web analytics
April 30, 2016 / 22 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

Final Stats Show Ukrainian Aliyah Rose 11 Percent in 2015

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

 

Aliyah from the Ukraine increased 11 percent this year compared with 2014, according to end-of–year statistics compiled by the Ministry of Absorption.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which has been offering cash payments to Jewish refugees from the Ukraine since last year, helped approximately 2,000 new immigrants move to Israel (olim). An additional IFCJ flight is scheduled to land at Ben Gurion Airport next week with 2543 new olim.

The total number of Olim from the Ukraine of 2015, as of mid-December, is 6,953, compared to 5,921 the year before. The biggest increase was in  January, February and March.

President of the IFCJ, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, added, “The fact that the number of Olim has increased, proves that the assumption about the demise of the traditional Aliyah is unfounded and that by using the right methods the number of Olim can increase even more next year.”

The statement was a barb at the Jewish Agency, which complained last March that the IFCJ’s program actually  is harming Aliyah:

The Agency said at the time:

Is the IFCJ prepared to offer cash to all immigrants from Ukraine, including the overwhelming majority who choose not to travel to Israel with them? Would the individuals they’ve managed to draw to their flights be quite as willing to forgo the Jewish Agency’s vital assistance if money weren’t a factor?

There’s something rather absurd about offering someone financial inducements to make a certain choice and then celebrating that choice as though it was made independently, without any connection to the monetary incentive.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Ukraine’s Parliament Considers Using Israeli Knesset Attendance Board System

Monday, December 21st, 2015

The Ukraine Rada (parliament) is considering the possibility of adopting the legislator attendance system used by Israel’s Knesset.

A delegation of senior Ukrainian parliament arrived last week for a seminar at the Knesset in Israel, and encountered the “MK Attendance Board” – the manner in which the Jewish State handles the issue of dealing with low attendance.

After delegation members told their hosts that it is hard to tell whether a member of the Rada is present in the house or not, they were briefed on the Knesset method and its work.

All this, while attending a seminar during which they met with Ronen Plot, Knesset’s director-general, who introduced them to the “Green Knesset” initiative.

The attendance board is displayed in the Knesset house at the entrance to the discussion hall, as well as in the Knesset website. The board shows the photos of all members along with their names. When an MK is attending discussions in the house, his or her photo and name are lit with colors, while the photo of those absent appear in black and white. The board is updated using the information given by Knesset ushers stationed at the entrances to the building.

The Ukrainian delegation included, among others, Ukrainian Rada Vice President Vladimir Slishinski and the Rada Deputy Director General Vladimir Bondarenko. The delegation was led by Israel’s honorary consul in Ukraine, Oleg Vishnyakov, who has actively promoted relations between the two countries.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Shuts Border Gates to Turkish Trucks

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Passengers and trucks traveling from Turkey are encountering new obstacles when they reach the Russian border, according to the Hurriyet Daily News website. This comes two days after a Turkish F-16 fighter jet shot down a Russian Su-24M warplane.

Turkey’s defense ministry said the warplane violated Ankara’s airspace despite repeated warnings – which were ignored — to redirect its flight path. The Russian navigator who was rescued 12 hours after ejecting from the flaming wreckage of his jet, denies ever having heard any of the warnings, and denies ever having left Syrian airspace.

“Russia has closed its border gates to Turkish trucks,” Fatih Sener, head of the International Transporters Association of Turkey (UND), told the Turkish news website.

The country’s trucks are now being subjected to “full examination” by Russian customs personnel, according to Turkish officials.

“Around 36,000 trucks carry goods from Turkey to Russia a year. Some 100-150 trucks are now being kept waiting at Russia’s borders. We face an uncertain situation here. No explanation has been made about the trucks which are on their way to Russia though Georgia, although the trucks are apparently being subjected to a ‘full examination’ on their way to Russia via Ukraine. This means all goods in the trucks will be unloaded and examined in detail at the Russia border, but such procedures can take days,” Sener said.

