'We expect Ukraine to protect Jewish graves'

MK Uri Maklev meets Ukrainian Minister, warns of prevalence of anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine.

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Maklev and Hrynevych
Maklev and Hrynevych
Maklev's office

Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) met with the Ukrainian Education and Science Minister Lilia Hrynevych. The meeting was also attended by Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Hennadii Nadolenko and the local consul.

The officials discussed issues facing both countries at the meeting, including hi-tech and technological developments, as well as the development of defense systems against cyber-attacks.

MK Maklev raised the issue of preserving the tombs of Jewish sages in Ukraine and the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in Uman.

The two sides welcomed the warm and friendly relations between the two countries, which were reflected in recent visits by senior officials. Maklev praised the flourishing of the religious Jewish community in Ukraine, but stressed that there are still anti-Semitic incidents in the country, such as the desecration of Jewish graves. MK Maklev explained that "we expect the authorities to act with a firm hand against these attacks."

They reviewed the joint activity of the two countries. For example, Israel allocates humanitarian resources to the Ukrainian people by training psychologists to deal with trauma caused by the internal conflict with pro-Russian separatists and a professional delegation of rehabilitation specialists from Ukraine visited Israeli hospitals to study Israeli treatments. Israel helped with the upgrading of the emergency room of the hospital in Uman, and is involved in more joint projects.

The distinguished delegation sought to learn from the existing experience in Israel in dealing with recent technological developments and to turn them into successful economic models for both countries. MK Maklev presented the "Mobileye' company, which was purchased by computer chip giant Intel in a $15 billion deal, as well as the 'Waze' travel app as examples of successful technology startups which began in Israel.

At the end of the meeting MK Maklev raised the issue of mass travel of Breslov hasidim and other Jews to Uman on Rosh Hashana.

"About 40,000 visitors arrive every year for Rosh Hashanah in Uman, and this is an event that requires very complex logistical planning, and in recent years we have been sending a team of police officers to help the local forces maintain order in the area. The Ukrainian authorities are very active in assisting the event, and show understanding and patience throughout...I thank the Ukrainian authorities for their assistance," he said.