Zoom with Israel's MKs

The zoom is restricted to government ministers and Knesset members. They will not be allowed to ask questions or respond, even if they speak Ukrainian or Russian.

 Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky  (photo credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/REUTERS)
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
(photo credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/REUTERS)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu will take part in the Zoom of Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to MKs on Sunday at 6 p.m., their spokesmen said over the weekend.

The zoom is restricted to government ministers and Knesset members. They will not be allowed to ask questions or respond, even if they speak Ukrainian or Russian.

The press will be able to watch the broadcast but will not be part of the videoconference.

The public is invited to watch the address at Tel Aviv's Habima Square at a 5 p.m. rally sponsored by the Ukrainian embassy and Israeli Friends of Ukraine under the banner "Israel stands with Ukraine." The rally is in coordination with the Tel Aviv municipality and the police. 

 Debris burns near the residential buildings damaged by shelling, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 18, 2022. (credit: Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS) Debris burns near the residential buildings damaged by shelling, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 18, 2022. (credit: Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS)

"We will show support for the Ukrainian people in their justified war against the barbaric Russian invasion into our land," the organizers said. "We call upon the Israeli people to come and show their support and solidarity with us and demand that the State of Israel stand unequivocally and clearly in supporting Ukraine and condemning Russia."

Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy will open the event with a short speech and thank Zelensky at the end and will watch the address in the parliament building on a special large screen set up for the event. 

The Knesset converted its Jerusalem Room into a technological hub to make sure the event passes without glitches and as many MKs as possible take part. Simultaneous translation to Hebrew from Ukrainian will be provided.  

The only MKs who have announced they will boycott the speech for "ideological reasons" are Ofer Kassif and Adi Touma-Sliman from the Joint List's communist Hadash Party.

"Ofer does not intend to take part in the warmongering of either side in this terrible and unnecessary war," a spokesman for Kassif said.