VILNIUS—In her ruling issued earlier today, Vilnius District Court Judge Rima Bražinskienė, following up on her crucial 29 May 2017 judgment, confirmed the illegality of last April’s mid-campaign rule change by the board of the “Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community” which effectively disenfranchised the 2,200 members of the Vilnius Jewish community (as well as the Jewish people in the other. smaller communities) by replacing the long-standing proportional voting system with an oligarchic system giving one vote to each board member (most of whom have allegedly received professional, promotional or financial benefits from the funds of the “Good Will Foundation” that finances the community). As a result, the capacity of the Holocaust-remnant Jewish community of Lithuania to democratically choose its leadership was in one tragic fell swoop annulled in favor of a system that gave that authority to a roomful of wannabe-oligarchs, some of whom hold two or three votes each. The large corpus of protests include last summer’s letter from twenty of the elected members of the Vilnius Jewish Community’s council and a more recent article by Professor Josifas Parasonis.
The court action asking for relief was brought by the Vilnius Jewish Community as plaintiff. Its 21 member council was elected last May 24th in the largest Jewish electoral assembly in Lithuania this century with meticulous voting open to all community members. Today’s ruling includes the text:
It is thereby resolved to fully enact the plaintiff’s application:
Hereby rendering null and void motion No. 4 of the Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community, company code 190722117, council, passed on April 19, 2017, which defined that in the 2017 Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community conference, all regional Jewish communities would have one vote (delegate) each’
Hereby rendering null and void motions of the Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community, company code 190722117, passed at itsthe conference on 28 May 2017: approving of the 2016 financial accounts, the report of activities, and the auditor’s conclusions (motion No. 1); electing the chairperson (motion No. 2); defining the number of members in the Council and electing them (motion No. 3).
Among the Jewish people of Lithuania, there was today widespread relief and a sense that after the court’s inclusion of the decision “electing the chairperson” last May 28 as null and void, the chairperson, an eminent attorney with many accomplishments to cherish in her long career, would understand that she has now lost legal authority to continue her rule, compounding the loss of moral authority that ensued last April when the “rules were changed in the middle of the campaign” to ensure her continuation in power after her legal term had ended. This includes many who hold her life’s achievements in very high esteem, not least as an eminent attorney thought of by many foreign applicants for EU citizenship as one of the nation’s top lawyers in the field.
As a result, numerous voices in Vilnius were today again calling for the immediate organization of new, free, fair, democratic, transparent elections under the auspices of an outside ombudsman or polling organization; elections, hopefully, in which every Jewish citizen of Lithuania will have the same voting rights as every other Jewish citizen in selection of the leaders of their own community. The entity with the power to enact this might well be the World Jewish Restitution Organization, whose members on the board of the LJC-financing “Good Will Foundation” have nothing to fear for their careers (unlike local members), and can easily come out publicly for new and fair elections. Contact them here, or reach individual members via the two lists of board members whose foreign members carry huge moral responsibility for the goings-on. They can enable a rapid happy end to the huge waste of resources, talent and good will by calling for new elections instead of (in point of fact) financing endless legal appeals and court cases by the state-chosen oligarchs determine to stay in power at all costs.
Updates to 29 Dec. 2017: BNS → 15min.lt, Lrt.lt; Vilnius Jewish Community’s Facebook page; Prof. Josifas Parasonis; LJC reaction [also: in English]; Statement of the Vilnius Jewish Community; JTA report appearing also in Arutz Sheva, The Times of Israel, Times of Israel in French; Isra.com
In the meantime, the official trilingual website of the LJC, lavishly funded by the Good Will Foundation, has failed to even inform its readers of the news of the day relevant to the Jewish people of Lithuania. Instead, items in both Lithuanian and English attempted today to sow confusion and create a false impression by now reporting on a completely different ruling from November in a weird case brought by “the LJC against itself” in which various of the board members and/or others who are themselves alleged beneficiaries of Good Will Foundation jobs, largess or grants “sued themselves” (their own community) asking for their own “rule of the wannabe oligarchs” to become legal and then congratulating themselves on the site for their wisdom in arranging for that last April (and “coincidentally” ensuring the reelection of the incumbent chairperson by disenfranchising the thousands of surviving Jews in Lithuania). That “sideshow” of a frivolous court case, like the trilingual website in service to “the supreme leader” is presumably also financed by the monies of the Good Will Foundation, which derive from the religious properties of the annihilated Jewish communities of Lithuania and are meant to ensure the continuity of the Jewish people of Lithuania and their culture.
A PDF of today’s entire court judgment, in Lithuanian, follows below (and is available here). Please use the arrow handles in the upper left hand corner to turn pages.