The government must prepare an emergency plan to bring Ukrainian Jews to Israel, MK Rina Frenkel wrote to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Thursday.
Following recent anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine, including the firebombing of a synagogue Monday, Frenkel (Yesh Atid) said she felt a responsibility to get involved, since she made aliya from Kiev in 1990.
In her letter to Netanyahu, Frenkel warned that the events in Ukraine may turn into a civil war and that, at the same time, anti-Semitism is 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.
The MK also wrote of the “tragic history of the Jews of Ukraine, who experienced pogroms and the Holocaust.”
“In light of recent events,” she added, “this community is under a clear and present danger.
The State of Israel was founded on the background of our nation’s tragic history.”
“The establishment of an independent Jewish state with a sovereign government and an army is a way of saying ‘Never again.’ Now is the time to turn that saying into action,” Frenkel stated.
Frenkel asked the prime minister to put together a plan with a budget to bring Ukrainian Jewry to Israel that would be a joint effort of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Foreign Ministry, the Immigration and Absorption Ministry, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, the Jewish Agency and more.
The lawmaker quoted figures from the World Jewish Congress which state that Ukraine has the third-largest Jewish community in Europe and the fifth-largest in the world, with 310,00 Jews and people with the right to move to Israel under the Law of Return.
“Not only will Israel save these Jews from possible harm, we will finish the process that began in the 1990s in absorbing immigrants from the Soviet Union. After the successful integration of immigrants, I am sure that the rest of Ukrainian Jewry will contribute to the State of Israel and the aliya will contribute to the immigrants themselves,” Frenkel wrote.
"Not only will Israel save these Jews from possible harm, we will finish the process that began in the 1990s in absorbing immigrants from the Soviet Union. After the successful integration of immigrants then, I am sure that the rest of Ukrainian Jewry will contribute to the State of Israel and the Aliya will contribute to the immigrants themselves," Frenkel wrote.