Two Israels And the War In Ukraine (A. Zharova)


De facto, there are two Israels in the State of Israel that are unlike each other.

In recent years, it has become fashionable in Ukrainian intellectual circles to take Israel as an example. “We really enjoyed comparing Israel to Ukraine; talk about what else we need to do in order to get closer to the role model, ” wrote Sonya Koshkina (Ksenia Vasilenko), editor-in-chief of the LB portal, about this.

However, March brought admirers of the history of Israeli statehood to disappointment. From the very beginning of the war, the current government has been extremely reluctant to accept refugees from Ukraine (even those who have relatives in the first line). And already on March 14, on the 20th day of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Israel imposed a certain restriction on the entry of Ukrainians, and now this case is being considered in the High Court of Justice.

Help varies

Official Jerusalem today deals exclusively with humanitarian aid: a field hospital (worth $6 million), armored ambulances and official medical missions. In total, more than 100 tons of cargo was sent.

But is this enough? The denial of military assistance, “discrimination” against refugees and the reluctance to impose direct sanctions against Russian TV channels and companies have a negative impact on the country's image. Of course, Israel has its own concerns: the Russian presence in Syria and the looming lifting of sanctions on Iran are forcing the Israeli government to wag, creating a background for a backlash from its own citizens, as well as from Western partners and the government of Ukraine.

But there is another Israel, real Israel. Its citizens are collecting aid to the Ukrainians. Their children write letters and put them in parcels that they themselves collect. His business donates its products to Ukraine, and also shares its expertise to develop and launch charity campaigns. This Israel offers its homes to refugees and donates money, joins goodwill missions and becomes a volunteer helping on the borders with Ukraine.

Just a small example of the activities of the fairly influential Israeli organization Israeli Friend of Ukraine. From the very first days of the war, this non-profit NGO began collecting humanitarian aid for Ukraine at more than 30 points in different cities and used 8 warehouses in Israel. The Israelis transferred more than 600,000 shekels (over $180,000) to her accounts. Products, medicines, bandages, first-aid kits, baby food, hygiene products, etc. were sorted, packaged and sent for delivery by air; we are talking about more than 10,000 boxes or 4 aircraft with a total weight of more than 20 tons. The volunteer asset of this one organization alone has grown to 100 people, along with drivers, translators, copywriters and designers - up to five thousand! In addition, they are the organizers of pickets in support of Ukraine, including a rally and broadcast of the speech of President V. Zelensky on March 20, having managed to gather 25,000 caring participants at their actions since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

So, in “civilian” Israel there is not a single person who has not been touched by the Russian-Ukrainian war on a personal level, emotionally or intellectually. “Tzabarim”, that is, native Israelis, come out on a par with repatriates from Ukraine and other countries of the former USSR to demonstrate, develop campaigns and try to be as useful as possible.

Understanding the reasons

Why is this happening? The occupation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine began back in 2014, but Israel practically did not react to this.

However, I will say that much has changed in Israeli-Ukrainian relations in the last 8 years. After the Euromaidan, a strong volunteer movement arose in Israel, which grew into the creation of a number of public organizations. Trade relations and tourism flourished, and Israeli business was no longer afraid to “enter” Ukraine. In particular, Israeli businessmen have invested heavily in Ukrainian real estate.

It turns out that over the past 8 years, we, the Israelis, did not even notice how we had grown roots in the land of Ukraine and built strong friendly relations on a personal and professional level with Ukrainians. For us, the Israelis (Tzabarim and repatriates), the Russian-Ukrainian war is closer than ever.

I clearly understand the reasons that force official Israel to distance itself from the deaths of thousands of Ukrainians - these are difficult relations with Russia and the presence of its military corps in the Middle East. Israel needs "cooperation" in Syria and Lebanon. Cooperation that has grown into a kind of Russian blackmail.

What can be done?

Civil Israel and Ukrainians are united by the opportunity to demand from official Israel the following decisions:

- open borders for refugees (so far they come here only by invitation)

- take seriously wounded children and women (100-200 people) for treatment

- provide assistance with medicines and medical equipment

- impose sanctions against Russian TV channels in Israel and businesses with a Russian “registration”.

