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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

100 Ukrainian Jews Want to Make Aliyah, Settle in Judea and Samaria

Friday, March 7th, 2014

One hundred Jews from Kiev want to make Aliyah as a “gar’in” (a unified fledgling community), according to a report in Makor Rishon. They come from all over Kiev. All of them are young professionals, including doctors, lawyers, accountants and advertising executives.

Michael Rosenfeld, an emissary for “Hamidrasha Hatziyonut” (Zionist School) told Makor Rishon that he had been approached by a hundred Ukrainian Jews from Kiev who want to immigrate to Israel. There are 20 families on the list so far, as well as a number of singles. They want to make Aliyah together, and live together in Israel in the same community.

They already decided they want to move to a town in either Judea or Samaria.

Rosenfeld said that these are people who always spoke about Aliyah, but now the situation in Kiev is giving them that extra push.

Rosenfeld’s Midrasha is now opening an Ulpan course, to prepare the group with the language skills they’ll need when they arrive in Israel.

Rosenfeld is calling on the Israeli government, and Moetzet Yesha (The Council of Judea and Samaria) to assist them in the Aliyah process.

Simultaneously, others in the Kiev community are trying to raise money for security for the Jews of Ukraine, in response to the anarchy in the streets. According to a JTA report Thursday, the Jewish Federations of North America has launched a Ukraine Assistance Fund.

“As the situation escalates, needs in the Ukrainian Jewish community become even more acute,” said Michael Siegal, chair of the Jewish Federations’ board of trustees.

Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, one of the two chief Rabbis of Ukraine, told John Kerry in a meeting this week that it costs $1000 a day to ensure the security of his Yeshiva, and that to provide protection for all the Jewish organizations would cost $4000 a day.

An estimated 70,000 Jews live in the Ukraine.

Now, imagine if they all moved to Judea and Samaria.

All it takes is a single “gar’in”.

 

Amid Crisis, Ukrainian Jewish Community Receives Rescue Efforts Training

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine – The current political crisis in Ukraine has propelled its Jewish community to request emergency training from Israeli emergency response organizations, United Hatzalah and ZAKA.

As the Ukrainian crisis developed during the past three months of anti-government protests, Ukrainian rabbis appealed for help in emergency response training. Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, the Ukrainian Chief Rabbi, and Rabbi Hillel Cohen of the Ukrainian Hatzalah made the request to ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi Zahav and United Hatzalah President Eli Beer. The men mobilized their organizations to work together to train the local team in only a matter of days.

United Hatzalah and ZAKA, in cooperation with the Isralife Foundation have worked together to train Jewish volunteers of the local Kiev Hatzalah. The Ukrainian participants received training in the latest emergency, rescue and search techniques in order to respond and provide aid to mass casualty emergencies should the crisis in the country escalate. The Ukrainian participants have also been trained to provide first aid in mass casualty emergency situations, and include protocols for CPR, treating suffocation, injuries and diseases.

Ukraine Training 2 “We were pleased to come to the assistance of the Ukrainian community during their time of need and provide the emergency training their volunteers need to handle local emergencies in an efficient and timely manner,” said Beer. “Both ZAKA and United Hatzalah each offered unique services and perspectives on emergency response and we were happy we could work together to help our fellow Jews.” “We are grateful to both organizations for responding so quickly and generously to help our community in this time of need. The events surrounding us require our community to be prepared with the latest training and techniques so we can respond to emergencies and help our people quickly in these dangerous times,” said Rabbis Azman and Cohen in a joint statement. In the Ukraine, much of the Jewish population is located in the country’s capital, Kiev while other sizable communities reside in Lvov, Dnepropetrovsk and Odessa. Since the early 1990s, 340,000 Ukrainian Jews have immigrated to Israel.

In related news, a Ukrainian man was treated in Israel yesterday, Wednesday, March 5, after suffering severed damage to his left forearm from shrapnel in Kiev’s Independence Square during riots. Referred to as Alexander S., he was the first Ukrainian to arrive to Israel for treatment, following approval by Dr. Valeria Bivitzchik from Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center, who recently volunteered with the Ukrainian Red Cross and arranged for injured citizens to be flown to Israel for medical treatment. Alexander was brought to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot where he will undergo surgery to reconstruct the bones and repair the soft issue in his arm under the care of hospital’s surgical and orthopedic departments in the coming days.

