Weekly News Update 
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. October 2, 2015
 
TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties
 
FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSEJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSEJ Executive Director
 
Dear Friend,
 
NCSEJ leadership met with many leaders from Eurasia on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week. I want to highlight two meetings in particular. On Sunday, September 26, NCSEJ and representatives of its member agencies met with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko. We discussed a number of pertinent issues, including anti-Semitism, recent desecrations of the Babi Yar memorial in Kyiv, and Ukraine's relations with Israel. We expressed our support for Ukraine in overcoming the serious challenges the country has faced for the last two years.

Today we hosted a meeting with President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili. Participants included members of Georgia's parliament, presidential advisors, member agencies representatives, and members of the NCSEJ Board of Governors. President Margvelashvili spoke about Georgia's Western-oriented foreign policy, emphasizing Georgia's strong relationship with the United States and Israel. He also highlighted the history of Georgia's vibrant Jewish community, which has peacefully coexisted with other ethnic groups in Georgia for centuries. Other issues discussed included regional security, Iran, and avenues for U.S.-Georgia bilateral cooperation, such as free trade and visa liberalization.

President Margvelashvili, second from left (photo: Ron Sachs/CNP)

In a meeting with members of a World Jewish Congress delegation last week, Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk strongly condemned recent desecrations of the Babi Yar memorial, and said that the government is pursuing an "extremely comprehensive and impartial investigation of these shameful incidents." NCSEJ, international Jewish organizations, and the local Jewish community have all pressed Ukrainian authorities to institute measures to prevent incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism.

Russia's increasing involvement in Syria is raising many questions and concerns. The update includes a number of articles that analyze Russia's motivations in Syria, and potential implications for the United States and Israel. I also want to highlight a Steven Lee Myers piece in Politico, detailing domestic developments in Russia that help explain motivations behind President Putin's foreign policies.

I also recommend a RFE/RL backgrounder on Kyrgyzstan's parliamentary elections this Sunday, describing the major actors and political parties, and analyzing potential implications of the election outcome on the country and the region.

In addition, I want to highlight a Washington Post in-depth interview with President Poroshenko about the conflict in Ukraine, Russia's intentions in the region, and what the West can do to help Ukraine.

Sincerely,
 
Mark B. Levin
Executive Director


Please visit http://ncsej.org/NCSEJ-Wkly.pdf
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About NCSEJ
Founded in 1971, NCSEJ represents the organized American Jewish community in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the estimated 1.5 million Jews in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, including the 15 successor states of the former Soviet Union. 
 
Website:  www.ncsej.org   
Email:  ncsejinfo@ncsej.org 
Phone: 202-898-2500 
 
 
NCSEJ is a beneficiary of The Jewish Federations of North America and the National Federation/Agency Alliance through its network of Federations.