Mes amis sont formidables

Raphaël, figure woody allenienne de ma vie new-yorkaise, qui est aussi mon cicerone dans les practicas et milongas de tango.   s’est fait arrêter.  Il est accusé d’avoir propagé des informations sur … les manuscrits de la merr morte sous divers pseudonymes sur le net! Il est le fils du professeur Norman Golb, spécialstes en études juives à l’université de Cicago.

Théoriquement, il risquerait 4 ans de prison….

March 6, 2009

Identity-Theft Arrest in Dispute Over Dead Sea Scrolls



For decades, the origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls has been intensely debated.

The prevailing theory is that these ancient documents, which include texts from the Hebrew Bible, were written over the three centuries before 100 A.D. by a Jewish sect known as the Essenes, who were based in Qumran, a settlement at the northwest shore of the Dead Sea near the caves where the scrolls were found between 1947 and 1956.

An alternative theory, passionately proffered by a University of Chicago professor, is that the scrolls’ authors were not Essenes, and that the scrolls themselves were kept in various libraries in Jerusalem until they were hidden in the caves around Qumran for safekeeping during the Roman war of A.D. 67 to 73. Qumran, he has said, was not an Essene monastery but a fortress, one of several armed defensive bastions around Jerusalem.

The professor, Norman Golb, has stood behind his theory despite significant criticism. His son, Raphael Haim Golb, has been one of his greatest allies.

But prosecutors said on Thursday that Raphael Golb took defending his father’s theory too far. Mr. Golb is accused of using stolen identities of various people, including a New York University professor who disagreed with his father, to elevate his father’s theory and besmirch its critics, Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, said at a news conference.

Mr. Golb, 49, was arrested Thursday morning and charged in Manhattan Criminal Court with identity theft, criminal impersonation and aggravated harassment. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors said Mr. Golb opened an e-mail account in the name of Lawrence H. Schiffman, the New York University professor who disagreed with Mr. Golb’s father. He sent messages in Professor Schiffman’s name to various people at N.Y.U. and to others involved in the Dead Sea Scrolls debate, fabricating an admission by Professor Schiffman that he had plagiarized some of Professor Golb’s work, Mr. Morgenthau said. Raphael Golb also set up blogs under various names that accused Dr. Schiffman of plagiarism, Mr. Morgenthau said.

Raphael Golb, who lives in Manhattan and received his law degree from N.Y.U., also created e-mail addresses using the names of other Dead Sea Scrolls scholars, Mr. Morgenthau said.

“This exemplifies a growing trend in the area of identity theft,” Antonia Merzon, an assistant district attorney, said during the news conference. “It’s very easy to open an account using any name you want on the Internet. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. But when you start using another person’s true identity for some purpose, you’re crossing the line into a possible identity theft crime or impersonation crime.”

The district attorney’s office began investigating the case after Professor Schiffman, who is chairman of the Hebrew and Judaic studies department at N.Y.U., came to them saying he believed that Mr. Golb was impersonating him on the Internet.

“We debated the theories,” Dr. Schiffman said in an interview on Thursday, referring to Mr. Golb’s father. “I thought that’s what scholarship is about. You don’t have to impersonate me.”

Reached at his office in Chicago on Thursday afternoon, Professor Golb said he was shocked at the allegations leveled against his son, who is a real estate lawyer and has a Ph.D in comparative literature from Harvard.

“My son is an honorable person,” Professor Golb said. “He could not have done such a thing.”

Professor Golb said that opposing scholars had tried to quash his views over the years through tactics like barring him from Dead Sea Scrolls exhibitions. He said he saw the criminal charges as another attack on his work.

“Don’t you see how there was kind of a setup?” he said. “This was to hit me harder.”

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  1. Christophe Borhen dit :

    ??? Vous plaisantez ?

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