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December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Belarus’

Sharon to be Commemorated in Belarus, Birthplace of his Parents

Monday, January 13th, 2014

The Limmud FSU (Former Soviet Union) announced Monday that the upcoming Limmud FSU conference in Belarus this summer will feature a special event in memory of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, whose parents were born in Belarus. The event will take place in Sharon’s father’s hometown city of Brest, and Sharon’s sons Omri and Gilad, are expected to be invited.

Officials from the Belarus and Israeli governments will attend, and approximately 700 Russian-speaking young adults from across Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and the Baltic states are expected to attend.

Sharon’s parents were Shmuel Scheinerman (1896–1956) from Brest-Litovsk and Vera Scheinerman (1900–1988) from Mogilev; both towns are in what was then Belorussia and is now Belarus. The family immigrated to mandatory Palestine in 1922 in the wake of the growing persecution of Jews in the region by the local Communist authorities.

Fire Ravages Belarus’ Oldest Functioning Shul

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

One of Europe’s oldest functioning synagogues sustained heavy damage in a fire that broke out in the city of Grodno in Belarus.

The flames erupted Tuesday night as a result of malfunctioning heating system and consumed the dining room and part of the second floor of Grodno’s Great Choral Synagogue, according to a report Wednesday by the Ministry of Emergency Situations. No one was injured.

According to Chabad.info, an official website of the Hasidic movement, Great Choral was built in the 16th century and is believed to be the oldest synagogue still in use in the former Soviet Union.

Thanks to the quick intervention of the local fire brigade, the damage from the fire was limited to 30 square yards and did not spread to the first and third floors.

The synagogue burned down completely in 1899, according to the website of the local Jewish community, but was renovated and fully restored. Last year, the Jewish community of Grodno announced it was preparing for more renovations due to neglect during the Soviet era.

During World War II, Nazi forces rounded up the Jewish population of Grodno in and around the building before sending them to the death camps.

Peres’ Two-Month 90th Birthday Fete Starts in Native Belarus

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Celebrations for President Shimon Peres’s 90th birthday August 2 started two months early on Wednesday in his hometown of Vishneyeva, Belarus, where a plaque was revealed on the home that now sits on the lot where President Peres grew up.

The ceremonies were held in the presence of his eldest daughter Tzvia Walden, named after President Peres’ Grandfather Tzvi Meltzer, who was killed in Vishneyeva by the Nazis, and were part of the current three-day Limmud FSU Festival.

The plaque reads, “In this place, Shimon Peres, son of Yitzhak and Sarah Perski, the Nobel Laureate and 9th President of the State of Israel, was born on August 2, 1923.”

Earlier in the day, the town held an emotional memorial service near the Valley of Death monument to commemorate the 2,000 Jews of Vishneyeva who were murdered at the hands of the Nazis.

Who Is Lying, Ayalon or Lieberman?

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Former Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon testified in court Thursday against his former boss, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is on trial for allegedly trying to win an ambassadorial post for Ze’ev Ben Aryeh, who police say tipped off Lieberman about a police probe against him in Belarus.

Ayalon was head of the Foreign Ministry appointments committee at the time and recalled that Lieberman told him in his office, “We need to appoint Ben Aryeh” as ambassador to Latvia.

Ayalon has no reason to love Lieberman, who dumped him from the Israel Beiteinu list of Knesset Member candidates in the last election.

Ayalon claims, “I am not vengeful and I don’t hold grudges…. A trial is about justice and truth; it is not at all about my personal political future.”

After Ayalon said in court that he was willing to shake hands with Lieberman, the defendant shot back, “I won’t shake hands with frauds and liars.”

The outcome of the trial will determine Lieberman’s political future. If he is found guilty of fraud and is jailed for at least three months, or if the court decides his crime is a “mark of shame,” he will be prohibited from holding a Cabinet position for seven years.

Liberman Bribe Trial Opens with Prime Witness Turning the Tables

Friday, April 26th, 2013

The trial of Avigdor Liberman, until recently Foreign Minister, recorded its first day of questioning Thursday on charges against him of bribery and breach of public trust.

After more than a decade of hounding by the police on various alleged crimes, the police and government prosecutors finally nailed down an indictment last year on charges that he unfairly tried to advance the career of diplomat Ze’ev Ben Aryeh, who was said to have provided him with inside information on one of the police investigations against Liberman in 2008, at the time he was a Knesset Member.

Liberman has followed in the footsteps of more than two handfuls of politicians charged with various crimes the past few years, and shouted to the hilltops, “Not guilty.”

