Israeli minister calls for international probe into war crimes in Ukraine

Dr Nachman Shai spoke of his horror following the revelation of mass rape and murder


Israeli Minister Dr Nachman Shai has called for an international investigation into war crimes in the Ukraine.

Dr Shai, Minister for Diaspora Affairs, spoke of his horror amid revelations of mass rapes and murder in Bucha, Irpin and Mariupol.

He said Israel would continue to act as a safe haven for Jewish refugees fleeing the bloodshed and said those responsible for atrocities should be brought to justice.

"We need an international investigation into the war crimes taking place in Ukraine,” he said, “Only international pressure by governments, NGOs and public opinion will stop Russia.”

Dr Shai spoke out as Israel marked Diaspora Week – which highlights the State of Israel’s commitment to the Jewish community across the world.

"Our commitment is to look out for the Jewish interest around the entire world. To fight antisemitism and racism. To struggle against the erosion of Jewish identity.

"And to insist that any Jew who wants to live as a Jew can do freely and without fear.   

"As I have said repeatedly in recent days, that the State of Israel is the state of the Jewish people and that means we are not permitted to seal off our heart and be indifferent to the tragedies of other nations.  

"Absorbing refugees at this time and adopting the right attitude to the other is a Jewish value.”

As of last month, more than 12,600 Ukrainians have arrived in Israel but only 3,650 were eligible under Law of Return. 

Amid a controversy over a 5,000 cap on those ineligible for citizenship, any refugee with Israeli relatives has been granted entry without a cap.

He added: “World Jewry is our flesh and blood. Today more than ever we can see how important this connection is, as well as the critical need for mutual support among the two parts of the Jewish people. 

"We need to underline the importance of these ties the whole year round and celebrate them during Diaspora Week.”

On Sunday, President Isaac Herzog hosted a summit with Jewish leaders around the world, followed by an evening of music at the International Convention Centre in Jerusalem.

"There are also events to teach school children and soldiers the importance of Israel’s ties with the Jewish community overseas with talks from the Jewish Agency and olim, new immigrants, at schools and military academies across the country.”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive