Itongadol.- At the risk of aggravating Russia, Israel on Tuesday welcomed Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine with full red carpet pomp and ceremony that included a military honor guard and military band.
Israel welcomes Ukrainian president at risk of aggravating Russia
Pereshenko who is on a two-day state visit to Israel, met early Tuesday morning with President Reuven Rivlin whom he invited to come to Ukraine early next year, telling him that he would be delighted to welcome him to his hometown of Odessa which was also the birthplace of Rivlin’s mentor Ze’ev Jabotinsky.
Poroshenko said that although Ukraine and Israel were different in many ways, there were similarities in their common struggle for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and democracy.
Both countries also face external threats and are engaged in a fight against terrorism.
The Ukrainian people strongly resist external aggression, he said and are doing their best to transform their country. “We won’t give up,” he asserted.
Poroshenko praised the determination of the Israeli people and the achievements of Israel in many fields in which it has become a lead player.
Ukraine has much to learn from Israel’s knowledge and experience, he said.
He thanked Israel for its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and for the humanitarian support that Israel has provided for wounded civilians and soldiers, who he referred to as “our heroes”.
He also said that Ukraine supports Israel in its fight for democracy and against security threats.
Rivlin said that Israel remembers the long thousand year history of Jewish life in Ukraine that was almost totally wiped out by the Nazis. But there were seeds of hope in that great Zionist leaders came from Ukraine he said citing Jabotinsky and Leon Pinsker.
Rivlin was particularly appreciative of the fact that Ukraine had recently returned confiscated Torah scrolls and other Jewish ritual items to the Jewish people. “This is a sign of our good relations and should be just one step in the strengthening of those ties,” he said, adding that the future of the two countries depends on learning the lessons of the past. “We must condemn together all forms of racism and hatred,” he declared.