Ukraine juxtaposes Israeli sovereignty, Kiev revolution in new video


(JTA) — Ukraine’s embassy in Tel Aviv congratulated Israelis on Israeli Independence Day with a video that drew parallels between Israeli sovereignty and the Ukrainian revolution.

The five-minute video, posted  Tuesday on the embassy’s official Facebook page, was filmed at Maidan, the Kiev square that became the symbol of the revolution that in February swept former president Vicktor Yanukovych from power over his perceived pro-Russian policies.

The Ukrainian-language video juxtaposed footage from the revolution, where crowds chanted “we are united,” with archival material from Israel’s establishment in 1948. According to the end credits, it was co-produced by the embassy.

The juxtaposition came in a series of flashbacks experienced by a Christian Ukrainian after a Jewish man presents him with food and drink on a silver platter – an allusion to a poem by the Israeli writer Nathan Alterman in which Jewish war casualties say: “We are the silver platter on which the Jewish state was given.”

“I think I’m starting to understand,” the actor portraying the Christian says in Ukrainian in the video. He then says in Hebrew the title of the poem, “The Silver Platter.”

The video features other Ukrainians reciting the poem in Hebrew at Maidan while holding a platter made out of metal.

Alterman’s 1947 poem is believed to have been based on a statement by Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first president, who reportedly said that “A state is not handed to a people on a silver platter” during an address that year in Atlantic City, N.J.

The video ended with the message in Hebrew: “Thank you for the support from Israel and Happy Independence Day!”

Unlike the United States and many European countries, Israel has not condemned the Russian-backed takeover of the Crimea Peninsula in March nor its annexation later that month.

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