Israeli ambassador to Ukraine Joel Lion on Thursday urged Kiev to fight the anti-Semitism that exists in the country, especially in the city of Uman, in which the residents must be told that the Hasidic Jews are part of their city
KIEV (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 17th September, 2020) Israeli ambassador to Ukraine Joel Lion on Thursday urged Kiev to fight the anti-Semitism that exists in the country, especially in the city of Uman, in which the residents must be told that the Hasidic Jews are part of their city.
Earlier in the day, Zeev Elkin, the Israeli minister of higher education and water resources and the head of a ministerial group on stranded Hasidic Jews who are waiting for an opportunity to enter Ukraine's Uman for the annual pilgrimage, said the pilgrims may need to return home since it was unlikely that the coronavirus-related border closures would be lifted any time soon. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry, in turn, also recommended that the pilgrims, who have been trying for several days to get to the country from Belarus, purchase return tickets, as the ban would remain in force.
"You do not need this crisis in order to face anti-Semitism in Uman. There are anti-Semitic groups in Uman who arrange provocations. Every year we see this, every year we face these problems," Lion said in an interview with the LB.ua news portal.
According to the diplomat, Ukraine has long been experiencing anti-Semitism.
"Anti-Semitism must be fought with other methods. First of all, through education. It is important to educate people that the Hasidim are part of their city, that they need to be perceived in this way, and not as an evil. And if someone tries to spread fake news and rumors to achieve anti-Semitism, the government must oppose it," Lion added.
Every Jewish New Year, thousands of Hasidic Jews go on a pilgrimage to Uman to the burial site of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, who revived the Hasidic movement and died in 1810. This year, the Jewish New Year will be celebrated from September 18-20.
According to the Ukrainian border service, over 3,000 pilgrims will be trying to cross the border to further move to the central town of Uman. The town's mayor, Alexander Tsebriy, has already said that the pilgrims' arrival this year in the traditional format was impossible due to the pandemic.