On the eve of Rosh Hashanah the large Ukrainian delegation of representatives of political and economic ranks arrived to Israel. The largest visit in the Ukrainian history was organized by the Parliamentary Association of Ukraine-Israel friendship. Among the 40 delegates, there were 4 ministers and 24 deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, as well as public figures and leading businessmen of Ukraine; the delegation visited the country with a five-day official visit. The delegation is headed by the co-chairs of the organization, deputies of the Verkhovna Rada Georgy Logvinsky and Boryslav Rozenblat.
The first day of the visit began with a welcoming ceremony for Ukrainian representatives at the Ben Gurion Airport. Then the guests went on a tour to the Old City of Jerusalem. Hence, the delegation arrived to the Knesset, where, after an information tour in the Israeli parliament as well as watching a documentary about the history of Israeli main legislative body, a meeting with the Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein and the Head of the Parliamentary Association Ukraine-Israel deputy Tali Ploskov was held. The Ambassador of Ukraine in Israel Hennady Nadolenko and the Honorary Consul of Israel in Western region of Ukraine Oleg Vyshniakov participated in the meeting as well. Besides, Yuli Edelstein congratulated Oleg Vyshniakov with his birthday in front of all the assembled.
The meeting was held in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The floor was given to the representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and Israeli parliamentarians. In his welcoming speech, Yuli Edelstein emphasized the closeness of the Ukrainian and Jewish people, noting the fact, that due to the recent political situation in Ukraine, guests of this friendly country, unfortunately, are not surprised with the problems of security and tranquility.
“We, like no one other today, realize what a difficult situation Israel is facing for the last decades - said the Co-chairman of the Parliamentary Association of Ukraine Georgy Logvinsky. - We are admiring how a small country throughout its history can resist encroachment on its independence. That’s why we want to be closer to you, we want you to teach us how to be proud of our country and how to defend it. Ukraine always supported the territorial integrity of Israel, and we would like to see Israel supporting and understing our territorial integrity”.
Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers Anna Onishchenko thanked Israel for the support given to Ukraine in the medical field, as well as spoke about the opening on the 1st of September, the village of Hnativka, built on the money of the Jewish community of Ukraine and intended for refugees from Eastern Ukraine. The opening ceremony of Hnativka, named after the village of the stories of Sholem Aleichem about Tevye the milkman, had been attended by the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Moshe Reuven Azman, who came together with the Ukrainian delegation to Israel.
At the meeting with Israeli parliamentarians Ukrainian delegation several times brought up the point concerning Ukraine's security and possible cooperation in this area with the State of Israel. Ukrainian politician Boryslav Bereza made a pretty tough statement: "Today Ukraine has an absolutely enemy who supports the occupation of Ukraine as well as the separatist forces in the East of the country. For Israel Russia is not a friend, too. This is a state that supports the Assad regime in Syria, the regime Hezbollah and other anti-Israel terrorist entities. Boryslav Bereza drew attention to the fact that Ukraine cannot get Israel’s permission for selling Israeli drones, while Russia is supplied with these types of weapons. "We need to change it, you have to be friends in fact, not only in word, - he stressed. - And Ukraine has always been and will be a friend of Israel”.
Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein thanked the orators for the kind words in the address of Israel, and promised to transfer all the information and request of Ukrainian counterparts to the Israeli parliament, stressing that it is not just about joint projects and plans for cooperation in different areas, but also very difficult and perhaps unpleasant topic.
In conclusion, the Honorary Consul of Israel in the Western region of Ukraine Oleg Vyshniakov said: "In the context of recent events in your country, I can say that the hearts of many of our people are with Ukraine, as a community of immigrants from Ukraine in Israel is about 500 000 people. These people are worrying and thinking about what happens in Ukraine. Our task is to report that Ukraine is a great friend of Israel, and we know that every dollar invested by Israel in Ukraine, will return a hundredfold. I think that we are brotherly nations and have a resembling fate”.
Since the meeting between the representatives of Ukrainian political and business elite took place a few days before the New Year according to the Jewish calendar, the deputy Tali Ploskov congratulated all with the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
She wished a sweet New Year and compared Jewish and Ukrainian people with pomegranate which is the symbol of Rosh Hashanah: «We are like pomegranate seeds - all together in one fruit. And this is our power».
Over the next four days in Israel, the Ukrainian delegation will visit one of the military bases of the Israeli Defense Force as well as the leading economic forum, in which the leading businessmen and experts of the Ministry of Economy of Israel will be participating. Especially for Ukrainian guests, the Israeli side has prepared a trip to the main attractions of Israel, including a visit to Israeli cities and a gala concert with the participation of Ukrainian artists.