Russia already has ended security cooperation with Turkey and has asked Russians not to visit the country. Within the past day, the Kremlin also introduced new restrictions claiming that 15 percent of agricultural imports from Ankara suddenly do not meet “sanitary regulations.” This has resulted in Russia deciding to import tomatoes from Israel instead.

“Such problems are normal in the Middle East, but Russia is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), so it should not behave like Egypt,” he added.

Actually, no goods are being permitted passage to Russia, in fact, according to Adnan Dalgakiran, head of the Machinery Exporters’ Association and a board member of the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM).

“The passing of Turkish trucks through Russian borders has halted now, including machinery,” he told a meeting of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry on Wednesday, according to Reuters. “No Turkish goods can enter Russia now.”

The same difficulties are being faced by the textiles sector, a major export for Turkey, as well. The country’s annual exports to Russia are around $1 billion, “but this has shrunk by 40 percent this year due to the economic problems in Russia,” Ismail Gülle, head of the Istanbul Textiles and Raw Materials Exporters Association, told Reuters.

“Any further shrinkage in our exports will create a big problem for us,” Gülle warned.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke yesterday (Wednesday, Nov. 25) by telephone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about the escalating tensions with Turkey.

The Secretary offered his condolences for the “loss of life in Tuesday’s incident,” according to a statement by the State Department.

Kerry also urged for “calm and dialogue between Turkish and Russian officials in the days ahead,” the statement continued. “He also stressed the need for both sides not to allow this incident to escalate tensions between their two countries or in Syria. The Secretary underscored the importance of progress toward a diplomatic solution in Syria continuing unabated.”

The only question is, of course, what Kerry meant by “progress toward a diplomatic solution in Syria.”

Hana Levi Julian

Obama, Putin Strongly Disagree over Syria, Ukraine at UN

Monday, September 28th, 2015

(JNi.media) US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday clashed at the annual meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations over their contradictory views for the future of Syria. Obama was vehement about the need to replace Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, while Putin insisted removing him would be a wrong move. Obama suggested Putin’s engagements in both Syria and Ukraine has been damaging to global instability.

“… We see some major powers assert themselves in ways that contravene international law,” Obama said. “We see an erosion of the democratic principles and human rights that are fundamental to this institution’s mission.” He also said, referring to Syria: “We must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the prewar status quo,” Obama said.

Putin advised the world body to stick with Assad, if they wish to defeat the Islamic State. “We believe it’s a huge mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian authorities, with the government forces, those who are bravely fighting terror face-to-face,” Putin said.

The Russian president was very critical in the role of the US in the world, lamenting that “after the end of the Cold War, the single center of domination has emerged in the world. Those who have found themselves on top of that pyramid were tempted to think that since they are so strong and singular, they know what to do better than others and it’s unnecessary to pay any attention to the UN.”

“I cannot help asking those who have forced this situation, do you realize now what you have done?” Putin said, clearly referring to the US, “Policies based on self-conceit and belief in one’s exceptionality and impunity have never been abandoned.”

Obama was equally critical of Russian aggression in Ukraine, at a high cost to Russia’s economy. “We cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated,” he said. He warned that “we, the nations of the world, cannot return to the old ways of conflict and coercion. We cannot look backward. … And if we cannot work together more effectively, we will all suffer the consequences.”

The AP reported that Obama and Putin “briefly shook hands” at the lunch following their speeches. However, they did not speak to one another, seated as they were on either side of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

AP cited US officials who said the crises in Syria and Ukraine call for an Obama-Putin meeting. Obama must discuss with his Russian counterpart his increasingly aggressive maneuvers in Syria, those officials said, as well as push Putin toward a peace deal with Ukraine, which should include not interfering with local elections next month.

