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May 26, 2016 / 18 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

Anti-Semitic Protesters Demand Kremlin Outlaw Chabad in Russia

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

In the city Perm, about 870 miles east of Moscow, a crowd of 100 people gathered last weekend to demand that Moscow outlaw the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in Russia. It’s not the first time anti-Semites in Perm have tried to rid the city of Chabad, and Jews.

The event that ignited this particular protest was the grant of a plot of land to the local Jewish community, headed by a Chabad emissary, by the government. No fees were charged for the transfer of land.

Last Saturday, the protesters appeared with picket signs that read, “Liberate Us Russians from Chabad” and “Chabad Out!” Another protester held a sign that showed just how deeply ingrained his anti-Semitism really is: “Chabad Settlement Is Over The Line: 1547.”

The reference is to the Grand Prince of Moscow, Ivan the Terrible, who rendered a decision in 1547 to ban all Jews from living and/or even entering his kingdom, because they “bring about great evil.”

In 2013, unidentified vandals hurled a firebomb at the synagogue in Perm in attempt to torch the Chabad-affiliated Jewish house of worship.

That attack came just a day after a popular Russian blogger had written a vicious post slamming a ceremony bringing a new Torah scroll to the local Perm synagogue. “Lubavitcher Chassidim will host a torch parade in Perm and demand to close the streets to traffic,” the blogger wrote, as translated and related by the Shturem website.

“Three hundred guests are expected to attend, including guests from the U.S., Israel and Russia. Economist Mikhail Doliagin stressed that these are Lubavitcher Chassidim who sued Russia in the United States, and managed that the verdict with a monetary fine for holding the Schneerson Library in Russia. Instead of giving Chabad privileges, all Lubavitch activities should be banned throughout Russia.”

The talkbacks on that article reflected the virulent anti-Semitism that is usually masked by politically-correct public diplomacy.

“All pro-Russians must band together. They all the intellectuals out, now they want the books as well.”

“Chassidim are a religio-political sect that worships the dollar, meaning the USA. Their agenda is to destroy Russia, through lies and deceit that they propagate in the media.”

During a meeting in Moscow with World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder this past Tuesday (April 19, 2016) President Vladimir Putin said,“Russian Jewish organizations are making a substantial contribution in the cause of domestic political stability in Russia, for which we are very grateful.”

Putin has been directly and indirectly responsible for the allocation of land grants – free of charge – to numerous Jewish, Christian and Muslim community and faith groups. Some of those grants came as restitution for property stolen during the Soviet era.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Sees No Chance of Repairing Relations with Erdoğan

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Relations between Russia and Turkey cannot be restored, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news conference on Tuesday. “As far as Turkish officials are concerned, there are no prospects [for current diplomatic ties],” she said. “Those people did what they did. As we now perfectly understand, it was their conscious choice. As for relations between countries and peoples, they will be developing.”

Close to two months after Russian planes began flying combat missions to support Syrian president Assad’s ground forces against rebel and ISIS forces, on Nov. 24, the Turkish Air Force downed a Russian Su-24 fighter-bomber. The diplomatic fallout from that shoot-down was fast and stormy, and it has remained on that level, although there have been no more actual military confrontations. Since the incident, Russian trade relations with Turkey have all but ended, and both countries have been painting each other as supporters of terrorism.

In early February, Turkish president Recep Erdogan sought an audience with President Vladimir Putin, but he is yet to receive an invitation. Instead of agreeing to talk, Putin accused Turkey of stabbing Russia in the back.

“The house of cards of what [the Turkish authorities] decided to build in international relations has started falling apart,” Zakharova told the press. “As for relations between peoples and countries, they will certainly continue to develop. There can be no antagonism campaigns against the Turkish people, business and representatives of economic medium,” she added, suggesting it was all strictly about Erdogan.

David Israel

Muslim Swedish Housing Minister Kaplan Resigns after Comparing Israel to Nazis

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Mehmet Kaplan (apparently no Jewish relation), 44, Sweden’s housing minister, resigned this week over comments he had made comparing Israel’s treatment of Arabs to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.

