No doubt Russian authorities were reading Jihad Watch and realized the error of their ways. And if you believe that, I’ve got a wonderful suspension bridge in which you may be interested in investing. An update on this misguided effort by the Russians. They’ve decided to forget the whole thing. From the Globe and Mail, with thanks to Scaramouche:
MOSCOW — Russian prosecutors dropped an inquiry yesterday into whether a Russian translation of an ancient Jewish text incites national and religious hatred.
The prosecutors had been examining the Shulhan Arukh, a 16th-century Jewish religious book, searching for evidence that Jewish groups are illegally spreading hatred by distributing the text’s Russian translation.
The decision to end the investigation came during a visit by a Russian trade delegation to Israel, which had been outraged by the inquiry into a code of Jewish laws that has served the religion for hundreds of years…
The inquiry began when 19 deputies in the Russian Duma signed a letter in January calling for a ban on Jewish organizations. The letter complained that Jewish groups were distributing an abridged version of the Shulhan Arukh, and alleged that the text prejudices readers against non-Jews…
The book serves as a guide to Jewish life, although many of the teachings are considered outdated by modern Jews. It describes proper clothing, ways of bathing, eating habits, marriage ceremonies, funeral rites and holiday celebrations.
Russian lawmakers who criticized the book apparently never read it, said Mr. Kogan, because he saw them on television making wild claims about its contents, such as the idea that it encourages Jews to kill non-Jews.
The regional Basmanny prosecutor found no evidence to support those
allegations. In a written decision dated May 30, the prosecutor said the book may offend non-Jews, but it doesn’t constitute an incitement to hatred.
The prosecutor’s statement also ruled that the lawmakers and others who signed the letter of complaint cannot be held criminally responsible for using phrases such as “Jewish fascism,” and “Jewish aggressiveness as a form of Satanism.”
“I’m happy that this case has been dropped,” said Berel Lazar, Russia’s chief rabbi, adding that he’d been personally informed of the decision by the Moscow prosecutor’s office.