Char­lottesville sus­pect on trial

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY JC REPORTER

Chaim Danzinger made in­ter­na­tional head­lines in the sum­mer when he drew foot­ball fans to his syn­a­gogue in Ros­tov for food and prayer

to show that the life of the ob­ser­vant Jew is fun, colour­ful and joy­ful — not de­spite, but thanks to the Jewish faith.

“I don’t mind pub­lish­ing my photo on the beach wear­ing shorts, be­cause this is a part of our life. Peo­ple are not in­ter­ested to read about how Ram­bam’s phi­los­o­phy con­tra­dicts Aris­to­tle’s; they look at me and ask them­selves: would I like to be like him, or not?”

Rabbi Nosikov’s ac­count is con­tro­ver­sial for some, even within his own com­mu­nity, but he is con­fi­dent it is the right ap­proach.

“I don’t have to ask for a per­mis­sion from any­one to man­age my In­sta­gram page since I an­swer only to our God, and I don’t have to sat­isfy ev­ery­one.

“I am sure Moses would have used In­sta­gram as well if he could in­flu­ence Is­raelites this way.”

His In­sta­gram ac­count main­tains a di­a­logue with non-Jewish au­di­ences, too.

“The more peo­ple know about Jewish faith, the more con­ve­nient it will be for Rus­sian Jews to ob­serve.

“It is per­fectly OK for a New York Jew to come to an of­fice wear­ing a kip­pah or to refuse un­kosher food at the party. In Rus­sia, peo­ple are not aware of all this.

“The more Rus­sians know about dif­fer­ent as­pect of Jewish life, it will be more con­ve­nient for Rus­sian Jews to live a Jewish tra­di­tional life.”

A MAN charged with first-degree mur­der after ram­ming his car into a group protest­ing against a white su­prem­a­cist rally in the United States last sum­mer is to ar­gue he was try­ing to de­fend him­self.

The le­gal team of James Alex Fields Jr, 21, will also say he had men­tal health dif­fi­cul­ties at the time of the in­ci­dent, which led to the death of 32-year-old para­le­gal and so­cial ac­tivist Heather Heyer.

Mr Fields also faces hit-and-run charges and eight counts of caus­ing se­ri­ous in­jury.

He was pho­tographed march­ing with the neo-Nazi group Van­guard Amer­ica before the car-ram­ming in­ci­dent.

The in­ci­dent took place on Au­gust 12, 2017, when hun­dreds of white su­prem­a­cists marched through the Univer­sity of Vir­ginia cam­pus in Char­lottesville chant­ing “Jews will not re­place us”, as a ri­val group op­posed them.

The white su­prem­a­cists were heard shout­ing “white lives mat­ter” and “you will not re­place us”, made Nazi salutes and used the Nazi slo­gan “blood and soil” dur­ing the Unite the Right rally.

The car crashed into a crowd of peo­ple in the counter-protest in broad day­light, killing Ms Heyer and in­jur­ing 28 oth­ers.

“There will be ev­i­dence the de­fen­dant took th­ese ac­tions in an at­tempt to de­fend him­self,” Mr Fields’s de­fence lawyer John Hill said on the sec­ond day of jury se­lec­tion.

Denise Lunsford, an­other of his lawyers, said they in­tended to call ex­perts from the Univer­sity of Vir­ginia’s In­sti­tute of Law, Psy­chi­a­try and Pub­lic Pol­icy.

In a process that lasted into the night, more than 100 ju­rors were ques­tioned over the course of Mon­day.

Speak­ing to the prospec­tive ju­rors on Tues­day morn­ing, Judge Richard Moore asked whether any had “heard, seen or read any­thing about” the case in the me­dia.

When all raised their hands, he added: “Can you set th­ese aside, or are they go­ing to in­trude on your de­ci­sion mak­ing process?”

None raised their hand.

If con­victed, Mr Fields faces a sen­tence of be­tween 20 years and life in prison.

The vi­o­lence in Char­lottesville came at a time of ris­ing global con­cern over the threat of white su­prem­a­cist vi­o­lence.

The in­ci­dent shook the United States and be­came a sym­bol of the grow­ing bold­ness of Amer­ica’s far-right since Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion in 2016.

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

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