MOSCOW (Dec. 30)
The ultranationalist Pamyat movement has filed a libel suit in a Moscow court against the Jewish Gazette, Russia’s leading Jewish newspaper, for describing a Pamyat publication as anti-Semitic.
Dimitry Vasiliev, head of Pamyat’s leading faction, is claiming 20 million rubles ($50,000) from the Gazette because it included the Pamyat publication on a list of publications its editor considers anti-Semitic.
Pamyat waited more than 18 months to file the lawsuit, said Tancred Golenpolsky, the Gazette’s editor, because the group hoped that the political upheaval surrounding the recent Russian Congress of People’s Deputies would create a more favorable climate for its action.
Vasiliev could not be reached for comment.
Golenpolsky said he included Pamyat, also the name of the group’s publication, because it printed the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a notorious 19th- century fabrication about a Jewish conspiracy aimed at world domination.
The Jewish Gazette is being defended by two well-known Moscow lawyers, Genrik Reznik and David Axelband, both Jewish.
Reznik is the same lawyer who helped a former Soviet Jew, Professor Herman Branover of Israel, win a libel suit against Pamyat in July for misrepresenting his autobiography.
Accusations against Branover were printed in another Pamyat newspaper, Nash Sovremenyik.
In October, members of Pamyat were arrested for breaking into the offices of a Moscow newspaper, Moskovski Komsomoletz, and demanding that its editor turn over names of the paper’s journalists who wrote “anti-patriotic” articles.
Vasiliev was not among those who broke into the paper’s office but reportedly said it should be prosecuted for advocating “prostitution, homosexuality and Zionism.”
Pamyat’s libel suit against the Jewish Gazette will be heard in Moscow’s Cheremushkinsky People’s Court on Jan 26.