Vladimir Zelensky topped the ranking of the most influential Jews in the world
Newspaper The Jerusalem Post in the published annual rating of "the most influential Jews in the world" awarded the first place to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.
Few political leaders have risen to icon status, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has become one this year.
At first, Zelenskiy was considered a curiosity - if anyone thought of him outside of Ukraine at all - due to playing the president of Ukraine on a sitcom before playing that role in real life. But Russia's invasion of his country in February brought him national attention and put him to the test that few leaders in today's world face.
The publication notes that Zelensky has changed the world order in a way that has not been observed since the fall of the Iron Curtain in the late 1980s. He turned almost the entire Western world against Russia and its powerful President Vladimir Putin. Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO; unprecedented US and EU sanctions have been imposed on Russia, its top officials and industry; and American weapons not intended for export to Ukraine were sent to Kyiv.
Much of this credit goes to Zelenskiy, who, through his sophisticated use of the media and diplomacy, has forced the world to act in ways not seen in decades, the publication says.
“The nations of the free world, inspired by the example of President Zelensky, are more united, more determined and more focused than ever in recent times,” U.S. President Joe Biden wrote in Time magazine in May. “With the support of the United States and our allies and partners, he left his mark on history and proved to the world that Ukraine will last for a long time and its people will ultimately achieve the democratic future he has long desired.”
The publication writes that Zelensky's Jewishness has become an interesting subject for a larger picture. He was born into a Jewish family, and his grandfather's father and three brothers were killed during the Holocaust. As a teenager, he was offered a scholarship to study in Israel, which his father forced him to refuse. According to press reports, he later married a non-Jewish woman and his children were baptized.
The fact that Zelenskiy was Jewish played no role in his 2019 campaign, and the candidate himself played it down, saying that “being Jewish is about the 20th question on my list of characteristics.”
While Russian propagandists claimed that they were "denazifying" Ukraine, Zelensky was ready to highlight this characterization, according to the publication. He and other Ukrainian leaders and representatives asked how his country could be a Nazi state if it had a Jewish president.
Second place in the ranking was given to Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, and in eighth place was US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, a Jew with Ukrainian roots.
The rating consists of 50 names, including politicians, public figures, businessmen, scientists and cultural figures of Jewish origin. This rating is dedicated to the new year 5783 according to the Jewish calendar.
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stdClass Object ([term_id] => 22480 [name] => Israel [taxonomy] => category [slug] => izrail)Israel
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