Chabad rabbi loses appeal against deportation from Russia

Rabbi Ari Edelkopf and wife Chana in 2009 in Sochi, Russia. (Courtesy of Federation of Jewish Communities)

Rabbi Ari Edelkopf and wife Chana in 2009 in Sochi, Russia. (Courtesy of Federation of Jewish Communities)

(JTA) – A Russian appeals court affirmed an expulsion order issued against an American rabbi working in Sochi, in what a local leader of the Chabad movement called a “dark day” for Jews.

In its ruling Tuesday against Rabbi Ari Edelkopf, the Krasnodar Court of Appeals accepted the determination of a Sochi tribunal that Edelkopf, who had been working as Chabad’s emissary to the city, was a threat to national security. Edelkopf now has no further legal recourse and is legally obligated to leave the country in the near future, Interfax reported. [Read more…]

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Netanyahu praises Putin’s fight against radical Islam in Russia visit

(JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Russia’s contribution to the fight against the Islamic State and al-Qaida during a one-day visit to Moscow.

In a statement issued prior to his meeting Thursday in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu stressed that it is important to make sure that Iran does not step in to fill the vacuum left by those terror groups. [Read more…]

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Michael Flynn, key Iran player, resigns just as Netanyahu arrives in Washington

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Michael Flynn, the national security adviser who emerged as a key player in U.S. President Donald Trump’s Iran strategy, resigned just as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington for his first White House summit with Trump.

Flynn quit late Monday after acknowledging that he had misled other administration officials, including U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, about a phone call he had with the Russian ambassador in December before Trump assumed office. [Read more…]

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American Chabad rabbi called security risk in Russia, ordered to leave

(JTA) – An American rabbi who has worked for the Chabad movement in Russia since 2002 said he and his family are facing deportation under a provision dealing with threats to national security.

Rabbi Ari Edelkopf, a father of seven who grew up in the United States and lived in Israel before settling in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi as Chabad’s envoy there, wrote Sunday on Facebook that he was informed of the decision without receiving further information on specific allegations. [Read more…]

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Senior Russian lawmaker: Jews still seeking to destroy our churches

(JTA) – The deputy speaker of the Russian parliament intimated that Jews are using their positions in the media and government to continue the work of ancestors who “pulled down our churches.”

Peter Tolstoy at a news conference Tuesday on plans to move a cathedral in St. Petersburg appeared to blame Jews for anti-religious persecution under communism. He referred to the descendants of people who on 1917 “jumped out of the Pale of Settlement” in the churches statement. [Read more…]

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Liberman says Assad and Iran must leave Syria as part of deal

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks at the Saban Forum in Washington D.C. on December 2 2016.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks at the Saban Forum in Washington D.C. on December 2 2016.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks at the Saban Forum in Washington D.C. on December 2 2016.

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said any outcome in Syria must include the ouster of the Assad regime and its Iranian backers, a posture that could lead to tensions with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

“What is crucial for any deal on Syria, two preconditions: Assad out of Syria, Iranians out of Syria,” said Liberman, speaking Friday at the annual Saban Forum, a convocation of Israeli and U.S. leaders organized by the Brookings Institution. [Read more…]

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Skater wearing concentration camp uniform performs on Russian television

(JTA) – A Russian state-owned television channel aired a figure-skating performance featuring the wife of a senior Kremlin spokesperson wearing the uniform of a Jewish concentration camp inmate.

Russia-1 on Saturday showed the performance by actor Andrey Burkovsky and Tatiana Navka, a professional figure skater who is married to Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson of Russian President Vladimir Putin. [Read more…]

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Netanyahu calls deliberately set fires ‘terror in every way’

(JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that fires burning throughout Israel that are the result of arson are “terror in every way.”

“Every fire that was the result of arson or incitement to arson is terror in every way and we’ll treat it as such. Anyone who tries to burn parts of the State of Israel will be severely punished,” Netanyahu said during a news conference in Haifa. [Read more…]

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