He won some public sympathy because of the years of the fruitless investigations against him. Liberman is a Russian immigrant and former nightclub bouncer who has scared the establishment with his growing popularity as a shoot-from-the-hip nationalist.

When an indictment was finally handed down late last year, it just happened to coincide with the elections, forcing him to leave his position as Foreign Minister.

However, Liberman secured a promise from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he can return to his post in the event that the three-justice Jerusalem court declares he is innocent. Liberman needs to be acquitted to continue his political career. In the meantime, the Prime Minister also is Foreign Minister.

The prosecution was depending on Ben Aryeh, who was the ambassador to Belarus and had contacts there that enabled him to tell Liberman that the police were on his trail concerning other criminal charges. Liberman allegedly then tried to reward him with a similar position in Latvia, although Ben Aryeh eventually was not appointed.

A lot depends on Ben Aryeh, who the prosecution trotted out in court on Thursday, but he promptly turned the tables, claiming he never even asked for the job as ambassador to Latvia.

Ben Aryeh previously was convicted of failing to disclose information concerning Liberman’s alleged favoritism, and the government prosecutors rewarded him for cooperating in the investigation by sentencing him to four months of community service, without any jail sentence.

On Thursday, he suddenly suffered from a lapse of memory.

The government prosecuting lawyer reminded Ben Aryeh that he told police in 2010 that he asked Liberman’s help for a position.

Ben Aryeh then startled the lawyer and said, “I don’t recall that I asked for help from Liberman. You ask why I asked for help, but I say I didn’t ask for help.”

Another “only in Israel’ incident on Wednesday, the eve of the first day of questioning, was a report on Channel 10 television of a police transcript of testimony it obtained. It quoted then Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon as saying that Liberman ordered him to appoint Ben Aryeh.

Liberman’s attorneys were furious and charged that the police leaked the information to influence the trial against Liberman.

Further hearings are bound to show no less interesting remarks.

Ayalon will be called as a witness for the prosecution, and that is the same Ayalon who was summarily dropped by Liberman as a candidate for the Israel Beiteinu party that Liberman.

His memory will be much better than Ben Aryeh’s

Netanyahu to Remain Foreign Minister until July

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will remain acting Foreign Minister at least until July, when a trial is scheduled for a criminal charge against Avigdor Liberman, who held the post until his recent indictment for alleged breach of public trust.

The Prime Minister has promised Liberman he can return to his post if he is acquitted. If he is found guilty, Prime Minister Netanyahu will have to find a replacement. Assuming the post remains in the hands of Likud Beiteinu, veteran Likud Knesset Member and former Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom is a good bet to replace Liberman.

Liberman is accused of having appointed former Belarus ambassador Ze’ev Ben Aryeh as the envoy to Latvia in return for Ben Aryeh’s having turned over to his boss information concerning another criminal investigation against Liberman.

 

Blockbuster Probe Could Wreck Coalition

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein has ordered a probe into the legality of a deal made between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and outgoing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and which may be a key to a future government coalition. Lieberman was promised that he can return to his former Foreign Ministry post if he is found not guilty on charges of breach of trust.

Lieberman resigned from his post in December after an indictment concerning the advancement of  former ambassador to Belarus Ze’ev Ben Aryeh, who allegedly leaked to Lieberman classified information about a police investigation concerning Lieberman.

If the deal is ruled illegal, Netanyahu would be off the hook on his promise, but Lieberman could make alternative demands that could throw a monkey wrench into coalition discussions.

Weinstein emphasized that his order of the probe does not imply that he thinks the deal is not legal. He responded to an appeal last month by the government watchdog Ometz to examine the legality of the agreement, which Ometz said is a coalition agreement and therefore needs to be approved by the Knesset.

Ometz asserted in its complaint to the attorney general that foreign ministry workers would have a problem testifying against Lieberman if the post remains open for him to return as their boss.

Aryeh Avery, chairman of Ometz welcomed Weinstein’s decisions and maintained that it “points to a violation of the law.”

He added, “I am asking for immediate intervention and cancellation of the agreement as a necessary step for Netanyahu and Lieberman  to uphold the law.

During the current coalition negotiations, Netanyahu has not yet promised the Foreign Minister post to anyone. He agreed to appoint Tzipi Livni Justice Ministry as well as be responsible for the “peace process.”

Future (Yesh Atid) chairman Yair Lapid has reportedly demanded to be Foreign Minister, a request that Netanyahu cannot agree to if he holds by the agreement with Lieberman.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/blockbuster-probe-could-wreck-coalition/2013/03/05/

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