"Top Russian Mafiosi from Russia, Europe, and the United           States, convened in Israel three times between 1993 and
          1994 to decide
upon their investment policies and to           settle disputes."
                                                                 -- Alan Block, 1996, p. 33] 
             "The element of trust is vital in the diamond trade, and           religious orthodoxy, curiously enough, is often regarded as           the ultimate guarantee of a Jew's honesty."     
-- Howard Sachar, 1985, p. 47]
            "I can't believe it. A rabbi stole my money. A rabbi stole my           money."
                    -- comments of prominent Jewish American mobster Joseph
                        "Doc" Stacher, arrested over the years for "atrocious assault
                        and battery, robbery, burglary, larceny, bootlegging, hijacking
                        and murder," then an Israeli citizen after being deported from
                        America in 1965. These comments were made upon winning a
                        lawsuit after being swindled by Rabbi Menachem Porush of the
                        ultra-Orthodox Agudat Israel Party. [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993,
                        p. 116-117)
       Jews in America have been prominent in the narcotics underworld since the early twentieth century. As Rich Cohen notes:
      "The first major American drug dealer was probably Arnold Rothstein
       ... [COHEN, R., 1999, p. 131]  ... In the mid-nineteenth century, when
       the government started to ban certain narcotics, drugs were smuggled
       in from Europe and the Far East. But it was a slapdash affair -- not a
       business. Rothstein changed all that. He saw Repeal coming and knew
       drugs could fill the void left by alcohol ... So in the late [19] twenties
       Rothstein retooled a mechanism he had built to carry booze. It would
       now carry, among other things, heroin and cocaine ... [It became] a
       blueprint for smuggling drugs into America." [COHEN, R., p. 132]
      "By 1926," notes Israeli scholar Robert Rockaway,
     "[Rothstein] was allegedly the overlord of the foreign narcotics trade
     in America. Beginning with Rothstein, American Jewish underworld
     figures became prominently involved in smuggling and distributing
     opium and opiates in the United States. During the 1920s and 1930s
     Jews competed with Italians for dominance of the trade. The Italian-
     American's racketeering predominated during World War II. This
     was because of the Nazis. When the Germans began to exterminate
     European Jewry, they also destroyed the Jewish criminals who
     supplied American distributors." [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 8]
     Rothstein's right-hand man was Louis Lepke, who took over the drug empire when his boss died in 1928. In the 1930s associate Yasha Katzenberg journeyed to Shanghai, China, contacted underworld figures there, and "taught them how to make heroin."  "In the last thirties," says Cohen, "when officials at last figured out what Katzenberg was up to, the League of Nations declared him an international menace. A few years later Yasha was indicted, along with Lepke and twenty-eight others, for violation of narcotics laws." [COHEN, R., p. 133-134]  In the late 1940s, there were still "dozens of Jewish drug dealers roaming New York City, the remnants of Rothstein's machine." [COHEN, p. 139] Particularly noteworthy were Solly Gelb, Solly Gordon, Tudi Schoenfeld, Artie West, Niggy Rutkin, Harry Koch, Sam Haas, Moe Taubman and Harry Hechinger. Tolly Greenberg even invented a machine to turn liquid heroin into pill form. [COHEN, p. 139-140] Harry Strauss, "Philadelphia's gambling czar," later became involved in smuggling "heroin into the United States from France. He reportedly earned $20 million a year from the trade." [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 33-34]

     An important foundation of the old opium trade was the Jewish Sassoon family (of which famous hair mogul Vidal Sassoon is an heir):

     "The legend of the Jewish clan can be traced back to David Sassoon (1792-
     1864). Born into a Sephardic Jewish family in Baghdad, Iraq, David Sassoon
     set up the Sassoon company in Bombay, India, in 1833. In 1844, he set up a
     branch in Hong Kong, and a year later, he set up his Shanghai branch on the
     Bund to cash in on the opium trade. At that time, about one-fifth of all opium
     brought into China was shipped on the Sassoon fleet. They brought China
     opium and British textiles and took away silk, tea and silver." [SHANGHAI STAR,
     Today's drug dealing is probably the world's most profitable crime; profit margins can range from 200% for cocaine to 1,200% for heroin. The Colombian international drug cartel, "Kali," which monopolizes the trade in Los Angeles and Miami, is estimated to distribute over 80% of the world's cocaine and a third of its heroin. Illegal drug syndicates are estimated to take in about $25 billion a year in the United States alone. In 1998, 59 tons of cocaine and 770 pounds of heroin were confiscated by American police authorities.
    Little known -- and little publicized -- in America, in recent years the Jewish "Russian mafia," and Orthodox religious and Israeli business networks with deep links to drug cartels, have been instrumental in maintaining the United States drug problem. Many of these criminals are particularly pious Jews, and a number of Orthodox Jewish religious institutions have been used for the laundering of literally hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money in (particularly) New York City. (Money laundering here refers to the task of getting huge sums of money that were paid for drugs, originally in small bills, into a form of assets that has the appearance of legality.) In 1994 Israeli journalist Ben Kapit exposed this story of Jewish culpability and corruption in America's growing drug problem; he wrote in Hebrew, to an Israeli audience, in the newspaper Ma'ariv.
     American Jews and Israelis dominate the jewelry and precious stones and metals trade in Manhattan, mostly located in the 47th Street area. "75-80% of the active traders on the street are Jews," said Kapit, "A large part of them are very pious Orthodox Jews, mainly Hassids. There is also a respectable representation of Jews from Iran and Syria, usually also very pious ... the place is also the biggest launderer for drug money in the United States." [KAPIT, p. 2] 
     Daily transactions of huge sums of money -- including interstate and international -- is part of the diamond business (as is backroom secrecy, based on "personal acquaintance and trust," [KAPIT, p. 2]; boxes, large packages, and armored trucks come and go regularly under heavy security. All this provides a convenient front for the laundering of massive amounts of drug money, most of it in $10 and $20 bills.  "One of the most popularly successful ways to launder money," notes Kapit,  "is through Jewish religious institutions, such as yeshivas and synagogues. Since the majority of the 47th Street gold and diamond merchants are religious Jews, the process is made easier." [KAPIT, p. 4]
     "Today," noted Newsweek in 1977, "the Japanese give diamond engagement rings nearly as often as American, and wealthy Arabs who once eschewed diamonds for the more colorful stones, have become insatiable diamond buyers ... Little wonder, then, that tampering robberies and even murders have come to haunt the business, not only along West 47th Street in New York -- where the mostly Jewish dealers see an 'Israeli mafia' behind the murder last month of one of their numbers -- but the world's other diamond centers as well." [ATLAS, p. 95]  "The robberies that plague the diamond districts of New York and Tel Aviv," notes David Koskoff,  "are almost always perpetrated by people from within the diamond community." [KOSKOFF, p. 191]  In 1990, the Jerusalem Post, paraphrasing the Los Angeles County Sheriff, Sherman Block (also Jewish), noted that "Los Angeles' small but potent 'Israeli mafia’ has spread across America, graduating in the last two decades from extorting poor Jews -- often concentration camp survivors -- to major drug-dealing and fraud schemes against the rich ... Cocaine is the favored product of the mafia's drug dealing, and their clients tend to be affluent people who demand the highest quality." [DERFNER, 9-9-90, ONLINE]
     U.S. Federal agents have identified, says Kapit, what it calls "the Cocaine Triangle. Its sides are: Colombian drug barons, Israeli-Jewish money launderers, and Jewish-Russian mafiosos ... You need only look at the list of arrests and indictments of the past three years in order to grasp the enormous scope of Israeli involvement in the field." [KAPIT, p. 3]  There are numerous murky criminal interfaces between these Israeli drug dealers, the so-called "Russian" mafia, and some of the most pious Jewish Orthodox religious circles.  The link between Israeli weapons dealing and South American underworld organizations is also deep.  In 1988, for example, an Israeli paramilitary training company called "Spearhead," directed by a former senior army officer, Yair Klein, was hired to train members of a drug cartel in Colombia. Klein was eventually fined all of $13,000 by Israeli authorities for "exporting defense know-how not covered in his permit." [HIRSCHBERG, p. 13]   In 1990 the Jewish Week reported that "three United States officials were in Israel ... investigating possible Israeli connections to the Colombian drug cartel" and that earlier NBC had reported that "Israeli reserve officers.... [were providing] military training to drug-cartel gunmen." [GOLBERG, A, p. 51]
    An associate of Klein, Israeli Arik Afek, known publicly as a "flower importer," was found dead in the trunk of a car at the Miami airport in 1990. The Washington Post noted that
      "Afek's name first surfaced last summer when NBC News broadcast film
       allegedly showing foreign mercenaries training Medellin cartel gunmen in
       ambush assassinations and other paramilitary activities." [ISIKOFF, p.
     Still, in May 2000, Colombian authorities busted four Israelis and one Colombian citizen in an "arms trafficking ring" that sought to funnel weapons into the country. [XINHUA GENERAL NEWS SERVICE, 5-27-2000] Itzik Richter, Ofer Zismanovich, David Birnbaum and Yaron Cohen with known links to the Cali drug cartel, were arrested, also on charges of a scheme to counterfeit dollars. A few weeks earlier another Israeli, Amos Shimoni, had been arrested in Panama on similar charges. [KRAU, 5-29-2000]
       "Among the recent items of news that failed to make more than passing mention," noted R. T. Naylor in 1989, "... is the scandal over the chummy relations senior members of Israel's military maintain with both the Colombian cocaine barons and their Panamanian affiliate, General Manual Noreiga." [TAYLOR, p. 136]  Noreiga's alleged "right hand man" was a Mossad agent, Mikhail Harari. In 1988 the Jewish Week reported that "[U.S.] Senate investigations have turned up information linking Panama's recently indicted military strongman, General Manuel Antonio Noreiga, to the Mossad, Israel's external intelligence agency." [WAGMAN, p. 5] Jose I. Blandon, a former influential Noreiga adviser and Panamanian counsel in New York, told Congress that Michael Harrari, "described as a former Israeli army general who later worked for Mossad," lived in close contact with Noreiga for 5-7 years and trained "Noreiga's private guard -- a unit separate from the Panamanian army. Guard officers report to Noreiga through Harari." [WAGMAN, p. 5] Brandon also noted that "Harrari often acts as a middleman in weapons purchases that Noreiga makes in Europe," and that "when Noreiga travels in Europe, Harari arranges for his protection by Israeli military intelligence and Mossad personnel." "Investigators believe Panama," reported the Jewish Week, "a kind of Switzerland of the Caribbean, has become a center of Israeli financial dealings and for so-called front companies -- corporate shells operating for secret owners, in this case the Israeli government. Investigators believe another of Harari's functions is to oversee bank accounts and shell companies ... Panama [functions] ... as a haven for shadowy financial transactions." [WAGMAN, p. 5] Secret reports were also in Noreiga's possession of various United States politicians, from Senators Edward Kennedy to Jesse Helms; "Some [Senate investigators] speculate," said the Jewish Week, "the files may have come to Noreiga through Harari." [WAGMAN, p. 5]
     In 1985, Israeli Shmuel Targan, who used a fake shoe store in New York City as the front for his drug operation, was arrested for cocaine and heroin smuggling. Rudolph Giuliani, then the U.S. District Attorney for Southern New York, noted that Taragan's store "was one of a 100 Israeli-operated legitimate businesses in the city that disguised illegal operations." [FISHER, A.] In 1986 five Israelis were arrested in New York for a million-dollar-a-week heroin and cocaine operation. In 1988 five more Israelis were busted in Boston for drug running by the FBI. Also in 1988, in Los Angeles, Israelis Abraham Zarchia and Yitzhak Edvi received ten year prison sentences for drug trafficking -- $22 million over a five month period. [HUNTER, LINK, p. 4, 6, 7]
     In 1985, Max Mermelstein, described by his lawyer as "just a nice Jewish guy who got into the wrong industry," [MURPHY, pt. 1, p. 3] became a government witness against a number of former accomplices in Colombia's international Medellin drug cartel. Over seven years, Mermelstein was himself responsible for the smuggling of 55 tons of cocaine, worth $360 million, into the United States. (Curiously, the town of Medellin was actually founded by Spanish Jews in 1616).
     Elsewhere, a pioneer in the laundering of Colombian drug money (particularly that from marijuana and cocaine) was Isaac Kattan-Kassin, son of a Sephardic Jewish family that had fled Hitler's Germany in the 1930s. In the late 1970s, over $100 million a year of the tainted bills passed through his family's currency exchange business in Cali, Colombia, although Kattan established business offices in New York and Miami, where he spent most of his time. In 1977, he "went to work full time for several cocaine organizations" [POWIS, p. 34] and he eventually became known as "the most famous of the money launderers of this period." [POWIS, p. 32] Another prominent drug money launderer in this era was Beno Ghitis, who also headed a Colombian currency exchange business founded by his father, Alter. Victor Eisenstein was also a crucial partner in the drug money ring, and Abel Holtz, president of Capital Bank in Miami, was a participant as the American depository. [POWIS, p. 74]
     In 1993 an FBI sting operation arrested an Israeli in New York City, Zion Ya'akov Eveheim, who had both Israeli and Colombian citizenship. In less than a year he and his associates laundered $22.5 million in drug money through a fake corporation called Prism. Other Israelis arrested with him were Raymond Shoshanna, Daniella Levi, Binyamin Hazon, Meir Ochayan, and Alex Ajami. "Many other suspects," says Kapit, "escaped to Israel." [KAPIT, p. 3] One of the interviewers in Hebrew for the FBI was a Jewish New Jersey resident, Neil Elefant. He was disturbed to discover an Israeli friend in trouble. He went to his rabbi, Elazar Teitz, who recommended "that it was his religious duty to warn [Elefant's Jewish friend]." Elefant did so, and upon his own exposure for aiding a drug criminal to escape, Elefant claimed he did it because of "the zealousness, almost approaching anti-Semitism, which he found among the FBI agents trying to involve Israel in drug affairs." [KAPIT, p. 3] Among those Israelis who escaped, thanks to Elefant's warning, were Adi Tal, David Va'anunu, Yishai Ya'anunu, and Ya'akov Cohen. "Most of them," says Kapit, "came out of the affair with a lot of money they took to Israel. The Americans know that the chances of any of them being extradited to the United States are close to nil." [KAPIT, p. 4] 
     In another drug laundering case, in 1990 Aharon Sharir, "undoubtedly the major Israeli launderer," in America [KAPIT, p. 5] was busted; he subsequently confessed to laundering $200 million. Sharir's testimony led to 35 other Jewish launderers, including American Stephan Scorkin, "the biggest laundering shark in the history of the United States." Scorkin was accused of laundering $300 million. Sharir's partner, Lihu Ichilov, fled back to Israel. [KAPIT, p. 6] "Even with automatic money counting machines," testified Sharir, "it was difficult to count the money. It arrived in bills of five, ten, and twenty dollars. The bills, most of which had been to sniff cocaine, had a strong odor of coke. A real stink. My employees could not stand it. Every 2-3 hours they had to take a break, go out for some fresh air, so as not to get high." [KAPIT, p. 5]
     Another Israeli drug laundering ring, led by Adi Tal, a former El-Al airline security guard, was broken up by American authorities in 1988. Eleven members were arrested. "An important member of Tal's laundering ring," notes Kapit, "was Rabbi Shalom Levitin, a Lubavitch Hassid, head of the Chabad branch in Seattle. It is assumed that all the considerable political power of these Hassids were exerted in favor of that laundering ring." [KAPIT, p. 4] "I was motivated by my desire to help my brethren in need," explained Rabbi Levitin, "with funds being transferred to Israel." "People in the community know that he is only concerned about helping Jewish people," said Mark Goldberg, President of Congregation Shareiev Telfilah-Lubavitch." [Degginger, C., p. 12]  Levitin got off easy with a $10,000 fine and a 30-day sentence in a half-way house.
      In 1984 the oldest yeshiva [Jewish Orthodox religious studies center] in New York City, Tifereth Yerushalayim, was also busted for drug laundering. "The yeshiva's representative," says Kapit, "was a very pious Hassid, Mendel Goldenberger, who daily received cash ... and deposited the money in the yeshiva's account ... Nine persons were convicted in the affair, including Rabbi Israel Eidelman, Vice President of the yeshiva, and some of its dignitaries." [KAPIT, p. 4] "Laundering money is extremely beneficial to the yeshivas and other Jewish institutions," Kapit was told, "... The attitude of the pious Jewish community ... is drugs are sold anyway. As long as it does not harm our community and only does good for it, it doesn't matter if we benefit from drug trade." [KAPIT, p. 5]
     In 1990 another rabbi, Yosef Crozer, was arrested by FBI agents; he had in his possession prayer books, five passports, and $280,000 in cash in the trunk of his car." [KAPIT, p. 1] In another 1990 case, a group of Hassids in the Orthodox community of Williamsburg, New York, was investigated for drug laundering operations. The accused included Naftali, Miklosh, Yitzhak, and Ya'akov Shlesinger, and Milton Jacoby. Money was laundered "on checks drawn from the account of Camp Yereim (Camp of the Pious) -- a Hassidic summer camp in the Catskills." [KAPIT, p. 5] The next year, in an unrelated case, a 38 year old Israeli -- Uri Mizraci -- was murdered in Manhattan; investigators suspected he was smuggling hashish and heroin into the United States.  He was also suspected of being a "hired executioner" from an Israeli organized crime group. [JAMES, p. B4]  Earlier, in 1986, Daniel Whitman and "cocaine dealer Robert Cohen were arrested for conspiring to murder Raymond Cohen, no relation to Robert, allegedly to keep him from testifying in [a National Football League] ticket scalping investigation." [MOLDEA, 1989, p. 396] In 2001, Israel drug dealer Alen Amor, living in the U.S. on a tourist visa, was arrested in Los Angeles. Police found 30 pounds of marijuana at his home, as well as cocaine and heroin. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10-17-01, p. B5
    And, as Alan Block notes,
     "In the late 1980s and early 1990s, [Jewish] Russian-émigré Vladimir
     Beigelman, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was known to be involved in cocaine
     trafficking with the Cali cartel. On December 2, 1993, Beigelman was
     fatally shot in the face while exiting a van in Queens, N.Y. Witnesses
     described the assailants as two Hispanics. Evidence indicates
     Beigelman was murdered in a dispute over a large quantity of
     missing cocaine." [BLOCK, A., 1996, p. 193]
    Further indictments against "Russian" immigrant criminals cited by Block include David Podlog and Alexander Moysif, "on charges of distributing heroin and cocaine," "four Russian émigrés ... indicted for the manufacture of crack cocaine vials at factories in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," and various heroin smuggling charges against Boris Nayfield, Shalva Ukleba, Alexander Mikhailov, Simon Elishakov, and Valery Krutiyl. [BLOCK, A., 1996, p. 193-194]
      In 1994 still another Hasidic rabbi, an especially prominent one, Abraham Low, of the Mogen Abraham synagogue in Los Angeles, was arrested with a Jewish businessman, Alan Weston, and an African-American woman, Charlesetta Brown, on charges of a drug laundering project worth about $2 million. It involved elements of the usual scenario: Hasidic diamond dealers in New York City and the bank accounts for Orthodox Jewish religious charities. [DE LAMA, 1, 10]  "The cash would be delivered to Hasidic diamond dealers known to the rabbi." [MALNIC, A16] Brown also offered to sell an undercover FBI agent "assault rifles, pistols, bullet proof vests, and knives -- "any quantity ... on a regular basis." [MALNIC, A16] When the FBI received the tip about Rabbi Low's drug laundering activities, he was already under investigation in a $189 million "check kiting" scheme and a "promissory note scheme in which the Bank of America might lose $70 million." [WEINSTEIN, B9]
     A request was made by Low's lawyers to the court to dismiss the charges because of alleged "outrageous government misconduct" by an FBI investigator and "anti-Semitism." Efforts to have the case dismissed against Low included the accusation that an FBI agent cursed at one of the rabbi's associates and that an FBI informer had spoken an "anti-Semitic slur" to Low and "declared that the Torah was a piece of toilet paper." [WEINSTEIN, B9] The prosecutor in the case argued that the claim that Rabbi Low "had been singled out because he is Jewish is a smokescreen to divert attention from his lawbreaking." [WEINSTEIN, B11]
      The rabbi was subsequently convicted of a felony: good for five years in prison. "Low," noted Israeli journalist Kapit, "is married to the niece of the Satmar [Hasidic sect] Rabbi, Moshe Teitelbaum, who wields enormous political power in New York state." [KAPIT, p. 5]  (Three years earlier, another pious Hasidic Teitelbaum -- Hanoch -- was sentenced in Rockland County, New York, to 20-months to five years in prison for stealing $1 million in mortgages, loans, and welfare payments). [NYT, 12-6-91]  From prison, Low later filed a law suit, demanding special privileges, including housing with other Jews. Rabbi Low "also wanted the prison to buy him a $30,000 Torah, about 200 religious texts, and to build a separate prayer room with a special sink." [HOUSTON]  Incredibly, the government agreed to a settlement in which it paid $270,000 in Low attorney fees, as well as to let him leave prison for ten days on Passover, and to spend further time in a half-way house for the "High Holy Days." [HOUSTON]  No wonder that in 1997 the London Observer ran an article about American prison consultants who offer "advice to nervous white-collar criminals on how to survive a spell in the slammer." Among the advice for better prison treatment is "pretend to be Jewish." [HELMORE, p. 17]
    Another example of this kind of special treatment was the newsworthy 1996 case of Sholam Weiss, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, who was serving a seven-month prison term. He "conned his jailers into giving him permission to spend Passover with his family, then took off for a high-rolling trip to an Atlantic City casino." [SMITH, G., 5-22-96, p. 24] In 1998 Neil Lederman (sentenced to prison for 11 months for writing a bad $60,000 check) made Washington DC-area news for the results of his request for kosher food from his jailers. To save the hassle of providing it, Lederman was released from jail and allowed "detention" in his home. Earlier, jail officials had even "allowed him to go to work during the day. At night, he returned to the jail." [JACKMAN, T., 10-8-98, p. B12]
     In 1994, New York state began offering Jews "hot kosher meals" at a cost 30% higher than all other inmate meals. In 1997 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer also noted that "Oregon authorities are expecting rampant conversion to Judaism in the state prison system, thanks to a judge's ruling that a convicted murderer [Daniel Lee Holterman] must be served kosher meals." These meals would cost the prison $4-6 apiece, whereas regular inmate meals cost $1. In Colorado, in 2000 Jewish prisoners Charles Beerheide, Sheldon Pearlman, and Allen Isaac Fistell won their lawsuit "for kosher meals to Jewish prisoners at no charge." [ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3-12-94, p. A19; SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 10-1-97, p. C2; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 1-29-2000]

