CI: Do you have any comments on this latest development?
YK: Yes. After Melech had been exonerated by the DA, I would have thought that Krinsky and Shemtov would disassociate themselves from the criminal elements that framed Melech.
Actually, I am glad to have the opportunity to assist Melech in proving his complete innocence in civil court. For centuries Yidden have had mesirus nefesh for Pidyon Shvuyim, especially victims of blood libel. Here we have ‘leaders’ of Merkos and Aguch demanding the gentile court to……
As a matter of fact, I hope that I will have the zechus that my investigation will be instrumental in proving the framing of Melech, and its connection with the plan to take full control of Lubavitch by limiting who can and cannot daven in 770.. We are being forced to present evidence that will be eye -opening, even for those who believe they are immune.
CI: Can you please explain how you became involved in this case?
YK: On the day after the 5767 Kinnus banquet (Nov 19, 2006), I was told that 3 T’mimim from Eretz Yisroel had been arrested in 770. One of them happened to be my close friend Shlomo Thaler’s son, Melech Thaler. His father was not able to come to CH at the time and therefore asked me to help.
CI: What did you find out?
YK: I discovered that the boys had been sent to the central lock up and were forced to stay there overnight without food. Eventually I had them released at 2pm the next day.
CI: What happened next?
YK: I commenced my own investigation of what took place in 770 the previous night, trying my best to maintain an objective view. I quickly began interrogating as many people as possible who were present in 770 that night. Eventually I obtained dozens of video clips, eyewitness statements from various viewpoints including my own mechutan. I warned the Tmimim that if they are not completely frank with me, they will lose my trust.
CI: Did you check any Internet reports before you began investigating?
YK: Yes. COL, Shturem and CrownheighstInfo.com
CI: What did they report?
YK: They were replete with news reports and dozens of comments about the T'mimim from Eretz Yisroel, accusing them of an unprovoked attack on Shluchim. I was saddened to also see that even Levi Leviev's website, would post an article that publicized an incident that would bring such shame to the Rebbe and Lubavitch. All 3 websites rushed to be the first to tell the world how Lubavitchers were fighting each other in 770.
CI: But haven't you asked Chabad.Info to do the same?
YK: This is a question that I wrestle with constantly. The deciding factor is that the above 3 websites have mounted a campaign to defame the bochurim from Tzfas, and in particular Melech Thaler. The Torah tells us V'iyisem nkiyim M'hashem V'yisroel, and therefore one is required to clear ones name. Since the defamation took place via the internet and on a broad scale, the clearing of ones good name must also be publicized by a site that will be fair to those defamed and exonerated.
CI: Did COL Shturem and CrownheighstInfo.com publicize the DA's dismissal of the criminal charges against Thaler?
CI: Did any of them say why?
YK: In some cases it is not the individual reporters that are interested in besmirching particular people, but the 'executives' of the websites, who have venomous policies. These 3 websites are also very selective in the type of character assassinations they engage in. When all the leaders of Tzach in Eretz Yisroel were recently arrested for a serious crime against the Israeli Govt, none of the 3 websites carried the story. The so called Meschichist movement could have publicized the details of the Tzach incident as well as the recent London incident on Chabad.Info, but this is obviously antithetical to the ways of the Torah. I find it more than puzzling that Rabbonim in CH and Kfar Chabad have not even publicly rebuked these poisonous websites, let alone place a Cherem on their publishers.
CI: So the purpose of this interview is to clear the names of those that were defamed.
CI: What was your first reaction to the news publicized by the 3 websites?
YK: Initially I was disturbed, but life has taught me that one should never rely on talebearers. I spoke to my Mechutan, Yosef Yitzchak Pinson who is in my opinion a very refined Chossid. His description was most disturbing and puzzling, until I was shown videos and pictures of the Tomim YY Kupchik, lying unconscious just outside 770 on the Rebbe’s driveway. He had been severely beaten inside 770 at 1:00am by 3 young Lubavitchers, and then knocked unconscious with a walkie talkie. Hatzolo took Yosef Yitzchak Kupchik to the hospital, after reviving him 6 minutes after they arrived. This was the turning point in my investigation.
