Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein and Knesset Director-General Ronen Plott spoke with Jewish leaders from Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine on Tuesday. The conference call was the first of its kind in the Knesset's recently inaugurated international lounge.
Edelstein asked the Jewish leaders about the current situation in Ukraine. "There is tension in the air, but Jews have not been forced to take hiding or mask their identity. While there have been some anti-Semitic incidents, there is no system-wide anti-Semitism. The perceived threat to the Jewish community has not increased since the revolution," Rabbi Meir Stembler said.
According to Stembler, "Many Jews took part in the protests in Ukraine. The fact that some of the wounded were taken for treatment in Israel was broadcast in local media outlets and won a lot of [local] support and recognition."
"Keeping a direct line of communication with you is important to us," Edelstein said. "We [the Knesset] will discuss your requests and hopefully we can help." Edelstein said he will continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine.
Ukraine's pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital of Kiev in February. Yanukovych had faced three months of political protests after he scrapped plans to strengthen ties with Europe, a move Russia opposed. The protests ended in the government's overthrow and the formation of a new European-leaning interim government.