     In 2001, a convicted murderer and convert to Orthodox Judaism, Hbrandon Lee Flagner, won the right to sue the state of Ohio. His grievance was that the prison had forced him to conform to its rules and cut his beard and sidelocks. "Ohio leaders argued that the case could provoke thousands of lawsuits ... Attorneys for [20] states said if exemptions are allowed 'the ability of prison officials to maintain security will inevitably falter, thereby placing the safety and welfare of prison staff, inmates, and the general public at risk.'" [HOLLAND, G., 12-10-01]
     In June 2000, in Las Vegas, after numerous complaints from a car-packed neighborhood, city officials made nine trips over a three-month period to a private residence used by Orthodox Jews for Saturday religious services. Orthodox rabbi Moshe Omer (an Israeli with an "English name" of Michael Essence) was handcuffed and arrested after refusing to sign a zoning violation citation. The rabbi explained that, under Jewish Orthodox law, he couldn't work on Saturday -- and this included signing a piece of paper. Nor could he ride in a car, but he was driven by an officer to jail anyway. The Jewish mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman, later offered a formal apology for the incident. The rabbi in turn declared that "the way he was treated brought images of Nazis and the Holocaust to mind." [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 6-22-2000]
     Charged with the lead role in an alleged scheme that skimmed $1 million from a synagogue bingo series, Stanley Aronson described the view of his rabbi being led by police back to the (Akron, Ohio-area) synagogue "reminiscent of Europe in 1938." Ten people were indicted on a total of 21 counts, but a bungled investigation left "six defendants plead[ing] to a string of minor misdemeanors." Aronson and his wife then sued the city of Akron for $30 million. [EWINGER, J., 2-20-94, p. 1B; EWINGER, J., 2-26-94, p. 4B]

     In 2002, Robert Noel made the news when he complained that San Francisco police "chose a time when we were out of town to come over and kick down the doors of a Jewish home. My relatives went through this in Germany." [ESKENAZI, J., 1-16-02] Noel and his fellow-lawyer wife Marjorie Knoller, also Jewish, were charged with a crime when their dog mauled to death a neighbor. As the case dragged on, "a judge opened the door to testimony on allegations they were involved in everything from animal sex to racist prison gangs." [QUINN, A.] "Several [Holocaust] survivor advocates questioned Noel's rationale for raising accusations of anti-Semitism considering he and his wife recently adopted a 38-year-old inmate at Pelican State Prison, who prison officials believe is one of the leaders of a white-supremacist prison gang called the Aryan Brotherhood." [ESKENAZI, J., 1-16-02]
    It is also not bad to be a Jewish, particularly a "pious" one, if one is a criminal seeking to avoid getting caught. In January 2000, the Village Voice noted the difficulties local police faced in penetrating an ultra-Orthodox community to bring a murderer to justice. Jacob Blum, son of a local rabbi, was being sought for bludgeoning to death his grandmother's 61-year old part-time (non-Jewish immigrant Polish) cleaning lady. As a doctor noted, "The victim was missing a large part of her brain." "[Police] precinct sources," reported the Voice, "say it is rare for cases [against ultra-Orthodox hasids] to end in arrests. One cop bitterly recalled an incident in which a young hasidic driver who had accidentally run over an elderly black woman was not even cited for leaving the scene of an accident. 'He did not summon an ambulance or police and left the scene because he wanted to get home in time for Sabbath,' the source alleged." [NOEL, P., 1-18-2000, p. 45]
      In yet another drug case, an Orthodox Jew (a mashgiah: "a religious officer who sees that kosher restaurants maintain their Jewish dietary codes"), David Bright, was arrested at New York's La Guardia airport in 1996 with a briefcase containing $200,000 in cash. He was arrested and accused of laundering $2 million for drug cartels. Upon release, he "disappeared." [GROSSMAN, p. 1] At the same time, Bright's brother, another Orthodox rabbi -- Alan Bright -- also disappeared. This second Bright, notes the Chicago Tribune, "was a rabbi in Medellin, Colombia -- a South American city that is home to the notorious Medellin drug cartel." [GROSSMAN, p. 18]
     In 1994, in Montreal, Canada, Rabbi Meyer Krentzman, a former director of the Canadian Zionist Federation, a former director of the Jewish National Fund of Montreal, and a former director of the Jewish Educational Council, was arrested for selling heroin and cocaine to an undercover police officer. An associate, Andor Galandauer, a voluntary official at the Beth Zion Congregation synagogue, was also arrested; Galandauer's past included activism with the Jewish Defense League. [FISHKOFF, p. 1]  "As recently as the fall of 1992, Krentzman was hired to preside over the synagogue's auxiliary service during the High Holidays, Rosh Hoshannah and Yom Kippur. Galandauer acts in a voluntary capacity as the synagogue's gabbai -- the person who chooses people for honors during services." [BLOCK, I., p. A3]
     In 1999, another rabbi, Eli Gottesman, this one in Montreal, was charged with smuggling cocaine and marijuana into a federal prison where he served Jewish inmates. In 1988 he was named "chaplain of the year" by the New York Board of Rabbis. He has dual citizenship and is the author of Who's Who in Canadian Jewry. Rabbi Gottesman "had been under investigation for several months by prison officials, as well as the Justice Department, the FBI, and state police." [THE GAZETTE, MONTREAL, p. A4] He eventually got off easy, pleading guilty only to a fraud charge and getting less than a year of prison time. [AP, 4-7-99]
      In 1990, Linda Leary, a former local chapter president of the National Council of Jewish Women, was extradited from her "luxurious lifestyle" in Austria to stand trial in Indianapolis with her two sons -- Paul and Richard Heilbrun, and 31 others -- for running a smuggling ring which brought at least 250,000 pounds of marijuana into America. Leary "pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering and conspiracy for her part in the ring. She was accused of hiding drug money in bank accounts in the Cayman Islands." [UPI, 2-22-90] 
     In Michigan, in 1998 Mindy Brass, described by an Oakland County prosecutor as "a manipulator and a major drug dealer" was trying to get out of prison with claims of a bad heart. She had been arrested in 1992 with more than a pound of cocaine. [MCCLEAR, J., 7-2-98, p. C4] And in 1995, Jewish drug addict Alan Hurwitz, described by the Detroit News as a once "respectable Michigan proponent of social justice and educational reform," and formerly the Deputy Director of the Peace Corps in Kenya, was arrested as "the notorious Zombie Bandit," a man who had robbed 18 Midwestern banks. [MARTELLE, S., 8-1-95]
     In 1989 Jack Myers (a former son-in-law of Lew Wasserman, the mogul of major Hollywood agency/studio MCA) was convicted of being a courier in a drug money laundering network. As Dennis McDougal notes:
     "In exchange for three years probation, Myers testified against
     [California] Governor Jerry Brown's Chief of Staff Richard Silberman
     [also Jewish], the millionaire husband of San Diego County Susan
     Golding. Silberman was sentenced to forty-six months in federal prison
     and fined $50,000 for directing a scheme to launder $300,000 that an
     undercover FBI agent identified as the profits of Colombian cocaine
     dealing." [MCDOUGAL, p. 523]
     In 1996 the Canadian ambassador to Israel, David Berger, was presented evidence that a Canadian embassy official in Tel Aviv, Douglas Wardle, was using diplomatic mail to smuggle Colombian cocaine. Two Israelis -- Meir Hazor and Ya'acov Sternheim -- were also arrested in the case. [CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS]
     A news item in October 1999 noted the breakup of an international ring specializing in the illegal drug "ecstasy." Israeli police announced that 49 suspects around the world had been detained; 24 were Israelis, most of the others were ultra-Orthodox Jewish Americans. [KILEY, S.] The Detroit Free Press noted that "ultra-Orthodox Jews served as couriers for a major international drug ring that operated in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Israel, and the United States ... The syndicate, led by two Israelis living in Europe, was one of the world's largest producers of the synthetic drug ecstasy." [DET FR PRESS, 10-13-99, p. 59] The ring circulated tons of drugs, including cocaine and heroin. [DUDKEVITCH, M., p. 1] A few months earlier, "seven men were indicted in Brooklyn for allegedly operating an international drug ring that relied on Hasidic couriers dressed in black hats, dark suits, and side curls." [HAYS, T., 7-23-99, p. A8]   The key six Israelis arrested in this Ecstasy ring included Igal Malka, Yariv Azulay, Oshri Ganchrski, Eyal Levy, Robert Levy, and Oshri Amar. They were caught with 300,000 tablets on-hand, worth an estimated $7.5 million; 100,000 pills a week were funneled by the gang into the New York metropolitan area. [HENRY, M., 2-25-2000, p. A1]
    As a Miami newspaper noted:
     "In its June 1999 Drug Intelligence brief about Ecstasy, the DEA
     [Drug Enforcement Administration] states that Israeli organized
     crime syndicates (some composed of Russian-Jewish immigrants
     to Israel who maintain ties to Russian mobsters) are the 'primary'
     source of Ecstasy for distribution in the United States."
     [KISSELL, T., 9-30-99]
    The next year, in 2000, 25 people (including Las Vegas strippers and cocktail waitresses) were arrested in another Ecstasy drug ring, which smuggled the drugs from Paris into the United States. This group was headed by Jacob Orgad, an Israeli living in Los Angeles. "His people seemed to have a presence in every major city where Ecstasy is the rage," noted U.S. Customs investigating agent Fred Walsh. [JERUSALEM POST, 6-15-2000, p. 5] "Prosecutors," noted the New York Post, "charge Jacob Orgad, 45, sold hundreds of thousands of pills to Israeli national Ilan Zarger." [FRANCESCANI, C., 6-28-01] The same year the Associated Press noted the results of a survey by Partnership for a Drug-free America which found, the "use of ecstasy... has doubled among [American] teens since 1995 ... One in 10 teens had experimented with the drug." [MCSHANE, L., 11-27-2000, p. 3A]

    In 2001, it was reported that

      "an Israeli [Oded Tuito] described as a major international smuggler of the drug
      Ecstasy is in custody in Spain awaiting a court decision on an American request
      for his extradition ... Spanish newspapers reported that Tuito ran a massive smuggling
      operation in Europe, Israel, and the United States ... Israeli crime syndicates with links
      to Russian mobs are the primary source of Ecstasy smuggled into the United States,       according to the DEA." [ASSOCIATED PRESS/HAARETZ, 5-23-01]

     The New York Post noted that Tuito hired strippers to ferry drugs to America from Europe:

