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Armenian Bishop Files Lawsuit Against Israeli Businessman for Defamation

Armenian Bishop Files Lawsuit Against Israeli Businessman for Defamation
Photo Credit: Vince Kahkedjian

Israeli businessman Danny Rothman, also known as Danny Rubenstein, has come under legal fire after allegations of defamatory remarks directed at His Eminence Bishop Koryun Baghdasaryan. The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem has confirmed that the lawsuit has been filed against Rothman for the slanderous statements.

The Patriarchate has expressed its faith in the legal system's ability to bring justice in this matter. In an official statement, they deplored the dissemination of false information targeting a respected figure within the Armenian Patriarchate. The institution remains hopeful that the judiciary will impartially examine the facts and uncover the untruths surrounding the defamation case against Bishop Koryun.

In Israel, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem released a statement highlighting what they consider the church's most significant existential threat in its 16-century history. The ongoing dispute stems from a real estate agreement between Armenian Patriarch Nourhan Manougian and Danny Rothman's Xana Capital, signed in 2021 but publicly revealed only in June of this year.

The agreement involved a 98-year lease of a plot known as the "Cows" Garden, a historically significant site within the Old City of Jerusalem. This decision sparked controversy within the Armenian community, leading to the Patriarchate's cancellation of the deal on October 26. Subsequently, representatives from XANA Capital entered the disputed area on November 5, triggering tension by attempting to claim the land. The move was met with opposition from the Armenian community, resulting in a sit-in protest to protect the area.

Setrag Balian, a prominent figure advocating against the transfer, emphasized the illegality of the deal, asserting that such agreements require approval from the Holy Synod and the General Assembly of St. James Brotherhood under the Patriarchate's internal laws. Balian commended the unity of the Armenian community in resisting what they perceive as an unlawful acquisition of their land.

As this legal battle unfolds, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem remains committed to safeguarding the historic Armenian Quarter and continues its efforts to nullify the contested real estate deal.


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