CI: What was the significance of the Kupchik assault?
YK: Well as mentioned earlier, the Internet sites, CrownHeighst.info, COL and Shturem had painted a picture of an unprovoked attack at approximately 3:30am by 'wild' bochurim from Eretz Yisroel against Shluchim farbrenging with Avrahom Shemtov. However those Internet sites made no mention whatsoever of the earlier very serious incident at 1:00am in which Kupchik was nearly murdered. This incident led me to locate more videos and pictures of even earlier incidents, which took place 3 hours before the alleged throwing of seforim etc. These incidents were also not reported by these Internet sites.
CI: When did the first incident happen?
YK: One significant video shows the clock on the 770 wall at 12:35am, when the Shliach of Chicago Daniel Moscowitz is seen provoking the Tmimim. A female eye witness later verified the fact that the bochurim from Eretz Yisroel had been continuously provoked and assaulted at the beginning of the evening and hours before the seforim incident. The Moscowitz video clip shows Moscowitz, standing on the table of the T'mimim, who can be seen in the middle of a shiur in Sichos. Moscowitz is seen trampling on their seforim, kicking their plates of food for about 5 minutes. Pictures and videos prove conclusively that the Tmimim did not retaliate at all, continuing to learn as Moscowitz tried to provoke them. Moscowitz was on the table for over 5 minutes.
CI: After receiving and reviewing the videos what did you do?
YK: I interviewed T'mimim who could be seen in the videos seated at the Tmimim's table on which Moscowitz stood. Each Tomim was interviewed on his own, having no knowledge of any other Tomim's testimony. Every Tomim related to me evidence that corroborated the story of the other T’mimim at the table. I then was advised of a group called the Shomrim who had appeared with Walkie talkies at just after midnight. Many T’mimim testified that this group was running around telling the T’mimim that they were going to kill someone tonight. At this stage, I began to feel very sad that Lubavitchers could harbor such hatred that would lead to threatening to kill fellow Anash. These ‘Shomrim’ carried out their threat at 1:00am beating a Tomim YY Kupchik over the head with a walkie talkie!
My further investigations proved beyond any doubt that the Shomrim did not come to 770 on their own, and that their actions were the result of a premeditated and concerted effort by those that claim to be leaders of Merkos and Aguch.
CI: Were you surprised to discover this?
YK: I must be frank and say that I was not surprised, because those that claim to head Merkos and Aguch were in the middle of a legal case in the Gentile Court as plaintiffs against 3 bochurim and the Gabboim of 770 (without first summonsing the boys to Din Torah or Zablo). This case led to the case to eject the Gabboim and the Congregation itself. After discovering the Moscowitz and Shomrim
provocations and the near murder of Kupchik, it became obvious to me, that an organized altercation in 770 was pre- planned to help influence Judge Harkavy that 770 needs to be placed in the hands of Merkos and Aguch 'leaders' . I felt embarrassed and upset for the Rebbe, that 70 year old men, who claim to be leaders of the Lubavitch movement, would influence and hide behind young, violent Lubavitchers to provoke and nearly murder a fellow Lubavitcher opposite the Rebbe's bimo. All in the name of heaven and the honor of Lubavitch.
CI: Did you investigate the Kupchik incident further?
YK: I spent 2 weeks in total working 20-22 hours a day speaking to eye witnesses whilst the night was still fresh in their minds. My report can be found at: http://chabad.info/files/pdf/EnglishReport.pdf
The full article also includes the audio testimony of the most defining eye-witness, a lady who came forth and agreed to be interviewed by me. She had been in the women’s gallery from 12:30am, just when the Shluchim began arriving from the banquet. She remained in the Ezras Noshim till 6:00am. She had a bird’s eye view of the entire night and her long testimony resolved the contradictory reports that I had received. She was the only person that had a view of the entire Shul. I also then re-questioned my Mechutan, who confirmed that he had no idea about the Moscowitz provocations and the Kupchik assault, nor did he see the Shomrim. My Mechutan and others had a very limited view from where they were sitting. Many Shluchim did not arrive till after these earlier incidents occurred and had no idea of the provocations. That is why they did not see the Moscowitz provocation at 12:30am, the brutal attack on Kupchik that occurred at 1:00am by Shlomo Klein, Levi Weiss and Nussi Slater. Nor were they aware of other attacks by the Shomrim or the various attempts by Melech Thaler and Shneer Kupchik to ensure that the Tmimim did not allow themselves to be provoked. My very detailed investigation left me in no doubt as to how each incident unfolded. I was eventually able to pin point within 5 minutes as to what happened over the entire night.