JNi.Media

Obama’s UN Speech Ignores Israel but Hits Hard at Putin and Assad

Monday, September 28th, 2015

President Barack Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly Monday was extraordinary in its total exclusion of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and its hard-hitting attack on the Assad regime in Syria and its ally Russia.

A strong indication that President Obama has finally realized what he and numerous predecessors did not understand was this statement:

There are no simple answers to the changes that are taking place in much of the Middle East and North Africa.

It is not the first time he has said that, but unlike previous speeches, it was not followed up by the usual pie-in-the-sky statements that “Peace is made with enemies.” or “Solving the Israel-Palestinian Authority struggle is the key to bringing peace to the Middle East.

Saeb Erekat, who chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority and is secretary-general of the parent PLO, was extremely disappointed with Obama’s speech. He said:

Does President Obama believe that he is able to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and terror or bring stability and security to the Middle East by ignoring the continuing Israeli occupation, settlements and the ongoing Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa [the mosque on the Temple Mount]?

Obama’s speech was a resounding “yes” to Erekat.

The “occupation” never was a threat to the Middle East, but the United States foreign policy gurus couldn’t figure that out, even when the Arab Spring rebellions upended stability and brought anarchy, termed by the United States as democracy, to Egypt, Libya, Iraq and other boiling pots in Arab Muslim countries.

Years after the United States ignored ISIS, it has become Public Enemy No. 1 and is being used brilliantly by Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify direct Russian military force in Syria.

When Putin told the United Nations he is fighting the Islamic State, he could have been more accurate, Russia may be the only country fighting ISIS.

The American-led strike force has proven to be pitiful, as the JewishPress.com reported here last week on the American-trained Syrian rebels who betrayed the United States and delivered American weapons to Al Qaeda.

The President verbally attacked ISIS but he was extremely careful to be polite to Islam, stating:

Part of that effort [against ISIS] must be a continued rejection by Muslims of those who distort Islam to preach intolerance and promote violence, and it must also a rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror.

President Obama mentioned “Israel” zero times in his speech. Ditto for the terms “Palestinian Authority” and Palestine.”

The only time he mentioned “Middle East” was in the context quoted above, that there are no simple solutions.

But he mentioned Syria eight times and Russia 15 times with harsh comments that were nothing short of cold war speech.

For example:

The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable.

Consider Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further aggression in eastern Ukraine. America has few economic interests in Ukraine. We recognize the deep and complex history between Russia and Ukraine. But we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today. That’s the basis of the sanctions that the United States and our partners impose on Russia. It’s not a desire to return to a Cold War.

But his speech was remarkably chilly towards Moscow. He flatly stated:

Russia’s state-controlled media may describe these events as an example of a resurgent Russia… And yet, look at the results. The Ukrainian people are more interested than ever in aligning with Europe instead of Russia. Sanctions have led to capital flight, a contracting economy, a fallen ruble, and the emigration of more educated Russians

Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy, and worked with Ukraine and the international community to ensure its interests were protected. That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world.

President Obama claimed he does not mind a strong Russia so long as it works with the United States “to strengthen the international system as a whole.”.

That gave him a platform to plow into the Assad regime Putin and Russia’s presence in Syria and ISIS, which he still refers to as ISIL and which he called ” an apocalyptic cult.

President Obama stated:

When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation’s internal affairs… Likewise, when a terrorist group beheads captives, slaughters the innocent and enslaves women, that’s not a single nation’s national security problem — that is an assault on all humanity.

Putin has taken the military offensive in Syria, giving him a military and political base across from Israel’s northern border. Putin knows that the Muslim Middle East understands only one word – “force” – but Obama dealt with the issue from weakness because without a military presence, the United States has little ammunition except Obama’s oratory.

He told the United Nations:

But while military power is necessary, it is not sufficient to resolve the situation in Syria. Lasting stability can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully. The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.

He could have used that as an excuse to throw in something about the “Israel-occupied Golan Heights,” but he did not.

His speech was remarkable in that it exposed how weak his administration has become in international affairs following the debacles in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, which now is under growing ISIS influence.

