Ukrainian Jewish group asks Israel to help with security


(JTA) — A Ukrainian Jewish group asked for Israel’s help in meeting the community’s security needs.

The request came Monday from the Ukrainian Jewish Committee following the cancellation of a discussion on anti-Semitism in Ukraine that was scheduled to take place under the auspices of the Israeli Knesset’s Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs.

“We regret this decision [to cancel] based on political [considerations] and believe that time is critical, especially now,” Eduard Dolinsky, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, told JTA.

He added, “We turned to Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Deputy Minister Zeev Elkin with the request to help to arrange a delegation of Israeli security professionals to evaluate the security needs of Jewish institutions and organizations in Ukraine. This request is based on a survey we conducted among community leaders.”

Several attacks against Jews were recorded over the past two months as protracted and violent demonstrations compromised the rule of law in several Ukrainian cities.

The riots are being led by opposition forces protesting the government’s refusal to deepen Ukraine’s relationship with the European Union in favor of its relationship with Russia, and over the government’s crackdown on protests.

The Russian-language Israeli news site reported the discussion was postponed amid calls by unspecified parties to have to the committee study additional information. In off-the-record talks, Israeli lawmakers told the news website that the crisis has complicated Israel’s ties with Ukraine.

Dolinsky said that Jewish communities across Ukraine have suspended cultural activities since the riots erupted.

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