CI: But there are Shluchim who will paint quite a different story
YK: Yes and I do not question the sincerity of some of them. But what they are missing is full knowledge of what happened step by step. They only saw a small part of what happened. That is why Rabbonim are warned about Chakirah and Drishah, and to judge in a deliberate manner.
CI: But Melech Thaler was arrested?
YK: Yes and this began a 14 month ordeal, which concluded with the DA dropping all charges against Melech. We were able to have the charges against the other 2 boys dropped somewhat earlier.
CI: Why did it take 14 months for the Thaler case?
YK: It would be too difficult for me to describe the process in detail, but I will summarize it to the best of my ability. Allow me first to describe the way the Police and the DA dealt with the Kupchik attackers. After a few weeks Shlomo Klein (son of Moishe Klein) was arrested and charged with assaulting Kupchik. Levi Weiss, son of Chaim Weiss of Union St, Slater who works at Apple drug store, were also arrested for the same assault. Weiss and Slater were released by the local Police with Desk Appearance Tickets ( DAT ) without being sent to the central lock up, whereas Thaler was sent to the central lock up, where he remained till the next day.
The DA told me that it was most unusual that the police should give DAT's for such a violent assault. The DA promised to investigate the unusual freeing of the attackers, but in fact did not get back to me. It soon became obvious from other later inexplicable 'procedural irregularities' in the DA's office itself, that the DA was being influenced to do favors. Later I was able to conclusively prove that a Lubavitcher woman, who works in the legal system, was assisting Klein, Weis and Slater's to obtain favorable treatment, whereas ensuring Thaler's prolonged investigation. This was in spite of the fact that the DA told me that the witnesses against Klein, Weiss and Slater was so corroborative that he did not require any more witnesses. Yet the same DA said about Thaler’s case last May, that due to the very detailed and corroborative testimonies, he felt inclined to drop the charges against Thaler. The DA however only dismissed the case in October, after we exposed them. From October 2007 the DA acceded to requests from the female Lubavitcher mentioned above, and refused the request of Thaler’s lawyer to make the dismissal official, until 31 January 2008, when the presiding judge ordered the DA to appear before him.
CI: Why could be the motivation of this Lubavitcher woman?
YK: I believe she is a vulnerable person. Her actions remind me somewhat of the Kapos in the Camps. Except in this case, her directions came from ‘leaders’ of Lubavitch.
CI: Do you see your efforts having any influence on the bigger picture, namely the attempt by Krinsky and Shemtov, to eject whomever they want from 770?
YK: Yes. In the Thaler civil case we will prove that the provocations on the night of the Kinnus was a premeditated set up, to trigger a gentile court action rather than going to Din Torah about 770. Krinsky and Shemtov remember the Sicho Parshas Shkolim 5747, where the Rebbe explicitly designates the Rabbonim of the Kehillah as the decision makers regarding any question that may arise regarding the 770 Shul. That is why they went to the gentile court. This is the same reason why Krinsky and Shemtov refused to appear before Rabbi Osdoba and Rabbi Marlow in 1995 regarding the ‘Will’.
CI: During your investigation did you see any ray of hope?
YK: Yes. There were two individuals who are identified with Krinsky and Shemtov, who approached me on their own. One of them expressed remorse for being one of those tearing down a Yechi sign, and the second went further and gave detailed testimony as to what transpired. He explicitly exonerated Melech from any wrong doing on the night of the Kinnus. It is my fervent hope that many more Lubavitchers will have remorse about the sinas chinam, and with Ahavas Achim we can precipitate the Geulo Ha’amitis Veha’shlaima and Hisgalus Rebbe Hamoshiach.