In Polish footsteps: Ukraine reps call for dialogue with Israel on historic truth

13:13 Sep. 29, 2016

Ukraine reps call for dialogue with Israel on historic truth

Israeli President Rivlin addressing Ukrainian lawmakers in Kyiv (UNIAN Photo)

The call take place after Israeli President's controversial speech on Ukraine's role in murders of Jews 

Ukrainian historians and experts should start a dialogue with their Israeli counterparts on historic truth, Ukraine's lawmaker Borislav Bereza said shortly after Israeli President Reuven Rivlin delivered a controversial speech in the Parliament in Kyiv.

Addressing the crimes against Jews during the WWII, Rivlin said that ‘many accomplices to the crime were Ukrainians, and especially, Ukrainian nationalists'.

Read also: Israeli President's speech is ‘spit on the soul' – Ukraine's Nationalists' Leader

The statement left country's several representatives outraged and distraught, they said Rivlin was quoting ‘Soviet and Russian myths'.

‘We are going to reach out to our colleagues in Knesset (Israel's Parliament) and Yad Vashem (Holocaust memorial and research institute) to finally start an open dialogue', said Bereza who is also the deputy head of an inter parliamentary discussion group Ukraine-Israel.

The initiative was backed by renowned Ukrainian historian Volodymyr Viatrovych, Bereza added. He said, that politicians should be excluded from the negotiations, because they could ‘make loud statements based on their vision and opinion'.

Read also: Ukraine marks 75 years since Babi Yar mass slaughter

Instead, historians and experts should analyze the events after examining documents, evidence and archives.

‘Yad Vashem reps have wanted to gain access to the KGB archives, and we are ready to give them the opportunity. Furthermore, I and Volodymyr (Viatrovych – UT) are initiating a forum, where historians from the both sides could voice their positions', Bereza added.

The situation around the Israeli President's allegations resemble recent Poland's accusations.

The Polish Parliament earlier recognized the Volhynia massacre as genocide of Poles, committed by Ukrainian nationalists.

Ukraine's lawmakers condemned the decision, saying that it wasn't objective and fueled anti-Ukrainian sentiments amid the country's vulnerable position due to the conflict with Russia

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