Thursday, 20 September 2012

Return to Sanity over Chabad-Lubavich Library

Here's one I missed earlier. Readers may remember the rather odd Chabad case (see my posts: Monday, 9 August 2010. 'Washington Judge Challenges Preservation of Historical Material in (Foreign) State Collections', and Wednesday, 6 June 2012, 'Loan Washington your Stuff and Kiss it Goodbye?'). There has been a further development - fortunately reflecting a return to sanity. The Obama administration says monetary fines on Russia over this group's library in Russia would be contrary to US foreign policy interests (Laura Gilbert, 'US says no to sanctions against Russia in Chabad case', Art Newspaper online, 04 September 2012)
The Obama administration has asked a federal court to stay out of US foreign and Russian internal affairs in the seven-year-old case brought against Russia by the Jewish sect Chabad. The government’s statement of interest leaves Chabad with what appears to be an unenforceable judgment. [...] The statement said that sanctions requested by the Jewish sect Chabad “would be contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States”, impermissible under US law and, since Russia would be sanctioned for failing to perform an act within its own territory, “entirely without precedent internationally”. 
Too right it would, the very idea!

Hat tip to Kimberly Alderman for spotting it

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