American influence had been on the decline for years but accelerated with the inevitable failure of the “peace process.” which was focused on the wrong country and the wrong issue at the wrong time.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Missing Jew Found Dead in Uman

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

The body of missing 28-year-old Amir Shlomo Ohana, an Israeli husband and father of three from Holon, has been found in a lake in Uman, according to ZAKA. Ohana had gone to pray at the grave site of Rabbi Nachman of Uman in Ukraine, along with some 40,000 other Jewish pilgrims this year; including 30,000 from Israel.

ZAKA flew its personnel to Ukraine to help search for Ohana, who disappeared last week. He and his friend had separated in the forest, each to meditate, Rosh Hashana on Tuesday. When his friend could not find him, he reported him missing to local and Israeli police.

Volunteer searchers identified Ohana inside the lake. He was wearing Shabbat clothing, without shoes and socks. According to a report on the ZAKA website, it appeared that Ohana had been sitting on the pier, dipping his feet in the water, when he had what may have been a heart attack or epileptic seizure, and then fallen into the water.

Site where Amir Shlomo Ohana, z'l was located.

Site where body of Amir Shlomo Ohana, z’l was located in Uman, Ukraine.

Specially trained dogs, a drone and almost one hundred volunteers from among the Breslov Chassidic group searched the area for Ohana, as well as divers who searched the lake, 15 Israeli police officers, additional Israeli diplomatic personnel and security officers.

Ohana’s wife has been notified, Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed. Israeli authorities are now working to bring Ohana’s body back to Israel for burial as quickly as possible.

 

Jewish Press Staff

Aliyah Rises 13% Since Last Rosh HaShanah

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Immigration to Israel is up 13% compared with last year, with most of the rise from France and Ukraine among 97 countries whose citizens made Aliyah.

Approximately 3,600 Jews from North American have moved to Israel since last Rosh HaShanah, approximately the same number as the year before,

In the past 12 months, 29,500 Jews made Aliyah, compared with 26,000 in the Hebrew calendar year of 5774.

Most of this year’s immigrants came from the former Soviet Union – 14,100, compared with 10,800 last year – and from Europe, from where approximately 9,000 people came on Aliyah, 600 more than the previous year.

There was a modest increase in Aliyah from South America.

The two largest sources of Aliyah were France, with 7,350 immigrants compared with 6,700 in 5774, a 10% increase), and Ukraine, with 6,900 immigrants compared to 4,600 last year, a 50% increase.

The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption have been running programs in both countries in order to encourage Aliyah and remove barriers to the immigrants’ integration in Israeli society. Aliyah from Russia also saw a significant 23% increase with the arrival of some 5,900 immigrants this year compared to 4,800 in 5774.

Also in Europe, some 690 immigrants arrived in Israel from the United Kingdom, a 13% increase when compared with the 612 who came last year. Some 400 arrived from Italy, a 30% increase, compared with 300 last year, and 290 came from Belgium, similar to last year’s figure.

Immigrants to Israel came from 97 countries across the world. One immigrant each came from Andorra, Angola, Namibia, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Slovakia.

Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky said:

For the past few years, the majority of immigrants to Israel have been coming from free and democratic Western countries. These immigrants’ free choice to live in Israel, and their preference for Israel over other countries, is the true triumph of Zionism.

Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Ze’ev Elkin estimated that Aliyah in the civilian calendar year of 2015 will be the highest in a decade, with 30,000-35,000 new immigrants expected.

Thousands of the new “olim” are young college graduates in engineering and technology, and more than 1,000 are doctors and other medical professionals.

The three most popular destinations in Israel were Tel Aviv-Yafo, which welcomed some 3,500 new immigrants, the coastal city of Netanya with 3,400, and Jerusalem, which some 3,000 new immigrants made their home in 5775.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/aliyah-rises-13-since-last-rosh-hashanah/2015/09/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: