Jewish-Ukrainian MP: Israel Not Doing Enough to Help Local Community

Oleksandr Feldman says he is 'disappointed' in Foreign Minister Lieberman for not doing more to help Jews of Ukraine during the crisis.

Israel has not taken a clear enough stance on the crisis in Ukraine and is not doing enough to help its Jewish residents, Ukrainian member of parliament and Jewish community leader Oleksandr Feldman said at a press conference in Jerusalem on Sunday, Israeli media reported.

“We did expect a clearer stance on everything that’s going on. There are 400,000 Jewish citizens in Ukraine and we did expect a little bit more of Israel,” said Feldman, a member of the pro-European Batkivshchyna party led by former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. “I’m a bit disappointed by [Foreign Minister Avigdor] Liberman,” he reportedly said.

Last Wednesday, amid U.S. pressure, the Foreign Ministry issued its first official statement on the crisis in Ukraine, after a long bout of silence. The laconic statement expressed hope that the crisis would be resolved peacefully, but did not address the Russian invasion of Crimea.

Feldman, who has served as president of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee since 2008, said the Israeli government "could do much, much more" to combat anti-Semitism, especially by way of financial aid, the Israeli media report said.

JTA photo service / Ukrainian Jewish Committee