Ukraine's acting President Oleksander Tuchynov promised on Wednesday that he would do everything in his power to protect the country's Jewish community, Israeli radio reported.
Tuchynov met with the country's chief rabbi, World Jewish Congress Vice-President Yaakov Dov Bleich, after former President Viktor Yanukovych was deposed last week following three months of unrest by protesters in Kiev. Tuchynov told Bleich that Ukraine's new leadership is doing everything it can to end the anarchy of recent months, the Israeli newspaper 'Haaretz' reported, citing 'Israel Radio'.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government was urged to prepare an emergency plan to bring Ukrainian Jews to Israel. Knesset member Rina Frenkel of the Yesh Atid party of Finance Minister Yaïr Lapid, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday. Frenkel came to Israel from Kiev in 1990.
In her letter, she warned that the events in Ukraine could turn into a civil war and that, at the same time, anti-Semitism was on the rise. "Incitement is growing stronger. Newspapers and digital media mention 'Jewish conspiracies' every morning, anti-Semitic caricatures appear and in January, words turned into actions, as a local rabbi was attacked and a man was stabbed on the way to synagogue on Friday night," Frenkel wrote. According to the 'Jerusalem Post', Frenkel asked Netanyahu to put together a plan with a budget to bring Ukrainian Jewry to Israel.
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.
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.