     "Scores of of nude dancers from across the country were recurited as couriers in
     Tuito's ecstasy-smuggling army ... An Israeli national named Sean Erez, allegedly
     tutored by Tuito in ecstasy smuggling, had risen through the ranks of Tuito's
     drug mob ... [Erez] hired Hasidic high school boys ... These are kids who
     spend hours a day in the synagogue ... Federal Judge Leo Glasser ...
     sentenced nearly a dozen local Hasidic men ... In March, Miami authorities
     busted a 71-year old retired Queens tailor [also Jewish: Machloof Ben-Chitrit]
     allegedly ferrying more than 36 pounds of pills from Paris in his luggage."
     [FRANCESCANI, C., 5-5-01]

     In July, 20001, yet two more Israeli ecstasy kingpins were busted in America. David Roash and Israel Ashkenazi were arrested "in Manhattan on drug possesion charges after police seized more than a million Ecstasy tablets, the largest drug bust in New York City history." [Emphasis added] The pills weighed 450 pounds and had a street value of $40 million. [RADLER, M., 7-20-2001] In November 2001, German police "arrested two Israelis [Uzi Gutman and Yosef Raphaelovitz] unloading a truck that contained 1.5 milion Ecstasy pills, capping a long drug investigation by German, Dutch, Australian, and Israeli police into international Ecstasy trafficking by Israelis." [SOMMER, A., 1-22-01]
     Marijuana? In the 1990s Howard Marks (NOTE: a Jewish identity here is very speculative. Marks, from a Welsh mining town, has a daughter, Myfanwy, who lives in Israel) [CAMPBELL, D., 4-26-95, p. 12] was released from an Indiana prison after only serving seven years of a 25-sentence for his role as a major international drug provider. "At the height of his smuggling operation," noted a British newspaper, "Mr. Marks was reputedly responsible for the majority of the marijuana smoked in the western world in the 1970s and early 1980s." [HULL DAILY MAIL, 2-7-2000, p. 4] The head of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency in Miami once called Marks "the Marco Polo of drug trafficking." He is believed to have successfully shipped about $2 billion-worth of cannabis into the United States in Britain from a variety of countries, including Lebanon, Afghanistan, Columbia, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. [DENING, P., 9-7-96, p. suppl. 1] Marks once had "43 aliases and 25 companies worldwide as a cover for his drug empire." [AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, 5-4-99]
    In 2000, after jumping a $1 million bail in 1988, Steven Wolosky and Mark Gayer were captured and arrested. Both men were on the Justice Department's 15 Most Wanted Men list. "The Marshal's office considered these two men to be two of the most wanted people in the country," said the government investigator and Supervisory Inspector Andre LaBier, "They were major international maritime narcotics traffickers." The two fugitives were responsible for the importation of over 400,000 pounds of marijuana and hashish into America. Upon bail, the Wolosky and Gayer tried to fake their deaths with a fabricated boating accident. "When the government questioned why Wolosky's mother had never held funeral services for her son," noted one newspaper, "the woman's attorney submitted a declaration from her rabbi suggesting it would be contrary to Jewish faith to hold services without a body." [MINTZ, H., 3-9-93, p. 3; HAYWARD, M., 6-10-2000, p. A4; WALLACE, B., 6-22-2000, p. A1]

     Elsewhere, San Francisco-based Steven Kalish (alias "Frank Brown") was a partner in Panama strongman Manuel Noriega's 1980s drug empire. [DINGES, 1990, p. 11-12] In 1984, he had "grossed $20 million from drug smuggling in the past year." [DINGES, 1990, p. 14] Kalish, notes John Dinges,

     "had started selling grass in the sixties at his high school in Bellaire, Texas, a
     Houston suburb. By 1983 he had a Ferrari, a BMW, a Chevy Blazer and more
     money than he could handle. That summer he and his partners had arranged
     the largest marijuana-smuggling operation of their careers. An oceangoing tug
     named the Bulldog pushed a refrigerated barge loaded with 280,000 pounds of
     marijuana from Colombia on a circuitous route that ended in Louisiana ... Kalish
     was in charge of the logistics of the operation, which involved more than one
     hundred people. That operation netted $15 million to $20 million; other smaller
     deals that summer brought in another $15 million. The money had stacking up
     in Kalish's lakeside house on St. Charlotte Drive in Tampa." [DINGES, J.,
     1990, p. 156]

    Kadish even became involved in Panama's politics, economically supporting a presidential candidate he expected would be helpful to Kadish's drug networking. [DINGES, J., 1990, p. 170]

     In 1987, a New Zealand citizen, Lorraine Cohen, was sentenced to death in Malaysia for "trafficking in 140.76 grams of heroin." Her son, Aaron was sentenced to life imprisonment for 34.14 grams. International human rights groups protested the harsh sentences and after a few years in prison, they were both released. [SHUIB, S., 9-2-87] In 2001, in England, Philip Lyons was sentenced for "laundering the proceeds of numerous heroin and ecstasy deals and then send[ing] the money to Spain." Just between February and March 6, 2001, Lyons laundered two million pounds. [KAYE, J., 11-26-01]
      In 1997, Agence France Presse noted a now common pattern of Jews, diamonds, and drugs in Belgium:
     "The Flemish city of Antwerp has lost some of its sparkle as the world's
      diamond capital after a series of financial scandals linked the trade here
      with the murky underworld of drugs and mafia. The scandal came to
      light after one of the diamond merchants' most reputed banks, the Max
      Fischer, went bust last January ... amid allegations of fraud and
      laundering of drug money." [PINON]
      Others caught in the scams included three executives at United Diamonds, four directors of a company called EetH, and a "Lebanese" diamond dealer. "The spate of scandals," noted the Presse, "fueled persistent rumors that the Russian mafia had infiltrated Antwerp." [PINON] "The rumors are mixing up unrelated events in a way that could be damaging to the diamond sector," insisted an Antwerp lawyer (who requested anonymity), "... If this climate persists [diamond dealers] could be tempted by the advantage offered by the Tel Aviv market [and leave Belgium]." [PINON]
     As Guy Dunn, a scholar on organized crime, notes:
     "Antwerp's port has a reputation for being a major smuggling base. The
     city's diamond dealers, many of them Russian Jews, have links to many
     Russian gangs and are allegedly among the world's most experienced
     in the art of laundering money and dodging taxes. Several Russian
     groups have been uncovered recently, among them a group head by
     Boris N. [Nayfield?], a leading mafia boss, who was charged with
     racketeering, drug trafficking, conspiracy to murder, and association
     with Russian Jewish criminal groups. In 1989-93 N's group was
     centered on companies owned by Antwerp Russians, as well as
     affiliates in Moscow, Berlin, Odessa, and Warsaw. He was heavily
     involved in laundering money illegally obtained through drugs and
     arms smuggling." [DUNN, G., 1996, p. 81]
     In 1998, the (London) Independent, noting that the year before "police made a series of raids on diamond businesses suspected of tax evasion and money laundering," announced that
      "the Orthodox Jewish community [in London] has been shocked by a
       series of arrests of its members for alleged heroin smuggling. Police and
       customs inquiries are centering on a drugs link between Israel, Antwerp,
       and London ... Evidence of the new drugs link follows the professional
       execution on an Antwerp street last week of a Jewish jeweler and
       leading figure in the Russian mafia. A Talmudic scholar was also
       accused in Tel Aviv this month of laundering drug money."
       [LASHMAR, p. 3]
       Dror Hazenfratz -- carrying both an Israeli passport and a Belgian identity card -- was arrested with 15 kilograms of heroin worth well over a million dollars. He appeared in British court "wearing traditional dress and carrying the Talmud ... The ultimate destination of the drugs was reputedly David Santini, a Glaswegian who, at the time, was Scotland's leading heroin dealer." [LASHMAR, p. 3]  Santini was arrested earlier. Other Jews arrested included
      "a young man from Antwerp with 10 kg of heroin allegedly concealed
       in his hire-car. He is awaiting trial. Shortly before, an older man had
       been arrested at Coquelles at the French entrance to the Channel Tunnel.
       British customs allegedly found quantities of heroin and cocaine. The
       man was an American Orthodox Jew living in Stamford Hill. British
       drug officers suspect they are seeing the beginning of a new drug
       operation involving Antwerp Orthodox Jews and the Russian mafia."
       [LASHMAR, p. 3]
     The man who was murdered in Antwerp was Rachmeil Brandwain, "a Jewish trader in precious metals" and "also reputed to be a leading figure in the Russian mafia." [LASHMAR, p. 3] Brandwain was noted by a British newspaper as "Antwerp's gangland boss" and "the Antwerp connection to the mobsters of Moscow." Born in the Ukraine, he was raised in Israel. He was also a philanthropist to the ultra-Orthodox Chabad organization. [HELM, S., 4-21-96] Brandwain ran a company called M&S International and, noted George Weisse, the Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service,
      "was a close associate of Boris Nayfeld, a well-known [Russian-born]
      criminal who operated out of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, New York ...
      In the late 1980s, Brandwain was the middleman who helped corrupt
      Soviet Army officials stationed in East Germany, siphoning more than a
      billion dollars in illegal deals ... Boris Nayfeld and a number of people
      associated with Brandwain and his companies were arrested smuggling
      heroin into the United States." [WEISSE]
      In 1999, a newspaper in Scotland noted that a giant earthworks machine had been stolen from a construction site in Glasgow and found in Israel:
     "Detectives believe the JCB digger was stolen to order as part of
     an illegal multi-million pound international trade in which drug dealers
     use the profits to fund major purchases of hard drugs like heroin
     and cocaine. Around 30 pieces of heavy machinery have disappeared
     from British sites during the past two years and the National Crime
     Squad was called in to lead an inquiry which traced the centre of
     operation to Israel." [HERALD, 2-1-99]
    From Australia, we have the noteworthy case of Nachum Goldberg, an Orthodox Jew in the Addas Israel congregation, who was busted and sent to prison in 1997. (A Jewish associate, also charged with tax fraud, died before sentencing). Member of an international ring that included diamond merchants in Israel, Belgium, and Sydney, Australia, Goldberg laundered "dirty money" to Israel: an estimated $90 million over 13 years through a bank account set up for a fake organization called United Charity. "Nachum Goldberg," noted the Sydney Morning Herald, "was a master money launderer, who was helping some of Sydney's and Melbourne's ultra-Orthodox Jewish businessmen evade taxes ... Most of the money that he laundered came from the sale of diamonds that had been imported illegally into Australia." Tens of millions of dollars were sent to his brother, who managed a Bank Leumi branch in Jerusalem. "The strict religious faith of the defendants," noted the Herald, "was one of the main elements of the plea that the sentences should be lenient and it was one of the main reasons why the judge went easy on the Goldberg family." Goldberg was given a reduced prison sentence, and his wife and two sons, active players in the scam, were given suspended sentences. [BARRY, P., 10-14-2000]

   Joseph Gutnik, a Chabad rabbi and one of the richest men in Australia, even filed

     "a libel suit against the magazine Barons and its mother company, Dow Jones.
     The magazine published an article linking Gutnik's name with that of Nahum
     Goldberg, a businessman accused of using an Israeli charity fund to launder
     money. The article claimed that $24 million had been laundered -- Goldberg
     was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison. In October 2000 The
     Age reported that the judge in the Goldberg case had criticized the Israeli
     government for not being more cooperative with the Australian investigators
     who were trying to follow the trail of funds through the local banks."
     [HANDWERKER, H., 5-15-01]
      Elsewhere, in 1997, in Miami, Ludwig Fainberg was accused of especially noteworthy drug-related crimes. A dentist in Russia, he immigrated to Israel, served in its army, and then moved to the United States where he owned Porky's strip-tease joint. He was arrested for underworld drug activities with suspected middlemen for a Colombia drug cartel. Plans even included a $5 million purchase of a Soviet submarine to smuggle drugs to the United States. A New York Times article did not identify Fainberg as a Jew, nor as an Israeli, but as a "Russian." "A new element has been added to the [Miami] region's celebrated mix of two-bit con-artists and Colombian drug lords," wrote Times reporter Mireya Navarro, "law-enforcement officials say: Russian mobsters are engaged in nationwide illegal activity running from extortion to financial fraud." Twenty-six such Russian crime organizations have been identified in America by Federal officials, mainly located in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. Fainberg was believed to head one of them, a man "who was a typical member of the Russian criminal elment that in recent years has spread ... form its cradle in New York City." "The Russian criminal mobsters," one U.S. drug-enforcement offical told the Times, "are eager for 'every way to make a dishonest dollar." Another said, "They're good at networking." [NAVARRO, p, A22]
     The international scope of the "Russian mafia" is reflected in recent headlines about the problem: Russian Mafia Making Austria Its Haven (San Francisco Chronicle, 1996), Swedes Face a Russian Invasion (New York Times, 1993), and Russia's Notorious Mafia Spreads Tentacles of Crime Around the Globe (Christian Science Monitor, 1995).  A large number of these Russian crime groups are Jewish in control. In the United States one of their bases is located in the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn. [ROSNER, p. xi, xii]  A 1986 Presidential Commission on Organized Crime report, noted the New York Times, "warned that the Jews from the Soviet Union were among several ethnic-organized crime groups to have emerged recently in this country." [RAAB]  "Some [Russian immigrants to America] find the free enterprise system difficult to understand," wrote Newsweek in 1985, "Others end up in the 'Russian mafia.'" [NEWSWEEK, Ag 19, 85]  "In the 1990s," says Rita J. Simon, "there are reports of extensive organized criminal activities within the Soviet Jewish community, especially in the Los Angeles and Brighton Beach areas of Brooklyn ...  [SIMON, p. 137] ... Terms such as 'Soviet Jewish Mafia' are widely used in print and electronic media [This is not true. This author's extensive research has yet to run across any such term that highlights Jewish involvement. The common nomer is 'Russian Mafia' which disguises any Jewish dimension] to describe the activities of these recent immigrants to the United States (especially New York and Los Angeles), parts of Western Europe, and Israel, and of criminals in post-communist Russia. They are believed to be involved in drugs, prostitution (especially in Israel), racketeering, and various forms of illegal activities." [SIMON, p. 145]  "Russian" control of prostitution even exists in Romania. [TANNER]
     "It may be too soon," cautiously wrote Joseph Bensman back in 1986," to tell whether the ... crime [Russian immigrants to the United States] engage in is a means towards gaining the wherewithal to become respectable citizens and white collar criminals, or whether it is to become the base for a new, permanent underclass in American society." [ROSNER, p. xvii] One informant told a researcher that "more than 50% of the people who live in Brighton are involved in criminal things." [ROSNER, p. 106] The worst end of criminal activity includes "protection rackets, gambling, confidence schemes, counterfeiting, forgery and sales of license and travel documents, smuggling, burglary, armed robbery, drug and weapon sales, and murder." [ROSNER, p. 119]  "Brighton Beach," noted Agence France Presse in 1997, "... has long been home to ... the Russian mafia ... The Russian mafia has been putting roots down in Brighton Beach since the early 1970s, when then-Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev decided to allow Jewish emigration, said Raymond Kerr, who specializes in Russian organized crime for the FBI." [BICHON, ONLINE]  "A high level of communication" also exists between "criminals in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, and northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania." [NEW YORK STATE ORGANIZED CRIME TASK FORCE, 1996, p. 180]
     In 1986 UPI noted the case of Boris Davidov, who was arrested with $3 million in stolen property. "He had been in this country for seven years," noted FBI agent Joseph Koletar, "If you come to this country and don't know many people and don't know the language and culture and manage to set up a fencing operation of that size, it suggests that he hit the ground running and had some experience before he got to these shores." [UPI, p. c2]
     The reason so many Russian Jews are able to quickly get established in crime in America is that they were experts in this field in the Soviet Union. As scholar Louise Shelley notes:
     "In many countries, where organized crime is dominated by different
     ethnic groups that are precluded from legitimate social mobility, the
     Jews and Asian groups were significant figures in the shadow economy."
     [SHELLEY, L., 1999, p. 85]    
     This "shadow economy" was the clandestine and illegal goings-on in the Soviet communist world. Shelley's apologetic myth, that Jews were somehow forced into this realm because of a marginalized existence in Soviet communism, is an expression of the usual Jewish victimhood myth. Jews, as this volume amply evidences, have been omnipresent in the upper echelons of power throughout the Soviet communist hierarchy. And as a 1996 (New York and New Jersey) state investigation into the growing "Russian" crime problem in America noted about "Russian" immigrants to America,"
      "Russian émigrés tend to be highly educated. Those who engage in
      crime are very resourceful and sophisticated in their methods of
      operation  ... Unlike the farmers and unskilled laborers who comprised
      the majority of earlier immigrations to this country, Russian émigrés
      are generally urban in origin, well-educated, and industrially and
      technologically skilled. Despite a language barrier, they have marketable
      skills and have not been closed off from the legitimate ladders of upward
      mobility. ... [Yet] they engage in a variety of frauds, scams and swindles
      because those are the kinds of crimes that most closely build upon their
      previous experience in the former Soviet Union. Unlike their ethnic
      predecessors in crime, Russian émigrés do not have to go through any
      developmental or learning process to break into the criminal world in this
      country. They are able to begin operating almost immediately upon their
      p. 180, 184-185]
    The above description of an urbanized, educated, entrepreneurial group, prone to unethical economical activity towards self-advancement, is a classical explication of the historical Jewish strata.
     Among the various "ethnic" groups that are members of the "Russian" mafia are those from the former Soviet area called Georgia. Jews are well-represented among this group too, and, with a long tradition of criminal underworld behavior, were primed to continue this in other countries. Menachem Amir notes what happened when these Jews from Georgia moved to Israel:
     "These new immigrants arrived by the thousands in the mid-1970s. In
     1980-82 there were repeated reports in the [Israeli] media and in police
     statements that among the Georgian Jews were 'special' types of
     criminals, engaged in 'big and serious' crimes, which they had previously
     practiced in Georgia ... What became a hallmark or specialty of Georgian
     criminal organizations, however, was their control, by the use of
     violence, of carting and hauling services at air and sea ports. They used
     this position for large-scale theft of passengers' luggage, as well as
     theft from cargo planes and anchored ships. In addition, there were
     reports of grand scale thefts from warehouses, sophisticated frauds of
     religious objects and diamonds, counterfeiting of money and documents
     (drivers' licenses and professional diplomats), and large-scale fencing."
     [BLOCK, A., 1996, p. 28]
     Amir further notes formal Israeli anthropological studies into the Georgian Jewish crime community. These investigations concluded that the Georgians' "original normative system" of crime "favored their immediate entrance and persistence into organized criminality and organized crime." The results of fifteen years of Israeli efforts to dissuade Jewish Georgians from crime were a "success" only to the degree that they left Israel and had "continued their criminal activities in their new 'places' while maintaining criminal relations with their brethren who remain in Israel (e.g., contraband goods, drugs, laundering money or distributing counterfeit money, produced in Israel [and] in Europe." [AMIR, M., 1996, p. 29-30]
     In explaining to the United States Senate the workings of the "Russian Mafia," two of the top three crime groups cited by an undercover police agent were expressly noted to have links to Israel:
    "1) Izmailovskaya organization. This is based in Moscow and is several
       thousand members strong. Its leaders reside in Russia and Israel. The
       group uses quasi-military ranks and is very strict in disciplining its
       members. It is involved extensively in murder-for-hire, extortions, and
       infiltration of legitimate businesses.
     2) Solntsevskaya organization. This is based in Moscow. Its leaders
         reside in Russia, Central Europe, and Israel. The group is active in
         extortion, infiltration of legitimate businesses, counterfeiting, and the
         trafficking in illegal drugs." [US, COMM, PERM, p. 201] This crime
         gang is "the largest mafia organization in Russia." [DUNN, G., 1996,
         p. 81] It is headed by Jewish mogul Sergei Mikhailov. [BONNER, B., 11-16-00]