This “minimum program” is quite achievable, because after this war, Israeli politicians will have to answer “where he was and what he did” when the Russians bombed Ukrainian cities, killing children and shooting civilians. Israeli civil activists and organizations have the answer to this question. What about the officials?

Author: CEO of Israeli-Ukrainian Alliance Anna Zharova

Source: (in Russian)


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Michael Furaev

Strategic partner

Head of Quattrgroup

Visionary leader and designer of synergistic teams

Anna Zharova


Entrepreneur and International Consultant, specializes in developing, managing and launching impact projects in commercial and social spheres

Co-founder of nonprofit organization "Israeli Friends of Ukraine"

Board Member in “Pnima” - Israeli organization, uniting public and government leaders

Eddy Dave

Chairman of IUA

15 years of experience in capital markets, investments, business development

Owner of Israeli-Ukrainian outsourcing company: 400 employees, 5 years of operations, offices in Kharkov and Kiev

Managing Partner of Camalia Capital Markets, which was successfully sold to Meitav Dash 5 years ago. Meitav Dash is the second biggest investment house in Israel with more than 50b$ at the disposal

Olha Stoliarchuk

Director of IUA

LL.M., Consultant, Project Manager, Attorney-at-Law

10 years of expertise in International and Ukrainian business and corporate law, energy law and antitrust law

Member of the GS Kyiv Hub community, WEF initiative

Co-founder of investment video blogs - VC ChatrOOm

Daniil Tsiporukha

Co-founder of IUA

Social Media, Digital Marketing and Paid Ad Expert, Entrepreneur

Skilled in PPC, Analytics, Product Marketing, Start-ups, and Product Development

BA degree in Communications and New Media Studies IDC Herzliya, MA in Law ISU Kyiv

Co-Founder at Draw Days Tel-Aviv, IUA and Echo

Eugene Proskulikov

Communication expert

Design of social, corporate, and business relations by developing and implementing long-term communication strategies and ad hoc campaigns, based on data-driven analyst, creative approach, and coherent content policy

17 years of practice in communications as a strategist, analyst, copywriter, and marketing expert. Provided services for about 200 international and Ukrainian brands in various industries

Mykyta Khodakivskyi

Co-founder of IUA

An independent international expert that has been in software development, in particular, in cross-application development projects in global e-payments, eCommerce and FINTECH for nearly 15 years

Founder of Paris-based, he runs consultancy and software development projects to assure successful launches for new startups and SaaS businesses

Buyers Tour:Furniture and Interior Design Industries in Ukraine


05.02 - 08.02.2019


As for the Export Strategy of Ukraine 2017 - 2021, presented by the Ministry of Economy and Trade of Ukraine, the IT and creative industries (services) are one of the seven key directions. Moreover, the Ukrainian Furniture market is a fast-growing segment of the economy which augments 14% annually. That is why Architects & Designers Buyers Tour was a well-time event in terms of Ukrainian Export Strategy implementation and further policy adoption.



  • Deep dive into Ukrainian Furniture Industry and Interior Design Ecosystem.
  • Present Ukraine`s export capabilities in the sector of architecture and design
  • Lay the groundwork for long-term business relations between Israeli and Ukrainian enterprises in the sphere
  • Demonstrate the feasibility of the Ukrainian market niche.

Results/goals reached:

  • 10 - 15 participants, architects, developers and design businesses from Israel;
  • 20 - 40 B2B meetings in Kyiv and its region;
  • 60% of participants report increased business linkages with businesses in Ukraine;
  • 40 new business contacts established during the trade mission;
  • 5000 of target audience reached by the media campaign in Israel;
  • 8 B2B itineraries company-specific developed.
Study tour“Exploring Israeli FoodTech Industry”


29.10. - 02.11.2019


With expertise in biotech, food e-commerce and ingredient innovations, Israel holds its position as one of the biggest food tech communities globally. At the same time, Kormotech is the leading pet food producer in Ukraine. Therefore, we have found an opportunity for promising cooperation through sharing experiences with high-tech and family companies, innovation, and R&D сenters.


  • Deeper insight into the Israeli market niche.
  • Discover the hottest technologies, get to know innovative approaches in production, business development and sales strategies on an international scale.
  • Expand and strengthen the network.
  • Sharing experience and learning from real successful cases.

Results/goals reached:

  • 7 B2B meetings with key industry companies in Israel;
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