Voices from Russia

Monday, 28 January 2013

Russian Government Accuses Hasidic Group of Book Theft

anti-semitic-poster

The Hasids should stop this charade… all that it does is to reinforce anti-Semitism. They’re STOOPID if they can’t see that… it makes them look like the above poster. It’s counter-productive in all possible ways. They should get a life and they should stop their efforts to bully people through the courts… 

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On Wednesday, an American-Russian row over religious texts intensified, when Moscow accused a Jewish group of a failure to return valuable books loaned to it over a decade ago. Last week, an American court imposed a 50,000 USD (1.51 million Roubles. 37,200 Euros. 31,900 UK Pounds) a day fine on Russia for failing to comply with an earlier order to hand over religious texts from the Schneerson collection of Jewish books to the Chabad-Lubavitch group, a Orthodox Jewish Hasidic movement based in Brooklyn NY.

On Wednesday, however, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hit back in kind and threatened legal action to return books he said that Moscow had loaned the group. He also called the American court’s decision “outrageous” and said that it had no basis in law, saying, “The Hasidics received some books from us from [the Schneerson Library] for temporary use, for a couple of months, more than ten years ago, and have yet to return them. This should also be the subject of court action”. Last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Schneerson collection is part of Russia’s national heritage and the state property of the Russian Federation.

The Schneerson Library is a collection of books and religious documents assembled by the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement over two centuries prior to World War II, in what is now Belarus. In 1918, the Bolsheviks nationalised part of the collection, amassed by Lubavitcher Rebbe Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson. Later, about 25,000 pages of manuscripts fell into the hands of the Nazis. Afterwards, the Red Army captured them and handed them over to the Russian State Military Archive. This part of the Schneerson Library is now in a central Moscow library. Schneerson, who emigrated in the 1930s, took the remaining part out of the USSR. Since 1994, when Menachem Schneerson died, leaders of the Brooklyn-based Orthodox Jewish movement have tried to regain possession of the library, claiming that the Soviet authorities illegally held it after the war.

In 1991, a Moscow court agreed to turn over the library to Chabad, but after the collapse of the USSR, the ruling became moot. Today, the Russian government says it wants to keep the archive for future scholars. In 2010, a court in Washington DC confirmed the American Jewish community’s right to the library, but Russia said the court’s decision was illegitimate. In late 2011, an American court ruled Russia must return about 12,000 books and 50,000 manuscripts from the library. On Wednesday, according to the AP, Seth Gerber, a lawyer for Chabad, said that the group would “seek to enforce the sanctions order by all legal means”. Under that law, a sovereign nation isn’t immune to lawsuits in cases where property is taken in violation of international law. Rabbi Yosef Cunin of Chabad said, “At the end of the day, all we want is our property back. No amount of money can replace it. Our religious heritage is priceless”.

The legal dispute over the Schneerson Library has caused Russian art institutions to cancel scheduled loans of world-renowned artworks to American art institutions for fear that they’d be seized, even though Chabad stated that it won’t go after any art deemed culturally significant by the US State Department. The Immunity from Seizure Act protects such art from legal claims. Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky described the American court ruling as a “Russophobic show”, telling a news conference sponsored by RIA-Novosti last week, “It was a strange Russophobic show grossly violating both American legislation, as admitted by the American administration, and all the norms of international law. By the same logic, [Moscow’s] Khamovniki District Court could open hearings on the status of Alaska”. He added that the claims by one of the American Hassidic groups to the Schneerson Library “are simply ridiculous”.

23 January 2013

Carl Schreck

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20130123/178970517/Russia-Accuses-US-Jewish-Group-of-Book-Theft.html

Editor’s Note:

Let’s be clear. None of the American Hasid groups EVER owned the materials in question. NEVER EVER. They’ve no legal claim to the collection. NONE. Moreover, an American court has no jurisdiction over a collection resident in Russia. I note that the Moscow ruling in favour of the Hasids came during the Crazy Time of Gorbachyov the Destroyer and Yeltsin the Fool. That doesn’t count… that was when the Sovs (and the Russian successor state) kissed the West’s naked bum. Chabad never owned this collection… its claim to it is false, lying, and mendacious. Its true reason for wanting the collection is to restrict access to it to scholars who’re pro-Chabad (they’d even refuse access to other Hasids whom they don’t like).

Chabad deserves NOTHING. This sort of thing is grist to the mill of all anti-Semites. It fits all the stereotypes of the greedy grasping Yid. I hate anti-Semitism, but I’ve a right to speak when I see Jews acting in such a way to reinforce anti-Semitism. That’s not hatred… that’s good sense. If the Hasids want to use the collection, they can do so in Moscow… and the coppers should search ‘em afterwards. They’re not trustworthy; they’re weaselling liars, if they think that they can get away with it… you should hear my Jewish friends on “Hasidic honesty”. This is ridiculous. What a buncha maroons.

BMD

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