      In 1997 Agence France Presse reported that in Geneva
       "suspected Mafia godfather, Sergei Mikhailov, had been questioned for
        four hours by a Russian police officer, prosecutors said here Friday ...
        Before the interrogation, Mikhailov was questioned for 11 hours by two
        Israeli police officers about illegal immigration to the Jewish state ...  
        'Mikhas' was carrying an Israeli passport when he was arrested in
        Switzerland. He is said to be linked to the Solntsevskaya, an
        organization named after a Moscow neighborhood." [AGENCE
        FRANCE, 1997]

     It may be that the aforementioned Senate testifier merely neglected Jewish/Israeli pre-eminence in the third Russian crime family. As the New York Review of Books noted in November 2000 in a review of the book The Russian Mafiya:

     "'Of all the nations where the Russian mob has established a presence, none
     has been more deeply compromised than the State of Israel,' [author Robert]
     Friedman writes, adding that the Russian mafia has 'become a grave threat to
     the stability of Israel.' Although this may be a bit hyperbolic, the Russian
     mafia does have a strong, safe base in Israel -- a story that American and
     Israeli journalists have largely overlooked. One FBI report observes, for
     example, that most members of [Jewish crime boss Semion] Mogilevich's criminal
     organization have Israeli passports. And Jonathan Winer told Friedman (when
     Winer was still the State Department's crime expert), 'There is not a major
     Russian organized crime figure whom we are tracking who does not also
     carry an Israeli passport.'" [BONNER, R., 11-16-01]
     Another testifier before the Senate subcommittee, an Italian "Colombia family" Mafioso figure, described his crime contacts with the Russian Mafia, represented to him by Michael Markowitz, David Bogatin, and Lev Persits, men "in a position of leadership [who] had about 200 other Russians working under them in various capacities. They were also continuously assisting other Russians in immigrating to the United States." [US, COMM, Perm, p. 39] Another, a representative of the Italian Mafia Lucchese family, noted that "I know of Russian criminals in this country who ship guns and cocaine back to Russia. These men have beautiful offices in Rockefeller Center and Beverly Hills and look like legitimate businessmen. They run import-export businesses funded by the mafia over in Moscow." [US, COMM, Perm, p. 51] Two New York City police detectives, Daniel Mackey and Ralph Cefarrello, testified that "Brighton Beach is also a hub for Russian-born criminals with a well-deserved reputation for extreme violence. Their criminal activities include vicious murders and assaults, extortion of Russian-owned businesses, prostitution, illegal gambling, and a vast collection of frauds and schemes that ravage the economy, causing government, businesses, and consumers millions of dollars." [US, COMM, Perm, p. 54]
    The aforementioned Markowitz, Bogatin and Persits were partners in a range of criminal activities, particularly a noteworthy enterprise in fuel racketeering (collectively, a scam that costs the U.S. government about $1 billion a year). [NEW YORK STATE ORGANIZED CRIME TASK FORCE, 1996, p. 185] Markowitz, originally from Rumania, eventually immigrated to Israel and later to the United States. Bogatin came from Russia. Persits "was one of the important 'Russian' gangsters from the now notorious Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn." "The most important broker" that bonded the Bogatin-Markowitz relationship was also Jewish, lawyer Marvin Kramer, "a Brooklyn attorney with a reputation for gritty personal injury litigation." An associate of Kramer's, Phil Moskowitz, had about a dozen arrests going back to 1947. An accountant for Moskowitz, Shelly Fishman, "created false financial assessments." Joe Skolnik also became an associate in the ring. "Corrupt banker" David Goldberg was also on Persits' payroll. [BLOCK, A., 1996, p. 161-162, 164]
     Persits, notes Alan Block,
     "primarily worked with Marat Balagula, once called the Russian
     'Godfather' ... [He] sprinted to the top of the émigré underworld in
      Brighton Beach ... He formed a fuel distributorship called Mallard with
      Lev Naum, originally from Kiev, Efram Nezhinski, and Carlos Orsini.
      [BLOCK, A., 1996, p. 165]
    Other Jewish associates in this criminal netherworld include Boris (a "fairly typical heroin delaer") [BONNER, R., 11-16-01] and Benjamin Nayfield, Evsei Agron ("the most notorious Russian organized crime figure in New York until he was gunned down"), Ilia Zeltzer, Michael Vax, and Efim Laskin. [Block, A., 1996, p. 166] Jewish lawyer Robert Eisenberg became a "sort of 'consigliere'" for Marat Balagula. Another player, also Jewish, in this network was Brooklyn Surrogate Court Judge Bernard Bloom, "who was both corrupt and close to [New York governor] Cuomo." For $50,000 Bloom's office helped mob boss Balagula untangle from some restrictive legalities. [BLOCK, A., 1996, p. 172]
     Then there is Shabtai Kalmanovich, who, in Russia, "has a reputation as a major mobster." [BLOCK, A., 1996, p. 167] Kalmanovich, continues Jewish scholar Alan Block, is a
      "mysterious Russian/Israeli gangster and KGB spy, who was ... wanted
      in the United States for a bank fraud in North Carolina ... He took over
      [the African country of] Sierra Leone, which had a fairly large Russian
      Jewish community since the days when the country had aligned itself
      with the Soviet Union ... All that was really left [in Sierra Leone] were
      diamonds, Sierra Leone's most profitable natural resource. And
      Kalmanovitch and his cronies looted them with abandon. Kalmanovich's
      relationship with [fellow Jewish Russian gangster] Balagula was leavened
      through his association to some other strange bedfellows who were close
      to the Hasidic community in New York's Rockland County, the heart of
      [Jewish senator Benjamin] Gilman's district. Rabbi Ron Greenwald was
      one, Bill Davidson another. Davidson's wife was Balagula's secretary."
      (Greenwald was also an agent for worldwide Jewish American criminal
      Marc Rich). [BLOCK, A., 1996, p. 166-167]

