Russia Blackmails Bennet’s Government to Obtain Alexander’s Court
Russia claims against Israel the transfer of the Alexander Court from Jerusalem in Moscow. Dr. David Horowitz, a Jerusalem history researcher at Bar-Ilan University, claims that in 1859 the Tsarist Russian Empire acquired land outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. One of the lots is located near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the place where the court of Alexander was founded.
After Palestine gained the mandate from the British Empire in 1917, in 1948 the UN decided to return all Russian assets in Jerusalem to their former owners. The Russian Empire fell in 1917. The Orthodox clerical establishment fled abroad where they established the Russian Church in Exile. This church was seriously opposed to the church controlled by the counterintelligence of Soviet Russia on the issue of the management of foreign property.
Following the declaration of the State of Israel, certain religious properties in Jerusalem were transferred to the Russian Church controlled by the special services. However, Alexander’s court was located in territory controlled by present-day Jordan rather than Israel. The Hashemite Monarchy granted all rights to Russian assets to the Russian Church in Exile.
In May 2007, the Russian Church in Exile merged with the Secret Service-controlled Church.
In June 2015, former Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered proceedings to legalize Russia’s rights to the Court of Alexander and the Church of Alexander Nevsky in Jerusalem.
However, in March 2022, an Israeli court dismissed claims by the Russian Federation to get hold of heritage belonging to someone else.
Accordingly, on April 18, President Putin sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and demanded the transfer of the court of Alexander to Russia.
In order to induce Israel to comply with the demands of the Kremlin, Moscow is playing tricks on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Russia controls, uses and assists Palestinian extremist groups to pressure Israel and increase its influence in the region. The Russian impact in Palestine is strong due to President Mahmoud Abbas’ long-term cooperation with the Soviet intelligence services, whose foreign assets were given to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.
According to Mitrokhin’s records, while living in Damascus, Syria, Abbas served as a KGB agent working for the Palestine Liberation Organization under the code name “Krotov.”
The Alexander’s Courtyard transfer case is under the supervision of Sergei Stepashin, the former director of the FSB, the current president of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society (IOPS). This is the person who paid 40 million dollars to buy a fake fragment of the Holy Cross stored on board the sunken cruiser “Moscow”. In his activity, Stepashin often uses anti-Semitic statements.
There is no doubt that the FSB was behind the provocation against Israeli Naama Issachar, who was arrested for transporting 9 grams of hashish through one of Moscow’s airports in 2020. The incident gave the Kremlin the green light to benefit from the public reaction to the scandal. Moscow offered former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to transfer the rights to the architectural heritage to Russia in exchange for the release of Issachar.
Jerusalem District Court Judge Mordechai Kaduri canceled the registration of the Russian government’s property rights to the Alexander Court in Jerusalem and submitted the case to the Bennett government. Bennett’s decision in favor of Russia would mean the government’s ignorance of the Israeli court’s decision which found no legal basis to transfer the lot to the Russians (the issue was submitted for examination through the prism of a political solution), as well as a sign of the weakness of the Bennett government. Such a scenario would undermine Western confidence in the Israeli government, as well as Israel’s potential for international mediation.
Russia has no interest in cooperating with Israel, as it relies primarily on Syria and Iran, as well as Palestinian proxies in the region. Thus, the transfer of Alexander’s Courtyard to Russia will be used by Moscow to strengthen its position in the region among anti-Israeli countries.