Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Dana Gardner, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Rishi Bhargava

News Feed Item

Chabad Responds to Russia's Misinformation Campaign Concerning A Federal Court's Imposition of Civil Contempt Sanctions Against Russia

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On January 16, a U.S. federal court issued civil contempt monetary sanctions in the amount of $50,000 per day against the Russian Federation, Russian Ministry of Culture and Mass Communication, Russian State Library, and Russian State Military Archive for refusing to comply with a July 2010 judgment ordering return of a large collection of sacred religious books and archives to its rightful owner, Agudas Chasidei Chabad of United States. 

This Statement responds to false and erroneous declarations made by Russian authorities in response to entry of the court's order.

(1) Russia claims that United States courts lack "jurisdiction."

Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act ("FSIA"), U.S. federal courts have jurisdiction over claims against foreign states involving the expropriation of property in violation of international law.  They also have authority to issue civil contempt sanctions against foreign states, as recently confirmed by the D.C. Circuit in the case FG Hemisphere Associates, LLC v. Democratic Republic of CongoRussia's position that yesterday's civil contempt sanctions order was "unlawful" reflects Russia's misunderstanding of American law.

(2) Russia claims that Chabad wants a Russian "national treasure."

Chabad, an international non-profit Orthodox Jewish organization, filed suit in 2004 under the FSIA to recover 12,000 books and manuscripts that were seized from it during the Bolshevik Revolution and Russian Civil War (the "Library") and 25,000 pages of handwritten manuscripts and books seized by Nazis and then looted as "trophy documents" in Poland in 1945 by the Soviet Red Army (the "Archive"). 

Russia falsely asserts that it simply "recovered" property that had been "abandoned" by Chabad.  The truth is quite different.  Russia's Bolshevik government seized the Library from a private warehouse in Moscow in 1917, where Chabad's spiritual leader, the Fifth Rebbe, had sent it for safekeeping as he fled the German forces invading Russia.  The Soviet Union rejected numerous pleas for the return of the Library from Chabad's leaders, but never nationalized the books.  After arresting Chabad's new leader, the Sixth Rebbe, for "counter revolutionary activities" (namely establishing Jewish schools), the Soviets beat him and sentenced him to death by firing squad in 1927, but the sentence was commuted, because of international pressure, to exile. 

The Nazi German invasion of Poland in 1939 forced the Sixth Rebbe to flee yet again.  The Nazi forces seized the Archive and transferred it to a Gestapo-controlled castle in Poland, where Soviet military forces plundered the Archive in September 1945 and transferred it as "trophy documents" to a secret facility in Moscow, where it was hidden from the public for many decades. A document belatedly disclosed by Russia in discovery recites how the Archive was taken by the Red Army "in 1945 as part of German trophy documents." It contradicts the description Russia is giving today to these manuscripts.

(3) Russia claims that the court has treated it provocatively.

Following nearly four years of active litigation between the parties, during which Russia lost in the United States Court of Appeals, Russia and its agencies precipitously stopped speaking with the international law firm that had represented them and withdrew from the case. They stated that "[t]he Russian Federation views any continued defense before this Court and, indeed, any participation in this litigation as fundamentally incompatible with its rights as a sovereign nation." 

Chabad was required by United States law to present evidence to support its claim. The Court entered a judgment in favor of Chabad after finding that "[p]laintiff has met its burden of proving a prima facie case against defendants and has established its right to relief by evidence satisfactory to the Court."  The Court held that "the takings of the Library and the Archive by defendants and their predecessor regimes were not for a public purpose, were discriminatory, and occurred without just compensation to plaintiff."  As a result, the Court ordered Russia and its agencies "to surrender . . . the complete collection of religious books, manuscripts, documents and things that comprise the 'Library' and the 'Archive.'"  Order & Judgment of July 30, 2010. 

(4) Russia claims that it has not received due process of law.

The Court issued an Order to Show Cause in connection with Chabad's Motion for Civil Contempt Sanctions.  Russia failed to respond to the Court's Order to Show Cause within 60 days.  Chabad thereafter voluntarily requested two stays of enforcement of the judgment to create an atmosphere conducive to settlement negotiations.  The stays expired on March 1, 2012.

On January 13, 2012, Russian Culture Minister Alexander Avdeyev announced at a press conference that "A constructive dialogue over the Schneerson Library will be possible only after the U.S. court reverses its decision and the claimant withdraws its lawsuit."  On March 5, 2012, Chabad renewed its request that the Court enter an order finding defendants in contempt of court and issue monetary sanctions against them for refusing to comply with the Court's judgment in favor of Chabad. The Court delayed any action and requested the United States to state its view before issuing any further order.

(5) Russia claims that the sanctions will make settlement difficult.

Chabad has made a good faith effort to negotiate with Russia, including two meetings at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C.  Unfortunately, Russia has not complied with the Court's judgment. Nor has it agreed to return any portion of the "Schneerson Collection" as a result of diplomatic efforts or as an act of generosity. Only after the Court found Russia in contempt did Russian representatives agree to meet with Chabad's counsel.

(6) Russia asserts that the sanctions will impede exhibition of Russian art in the United States.

Chabad will not seek to enforce the judgment or civil contempt order by seeking to attach any art or objects of cultural significance subject to the immunity protections of 22 U.S.C. section 2459. It made that position clear to the District Court and to Russia long ago, and the Court has re-affirmed the immunity of such art under United States law. Russia's threat is a bogus attempt to turn American public opinion against Chabad.

Chabad is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York with over 4,500 international branches; it is the largest Jewish organization in the world today. 

Chabad is represented by attorneys Marshall B. Grossman and Seth M. Gerber of Bingham McCutchen LLP, and by Nathan Lewin and Alyza D. Lewin of Lewin & Lewin, LLP.

Offering a broad range of market-leading practices focused on global companies, Bingham, www.bingham.com, has approximately 1,000 lawyers in 14 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Follow the firm on Twitter @BinghamLaw.

Based in Washington, D.C., Lewin & Lewin LLP– www.lewinlewin.com – specializes in Supreme Court and federal appellate litigation and is available for consultation by lawyers and clients in complex criminal and civil matters in federal courts.  Lewin & Lewin also represents clients and assists attorneys in relations with federal legislative, executive and administrative agencies.

SOURCE Bingham McCutchen LLP

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...