     In 2000, the Jerusalem Post noted another Russian Jewish criminal kingpin: "recently, there were reports that the FBI had identified commodities trader Semyon (Sam) Kislin, a generous donor to Jewish and Israeli causes and to the campaign of [New York] mayor Rudolf Giuliani, as a member of a Brooklyn-based Russian crime syndicate." [HENRY, M., 1-13-00, p. 3]
     In 1995, the Official Kremlin International News Broadcast reported on a press briefing by the Interior Ministry about the Russian Mafia. Vladimir Ovichitsky, identified as a Russian "expert on organized crime busting" noted that, in terms of the ethnic dimensions of the problem,
       "when mention is made of the Russian mafia in the United States,
        reference actually is made to the Jewish community on Brighton
        Beach." [OKINB]
      In 1983 Mike Mallowe described the growing American problem in the Philadelphia Inquirer. He calls the Russian criminal elements "a new mafia," and "Malina":
       "It is an international conspiracy that will engage in any crime for the
        right price ... In the early 1960s, according to one top secret FBI
        analysis, members of the Malina began to emigrate from Russia to
        Israel, where they re-established their criminal networks. Over the years
        these Israeli hoods branched out from Tel Aviv to other cities, including
        London, Paris, Antwerp, Vienna, Rome, New York, and Los Angeles.
        Some members of the Malina brotherhood really are Russian Jews.
        Others have merely purchased false identities of Russian Jews ... Most
        ... are first class international criminals." [ROSNER, p. 120]
         "The Organizatsiya," the Commissioner of U.S. Customs told Congress in 1996, "has been in operation in the United States since the middle 1970s with the first influx of Jewish émigrés from the FSU. The true structure, size, and operational components of the Organizatsiya are not entirely known since there is limited available intelligence, investigative and source information." [WEISSE]   In 1986 Daniel Burstein wrote in New York magazine about the home of the "Russian" mafia in America, Brighton Beach:
      "Over 100,000 Soviets have come to the United States. The
       overwhelming majority were Jews ... By and large, the Russians
        ... favor ... white-collar crimes like credit card fraud, counterfeiting, and
       gas bootlegging." [BURSTEIN, p. 40]
     "One of the foundations on which the Russians are believed to have built their foreign operations," noted London's Independent in 1996, "are the old criminal structures run by mostly Jewish émigrés from the Soviet Union living among Russian communities in cities like Antwerp, New York and Tel Aviv." [REEVES, p. 11]
     Veiling the Jewish crime element, in 1982, United Press International reported that "spies and criminals" were flooding into the United States "disguised as Jewish immigrants."  [BARABAK]   The New York Times noted that Jewish organizations were "angered by a police report speculating that the Kremlin was sending hardened criminals to the United States through abuse of the Soviet Jewish refugee quotas." [NY TIMES, p. A14]  This is one way to spare the Jewish community unwanted (but very merited) attention for their very serious share of this "Russian" Mafia problem  (i.e., asserting that leading criminals living in the tightly-knit Russian Jewish community are somehow not Jewish). A 1996 investigation (co-sponsored by the New York State Organized Crime Task Force, the New York State Commission of Investigation, and the New Jersey Commission of Investigation) dismissed popular myths that Russian officials had intentionally implanted criminals into the Jewish immigration rush to America, that the KGB had interests in sowing Jewish migration with non-Jewish Soviet criminals, or that "members of organized crime groups in Odessa, Ukraine, had smuggled themselves out of the country by assuming the identities of Soviet-Jews who were either dead or in jail." As the report noted:
     "For several reasons, all of these explanations proved inadequate ...
     The actual number of known Russian-emigre criminals who entered
     the United States in the 1970s and 1980s, either with or without the
     consent of Soviet officials, was relatively small and, in general, their
     crimes have been very localized.... History has shown that the growth
     of organized crime in any community is invariably linked to the recent
     migration into that community by ethnic groups having weak ties to the
     dominant political culture." [NEW YORK ORGANIZED CRIME TASK
     FORCE, 1996, p. 183]
      Another way to spare the Jewish community attention for its contribution to a new form of American crime network is to vaguely and generically call Brighton Beach, as one reporter did, simply an "ethnic neighborhood." [GIBSON, p. A1]  The old reliable standby too, is the American mass media's blanket injunction against naming Jewish criminals who largely function within Jewish networks as Jewish criminals. Another way to guide public attention away from Jewish criminality was the way it was attempted in March 1997 when  "Russian American leaders" in Los Angeles called a press conference to argue that there is no such thing as a "Russian mafia" and that it only reinforces negative stereotypes. Principal complainants included Si Frumkin, chairman of the Southern California Council for Soviet Jews, and Eugene Levin, President of the Association of Soviet Jewish Emigres.  [GOLD, B13]
      Meanwhile, also in 1997, the "Russian mafia" that doesn't exist was creating such criminal havoc in Israel that an Israel Radio poll found that a third of the Israelis surveyed were "frightened" by Russian immigrants to Israel; 60% of those questioned even believed that further immigration from Russia should be discouraged. Natan Sharansky, former poster boy for American Jewish demands upon the Russian government to allow Jews to move to the Jewish state, called the poll "the saddest thing that's happened to me in the ten years I've been in Israel." [COHEN, A.] In 1996, the Israeli government "identified a list of 35 major crime bosses from Russia and Ukraine who had established a presence in Israel and were laundering the proceeds of their European operations." [TRENDS IN ORGANIZED CRIME, SUMMER 1999]
      Incessant Jewish strangleholds used to veil the profound Jewish significance in the "Russian" mafia and other organized crime in the western world may be discerned in an obscure 1986 news item when the President's Commission on Organized Crime issued a 250 page document supposedly detailing "the full scope of organized crime in America." [SANTOS]  Both the UPI and Reuters wire services took note of an extraordinary crack in the Jewish lobby's seams by half of the document's creators, after the formal report was issued:
       "In a departure, nine of the 18 commissioners issued a critical statement
       charging the commission's history 'is a saga of missed opportunity.' It
       criticized the commission for poor management of time, money, and
       staff and said it ignored many areas, including the roles of
       American blacks and Jewish organizations in organized crime."
     A defender of this final report was the commission's Jewish chairman: Irving Kaufman. [MOLDEA, p. 348]
      As always, Jews -- even here -- are afforded a hiding place, at least partially, in the underclass Black man's shadow. Why -- and how -- such an important issue as international Jewish crime (widespread crime even networked through distinctly Jewish religious institutions) was forcibly "ignored," we can well understand. But it is amazing that the censorship was so great and meaningful that half the commissioners felt the moral need for this public complaint, however muffled, and little passed on.
     One of the dissenters on the commission cited a nine-hour meeting held before releasing the final report, and said: "Leaving [Jewish Hollywood-based lawyer connected to the criminal underworld Sidney] Korshak out of the final report was no accident. A conscious decision was made to leave out any reference to him, and we were told about it at the meeting. It was too late to do anything about it. We [the commissioners] really never had a chance to see a final version of the report before it was released ... I felt there was some pressure to keep Korshak out. And where that pressure came from, well, your guess is as good as mine." [MOLDEA, p. 197]
     This veiling of Jewish crime comes in various guises. In 1995 a Jewish author, Stephen Handelman, wrote a book about the Russian mafia. He concedes that "a number of prominent black marketeers and businessmen were Jewish and police found evidence tying international gem swindlers to joint ventures owned by Russians who had immigrated to Israel. A former Russian who became an Israeli citizen had signed the shipment of Colombian cocaine that was discovered at Vyborg in 1993 and, according to police, the ikon-smuggling trade was dominated by Russian Jewish émigrés in Vienna and Frankfurt." [HANDELMAN, p. 301] But Handelman argues that most of the Russian mafia are Slavs, never addressing the Jewish prominence in the upper echelons of the Mafia and the fact of its enormous Jewish overrepresentation (Jews make up merely one percent of the Russian population). Handelman routinely dismisses the comments he garnered in an interview with former KGB official Aleksander Sterligov, an expert on the subject of Russian crime, one of the "senior experts in counterintelligence," and chief investigator of "corruption in the Ministry of Internal Affairs," as merely expressions of anti-Semitism:
    "General Sterligov told me that Jews were responsible for the corruption
     of local governments. 'They are always trying to push out the Russians
     and seeking the dominant positions ... Even an ancient Russian city like
     Nizhni Novogorod has been completely destroyed because it is run by
     a Jewish administration." [HANELMAN, p. 301]
     "As corruption and crime spread through post-communist society," decides Handelman, "it became easier to blame the nation's problems on the traditional scapegoats of Russian nationalism -- Jews and other ethnic minorities." [HANDELMAN, p. 301]
      This is a curious accusation, given the fact that Handelman himself feels comfortable in addressing an introductory senior mafia figure in the book by the criminal's supposed nickname: "the Armenian," hence slurring an entire community. (Might we imagine such a parallel character to introduce a book on world crime addressed as "the Jew?" On a much lesser level, a rare fluke: in 1998 "one of five mob figures" in Youngstown, Ohio, was noted by the Associated Press with his nickname:  "Bernard 'Bernie the Jew' Altshuler.") [WELSH-HUGGINS, 11-29-98] The essence of Handelman's worldview, however, like virtually any Jewish author on such a subject, may be understood by glancing at his volume's index for a moment. There we find that all pages (p. 300-303, 310, and 311) under the heading "Jew" exactly correspond to those under the heading "Anti-Semitism." In other words, one way or another, the subject of the Jewish relationship to the Russia mafia, no matter what the evidence, is never discussed without the standard contextual qualifier to diffuse Jewish responsibility: anti-Semitism, i.e., virtually anything anyone said to the author about Jews involved in the Russian crime world must be ultimately framed as baseless, prejudicial, irrational, and wrong. And the notion of some kind of "conspiracy," which is of course central to organized crime, is categorically dismissed.
     In 2000, the Houston Chronicle published a frank appraisal of an unusually honest new book, the Red Mafiya, by author Robert Friedman. As the Chronicle noted,
    "An American of Russian Jewish descent, Friedman is remarkably well
    positioned to report on the [Russian] Mafiya, since most Mafiya members
    are themselves Russian Jews. This curious fact owes its origin to the
    efforts, during the Nixon administration, of Democratic Senator Henry
    'Scoop' Jackson to link trade concessions with Jewish emigration from
    the Soviet Union ... While the Italian Mafia has a singular link between
    Italy and America, the Russian Mafiya is more international. Ironically,
    in a Jewish transit camp near Rome, many Russian-Jewish career
    criminals met, exchanged information and departed ... The Russians seem
    crazier in their violence than do the Italians. While the Mafia uses violence
    to punish enemies surgically, the Mafiya will kill the enemy, his wife, his
    children, and his friends, both as a theatrical warning to competitors and
    for the sheer joy of bloody, tyrannical violence ... Now 30 Russian
    crime syndicates are operating in at least 17 U.S. cities." [ALFORD, S.,
    5-14-2000, p. 15]
     And public examination of this very criminal core through expressly Jewish networks? It is systematically hidden by Jewish lobbying pressure and media influence, carefully defaming "Russians" at-large as corrupt. As Robert Friedman notes, "Because the Russian mob is mostly Jewish, it was a political hot potato, especially in the New York area." [ALFORD, S., 5-14-2000, p. 15]
      "Is there a Russian mafia?" asked Lt. Robert Cook, commander of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's organized crime unit, in the article about Jewish complaints about Russian Jewish stereotypes in Los Angeles, "I think that's been well documented." [GOLD, B13]  So well documented that eight months later the Los Angeles Times noted that
      "the Colombians are finding their most reliable drug partner in Europe is
       the Russian mafia ... 'The Russian mafia has set itself up on the
       Caribbean islands so as to be able to contact the Colombians,' said
       General Rosso Serrano, commander of the Colombian police ... More
       than two dozen Russian banks have offices on the island of Antiqua,
       raising questions about why so many faraway financial institutions would
       have so much interest in such a small island." [DARLING, p.14]
     The Jerusalem Post had this observation about Antigua in 1991:
      "Take a small Caribbean island, add an unscrupulous Israeli adventurer
       with a melon farm, and sprinkle it with Israeli ex-army types, including
       a brigadier general. Have them take over the place by bribery and
       corruption, then use the island to sell small arms to Colombian drug
       dealers. These are the embarrassing findings of the recently published
       Official Report of the Commission of Inquiry by the Governor General
       of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Wilfred Jacobs." [MORGENSTERN]
      In 1989, a Colombian presidential candidate, Luis Carlos Gallin, was assassinated by members of the Medellin drug ring. Only months earlier the Colombian government had lodged protests to the Israeli government about Israeli Yair Klein, who had been found to be training the drug cartel in paramilitary techniques. The Colombian government, notes the Jerusalem Post, "could not have imagined that, as they were making the complaints, a plot was being hatched to supply 100 Uzis, 400 Galil rifles, and 200,000 rounds of ammunition to the drug cartels [by the Israeli Military Industries (IMG) company -- the commercial wing of Israel's Defense Ministry]." [MORGENSTERN]  An August 1989 Reuters report noted that
     "Colombian drug traffickers ... declared 'total' war on the Bogota
     government Thursday and blew up the offices of the country's two main
     political parties in the drug capital, Medellin. As the group known as the
     'Extraditables' also threatened journalists, judges, business and trade
     union leaders, Israel Thursday dissociated itself from its citizens,
     reported to be working for the Medellin drug cartel." [KARP]
     The president of the Russian Jewish Congress, Vladimir Gusinksy, also owner of another prominent Russian bank called Most, is widely reported (even in Israel)  [COHEN, A.] to have likely Russian crime connections. [Gusinsky is also a major Russian media tycoon and will be further discussed in a later section].  The chairman of the board of Gusinsky's bank is Boris Hait, who is also a vice-president of the Russian Jewish Congress. (In 2001, another deputy of the Russian Jewish Congress, Mikhail Mirlashvili, was "arrested in St. Petersburg and charged with kidnapping two people.") [COCKBURN, P., 1-25-01] Mikhail Friedman, chairman of Russia's Alpha Bank and Vitali Malkin, president of the Rossiiski Kredit Bank, are Russian Jewish Congress vice-presidents. Andrei Rappoport, chairman of Alpha Bank, is also an RJC board member. Of these RJC officials, Gusinsky, Khait, Friedman, and Malkin were listed in 1995 by a Moscow newspaper as among the twenty richest men in Russia. [KRICHEVSKY, Around, p. 1] Other Jewish bankers and financiers at the very top of Russian society include Mikhail Khodorovsky and Pyotr Aven, among others. With the fall of communism and the resultant struggles for power, the nature of the banking business in Russia is extremely precarious, deeply embedded in organized crime.  Over a four year period in the 1990s there were assassination attempts upon 116 bankers; 79 were killed and 36 wounded. [HOFFMAN, D., Russian, p. A1]  Gusinsky alone has a 1,000-man "private security force," directed by a former general in the KGB. [COHLER-ESSES, p. 13]
    As Phil Williams notes about the scope of the "Russian" mafia:
     "In August 1995 the MVD All-Russian Scientific Research Institute
     estimated that criminal groups control over 400 banks and 47 exchanges.
     An even more pessimistic assessment was made by professor Lydia
     Krasfavina, head of the Institute for Banking and Finance Managers,
     who estimated that 70 to 80 percent of private banks in Russia are
     controlled by organized crime." [WILLIAMS, P., 1996, p. 1-27]
       In 1999, Edmond Safra, fabulously wealthy and secretive Jewish banker/financier and owner of the international Republic Bank, died in a fire of suspicious circumstances. Although the cause of the blaze was determined to have been an employee, the London Daily Telegraph noted that there had been "reports that the Russian mafia had issued a contract for his murder." [GRAVES/NUNDY, p. 13]
      In testimony during hearings before a subcommittee of the United States Congress in 1996, one expert on Russian crime said
       "I would reiterate that Russian organized crime is more involved in the
       banking sector than most other organized crime groups. Research within
       Russia reveals a very high presence of organized crime in either the
       organization of [the] banking sector, the management, or in influencing
       the banking sector." [US, COMM, INT'L, p. 35]
       "'Organized crime groups in Russia,' another expert told Congress,
       'have more control over the banking sector than their compatriots in
       other countries. Hundreds of banks are controlled by organized crime
       facilitating money laundering abroad for Russian groups and providing a
       service for foreign crime groups. Organized crime's domination of the
       banking industry is the biggest impediment to economic growth..." [US,
       COMM, INT'L, p. 77]
       Banking throughout the world, and throughout history, has always had a high Jewish involvement. Among the most sinister Russian Jewish thugs today is Semion Mogilevich, who the Village Voice headlined in 1998 as the "world's most dangerous gangster." Mogilevich, with a base in Brighton Beach, has also acquired Israeli citizenship and reportedly runs international "torture," prostitution, and drug rings. He heads a criminal group called the Red Mafia, of which "many of the organization's 250 members are his relatives." [FRIEDMAN, THE WORLD'S, p. 43]  They also trade in illegal nuclear materials and legally purchased "the entire Hungarian armaments industry." [FRIEDMAN, THE WORLD'S, p. 43]  He also "bought a string of nightclubs in Prague, Riga, and Kiev known as the "black and white clubs' which became notorious centres of prostitution ... After the breakup of the Soviet Union [he] is reputed to control almost everything that passes in and out of Sheremetyero Airport, Moscow's principal international terminal." [BINYON]
     In 1999 Mogilevech turned up again in the news. The International Monetary Fund was embroiled in controversy when it was discovered that billions of dollars lent to the Russian government had been laundered into private hands. The Wall Street Journal called it "one of the biggest money-laundering schemes to be uncovered in the United States." [WSJ, 8-30-99, p. 8] The Jewish-centered scandal (never publicly named as such) broke at the Bank of New York where Lucy Edwards (originally named Ludmilla Pritzker; married to Jewish Russian banker Peter Berlin, a "reputed Mogilevech lieutenant" [GOLDBERG, JJ, 9-3-99]) and Natasha Garfinkel Kagalovsky were placed "on unpaid leave while investigations continued. Both women are beloved to work in the bank's Eastern Europe department and are married to Russians. The central character in the investigation [is] Mogilevech." [GARTH, A.]
     "The IMF," notes Jonathan Steele, "found itself pouring millions into Russia simply to protect the value of the ruble and western banks ... Konstanin Kagalovsky [also Jewish] served from 1992 to 1995 as the link man [for the Russian government] to the IMF. Now vice-president of Yukos oil, he has been in the news this month because it was through the accounts which his wife managed at the Bank of New York that millions of dollars from Russia flowed." [STEELE, p. 8] Kagalovsky was a former executive at Bank Menatep, "one of Russia's largest banks." This bank was controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, also Jewish (whose "internet bank" based in Antigua was called by some regulators "a scam"). [O'BRIEN/BONNER, 8-18-96, p. 32]
     Mogilevich, noted the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, is "the central suspect in an international bank-fraud that investigators term the biggest in money-laundering history. ... Mogilevich's mob is said to be the largest and most dangerous criminal organization to emerge from the backdrop of the Soviet Union ... Most of its members are Jewish ... Cash movements began just before the August 1998 ruble devaluation that led to Russian financial crisis ... Others whose names have surfaced in the mushrooming probe include several so-called 'oligarchs,' the business tycoons, many of them Jewish, who control much of post-communist Russia's privatized industry." [GOLDBERG, JJ, 9-3-99] (Those noted by the Journal were Jewish tycoons Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Boris Berezovsky, and Vladimir Goussinsky. More about them, their links to the "Russian mafia," and their influence in the Russian mass media, in the Mass Media chapter. In 1998, Berezovsky's daughter Yelizaveta was arested for cocaine possession St. Petersburg). [BADKHEN, A., 5-15-98] (In 2002, Catya Sassoon, daughter of famous Jewish hair mogul Vidal Sassoon, "died of a suspected drug overdose after a New Year's Eve party.") [AKBAR, A., 1-5-02]

      "All told, Mogilevich's mob may have looted as much as $15 billion from the Russian economy in the last few years." [GOLDBERG, JJ, 9-3-99]
     Another Jewish link in the gigantic economic bleeding of Russia is Israeli-born Bruce Rappaport. As the New York Times noted,
     "At the intersection of illicit Russian money and the Bank of New York
     is Bruce Rappaport, a Swiss banker who has had brushes with
     governmental investigators in the past ... Most recently, Mr. Rappaport's
     bank [Bank of New York-Inter Maritime] was sued by the Justice
     Department in 1997, to recover proceeds that the Government asserted
     was from drug sales that had been deposited in the Bank of New York-
     Maritime in the Caribbean Island of Antigua by a known money-launderer
     ... Rappaport ... was recently appointed Antigua's Ambassador to Russia.
     Antigua ... has been a major center of Russian money-laundering for
     years." [O'BRIEN/BONNER, 8-22-99]
     In the late 1980s, Rappaport's wife, Ruth, was head of the Geneva chapter of the Women's International Zionist organization. [GREENHOUSE, S., 2-4-1988, p. 16]
     Central involvement in the spectacular theft of vast sums of Russia government money was not a first for Jewish swindlers, even in the 1990s. The Jerusalem Report, in 1993, noted that "A Jewish businessman, an alleged spy [for Israel], is in the middle of a scandal that is shaking Moscow's fragile regime." The man in question was Boris Yosefovich Birshtein, head of the Seabeko Group. As the Israeli journal noted:
     "Seabeko, according to a KGB report obtained by the Jerusalem Report,
     was used by leaders of the former Soviet Union as a conduit to steal
     millions." [LESSER, A., 9-23-93]
    Stolen money was deposited in Switzerland accounts. Past Bershtein business partners included Jewish Americans David Katz and David Tzebel. Among Bershtein's more recent associates was Dmitry Yakubovsky, also Jewish, who lives today in a $5.2 million home in suburban Toronto. Israeli Binyamin Keret, the head of a company called Trade Links, was also a Birshtein partner. "Birshtein, according to the KGB report, is a Mossad [Israeli spy] agent, as was Keret ... Diplomatic sources quote government officials as saying he was being run on the Russian side by Mikhail Poltoranin, one of [Russian prime minister Boris] Yeltsin's closest aides." [LESSER, A., 9-23-93]
      Moving along, in 1987, Israelis Moshe Shtrowise, Ishack Ferman, and Asher Sivan were arrested for smuggling drugs into England. [HUNTER, LINK, p. 6]  In 1995, Barry Rider, a Jew, the dean of England's Jesus College at Cambridge University, and "an academic who has been involved for the last ten years in crime research," presented a controversial  "anti-Semitic" paper to Great Britain's Houses of Parliament. The (Jewish) Forward noted that the report
      "highlighted a rising tide of organized crime among Britain's Jewish
      community -- much of it connected with Israelis living in Britain.
      According to the report, English Jews are helping to launder Mafia
      money. It also claims that some Jews are involved in racketeering and
      protection rackets and that they are ready to resort to criminal violence.
      Many observers are coming to accept that there is a growing class of
      Jewish criminals in Britain, particularly among the 27,000 Israelis now
      settled in the country ... Israeli drug gangs ... have carved out a large slice
      of the narcotics trade ... in recent years." [SHAMASH, p. 2]
     An unnamed senior government prosecutor told the Forward that "some of the biggest drug dealers in Britain are Israelis based at London's most prestigious addresses" and are involved "in importing millions of pounds of heroin and cocaine." [SHAMASH, p. 2] In 2001, on another front, Philip Lyons and Abraham Israel were charged in London with "money-laundering charges, including the handling of proceeds from drug trafficking." [ROCKER, S., 3-9-01]
      In 1997, the French Montreal La Presse newspaper, attracted Canadian Jewish Congress and B'nai B'rith Canada condemnation, cries of anti-Semitism, and a demand for an apology when the paper ran a headline stating" "RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] strike a Deadly Blow to a Jewish Criminal Organization." The Jewish lobbying organizations argued that it was inappropriate to note criminals by ethnicity (although the common nomer, "Russian mafia," garners little complaint from anyone), and that only seven of 31 arrested members of the gang smuggling drugs were Jewish. Claude Masson, the assistant publisher of La Presse, noted in response to the Jewish attack that all the leaders of the criminal group had been identified by police as Jews, and added: "I think we're playing with words a bit. I think we should be careful about being so politically correct that we can no longer say what is happening in our society." [EISENTHAL, p. 4] (In 2001, Jacob Cohen-Shiri was arrested in Montreal for a drug-related murder. A year earlier he had pleaded guilty to a case of armed-robbery). [CHERRY, P., 5-8-01]

