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May 1, 2023 12:00 pm

Ukrainian Diaspora Should Adopt Israeli Political Lobbying Model, Says Jerusalem’s Envoy to Kyiv

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avatar by Ben Cohen

A child wrapped in an Israeli flag is seen at a solidarity demonstration with Ukraine in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square. Photo: Reuters/Corinna Kern

Israel’s envoy to Ukraine has urged the embattled nation to mobilize its diaspora communities in a concerted political lobbying effort, pointing to the importance of such activities for Israel’s foreign relations.

“Like Israel, Ukraine has large and influential diasporas in various countries,” Israeli Ambassador Michael Brodsky told the Ukrainian news agency UNN in an interview on Monday. “Israel used and continues to use this movement to its advantage. Diasporas, especially at critical moments, help Israel a great deal.”

Brodsky encouraged the Ukrainians to adopt a similar model, pointing out that diaspora Jewish organizations “go to demonstrations, lobby for Israeli interests, primarily in the United States.”

Brodsky added that “we see how many Jewish lobby organizations there are in the States. This is a very important resource. This is something that Ukraine could also develop.”

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The ambassador also advocated Ukrainian self-sufficiency in military matters, again invoking Israel as a model.

“In the military sphere, one must strive to not depend on the help of allies in a moment of danger and threat, but rely on oneself,” Brodsky argued.

Asked about the possibility of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paying an official visit to Ukraine — first mooted in February — Brodsky said he could not give an exact date, because of increased instability in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“We see that terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas have become more active. From time to time, rockets are fired at the territory of Israel. Iran continues to threaten Israel. And in parallel, there is an internal conflict in Israel related to the judicial reform that the government is promoting,” Brodksy said. Noting that Netanyahu had already visited Ukraine in Aug. 2019, he emphasized that the Israeli leader “will come. But when it will be, it is difficult to say, including because Israel has a difficult situation that requires 100 percent attention.”

Separately, the deputy speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Olena Kondratyuk, has been visiting Ukrainian troops wounded in clashes with invading Russian forces at rehabilitation centers in Israel. Kondratyuk also met with Ukrainian immigrants in the city of Ashdod and “familiarized herself with the functioning of the civil defense system in Israel,” according to an official statement. Israel has agreed to provide Ukraine with a missile defense that protects civilians by delivering a red alert warning to cellphones in targeted areas. Speaking to The Algemeiner last week, Yevgen Korniychuk, Ukraine’s Ambassador in Tel Aviv, said that the defense system would be rolled out in Kyiv during this month, with a plan to launch it in all major cities by the end of the year.

Russia on Monday fired the latest in a series of pre-dawn missile attacks on Ukrainian cities. In Pavlohrad, a logistics hub near the central city of Dnipro, a missile strike on Monday sparked a major fire, destroyed dozens of houses, and wounded 34 people. Hours later, the air raid alert sounded across the country, with Kyiv among the targets.

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