Israel offers to develop ‘Marshall Plan’ to help post-war Ukraine

Support could be offered to help rebuild health, water, agriculture, housing and education infrastructure


Israel is offering to develop a “Marshall Plan” to help Ukraine recover and thrive once the conflict there ends, according to the Jewish State’s ambassador to the war-torn country.

At a conference in Warsaw last week, Ambassador Michael Brodsky pointed to the areas where Israel was uniquely placed to support Ukraine in a post-war era. These spheres, he said, would include health, water, agriculture, housing infrastructure and education.

Another major area was in cyberspace and the use of modern technology in combating enemy action. And Israel would continue and expand its post-trauma and psychological assistance to women and children.

In the original Marshall Plan, the US provided massive aid to help rebuild Europe after the Second World War.

The most senior Ukrainian representative, Oleksii Arestovich, pointed out that Israel is the best model for how to maintain and develop its capacities even while it continues to face Russia’s threats to its existence.

He quoted his own president Volodymyr Zelensky, who near the start of the war had told the Knesset by video link that his country wants to become a “Big Israel”.

Mr Arestovich explained: “Russia is going to want to take its revenge. After a failure in this war, it will launch a second attempt to subjugate Ukraine. The best we can do is to prepare for military threats that could even last for decades.”

He warned that, after what he termed the greatest European war since World War Two, the reconstruction of his country “will be an even bigger effort than [fighting] the war itself”, including in the arenas of culture and diplomacy.

Yet he saw a major opportunity to move from “being quite asleep” before the Russian attacks this year to an opportunity to “change the entire system”.

He added: “We can take the unique Israeli experience, building a high-tech economy in the face of an ongoing terrorist threat.” He said Israel could help Ukraine build “a democratic country, an open society, a developed society and an openness to new things. We need to make enormous changes to the entire mechanism of the state.”

Mr Brodsky set out five spheres where Israel was ready to help. He advised Ukraine to maintain its political liberty and freedom, to fight corruption, and to find ways to “defend itself by itself, not relying on any other country to protect its independence”.

He said Ukraine would “need to develop a smart army, a modern security industry, and strong intelligence capabilities”.

He said that, like Israel, Ukraine would be able to transfer developments in military technology into the civilian sphere. He also said Israel could share its experience in the “enormous asset” of maintaining support from its diaspora.

The conference, held in Warsaw because of security issues inside Ukraine, also heard from a senior Ukrainian army officer in charge of using high-tech to combat the Russian cyber-threat and inflict damage on the enemy.

Colonel Yeven Yersechuk, chief of the army’s crisis response team, said: “The first cyber war is ongoing and I believe it will go on even after we kick out our enemies.”

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