    Antonio Nicaso and Lee Lamothe, in their 1995 book Global Mafia. The New World Order of Organized Crime, noted that

      "In Toronto, Soviet gangs practiced extortion, gambling, loan-sharking, and
      drug trafficking, much of it in conjunction with the Paul Volpe group of the
      Buffalo La Costra Nostra crime family. During the 1970s and 1980s, various
      police investigations turned up Soviets, many of whom said they were Jews
      who had immigrated from Israel. The men were treated as run-of-the-mill bandits
      and the cases never got beyond the basic investigations. In retrospect, police
      believe the Russian mob was behind many of the crimes. The same held true in
      New York City, where Russian gangs conducted ongoing crimes within the ethnic       community, and expanded beyond its borders into partnerships with the New
      York La Cosa Nostra to whom they paid 'an operating tax.' It wasn't until the
      breakup of the USSR that thousands of gangsters flooded into North America,
      many of them turning to the criminals living there who already knew the ropes,
      the law, and the language. The immigrants connected with the local former Soviet       mobs and were quickly absorbed into the underworld. They often formed their
      own more violent networks, demanding a larger piece of the criminal pie."
      [NICASO/LAMOTHE, 1995, p. 45-46] 

    In 2001, the Jewish Chronicle noted another Jewish drug story in Australia:

    "Sydney's Jewish community has been embarrassed about publicity in the city's
     two major newspapers about gang warfare to control the drug trade in the
     Eastern Suburbs, where the majority of Sydney's Jewish population live.
     In a dawn raid last week, 40 police swooped on homes across the city, taking
     in for questioning youths who were later charged with kidnapping, extortion
     and robbery. The victims were described in the Sydney Morning Herald
     and the Daily Telegraph as being members of wealthy Jewish families. The
     leader of one of the gangs is also Jewish ... Stephen Rothman, president
     of Sydney's Board of Deputies, told the JC: 'We've told both papers
     that we are totally against ethnic labelling of any kind. The Herald removed
     the Jewish tag in later editions, but the Telegraph persisted and we will
     be taking this up with the paper." [BENJAMIN, H., 4-20-01]
      In Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1995 Boris Dekanidze was arrested for the murder of a journalist who consistently exposed a local arms smuggling, drug dealing, and money laundering ring called the Vilnius Brigade. "It was a political trial," Dekanidze told the state television network about his eventual death sentence, "It's a clear attack on the Jewish businessman." [KAMINSKI, p. IV]  "The government," noted the London Financial Times, "... although sensitive to charges of anti-Semitism, ... says Boris Dekanidze has a criminal past and proven contacts with shadowy figures among the émigré community in the U.S., Europe, and Israel ... But a recent terrorist threat against the world's largest nuclear power plant in Ignalina, in the east corner of Lithuania -- German intelligence received a tip that the plant might be bombed if Boris Dekanidze was not released -- casts doubt on who truly governs the country." [KAMINSKI, p. IV]
     In 1998 and 1999, Ukraine reversed the usual "Jews flee to Israel" scenario by kicking two prominent Jewish businessmen/racketeers out of the country. First, Leonid Vulf, a Ukrainian with Israeli citizenship, was banned from entry into the former Russian republic because he is "an alleged leader of a gang suspected of contract killings in Ukraine." [KRICHEVSKY, L., 6-30-99, p. 11]  A few months later, yet another Ukrainian Jew, Vadim Rabinovich, also possessing Israeli citizenship and also with known ties to the Russian mafia, was banned too from Ukraine for five years for causing "considerable damage to Ukraine's economy." Given the fact that one of Rabinovich's harshest critics is the Chief Rabbi of the Ukraine, Ya'akov Bleich, it was difficult to completely dismiss his case as one of irrational anti-Semitism.  Rabinovich, noted the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, with "assets of $1 billion, mak [es] him one of the wealthiest men in the former Soviet Republic," and a member of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma's "inner circle." [KRICHEVSKY, L., 6-30-99, p. 11]
      In 1995, another Jewish Mafioso, Monya Elson, was arrested in Italy. The Associated Press noted that "law enforcement officials long ago identified Elson as a boss in the Russian mafia, a national network of criminal enterprises based in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn. He had been described as the highest ranking member not behind bars." [AP, 3-8-95]
       In 1996, the California State Attorney General, Don Lundgren, announced that there were "approximately 300 former Soviet Union crime figures and associates in the San Francisco Bay Area" involved in extortion, money laundering, loan sharking, auto theft rings, and gas tax fraud schemes. The Jewish Bulletin of Northern California interviewed Rabbi Ben Pil, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, identified as likely the only Russian-speaking rabbi in the San Francisco area. Pil told the paper that Jews are "the brains of the mafia" in the Soviet Union and "here, it could be the same." [STRASSER, p. 96] For Rabbi Pil's part, the state of California investigated his Jewish charity organization for fraud the next year and a San Francisco judge ordered the rabbi's prominent local Jewish "charity" organization, the Jewish Educational Center, and two subsidiary businesses run by Pil and his wife, to be shut down. Ostensibly created to aid new immigrant Jews from Russia and sick children, the organization was charged with fraud, false advertising and tax violations. In widespread appeals for donations of used cars, the Jewish Educational Center had become one of the largest used car dealerships in America. [SF CHRON, 7-2-97, p. A13; 6-14-97, p. A1]
     In the insurance fraud world, in 1997 the Keystone Medical ring was busted by police authorities, indicting over 30 people in four states and "13 different sham medical clinics."  Approximately 120 accidents were faked and 600 bogus insurance claims filed. "Peter Rivelis, who helped run Keystone Medical," noted the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "had extensive contacts among Russian Jewish émigrés because of his own Jewish background and recruited from that group of acquaintances, according to documents." [PITZ, p. A1] In 1995, a scam "orchestrated by Alexander Zaverukha" cheated insurance companies out of over a $1 million. Indicted were Zaverukha, Victor Tsan, and six others. [NEW YORK ORGANIZED CRIME TASK FORCE, 1996, p. 188]

     In 1993, two Jewish Russian immigrants, David and Michael Smushkevich, were "accused of orchestrating the biggest health care fraud in United States history," worth a stunning $1 billion dollars. Earlier, in 1987, David had been convicted of Medicare fraud. Both brothers lost a $17 million lawsuit accusing fraud filed by an insurance company in 1988. [MOFFAT, S., 3-16-93, p. B1] In 1995, Russian Jews Bella Jakubovicz and Asya Drubich were indicted in Brooklyn for stealing $35 million from a Manhattan jewelry company. In 1996, Lev Breskin, Alexander Korogodsky, Yakov Portnov, and George Yosifian were indicted for stealing $5.7 million from a charity set up to help victims of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. [NEW YORK STATE ORGANIZED CRIME TASK FORCE, 1996, p. 189, 190]

     In 2001, "two executives from a World Trade Center brokerage have been charged with plotting to steal $100 million from investors -- a theft discovered days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." Indicted were Andre Koudachev (Jewish?), owner of First Equity Enterprises, and Gary Farberov (Jewish), former First Equity president. [GUARDIAN, 11-20-01]

      In 2000, reporter Mike Tobin found himself under attack by Jews for an article he had written for Cleveland Scene magazine about local Russian immigrants involved in crime, particularly those in computer sales. "The story also makes clear," complained the Cleveland Jewish News, "that in addition to being Russian, most of the immigrants to Cleveland it is highlighting, are also Jewish." [OSTER, M., 11-5-2000, p. 3] Tobin's article, said the News in a follow-up piece,

     "singled out Russian operations, identified them as Jewish-owned, and implied
      that these were just a few of many Russian Jewish computer companies engaging
      in scams and illegal business practices ... Tobin, who is Catholic, said he 'thought
      long what to do with the information' when he realized that the computer companies
      were all owned by Russian Jews. 'I'm not saying that Jewish people sell bad
      computers. But what do the companies have in
common? The same geographic
      area, the same ethic and religious background' ... Contacted after the television
      show taping [on local Russian TV, where he defended his article], Tobin said

      since the article appeared, he has received 40 e-mail messages from former
      employees of computer companies and law enforcement officials who told
      him, 'You have just scratched the surface.'" [KARFELD, M., 11-19-2000, p. 22]

  In 1996, the Cleveland Plain Dealer named Martin Goldfarb and William Sawchyn, co-owners of Allstate Vending, as "two of the principal figures in [a car insurance] conspiracy" involving 130 vehicles. A network of 38 people were eventually indicted in the ring. In one case, noted the Plain Dealer,
     "Goldfarb leased a retagged 1990 van to the Jewish Family Services
     Services Home, a home in Woodmere for retarded children, and then
     had Sawchyn steal it. Goldfarb then filed a false insurance claim for
     the van he had leased to the Jewish Family Services Home for a
     nominal fee." [ROLLENHAGEN, M., 9-20-96, p. B1]
     With the cooperation of Russian police agencies in 1997, another Jewish fraudster, Vladimir Levin, was imprisoned in New York for a spectacular innovation in white collar crime. He was charged with having
      "masterminded [from St. Petersburg, in Russia] the first bank
      raid ever carried out on the Internet, withdrawing more than $10
      million from bank accounts in a country he had never set foot in...
      Levin was allegedly able to arrange the transfer of large sums from  
      Citibank customers to accounts in countries as far apart as Israel
      and Finland, Colombia and the Netherlands ... The assumption was
      [by police] that the Russian mafia had muscled in on the scam."
      [JACOBSON, 1997, p. 28]
    (In 2000, the giant Microsoft computer software computer notified the FBI that a computer hacker had gained entrance into its system and downloaded material at "an email account in St. Petersburg, Russia." The perpetrator was unknown.) [BRIDIS/BUCKMAN, 10-27-2000]
     In another computer case, also in 2000, an Israeli woman, Sandra Elazar, and an Italian national, Giuseppe Russo, were "accused of using thousands of American credit-card numbers snagged off computer lists to place $750,000 worth of on-line lotto bets." They also went on an "on-line buying spree." [JERUSALEM POST, 3-5-2000] In 2001, four Israeli high school students confessed to unleashing the "Goner" computer worm. [COPANS, L., 12-8-01]
    There is even an entire book (subtitled "America's Most-Wanted Computer Outlaw") written about notorious Jewish computer hacker Kevin Mitnick. Mitnick was hunted down after a multi-year search by the F.B.I. He was jailed for nearly five years. [BLANGGER, T., 12-26-96, p. D1; BRIDIS, T., 3-3-2000, p. B1]

