The national flags of Israel and Ukraine.
(photo credit: OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE)
Jewish Ukrainian MP Alexander Feldman said Tuesday he planned to put a new bill on the table at the Rada, proposing that Ukraine move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Feldman made the announcement on Facebook amid a diplomatic spat between Ukraine and Israel, following Ukraine’s vote in favor of the anti-settlements bill at the UN Security Council on Friday, and Israel’s subsequent cancellation of a scheduled visit by Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman which caused Ukraine to summon Israel’s ambassador to Kiev for clarification.
In a Facebook post, Feldman emphasized that he was upset by Ukraine’s vote at the UN and about the cancellation of the prime minister’s visit to Israel.
Feldman is an active leader of the Ukrainian Jewish community.
“For many years my colleagues and I have been working on the development of relations between our countries and we have achieved a lot,” he said, mentioning visa-free entry between the two countries as well as lower airfares.
“Of course, the consequence of our vote has disappointed Israelis and seriously undermines what we have achieved,” he lamented.
Looking to the future to try to fix the deteriorated Israel-Ukraine relations, Feldman said the best way to do so would be for Kiev to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a bill he vowed to bring to parliament at the start of the new year.
If the move came to fruition, he said, it would bring Israel-Ukraine relations to a “whole new, unprecedented level.”