Ukrainian Council of Churches had a meeting with the Speaker of the Knesset in Jerusalem

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The speaker of the Knesset and the delegation of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations discussed the direction of Ukraine-Israel relations development.

The meeting with the head of the Israeli parliament Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, who was born in Chernivtsi city of Ukraine, took place on the second day of the visit of Ukrainian religious leaders to Israel, the Institute for Religious Freedom reports.

Elisha Henkin

The Speaker of the Knesset noted on the positive part the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations takes, demonstrating the ability to find consensus for the sake of the interests of the whole society, despite objective dissimilarities between different religions and denominations. He considers it to be a good example to follow for many politicians, both in Israel and in Ukraine.

He shared with the UCCRO delegation his experience of building a strong democratic State of Israel, which can fight back its foreign aggressors and at the same time meticulously keep all appropriate democratic procedures, without giving way to the temptations of authoritarianism.

Elisha Henkin

According to Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, Israel today has the most effective army forces in the world, one of the most developed economical system, and it proceeds building its political system exclusively on a democratic basis of a parliamentary republic.

Thus, the example of Israel disapproves the popular statement of authoritarianism adepts that only a strong authoritarian leader can take the country to military victories and economic success. Being surrounded by authoritarian regimes, Israel not just remains the only democratic country in the Middle East but also demonstrates strength and rapid progress in all areas of economic, state and social life.

Svyatoslav (Shevchuk), the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church:An example of your country shows that democracy can be strong, but for that it should be based on values. And in particular, the religious values are the strength of democracy. For if democracy passes away from the religious values, as we see it happens in Europe, then it tends to turn into either anarchy or dictatorship.

He noted that Israel has its experience in building a democratic society, which Ukraine can learn from. In addition, the Head of the UGCC stressed that the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations stands for the establishment of genuine democracy in Ukraine, the foundation stone of which is respect for each person dignity, regardless of his national, ethnic or religious affiliation.

Elisha Henkin

Members of the UCCRO delegation also said that they are against any manifestations of anti-Semitism and xenophobia, considering these manifestations to be alien to Ukraine and unacceptable for any country in the world.

At the end of the meeting, Ukrainian religious representatives took part in a tour around the Knesset.

After that, in the building of the Israeli parliament, the delegation of the UCCRO held a business meeting with the advisor of the head of the Jewish Agency "Sohnut" Yigal Palmor, who had served as a speaker of the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry for many years before. At the meeting, he told about the "Sohnut" programs to support the diaspora, preserve national culture, traditions and identity. Mr. Palmour suggested that the Ukrainian side acquaint itself with the relevant programs and, if necessary, adapt them to the needs of Ukrainians abroad.

According to the IRF, on the first day of the visit to Jerusalem, the delegation of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations had the meetings with the President of the State of Israel, as well as with the Minister for Jerusalem and National Heritage Affairs, the Minister of the Environment of the State of Israel and other government officials.

The official visit of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations delegation to Israel takes place on the initiative of the Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine Yaakov Dov Bleich, the Chairman of the UCCRO.

Institute for Religious Freedom

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