     Ever wonder where the computer pheonomenon of "spamming" came from? :
      "One of the earliest examples of [Internet] spamming was actually done by
      lawyers. Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, former practitioners in Florida,
      in 1994 invented 'spamming.' They advertised that they would prepare the
      documents for the INS lottery, which permitted non- residents of the U.S.
      to enter a lottery for a green card. Their advertisement was posted across
      the Internet. And the Internet was outraged. To understand the outrage of
      the Internet community, you need to understand the origins of the Internet.
      In 1994, roughly one year after the World Wide Web came into use, the
      Internet was primarily populated by academics, scientists and students.       Commercialism was frowned upon and violated the terms of service for most
      of the Internet service providers then in existence (including the terms of
      service of the provider used by Canter and Siegel to spam the Internet).
      Many Usenet groups, inundated with the spammed message, crashed or
      were forced offline ... .Notwithstanding the furor caused by their spamming,
      in 1995 Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel published How to Make a
      Fortune on the Information Super Highway
, a book that became the 'spamming
      bible' to the next generation of spammers. Inevitably, given the low cost and ease
      of mass mailings online, spamming caught on." [CYBERANGELS]
     In 1987, Israeli Zvi Gafnis was arrested in Hong Kong. Gafni was involved in international arms dealing, cocaine smuggling into Mexico and the U.S., counterfeit U.S. dollars, and illegally transporting computers into the Soviet Union. [HUNTER, LINK, p. 5]  In 1997, in an article entitled Specter of Russian Mafia Scares Dutch After Latest Killing, Vadim Rosenbaoum  -- a Jewish importer-exporter -- made news as a murder victim in the Netherlands. Agence France Presse suggested that he had been slain for informing authorities about local "Russian" Mafia activities.
     In 1978, New York City's famous Studio 54 disco nightclub was raided by the Organized Crime Strike Force for tax evasion and drug dealing. Owners Steve Rubell and Ian Shrager were both Jewish. Shrager's father, nicknamed "Max the Jew," was a former associate of gangster Meyer Lansky. Among the objects confiscated were lists of famous visitors who were provided complimentary drugs by the proprietorship. [GAINES/CHURCHER, p. 276-277]
     In 1999, Thailand authorities asked Israel for help in capturing Israeli Peres Esat who murdered another Israeli, Shimon Benhamo, in Bangkok. Another arrested Israeli, Shimon Ofer Skriki, also confessed to the killing over an argument about the price on a cocaine shipment from Brazil. [DEUTSCHE PRESSE] That same year, the Jerusalem Report noted the cases of four Jews serving life sentences in Thailand's Bangkwang prison for smuggling heroin. With money provided by friends and relatives, they have approached prison employees and
     "bought themselves into the same cell, then bribed the guards to
      have only 10 other inmates in their 215-square-foot quarters,
      not the standard 20, and allow them sleeping mats, bottled water,
      and a diet of meat, fruit and vegetables. Two years ago, the four
      'leased' a $500-a-year cell for their 'Jewish House.' It's an exclusive
      club equipped with tables and chairs, bookshelves and a color TV."
     Among those Jews imprisoned is Stephen Roye, once an Emmy-winning TV producer "who had several anti-drug documentaries in the 1980s" but was caught when he "volunteered to run heroin from Bangkok to his native Los Angeles." [KRAUSZ, T., 12-20-99]
     In 1996 the (London) Times noted the case of Iosif Kobzon, who "from humble Jewish roots" had attained
     "fame in the 1960s as [Russia's] favorite singer ... Over the past five
      years, Mr. Kobzon has become one of Moscow's leading entrepreneurs
      with interests from sportswear outlets to hotels. Last year, however, his
      small empire looked vulnerable after his controversial underworld ties
      threatened his reputation and ability to operate ... The FBI cited his close
      links with Vyacheslav (Yaponchik) Ivankov, the alleged godfather of
      Russian organized crime being held in America on racketeering
      charges."  [BEESTON]
     In 1990, Israeli Amiram Nir was killed in a mysterious plane crash in the Mexican state of Michoacan. Ostensibly, he was visiting a large avocado plantation  -- Nucal -- owned by fellow Israeli Avraham Cohen and Swiss-Jewish millionaire Nessim Gaon. "A week after Nir's death," noted the Jerusalem Post,
        "Newsday reported that U.S. intelligence sources in Mexico believed he
        was the middleman for a large arms deal of Israeli weapons via a port in
        Vera Cruz on the eastern coast of Mexico. It quoted American Drug
        Enforcement Agency officials as saying that there had been a steep rise
        in the efforts of cocaine smugglers to transport drugs from Michocacan
        to the U.S. and that three days prior to Nir's visit a captain in the
        Mexican army confirmed that a 'large shipment' of Israeli-made
        weapons arrived at the Vera Cruz port and was transported to Mexico
        City." [BAINERMAN]
      In 1994 a bomb exploded on a Panamanian commuter plane, killing 21 people. 12 of them were Jews (included four Israelis). Suspicions grew that the target of the attack was Saul Schwartz, a passenger on the plane who was under investigation by Italian police and known to have links to the Medellin Columbia drug cartel. Robert Eisenmann, the Jewish publisher of La Prensa, noted that "Saul Schwartz was definitely in the hanky panky business ... Most of the Jewish community would prefer to call [the bombing] an anti-Semitic act than to accept that one of their own was involved in drug trafficking." [LUXNER, p. 2]
       In 1997 an alleged "Russian mafia kingpin," and immigrant to Israel, Grigori Lerner (a.k.a. Zvi Ben-Ari) was put on trial for bank fraud and bribery in the Jewish state. In Russia he was wanted for "murders ... of a banker and a popular Moscow TV broadcaster, the attempted murder of several other bankers, and the embezzlement of $85 million from three Russian banks" [GROSS, N., 1997, p. 22] but Israeli law forbids extradition of its citizens.  Born of "highbrow Jewish parents," as early as 1981 Lerner was convicted of stealing large sums of money from a government agency. The Jewish Week noted that there were those in Israel who "insisted that anti-Semitism was a primary Russian motive in the Lerner affair." [DERNFNER, p. 24] Lerner's wife, Olga Zolovenskaya (who became Ilena Rubinstein in Israel), was formerly married to Sergei Timofayev, "a major mafia don." [GROSS, N., 1997, p. 22]
      Regarding Lerner's case, the Christian Science Monitor noted that:
      "Crime experts say there is a more general problem of Russian
       expatriates using Israel as a base for international money laundering and
       trying to infiltrate or influence Israeli economic, political, and security
       establishments. And their reach does not stop at the [Israeli] border ...
       Reformers say that it is relatively easy to buy influence in Israel because
       there are few restrictions on contributions to individual candidates ... But
       magnifying the international aspect of organized crime in Israel are its
       even more liberal banking laws -- which police and other critics say
       make money laundering easy ... Police say $2.5 billion to $4 billion in
       criminal money has been brought into Israel since the collapse of the
       Soviet Union ... 'Now you can bring money here, deposit it, whenever
       you like, no questions asked,' says a Jerusalem-based police ministry 
       special investigator of international crime ...  Attempts to infiltrate
       Israel's political and economic system represents a 'strategic threat'
       because Mafia figures have been hiring former security or police
       officers to learn how Israeli investigators operate." [PRUSHNER, p. 18]
     "Many countries in the West," noted the Jerusalem Post in 1996,
      "have regulations forcing disclosure of sources of investment to both
       banks and private developers. No such rules, however, exist in [Israel].
       The most commonly stated for this situation is the authorities' desire
       to make it easy for Jewish immigrants to transfer their money here
       with 'no questions asked.' But there is another reason. By looking the
       other way when money from even questionable sources is transferred
       into this country, the authorities encourage the flow of much-needed
       foreign currency." [HUTMAN, p. 10]
       In 1994, Russian government officials advised Israeli police on 34 known "Mafia chiefs" who had immigrated to Israel. [INTELLIGENCE NEWSLETTER, 5-29-97]  Among them was Anton Malevsky, who received his Israeli passport in 1994. Malevsky, noted the Jewish Telegraphic Agency,  "reportedly heads one of Moscow's most notorious organized crime groups." [KRICHEVSKY, 1-26-98] Hebrew University criminologist Menachem Amir estimates that there are 5,000-6,000 Russian-born criminals in Israel and that "90% of the prostitutes here are Russian -- many of them brought over by organized prostitution rings -- and most of the money brought here from Russia was criminally tainted." [PRUSHNER, p. 18] By 1987 the tiny country of Israel had an existent narcotics-dealing business of $1 billion and 15,000-20,000 of its own home grown addicts, not including another 30,000 or so less addictive drug users.  In 1995 Israeli news highlighted two horrific murders in which the victims had been decapitated and their heads carried away. "The most brutal system of cutting off the head," said police commander David Cohen, "is practiced by a very particular sector of organized crime in Russia." [REUTERS NA]
    Menachem Amir notes that it was not the Israeli government that alerted the public to the presence of the "Russian" mafia in that country, but the Israeli press. [AMIR, M., 1996, p. 21] And it wasn't until 1978 that an Israeli government commission (the Shimron Commission) noted the "corruption [that] existed in the form of 'social relations' and 'mutual help' between prominent businessmen, national political leaders and high-ranking military officers." [AMIR, M., 1996, p. 25]
       In 1994, 23 people were arrested in a drug laundering gang that included Borough Park (New York) rabbis Alexander Schwartz and Menashe Leifer, lawyers Harvey Weinig and Robert Hirsch, policeman Michael Kalanz, retired fireman Richard Spence, a Swiss banker, and the Honorary Consul in New York for Bulgaria. "The key destination for the cocaine money was Zurich," noted the (London) Daily Telegraph, "where it was allegedly fed into Swiss accounts by husband and wife bankers Leon and Rachel Weinmann." [LAURENCE, p. 19] The New York Times noted that the ring was "one of the biggest drug-money laundering operations the authorities had ever uncovered in New York." Rabbi Schwartz was captured with $267,830 in cash stuffed inside a money vest in San Juan, Puerto Rico. [TREASTER, J., 12-1-94, p. B1]
     Two years earlier, the Village Voice had highlighted yet another Jewish gangster, this one American-born: Murray Wilson. Wilson, said the Voice, is
      "perhaps the only man to be identified by law enforcement officials as a
       high-level associate of both the Russian Organizatsiya and the Italian La
       Cosa Nostra ... Wilson has been the focus of at least eight criminal
       probes and has surrounded himself with Mafia bosses, Russian killers,
       captains of industry, corrupt lawyers and, for good measure, an
       international art thief and one KGB agent ... While not particularly
       religious, Wilson has dabbled in Jewish causes, including the Jewish
       Defense League and Soviet Jewry." [BASTONE, p. 34]
      In still another recent major drug laundering case in America, in 1997 two more New York City-area Orthodox rabbis, Bernard Grunfeld (an "administrator" at a yeshiva) and Mahir Reiss, both of the Bobover Hasidic sect, were indicted with ten other men on charges of laundering $1.75 million in drug money; they even helped buy the Colombian drug cartel an airplane. Rabbi Reiss, a frequent visitor to Israel, was described by the New York Times as the "most senior player in the case." His brother Abraham  (who "collected cash from a stash house operated by the drug dealers in Manhattan" [GOLDMAN, A16] was also arrested as was Israel Knoblach, a yeshiva "associate."  Abraham Reiss the philanthropist also sat on the Board of Directors of the Orthodox girls school Manhattan High, rubbing elbows with fellow Board member Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations. [KAHN, G, p. 2] Jack Pinski, "from one of Colombia's wealthiest Jewish families," [KAHN, G, p. 2] remained a fugitive. [GREENBERG, p. 9] Between August 1995 and May 1996 $19 million was deposited in bank accounts using the address of a yeshiva, Mesivta Eitz Chaim.
     And as the London Observer observed about U.S. governmental favoritism towards Jews in this case:
     "In a bizarre twist, the judge put ... defendant Abraham Reiss under
     house arrest when it emerged that his brother was serving a prison
     sentence for the same offenses, and that to have a both sons in
     jail would be 'a double hardship' for the parent." [OBSERVER,
     9-5-99, p. 26]
      "Money launderers are the indispensable partners of major drug traffickers," Zachary W. Carter, a federal prosecutor, told the press regarding the Grunfeld-Reiss case, "The cynical act of using religious institutions to conceal drug proceeds is particularly reprehensible." [GOLDMAN, A16] "These cases don't seem to be dramatically different from those involving other ethnic groups," noted Assistant U. S. Attorney Lee Dunst, chief prosecutor in the case, "Except, that is, for allegations that the bank accounts of religious institutions are used for money laundering. That seems to be unique." [GOLDBERG, Thou, p. 41]
     But there were other noteworthy peculiarities. The Jewish Week, for instance, noted an Israeli newspaper report that "the Reiss brothers recently bought land in Israel's West Bank for tens of millions of shekels ... The paper reported there is suspicion that some of the money for the land deals came from Columbian drug profits ... The attorney representing the two settlements [where the rabbis bought land] was Shlomo Deri, brother of Arye Deri, the head of the [Israeli] Shas Party who is under indictment for a corruption scandal that touched Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu." [GREENBERG, E, p. 9]
      The 20,000 Bobover Hasids, of which Grunfeld and the Reiss brothers were leaders, is the largest Hasidic community in Borough Park, Brooklyn, which is known for its Orthodox populations. The arrests of the rabbis was particularly bewildering, said the New York Times, because "in the pious Bobov community drug addiction is virtually unheard of." "Everybody in this community is a rabbi," Dov Hiskin (the Democratic Assemblyman who represents the largely Hasidic district that includes Borough Park) sarcastically told reporters, "If you have a beard, they call you a rabbi." [NYT, JUNE 17, 18] Hiskind -- a former member of Rabbi Meir Kahane's Jewish Defense League -- is a well-known personality in New York City, described by the Times as "one the most ardent and visible advocates of Jewish causes on New York City's political scene." FRIED, B1 "[The Bobov Hasids] are completely shocked by the terrible allegations," Hikind announced the next day, "and hope and pray they are not true." [GOLDMAN]
     It is doubtful if Hiskind's own prayers will help. Two months later Hiskind himself was facing serious legal problems of his own, eventually being charged with crimes by a Federal Grand Jury in Brooklyn, facing up to ten years in prison for taking at least $40,000 in payoffs from officials of the government-funded Council of Jewish Organizations of Borough Park. The Assemblyman was charged with misappropriation of funds, criminal conspiracy, fraud, and corrupt solicitation and acceptance of funds. Hikind was charged with using the money to pay for his children's tuition, for supporting illegal fund-raising activities, as well as financing trips to France and Israel. Officials of the Jewish Organizations of Borough Park, Rabbi Elimelech Naiman, Director of Employment and Training, and Paul Chernick, Director of Operations, were earlier charged with stealing up to $600,000 from federal grant monies. (Yet another rabbi, Elliot Amsel, a "key fund raiser for Assemblyman Hikind," and president of Syrit College, was also charged by federal agents with putting $419,000 intended for the college into his personal bank account. [COHLER-ESSES, ORTHODOX, p. 9] Federal investigators charged Hikind with taking payoffs from them in exchange for funneling state grants -- up to five million dollars a year -- their way. In a press conference about the charges against him, Hikind asserted "that the Federal charges were part of an attempt to silence him. He declined to identify who was trying to silence him, but made reference to 'self-hatred, jealousy, and self-interest among Jews.'" [SULLIVAN, B3 FRIED, 9-27-97, SULLIVAN, B3, FRIED, 8-8-97, FRIED, 3-28-97]
     Related to the Hiskind case, in 1998 a Brooklyn rabbi, Elliot Amsel, who heads the Syrit College in Brooklyn, was charged with stealing over $700,000 from government funds intended for education. He was also accused of money laundering, filing false income tax returns, and lying to investigators. The money he stole, noted the New York Daily News, "was diverted to private bank accounts in New York and Israel." [PETERSON, p. 61]
      Such wheelings and dealings in the Jewish Orthodox religious community go on and on:
      In 1990, the editor of a Hebrew-language weekly newspaper in Brooklyn was arrested on charges of extortion from an official of the Satmar Orthodox community. Chaim Shaulson, the son of a Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, was accused of accepting $50,000 to avoid writing critical articles about the Satmar group in his paper. [BIRNBAUM, p. 26]
       In 1996 the "largest case of voter fraud in the history of New York state" was discovered in the Satmar hasidic communities of Brooklyn and Kiryas Joel. In a check of 1,134 voting records of names linked to an address at the local United Talmudic Academy, the Times Herald-Record of Middleton, New York, found 121 cases of voter fraud, double-voting in two New York localities, a state felony. [GREENBERG, E. CITY, p. 1] In 2001, in England, two Hassids were "convicted of the biggest vote-rigging conspiracy ever brought before a British court." Isaac Leibowitz and Zev Lieberman, "two local government politicians in north London," represented both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. [DAVIS, D., 3-11-01] They were sentenced to only six and four months in jail, respectively, causing six members of the British Parliament to protest that the sentences were "absurdly lenient." [ROCKER, S., 4-27-01, p. 1]
     In 1989 Rabbi Abraham Friedlander was found drowned in Brooklyn's Gowanus Bay. The Jewish Week noted the cloud of suspicion around his death: "There were some speculating that Friedlander ... was being hounded by people from whom he had borrowed money, including Satmar Jews, some of whom have been implicated in other loan-sharking cases that have ended violently." [MARK, J, RABBI, p. 5]
      In 1991 another hassidic rabbi, Nochum Sternberg, and his wife Esther, were jailed for contempt of court for refusing to testify, on religious grounds, against fellow Jews in a tax-fraud scheme involving $20 million. The Jewish Week noted that their attorney, Nathan Lewis, argued that "Jewish law has a strong religious prohibition against informers who testify against other Jews in a secular court." Both Sternbergs had already served prison terms themselves years earlier in another tax fraud. [JW, 8-2,8-91, p. 8]
     In 1999 Rabbi Bernard Freilich, "who holds a $76,000--a-year political patronage in the [New York governor] Pataki administration" was charged with "witness tampering in a case of an alleged incest victim, raped by her (unnamed) father. George Messner, Mates Fisher, Richard Finkel, Sam Lustigan and Baruch Weiss were also indicted for attempting to keep the victim from testifying." [LIFF, 7-15-99]
      Howard Jacobson noted in 1993 the first conversation he had with British lawyer Martin Braum (both men are Jewish), who was active in fighting London's Jewish Orthodox community:
     "The molesting of a child and the community's ring of secrecy around
     the molester are merely the surface of the problem. Things are deeply
     wrong within Orthodox Judaism, and have been going wrong for a
     century. Chief among the problems are the [Jewish] Germans. Although
     a minority in Stamford Hill, the German Orthodox are assertive and
     assured, and are easily able to sway the less sophisticated. They have
     brought over from Germany methods they acquired from the Nazis --
     crowd control, propaganda, hatred." [JACOBSON, H., 1993/1995, p.
     19, 23]
     "They -- the ultra-Orthodox ones," said Braum,
     "contaminate our religion. They have no honour, no generosity, no
     prettiness. They come to the court -- yeah, yeah, to the trial -- in
     those plant-pot wigs, to put off people with open minds. They're
     there first thing, so they can take all the seats, staring with hostility
     at whoever isn't one of them ... Child-molesting doesn't bother these
     people, it isn't seen to be an enormous sin, it can't be grasped by them
     as such, because they cannot conceive of any innocence to be molested,
     and because the very idea of molesting a young person is so close to
     what they do anyway in their educational methods." [JACOBSON, H.,
     1993/1995, p. 23]
       In 1993, 21 New York-area Orthodox institutions were being investigated for fraudulently obtaining $300 million in education grants. Two Brooklyn-based Orthodox schools, Bais Fruma, a hasidic academy, and Yeshiva Toldos Yaakoor Yosef, were indicted, including senior officials of the Village of New Square, an Orthodox township north of North York City. [GOLDBERG, THOU, p. 40]  (A group of prominent Jewish leaders met with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, seeking to get the New Square defendants off lightly. Lobbyists included Abraham Biederman, a former official under former New York City mayor Ed Koch; Israel Singer, Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress; Richard Stone, Chairman of the Orthodox Union's Institute of Public Affairs; and George Klein, a wealthy real estate baron. [FORWARD, 6-6-97, p. 3]) Four men from New Square were sentenced to prison terms. "When I visited New Square shortly after the indictments," says Jewish author Joseph Berger, "there was universal support for those charged." [BERGER, J., 2-28-2000]
     Later, in 1999, "the New York city schools chancellor removed three Chasidic school board members in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, [because of] a $6 million scam that involved Rabbi Hertz Frankel, the principal of perhaps the largest girl's yeshiva in the nation. Frankel pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the federal government and the New York City school system of millions of dollars in remedial education aid for his school's children." [GREENBERG, E., It's, p. 8] Rabbi Frankel got off with three years unsupervised probation. The school had to pay a fine of $1 million. "If you had a secular organization that bilked a public school out of $6 million," professor Marci Hamilton of Yeshiva Benjamin Cardorzo Law School told the Jewish Week, "you would see [the responsible perpetrator] either going to prison or paying a hefty fine ... [This is] a light slap on the hand [that] could be attributed to the government favoring an influential religious group." [COHLER-ESSEL, 4-23-99, p. 24]
     "Publicly most [Orthodox religious leaders] contend that corruption scandals are isolated incidents," noted the Jewish Week, "... But privately, some Agudah officials make other determinations. 'Yes, there is a problem. We know it,' whispered one.'" [GREENBERG, E. It's]
     In 1998 Zelman Manela, the "son of Holocaust survivors," and the head of Chevra Kadisha, an Orthodox mortuary in Los Angeles, was sent to prison for two years for forgery and grand theft. The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles noted that
      "Manela's mortuary was one of only a few in town run by Orthodox
      Jews strictly according to Jewish law ... At the sentence hearing ...
      about sixty observant Jews appeared to support Manela and his family.
      They cried and prayed, reading psalms while two rabbis urged Judge
      Michael Hoff to grant probation..." [PFEFFERMAN, p. 10]
      In 1998 the New York Daily News named Abraham Gabbay, an Orthodox Jew, as "the new King of deadbeat dads," who -- as a multi-millionaire -- preferred months in jail than pay $45,000 owed to his ex-wife in child support. In jail, Gabbay spent $2,500 on telephone calls to maintain his businesses. Meanwhile, noted the News, "he also devoted time to prayer. A religious Jew, he meets twice weekly with a prison chaplain, a rabbi who recently wrote the court on Gabbay's behalf." [ARENA, p. 6]
     From London, in 1990, property developer Michael Zebner absconded to America with a girlfriend, leaving his Land Development Corporation in ruins. The secretary of the company, Nathan Dony, said that
      "The man was a pillar of society and very highly thought of in the
      Orthodox Jewish community in London. There was no warning that
      anything was wrong. He has left behind a beautiful wife and four lovely
      children, who are totally devastated. He left us, and a lot of other people,
      in a financial mess." [MANCHESTER]
      In 1993 the New York Times noted that in a "campaign sullied by charges of mischief and wrongdoing" two rabbis in Israel were selected as Chief Rabbis for the Ashkenazic and Sephardic divisions. The new Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi, Meir Lau, was accused by "several women ... of trying to seduce them. He sued one for libel." The Sephardic rabbi, Eliahu Bakshi-Doron, faced "affidavits charging he once tried to bribe a Haifa city council member to drop out of the race." "The atmosphere was so thick with accusations" against the two rabbis, noted the New York Times, "that at one point the incumbent Chief Rabbis publicly deplored the quality of the campaign." [NYT, 2-22-93, p. A7]
      In 1997, a rabbi associated with Israel's Ministry of Religious Affairs, Mikhail Dushinsky, was caught in a scandal when he was secretly filmed telling a young couple (two news reporters posing as a Jewish man and his non-Jewish pregnant girlfriend) that he would do a quick under-the-table conversion to Judaism for her (which would expedite access to social services in Israel) for $15,000. [GUARDIAN, 2-22-97] " Don't tell her what's going on," Rabbi Dushinsky told the undercover reporter, "She shouldn't think Judaism is something you buy with money." [SCHOFFMAN, p. 23] After the tape was broadcast on Israeli TV, "dozens of other converts and aspiring converts" came forward with stories of "being subjected to the same sort of extortion." [DERFNER, HIDDEN, p. 10] Rabbi Alan Lew notes a similar tale in America:

