“Беларусы ў выгнанні” ініцыююць хвалю лістоў пратэсту да ўраду Ізраіля

Нью-Ёрк, 18 лютага 2014 года. Грамадская арганізацыя “Беларусы ў выгнанні”, што дзейнічае ў Злучаных Штатах, ініцыявала дасыланне лістоў пратэсту супраць заявы амбасадара Дзяржавы Ізраіль Ёсіфа Шагала наконт беларускіх палітвязняў. Спецыялісты арганізацыі падрыхтавалі тэкст ліста на ангельскай мове, які быў падпісаны кіраўніком арганізацыі д-рам Дзмітрыем Шчыгельскім і дасланы на адрас кабінетаў Біньяміна Нетаньяху - Прэм'ер-міністра, Авігдора Лібермана - Міністра замежных спраў, Юлій-Ёэль Эдэльштэйна - спікера Кнэсета Дзяржавы Ізраіль. Як стала вядома, да гэтага ліста далучыўся таксама гурток Беларуска-Амэрыканскага Задзіночаньня (БАЗА) у Вашынгтоне, які таксама падпісаў і даслаў на згаданыя адрасы аналагічны тэкст і іншыя дзеячы беларускай дыяспары ў ЗША. “Беларусы ў выгнанні”, апроч напісання ліста, плануюць у найбліжэйшыя дні правесці шэраг сустрэчаў з прадстаўнікамі габрэйскага лобі ў ЗША і арганізаваць слуханні па пытаннях беларускіх палітычных зняволеных сумесна з амерыканска - габрэйскімі арганізацыямі дзеля ўзмацнення ціску на Ізраіль. Таксама арганізацыя “Беларусы ў выгнанні” публікуе згаданы ліст, а таксама адрасы, на якія можна яго дасылаць, і заклікае ўсіх людзей неабыякавых да праблемы палітычных вязняў у Беларусі дасылаць яго афіцыйным прадстаўнікам Ізраіля.   1. Біньямін Нетаньях - Прэм'ер-міністр    pm_eng2@pmo.gov.il fax (972) 2-566-48-38 Prime Minister's Office 3 Kaplan St. Hakirya Jerusalem 91950 2. Авігдор Ліберман - Міністра замежных спраў   aliberman@knesset.gov.il fax (972) 2-530-33-67 9 Yitzhak Rabin Blvd., Kiryat Ben-Gurion, Jerusalem 9103001 3. Юлій-Ёэль Эдэльштэйна спікера Кнэсета Дзяржавы Ізраіль   yedelstein@knesset.gov.il fax (972) 2-649-61-93

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Binyamin Netanyahu

The Prime Minister

of the State of Israel

Avigdor Liberman

The Minister of Foreign Affairs

of the State of Israel

Yuli-Yoel Edelstein

The Speaker

The Knesset of the State of Israel

February 18, 2014

Your Excellency,

In an interview on RTVI on February 6, 2014, Ambassador of Israel to Belarus Iosif Shagal made outrageous statements about political prisoners in Belarus. These statements have caused an outcry from a broad range of the Belarusian society: ordinary Belarusians, civil society in Belarus and abroad, as well as opposition forces. Specifically, Ambassador Shagal stated that he considers internationally recognized Belarusian political prisoners to be criminals, implying that this is an official position of the State of Israel. He also compared Belarusians protesting against the dictatorship in Belarus to Palestinians throwing stones at the Knesset. In addition, he blamed Poland for the international sanctions singlehandedly imposed on the dictatorship.

These statements are insensitive and strikingly unprofessional. They have raised doubts about the ability and will of Ambassador Shagal, representing an established democratic state, to understand the political situation in Belarus and around it in an active and thoughtful manner. We are concerned that Ambassador Shagal is reporting distorted information to the Government of Israel hereby adversely affecting any accurate comprehension of the actual processes in Belarus.

Since 1994, when President Lukashenka came to power, political freedoms and civil rights in Belarus have been increasingly suppressed. The international community has widely and repeatedly concluded that all elections since then, as well as referenda to strengthen presidential power, were fraudulent and their results lacked legitimacy. As a result, Belarusians are deprived of the right to control their own state and to have public debate. Moreover, Belarus is universally recognized as a grossly corrupt regime that does not have even the slightest respect for the rule of law. In general, the domestic and foreign policies of the regime have diverged from the actual national interests of Belarus and its people.

The United States – a steadfast leader of democracy promotion – has been consistent and principled in its condemnation of the Lukashenka regime, dubbing it the last dictatorship in Europe and imposing sanctions, which have been supported by other democratic nations.

The last presidential election in Belarus, held on December 19, 2010,culminated in the arrest of key opposition candidate seven before the preliminary results of voting were announced. More than 700 protesters were incarcerated as a result of the brutal crackdown. The regime used that peaceful protest against fraudulent elections as a pretext to punish popular leaders who dared to stand up for the democratic future of Belarus. These most courageous Belarusians, whom Ambassador Shagal, on behalf of Israel, considers to be criminals, were later sentenced to lengthy terms of imprisonment in the mock trials. Many of them were forced to leave the country, as the regime continues to look for new false grounds to persecute them and their families.

Under such conditions, the outrageous remarks of Ambassador Shagal are an affront to Belarusians struggling for democracy, especially those who remain imprisoned or are forced to stay in exile as well as to their families. Above all, these statements offend the Belarusian people who aspire to live in a democratic country, while their leaders are ruthlessly persecuted, pressured, and neutralized by the dictatorship whose tactics Ambassador Shagal apparently endorses.

We join the voices of Belarusians and their friends in strong condemnation of Ambassador Shagal’s statements and address the Government of Israel with the following suggestions to resolve this situation.

We would like to respectfully request the State of Israel to refute the words of Ambassador Shagaland publicly state its official position regarding political prisoners in Belarus in a clear and unambiguous manner.

These statements by Ambassador Shagal as well as further interactions with him vividly demonstrated that he lacks necessary qualities, skills, and qualifications required to responsibly represent a respected democratic state. Israel deserves a better candidate for an ambassador to Belarus as a country that has played a very special role in the development of Jewish culture and the establishment of the State of Israel.

Belarusians are most interested to welcome as soon as possible a new Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Republic of Belarus who has strong professional background and authority in the field of diplomacy and reflects the best what the Jewish people embody: intellect, integrity, and prescience.

We will continue our concerted efforts in Belarus and worldwide to seek a remedy for the breach of trust provoked by the statements of Ambassador Shagal, and to clarify the position of the State of Israel regarding political prisoners in Belarus until our legitimate requests are satisfied.


Dmitry Shehigelski


Belarusians in Exile