The Turkish-born Kaplan, a Green Party member, former spokesman of Sweden’s Muslim Council, and a passenger on the “Freedom Flotilla” that tried to break through the IDF security blockade of Gaza in 2010, denied any wrongdoing, saying he was resigning because public and media criticism were interfering with his ability to do his job. He said he opposed “all forms of extremism, whether nationalistic, religious or in any other form” and supported “human rights, democracy and dialogue.”

Swedish TV fished out footage of Kaplan from seven years ago, where he says, “Israelis treat Palestinians in a way that is very like that in which Jews were treated during Germany in the 1930s.”

Israeli ambassador to Sweden Isaac Bachman described Kaplan’s comments as “deeply anti-Semitic.” Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallström—remember her?—said the comments were “terrible.”

Wallström was embroiled in a housing scandal last year. Not connected to Kaplan.

“Let me be clear: [my resignation] is not a confirmation of reports about me that I consider wrongful. I know who I am and what I have done,” Kaplan told reporters in Stockholm. He had also come under fire a week ago, after Swedish media published photos of him dining with Turkish Swedish leaders, including the local leader of an ultra-nationalist group called Gray Wolves.

In 2014 Kaplan compared the young Muslims from Sweden who went to fight for ISIS in Syria with the Swedes who fought for Finland against Russia in WW2.

JNi.Media

Russia Offers to Help Israel Develop Natural Gas Fields

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Consider it a form of ‘protection.’ Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has offered to invest in Israel’s natural gas development.

Diplomatic sources told the Middle East Newsline (MENL) on Wednesday, “Putin very much wants to make Russia into the major developer of energy fields in the Mediterranean, and the first target has been Israel.”

A decision last month by Israel’s High Court of Justice nullified a “stability clause” that would have blocked regulatory changes to an offshore gas outline for the next 10 years.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had included the clause at the request of the consortium that developed the reserves, Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group, in return for their massive investments.

The decision, however, may have killed the deal signed with the consortium and potential customers as a result. Although the court gave the government a year to fix the clause, it did little to soothe the fears of bureaucracy-exhausted investors, nor to prevent new customers from bolting.

Moreover, there have been attempts by Lebanon to claim Israel’s northernmost natural gas fields. One of the reserves is located off the coast of Nahariya, south of Lebanon’s territorial waters, and is a field Lebanon had never laid claim to until Israel discovered the gas and oil therein.

Hezbollah representatives spent months referring in various speeches to the reserve. Lebanon even attempted to recruit help from the United States in 2014 in seizing the reserve from Israel.

Putin, however, has pledged Russian influence to block attacks by Iranian proxies against any Russian-operated field. Efforts by Hezbollah to stop Israel from developing its natural resources beneath the Mediterranean would likely be among the targets of Russian ire.

More than one of Israel’s natural gas fields are located near Lebanese maritime borders.

According to the diplomatic source, Putin envisions an investment between $7 billion to $10 billion to develop Israeli offshore gas fields.

Several weeks ago, Putin said he plans to meet with Netanyahu in the nearest future, noting that Russia and Israel have “many issues” to discuss.

Israeli media reported this week that Netanyahu plans to travel to Moscow later in the month, allegedly on April 21, to meet with Putin.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told media on Wednesday that such a visit is indeed under consideration. “We will make a relevant statement in a timely manner” Peskov said, according to TASS.

Hana Levi Julian

Russian S-400s Already in Syria, On List for Iran Threaten Israeli Defenses

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

Russia has deployed its new S-400 missile defense system in Syria — showing off its newest military hardware for potential buyers, but also creating a mammoth threat to Israel’s air superiority.

The system, installed in the Syrian port city of Latakia, can track and shoot down anything in the sky over a 250-mile (400 kilometer) range.

That means it threatens Israel as far as Ben Gurion International Airport, all of northern Israel and most of its central region, including Petah Tikva Ramat HaSharon, Herzliya, Kfar Saba, Netanya, Hadera, Zichron Ya’akov… you get the picture.

It also means that Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists may get their hands on the system if for some reason Russia completely pulls out of Syria, and the Iranians don’t maintain iron-clad control over the system — or if they or one of their proxy terror groups choose to share it with Da’esh in the interests of targeting the nation’s southern neighbor.