Russia Test-Fires ICBM

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Russia test-fired an ICBM on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The missile was launched near the Caspian sea and hit a target in Kazakhstan.

The launch was probably a warning shot related to the Ukrainian tensions.

Minister Accompanying Netanyahu: Settlement Freeze Off the Table

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Likud Minister Yuval Steinitz, accompanying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his trip to the U.S., told Israel Radio Tuesday morning that Israel’s position both regarding the peace negotiations with the Palestinians and the Iran question are receiving wall-to-wall support in Congress.

According to Stenitz, the leaders of the Senate and the House understand that the main hurdle before the peace process is the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to their own country, and their terrible incitement against Israel.

According to the Washington Post, after his conference with Obama, Netanyahu met with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Capitol Hill. Cantor said the Palestinians must “accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state” and “uniformly and aggressively” combat terrorism while confronting, not condoning, “incitement against the Jews.”

Steinitz added that the Palestinian demand for a freeze on settlement housing starts, as well as their insistence on prisoner release in exchange for extending the negotiations are simply not part of the discussion.

Leftist party Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Gal-On told Israel Radio that the settlement freeze would serve Israel’s interests more than it would the Palestinians’.

Labor MK Nachman Shai argues that the Ukrainian crisis is not diverting the world’s attention away from Israel and the peace negotiations, and is not improving Israel’s political situation.

But, despite MK Shai’s note to the contrary, AP reported that Secretary of State Kerry left Monday for the Ukrainian capital. The European Union’s foreign ministers, meantime, issued a Thursday deadline for Russia President Vladimir Putin to pull back his troops or face a rejection of visa liberalization and economic cooperation negotiations long in the works.

And the White House said Obama met for more than two hours Monday night with the National Security Council, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, to discuss what steps the United States can take with international partners to further isolate Russia and persuade it to de-escalate the situation.

So, for now, nobody is pushing the 2-state thing. Maybe wait until after the Russian occupation…

Ukraine Chief Rabbi Accuses Russians of Antisemitic ‘Provocations’

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, one of the two chief rabbis of the Ukraine (the other one is Rabbi Azriel Chaikin), accused Russia of staging antisemitic “provocations” in Crimea in order to justify its invasion of the former Soviet republic.

At a press conference in the Manhattan office of the United Jewish Communities of Eastern Europe, Bleich compared Russia’s behavior to that of the Nazis prior to the Anschluss invasion of Austria in 1938.

“Things may be done by Russians dressing up as Ukrainian nationalists,” he said, adding that it’s “the same way the Nazis did when they wanted to go into Austria and created provocations.”

Bleich, a vice president of the World Jewish Congress, also announced the creation of an aid effort, KievRelief.org, to fund security for synagogues and mosques and to provide humanitarian relief for all Ukrainians.

Bleich, who moved to Ukraine in 1989 from Brooklyn, was slated, along with other Ukrainian political and religious leaders, to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday. He said he will urge Kerry to be assertive with Russian President Vladimir Putin, to move the G8 Summit to Kiev, as a show of solidarity with Ukrainians, and to consider sending military support to Ukraine. While acknowledging that Americans are “war-weary,” he said Ukrainians need “boots on the ground to protect democracy” and to prevent “the cold war from getting hot.”

Asked about antisemitism among Ukrainian nationalists, particularly two far-right parties that have been included in the new government, Bleich acknowledged concerns but said the Jewish community has received assurances from top government leaders that their safety will be protected.

“The Russians are blowing this way, way out of proportion,” he said, referring to the issue of anti-Semitism among some Ukrainian nationalist factions.

He said that Ukrainians were united in response to the Russian intervention.

“There were many differences of opinion throughout the revolution, but today all that is gone,” he said. “We’re faced by an outside threat called Russia. It’s brought everyone together.”

State Dept. Israel Report Focuses on Bedouin

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

A focus of this year’s U.S. State Department human rights report on Israel was Bedouin rights.

