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sergiev courtyard

Russia won’t preserve Jewish manuscripts

In the response to a ruling by the Washington District Court, Russia rejected the US court’s authority to order it to preserve a huge collection of Hassidic manuscripts.

The Chabad movement brought the case to save tens of thousands of manuscripts which the Nazis and Russians had looted from Jews in the twentieth century. The manuscripts are stored in appalling conditions, and many have found their way to the black market.

The Russians refuse to transfer the manuscripts to Chabad. The Israeli government transferred Sergiev Courtyard in Jerusalem to the Russians.

Jerusalem sell-off continues

After Olmert’s government relinquished Sergiev Courtyard—a major Jerusalem property—to the Russians, Peres upped the stakes.

In the wake of the Pope’s visit, the chief scoundrel of Israel is pushing for the transfer of six major Christian sites, including the Gethsemane, to the Vatican.

According to Jewish law, Christian churches which bear images must be torn down, without exception. The prohibition of images is not some rabbinical invention but one of the Ten Commandments.

Peres’ move is absurd strategically. Catholics are traditionally anti-Israeli and often anti-Semitic. Why offend friendly American protestants by transferring these churches to the Vatican’s jurisdiction? If anything, give them to CUFI.

Jewish property is unlike Russian

The Israeli FM appealed to the Russian government for the return of David Ginzburg’s collection of 14,000 Hebrew and Jewish manuscripts. Bolsheviks confiscated the collection—the largest of its kind—and it is kept now in appalling conditions, with a number of manuscripts having been stolen and hundreds damaged.

Israel returned to Russia a part of Sergiev Courtyard, a prime real estate in Jerusalem, but Russians insist that confiscated Jewish property is theirs forever.

Livni’s FM refused calls to condition the transfer of Sergiev Courtyard on the return of the Ginzburg collection.

Besides the collection, Russia holds hundreds of synagogues and thousands of houses confiscated from Jews murdered in the Holocaust and political repressions.

Russia formally acquires major Jerusalem property

Israeli government transferred Jerusalem’s Sergiev Courtyard to Russia based on claims dating from the nineteenth century. The obscene sellout of Jerusalem took place despite overt Russian cooperation with Iran, Syria, and Hamas.

The transfer of Jerusalem property to Russia establishes a major precedent, which allows foreign governments, charities, and churches to claim vast tracts of prime land in Israel.

Russian is obscene

Now, that’s not even hypocrisy. The Russians have decided to outdo other anti-Semites in condemning Israel. The Russian president’s Middle East envoy met the top Fatah thug in Ramallah and demanded that Israel stop the operation in Gaza immediately, lest the innocent Palestinians suffer. The envoy also condemned Israel for destabilizing the Middle East.

Of course it was Martians, rather than Russians, who killed hundreds of thousands civilians in Chechnya, Afghanistan, and similarly unfortunate places. And of course, Russian nuclear arrangements with Iran and Egypt, as well as S-300 sales, serve to stabilize the region.

Instead of rebuking Russia’s anti-Semitic regime, Israeli officials listen to them subserviently and bring gifts, such as the Sergiev Courtyard in Jerusalem.

Curiously, Arabs keep good relations with Russia, despite its atrocities in Muslim Afghanistan. Compare this to the universal hatred of the United States after Iraq, and of Israel. Arabs respect brute force, or rather the forces of brutes.

The Russians have embarked on a diplomatic offensive to win the Middle East from Americans. Besides the nuclear deals, arms sales, and stationing the Russian Navy in Syria, Russians have embraced PR measures. Thus, Medvedev ordered an aid package into Gaza. Technically, Russian aid amounts to nonsense: a direct flight from Russia brought to Gaza twenty tons of fuel (imagine the costs) and clothes (why would the Gazans suddenly need any?). Russian aid is only 0.2% of routine UNRWA and Israel (uh…) deliveries, but highly publicized.

Russia delivers S-300 to Iran

Russia’s official news agency, RIA-Novosti, confirmed that the KGB state has signed a contract to supply S-300s to Iran and is carrying out that contract. This confirms an Israeli intelligence report published days ago in Haaretz. According to Jane’s, the agreement was signed in 2007.

The Russian move apparently follows a visit by Senator Richard Lugar to Moscow. If not for Kissinger’s involvement, we might have taken Lugar’s trip for routine business on Russian de-nuclearization. This might indeed been the case: in the wake of the Poland ABM and Georgia debacles, Russia vowed to stop reprocessing its old nuclear warheads which it—technically—sells to the United States at throwaway prices. The deal, in force since the early 1990s, is widely viewed in Russia as hugely detrimental to Russian security and economic interests.

Lugar, a Republican, is close to Obama, and very probably delivered a message from him to Putin. Used to forceful and harmless negotiations in Harvard classrooms, Obama—we may guess—overplayed his hand with the Russians and grossly offended Putin, who retaliated with a move against America’s Jewish clients.

S-300PMU is Russia’s top-of-the-line, export-grade anti-aircraft battery, which would protect Iranian nuclear sites against Israeli attack.

The S-300 anti-aircraft battery sale is odd. Theoretically, Russians deliver to Iran a stripped-down export version of S-300, a copy of Cyprus’ anti-aircraft battery, which IAF successfully jammed in the Mediterranean exercises. In a few months, Turkey will receive its own S-300 from Russia, and has already pledged to make it available to Israeli Air Force for training. In its export version, S-300 didn’t live up to its advertised capacity to intercept any mass-produced aircraft.

With an Israeli strike on Iran still an option, the Russians would have no interest in discrediting their top-notch weapon. So why the sale? The immediate reason is that the Russian government is making its way back into Middle East politics. By jeopardizing Israel’s plans to attack Iran and the US threats to the same effect, Russia positions itself as a power to be consulted on all Middle East affairs. This signifies a return to the typical Soviet policy of propping up conflicts all over the world as the cheapest way to maintain geopolitical significance.

Another possibility is that the S-300 anti-aircraft battery supplied to Iran is not an export version, but a much more capable Russian domestic type that IAF has not been trained to circumvent. Though a violation of international treaties, that is not unthinkable, as Russia practically agreed to deliver the immensely more powerful S-400 to Syria. Technically, the S-400 will be located on Russian-leased naval base in Syrian port of Tartus to protect the Russian navy; but in practice the anti-aircraft battery will protect most of the Syrian territory against Israeli planes.

Israel earlier presented the Russian government with Sergiev Courtyard, a prime and extremely sensitive piece of real estate in Jerusalem, as a goodwill gesture for Russian promises to abstain from supplying anti-aircraft batteries to Iran.

Israel’s window of opportunity for attacking Iran is closing rapidly. In this regard, the S-300 delivery to Iran might be a good news for Israeli leaders who seek a plausible reason to put up with the Iranian nuclear program.

In a separate deal, Russia deliverd ten MIG-29 jets to Lebanon free. The Russians are not bothered by the fact that Hezbollah fully controls the Lebanese government.

Olmert sells Jerusalem

Olmert government gave away a major piece of real estate in Jerusalem, Sergiev Courtyard to Russia because the long-dissolved Russian tzar’s private charity bought the place in the nineteenth century.
Russia sold anti-aircraft missiles to Iran and Syria.