To further complicate matters, Russia has plans to sell the system to Iran for its own use on its own soil. Iran, the nation that wants to “wipe Israel off the map,” has recently developed an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range that can reach the Jewish State and which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

In addition, Russia has added to its list of buyers China, India, Venzuela and Algeria, according to Russia’s Sputnik News, quoted by the Independent Media Review Analysis (IMRA).

It appears that Russia’s Syrian campaign may have been more of testing ground and showcase for Moscow’s military weaponry and ordnance than anything else. After all, Da’esh is not wiped out, and peace is not yet in place. Assad is still in position but the country is falling apart.

Of all of the players in the Syrian drama, Russia came out with the most profit. “We are working seven days a week because of the S-400 missile systems,” a member of the Globus design bureau told Gazeta.ru. The S-300 and S-400 systems are built by Almaz-Antei, which was force to open a new production plant due to the skyrocketing demand.

Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the new production facility in Nizhny Novgorod. Another plant was opened in Kirov in February by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center of Strategic Analyses and Technology, told Gazeta.ru, “China tops the list of S-400 buyers, followed by India and now also by Venezuela, Algeria and Iran.

Russian officials explained the foreign interest in the S-400 system, saying that, unlike its S-300 predecessor, it can also engage ballistic targets.

“It is one thing when you deal with an advanced U.S. ballistic missile, and quite another when it is a less sophisticated one launched by Iran, China or North Korea,” Pukhov said.

Hana Levi Julian

US, Russia Agree: Syria’s President Assad Must Go

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Citing unnamed sources, the UK-based Al-Hayat publication reported Thursday that the United States and Russia have come to an agreement over the thorny issue of what to do about Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

According to the report, the two world leaders have agreed on a way to end the years-long civil war with a political solution that allows Assad to find refuge in another country.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has allegedly already informed his Arab counterparts about the deal, which was welcomed by members of the UN Security Council.

However, the source stressed, “the timing of the move and its political context are still not clear.”

The news follows by one day a statement by the embattled Syrian president in which he opined that it would not be difficult to agree on a new Syrian government with opposition figures. That was a statement roundly denounced by the said opposition figures, who responded bluntly that no administration would be legitimate while Assad remained in office.

“What Bashar al-Assad is talking about has no relation to the political process,” said George Sabra of the UN High Negotiations Committee.

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest also rejected the idea. “I don’t know whether he envisioned himself being a part of that national unity government. Obviously that would be a nonstarter for us,” Earnest told media.

At a conference in Geneva, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on countries Wednesday to increase global solidarity and resettle nearly half a million refugees in the next three years. Only three countries responded to the appeal: Italy, Sweden and the United States.

Physical damage to infrastructure in Syria has been estimated by the UN at $90 billion, with an additional $169 billion in accumulated losses due to a collapse in the GDP, reaching less than half of its level in 2011.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Charges Citizen Over Denying Existence of God

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Grab a cup of strong tea laced with a sugar cube and sit down.

The Russian government arrested and indicted citizen Viktor Krasnov for writing “There is no God” and the “Bible is a collection of Jewish fairy tales” in a 2014 spat on social media.

The posts came to the attention of the government after a user on social media flagged his comments as “offending the sentiments of Orthodox believers.”

The Stavropol native was also subjected to a month-long mandatory psychiatric examination by the government during its investigation. The anti-government Grani.ru website reported on Tuesday that he was “declared sane.”

The posts – which were deleted – could earn him up to a year in prison, according to his lawyer and human rights activist Pavel Chikov.

Krasnov was charged with “offending believers’ feelings” by Russia’s Investigative Committee (the country’s equivalent of the FBI) in the fall of 2015.

The charge might seem minor but it was criminalized in Russia after a performance by the punk band Pussy Riot in a famous cathedral in Moscow in February 2012. Two band members were jailed after the show for performing a song that slammed President Vladimir Putin.

Krasnov’s began Monday in the southern Russian city of Stavropol, according to NBC News, which quoted the local Magistrate’s website.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/russia-charges-citizens-over-denying-existence-of-god/2016/03/03/

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