The report issued Thursday noted the Bedouin in its introduction, which it did not previously, and examined at length the demolition of Bedouin dwellings in 2013, a result of Israel’s relocation policies.

“While Arab communities in the country generally faced economic difficulties, the Bedouin segment of the Arab population continued to be the most disadvantaged,” the report said.

The report noted that the government demolished 413 buildings in Bedouin villages in the Negev and that another 449 homes were demolished by Bedouin seeking to avoid demolition costs levied by the government.

“Many Bedouins complained that moving to government-planned towns would require them to give up claims to land they had occupied for several generations and would separate them from their livelihood, while the government claimed it was difficult and inefficient to provide services to clusters of buildings throughout the Negev that ignored planning procedures,” the report said.

The report, as in previous years, ranked the “most significant” human rights issues facing Israel as: terrorist attacks against civilians; institutional and societal discrimination against Arabs; discrimination against women; and the treatment of asylum seekers.

The report noted an overall decline in terrorist attacks against Israelis said that Israel met international standards in areas such as prisons, arrest and detention and also that it maintained an independent judiciary and a free press.

It noted that “price tag” attacks by Jewish extremists against Arabs expanded beyond Judea and Samaria into pre-1967 Israel.

In its report on Palestinian-controlled areas, the State Department included reports of unlawful security service killings and torture and said detention conditions were “extremely bad.”

It also noted the discrepancy within Israel between prisons for Israelis and for Judea and Samaria Palestinians.

“IDF detention centers for security detainees were less likely than Israeli civilian prisons to meet international standards,” it said, and included reports of crowding and in some cases “extreme violence” against detainees.

The report included a section on anti-Semitism in Palestinian-controlled areas, citing expressions of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial by officials and outlets of both the Judea and Samaria-based Palestinian Authority and Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip.

Elsewhere in the annual human rights report, the State Department reported a decline in anti-Semitism in Ukraine in 2013, a period before the eruption of unrest in recent weeks.

In the introduction to its report on France, the State Department said, “The most significant human rights problems during the year included an increasing number of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents.”

Security Cams Show Moment Russians Take Crimean Government Building

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Security camera footage uploaded by Reuters show the moment armed men seized a government building in the Crimean city of Simferopol.

On Saturday, Russian armed forces occupied Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, after the Russian Parliament authorized President Vladimir Putin to use military force in order to control the chaos in the Ukraine.

On Friday, President Barack Obama used strong language to warn Russia against invading Ukrainian territory, saying: “We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine … Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing, which is not in the interests of Ukraine, Russia or Europe. It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people.

“It would be a clear violation of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws.”

The authorization given by the Russian parliament was based on a threat to the lives of Russian citizens and soldiers stationed in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine, essentially thumbing Russia’s nose at the American president.

According to the Reuters, heavily armed soldiers had tightened their grip on the Crimean capital, Simferopol on Thursday night, even before Putin’s statement in Moscow. The Russians surrounded government buildings, as can be sen in the video below, shuttered the airport, and blocked city streets.


Interfaith Group Sending $1 Million for Jews In Ukraine

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews said it will send $1 million to assist the Jewish community in Ukraine amid the country’s political upheaval.

The help, which will go toward security for Jewish institutions and for the elderly and impoverished, was announced Wednesday by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the founder and president of the fellowship.

“From the many conversations I’ve conducted this week with Jewish leaders in the Ukraine, we understood that the situation on the ground is critical,” Eckstein said. “Rabbis and communal leaders feel under threat and requested assistance with reinforcing the security around Jewish schools and communal buildings.”

The assistance is in addition to the annual aid that the fellowship sends to the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Earlier this week, the Jewish Agency said it was providing emergency assistance to increase security measures for the Jewish community in Ukraine hours after protests in the former Soviet republic forced President Viktor Yanukovych to flee Kiev.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations, Yuriy Sergeyev, told reporters on Monday that attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions are not widespread.

Acting Ukraine President Oleksander Tuchynov assured Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, the president of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine and a chief rabbi in the country, at a meeting Tuesday night that he would work to keep the country’s Jewish community safe, Israel Radio reported on Wednesday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/interfaith-group-sending-1-million-for-jews-in-ukraine/2014/02/26/

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