UNUSUAL TOURISTS: MISSIONARIES WHO FLEW IN FROM AMERICA AND ISRAEL FINED IN NOVOSIBIRSK
They arrived in Russia under the guise of tourists, but really they delivered private lectures for Jewish youth
by Katerina Ivanova
Komsomolskaia Pravda, 13 January 2019
In Novosibirsk, law enforcement agencies fined speakers at a private event "The Jewish Life Hacker." The seminar for Jewish youth (the age of participants was announced as from 18 to 30) was held in the "Siberian" sanatorium. The two lecturers turned out to be visitors: Velvel Belinsky flew in from the U.S.A. and Asher Altshul, from Israel. This is where problems arose.
"They were held to administrative accountability on the basis of article 18.8 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law, 'Violation by a foreign citizen of entry to the Russian Federation.' They entered through the tourist channel and they said that the purpose of their arrival was ordinary tourism, but at the same time they conducted missionary activity here. Both lecturers were fined 2,000 rubles," a source in law enforcement agencies told Komsomolskaia Pravda—Novosibirsk.
It is known that the lecturers for the events were invited by the Beit Menakhem Jewish community cultural center. We recall that not very long ago this center brought to Novosibirsk another controversial figure, Joseph Mendelevich, who in the soviet time was convicted for an attempt to hijack an airplane. Not all experts approve of the tours of such missionaries around Russia.
"The suspicion arises that it is not accidental that such a figure appeared in Russia, the more so since there was a whole cycle of lectures," commented for KP--Novosibirsk Sergei Chudinov, a kandidat of philosophy and author of a dissertation "Terrorism as a socio-cultural phenomenon." "One gets the impression that some forces are trying to stir up protest attitudes in certain circles. The individual is nevertheless complex—he (Mendelevich—ed. note) is called a living legend and his lectures begin with his describing an attempt to seize an airplane. That is, in effect, this was an attempted terrorist act, according to current notions, but it is being romanticized and made heroic." (tr. by PDS, posted 13 February 2019)
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