    "When [a dying Jewish man's] wife realized that she couldn't be buried next to
     him because she wasn't Jewish, she decided she wanted to convert, but only
     on her terms. She wasn't willing to go to the mikvah, she wasn't willing to
     study, she wasn't willing to be interrogated by rabbis. 'I've been married to
     a Jewish man for forty years,' she said.
'That ought to be enough.' I said I
     couldn't convert her under those circumstances, so she found a rabbi who

     would, an Orthodox rabbi who agreed to convert her for a large sum of
     money and no other requirements." [LEW, A., 1999, p. 234]

     Such "Judaism for sale" stories echo that of the Israeli consular official -- Eliezer Yitzhaki -- in Ethiopia who was recalled to the Jewish state for allegedly selling Israeli tourist visas to Ethiopians for over $4,000 apiece. Many Ethiopians, Jewish or not, seek a better economic prospects out of the African Third World country. [MELMAN, Y., 6-222-01]
     The same year, Agence France Presse announced that "Israeli authorities are investigating Chief Rabbi Israel Lau in the latest corruption scandal to tarnish the country's Orthodox Jewish community." [Renaudie] Lau was accused of demanding $500-$2500 to officiate weddings on about a hundred occasions, a service that was supposed to be free. An Orthodox community near Tel Aviv, Bnei Brak, was also raided by police -- an area "where tax fraud has risen 30 percent." [RENAUDIE, ONLINE]  In 1998, another Israeli rabbi was photographed in a nude bar. Claiming that he went to the bar "to see if any of his students frequented it," he could not explain why he was dressed in a Stetson hat and cowboy boots.  [DAILY TELEGRAPH, p. 16]
     Zev Chafets also notes the case of a rabbi revered in Israel's Moroccan Jewish community. This man, son of a particularly respected rabbi, is "a crook, whose activities landed him in jail for fraud, bribe taking, counterfeiting court documents, attempting to influence witnesses," and other crimes. "Out of prison," says Chafets, "the son, Baruch Abu Hatzira, became 'Baba Baruch,' the new holy man of the town of Netviot." [CHAFETS, p. 155-156]
     In 1991, a prominent American rabbi, Levi Yitzhak Horowitz, was sued by the Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield for "having set up a network of sham companies that provided health coverage for hundreds of Israelis."   This man, "the Botoner rebbe," noted the Jerusalem Post, "who divides his time between Jerusalem and Boston, is a member of Agudat Yisrael's Council of Torah Sages." [KEINON]  In 1994, Schloime Dachowitz, who "told police he was a rabbi," was charged in a scheme to get $1.3 million in life insurance from a fictitious brother and defraud a bank of a million dollars." [GEARTY, p. 4] 
     In 1999, one Rabbi Schenkolewski of Lakewood, New Jersey, was accused of "accepting a $500,000 donation to a school he runs in exchange for using his political clout to help the donor get a co-generation plant built. The prosecutor at the trial admitted he "botched" the case and the rabbi went free. [CASSIDY, p. 1]   The same year, an Israeli, Yaron Tishby, the president of the Florida-based All American Van Lines, "pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, hiring illegal aliens, conspiracy, and violation of federal transportation laws." [MZ PRESSWIRE]  Also, in an old intra-Jewish theme, one recent news report (1998) noted that in that year alone there were 82 investigations of kosher fraud in the New Jersey area -- 30 resulted in fines. [KENT, B., p. 4]
     In 1993 Jewish lawyer, Erwin Sobel, sued the State Farm insurance company in Los Angeles about an internal company memo that listed lawyers who were to be treated in insurance claims with special attention, because they were suspected of being more likely to commit fraud. Claims from the lawyers on the list were to be funneled for review by a new fraud unit.  According to Sobel, 123 of 161 names on the list were Jewish. [MULLIGAN, p. D3]  Confronted with an implication of irrational "anti-Semitism," State Farm argued that the list merely represented lawyers with large numbers of claims.
       Protection from unwanted attention and responsibility, thanks to claims of "anti-Semitism," is a common Jewish tool. Also in 1993, the Los Angeles Times noted the case of a particularly nasty Jewish Iranian immigrant, Emanuel Sabet, who defrauded "dozens" of investors, including his own relatives, out of millions of dollars. He was the defendant in at least 29 lawsuits, primarily preying on people of his own --Jewish, and Iranian -- community.  But the Times also noted that
      "Sabet's complex trail of deals and transactions extends beyond the
      Iranian-American community. Before it went out of business, Sabet's
      Edmani Financial bought the outstanding loans of another company,
      Cable Busters Inc., which sold satellite dishes to residents in South
      Central Los Angeles [the African-American ghetto] and other sections of
      the city who were unable to receive cable television during the 1980s.
      Lured by a promise of one year of free viewing, residents bought dishes
      by the hundreds -- often, according to county investigators, without
      realizing that they were simultaneously taking out a second mortgage to
      pay for them. In effect, those who failed to make their monthly payments
      ran the risk of losing their homes." [KRAMER, p. J1]
     The Times was thereupon visited by a letter of complaint from Barbara Bergen, a lawyer for the Anti-Defamation League, complaining that on two occasions in the article Sabet was identified as a Jew. Bergen argued that it was appropriate to merely identify Sabet to be Iranian. This is the same strategy by which Jews (despite a common Jewish nationalist self-identity wherever they are as minorities in cultures throughout the world) are routinely afforded a free hand in defaming others -- for example, the many, many Jewish criminals from Russia who, largely rooted in Jewish networks, are cloaked in the veiled nomer: "Russian Mafia." And largely direct it. In this case, the ADL feels comfortable in defaming Iranians at-large, and thereby Islam -- the only Iranian religion/identity known to most Americans. "Nothing in the article," demands Bergen,
       "appears to justify the reference to the religion of the Iranian-Americans
        involved. Although reference is made to "affinity fraud" aspects of the
        alleged scams, the affinity described appears to be based on the
        victims' Iranian origins and still does not explain the references to
        their religion. We would not expect a reference to the religion of the
        perpetrators or victims of a crime to be highlighted unless the religion
        played some part in the story.  In this case the reference appears
        gratuitous and inappropriate." [BERGEN, p. J6]
     Meanwhile, in a New York Times article about the notorious serial killer David Berkowitz ("Son of Sam"), it is apparently no problem to anyone when the Times identifies him as a "born-again Christian," however incongruous this is, given the fact that Berkowitz was raised Jewish. Likewise, the Times diffuses his past identity as a Jew beneath the generic racial nomer of "white" people, stating that in 1977 "the police seemed powerless to stop [this] mysterious white man from killing." [HARDEN, p. 22]

     On October 4, 1999, the New York Observer had a pair of articles about the way that advertising mogul and art collector Charles Saatchi scammed the New York art community to drive up the art prices of works he owns. Charles and his brother Maurice are noted in one piece as "a couple of Iraqis,' which is true only in the dissimulative sense that they are fabulously wealthy Jews from Iraq who live in Great Britain. [HOGREFE/KRAMER, 10-4-99] (This is the result of decades-long Jewish lobbying. In the 1950s, for instance, "one of the [American Jewish] Committee's staff members secured agreements from Time and Life and several New York newspapers not to publish letters from readers commenting on the Jewishness of accused Communists [despite the fact that Jews have always been pre-eminent in that movement, and networks of Soviet espionage were largely Jewish]. He also claimed to have prevented the summoning of 'at least three prominent American Jews ... who shall be nameless' by the American Un-American Activities Committee.") [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 95]
     In 1999, with no looming multi-millionaire dollar Armenian "defense agencies" to face, the Los Angeles Times even felt secure enough to write a front-page article declaring that
     "A giant rip-off of the California Medi-Cal system, centered in Armenian
     immigrant neighborhoods of Los Angeles, may total more than $1 billion
     when it is finally unraveled, making it one of the largest frauds against a
     state in American history." [ELLIS/MAZINGO, 11-29-99, p. A1]
     Double standard? Can we imagine any such front page highlight in the American mass media centering on an expressly Jewish culpability? Or how about Jewish journalist Maura Lerner's article in a Minneapolis newspaper in 1995 that stirred protest from some readers for naming a group of college students involved in an insurance fraud as Pakistanis, which they, of course, were. [GELFAND, L., 4-9-95, p. A21]
     Take yet another example of this double standard. Given the widespread evidence of Jewish corruption, money-laundering, drug-dealing, et al throughout the world, within expressly Jewish networks, there has never been an article in the West that investigates this phenomenon as a unified theme. It is institutionally forbidden to criticize the Jewish community in such a manner. Yet, on the other hand, Fortune magazine can freely impugn the heart of Catholicism with an "exclusive" feature story, screaming in bold type across its cover, Scandal in the Vatican. In reading the article, however, one discovers that the story's essence is really a Jewish swindler named Martin Frankel, who remained a fugitive at the time of the article. "In short," says Fortune, "Frankel ... appear[ed] to be requesting that the Vatican front for him as a money launderer in return for 10% of the funds (looted from his U.S. insurance companies)." [BEHAR, p. 31] Why, one must wonder, does the "scandal at the Vatican" merit a cover story and lurid attention, when not only was the central criminal in the story Jewish, preying on the Catholic hierarchy, but "money-laundering fronts" are a cottage industry throughout Orthodox Jewish religious institutions and are occasioned -- as a Jewish issue -- as little publicity as possible. Let alone the widespread activities of hardcore Israeli drug dealers, couriers, and launderers, poisoning a variety of countries.
     "Though [Frankel] was raised Jewish and expressed fervently pro-Israel political views to friends," noted the New York Times, "Mr. Frankel aggressively courted the Catholic Church and the Vatican religious hierarchy beginning last summer." [KAHN, J., 6-25-99, p. A1]
      The International Herald Tribune also ran a headline about the Frankel case, declaring "2 Priests at Center of Insurance Scam." Again, reading the article, we find the central culprit is Frankel, known to the Christian clergymen as "David Rosse, a middle-aged tycoon who claimed descent from the Jewish King David and said he was eager to give at least $50 million to the Roman Catholic Church. They supported the St. Francis of Assisi Foundation, a charity Mr. Frankel set up and then attempted to use to buy several insurance companies in the United States." [Stanley, A., p. 13] "Together," said journalist Alessandra Stanley, the two priests "provided a clerical cloak of respectability for a Greenwich, Connecticut, money manager who authorities suspect embezzled more than $300 million from a web of insurance companies across the United States." [STANLEY, p. 13]  Priest Peter Jacobs, whose father was Jewish, noted the Fortune piece, "was Frankel's confidant (and, it seems, his unwilling tool) for the past year." [BEHAR, p. 29] Fortune also noted Frankel's scandal to possibly "be the biggest -- it is certainly the strangest -- scandal in the history of the insurance agency ... News stories are revealing details about Frankel's complex scam -- and the sordid life that went with it." [BEHAR, p. 29]  As the New York Times noted,
     "Pornography and sexual fetishes were prominent features of the
     [Frankel] house. According to police reports, during a search of the
     house following the death of Ms. [Frances] Buge [whose death in 1997
     by hanging was ruled a suicide despite neighbors' testimony that
     they heard screams], the authorities discovered a leather riding crop,
     ropes and sadomasochistic literature and videos." [KAHN, J., 6-25-99, p.
     In May 1999, Frankel's $3.5 million house burned down. "The firefighters," noted the Baltimore Sun,
      "doused the flames and called the police, who found strange notations
      on some of the charred documents. The top line on a handwritten
      'to-do' list poked from the fire read, 'Launder money.' The next line:
      'Get $ to Israel get it back in.'" [SCHNEIDER, G., 7-1-99, p. 1A]
     (Are there financial swindles in the religious Christian world actually instigated by Christians? Of course. One "Rabbi Rudin," National Interreligious Affairs Director for the American Jewish Congress, provided the public with his article in 1996 about the "embezzlement epidemic" that "plagues U.S. Religion." Rudin cited four instances of such corruption in Christian affairs that he found [one each from the Evangelical Lutherans, Episcopals, Roman Catholics and United Methodists] -- he didn't bother to note any examples of criminality in the Jewish community. [RUDIN, 9-28-96, p. D6])
     Another Jewish predator upon Christian churches has been Marcel Harpin (known to the Church of Christ in Delaware, as evidence by a stolen passport, as "Felix Schuster" of Switzerland). Harpin was a "con man" who "roamed the country scamming churches" noted the Providence Journal-Bulletin in 1994. He got in touch with the Church of Christ, claimed that he was a medical student who had just been robbed of the last of his money, said he was raised as an Orthodox Jew but was interested in converting to Christianity, and was taken home by a church family. He eventually absconded with $1,750 from them but was caught in Nashville, Tennessee, trying the same scam at a church there. It was discovered that he was also "wanted on similar charges in Washington and Atlanta." [RAY, E., 6-23-94, p. D13]
      The mere accusation of anti-Semitism in the hands of a Jewish swindler, of course, has immense potential. Apparently, decorating one's property with swastikas and burning it down for the insurance is a mini-cottage industry.  In 1990 a Maryland accountant, Joel Davis, was convicted of arson and insurance fraud in arranging for a Jewish summer resort to be burned down and covered with anti-Semitic slogans and signs to disguise his own involvement. [VALENTINE, p. B1]   In 1995, in Portland, Oregon, Dan Davenport, a Jewish co-owner of an apartment building, was charged with two business associates for "painting swastikas on their apartment building and later setting it on fire in an insurance scam ... The FBI began a civil rights investigation after the swastikas appeared last year on the building and anti-Semitic phrases were scratched on Davenport's car." [ORLANDO, p. A18] In 1996, in the Miami area, Al Rubin was sentenced to prison for three years and his son, Steve, for eight, for covering the Hillel County Day School with Nazi-like graffiti and destroying school buses. It was merely a scam to get the school's repair orders. [GARCIA, M., 8-13-96, p. B1] In 1998, a 15-year-old Jewish boy in affluent Huntington Beach, California, was one of four people arrested for putting a burning cross on his parents' lawn "because his parents wouldn't let him stay at a beach bonfire party two hours beyond his usual 10 P.M. curfew ... The Jewish boy also admitted to using chemicals to burn a swastika into his home's lawn because his mother wouldn't give him $3 for a pack of cigarettes." [JEWISH BULLETIN, 6-5-98]
      The accusation of anti-Semitism has even been used to effect very lucrative criminal dividends. In a Canadian scam in 1998, a fraudulent group calling itself "The North American Jewish News" began sending out invoices to major corporations, billing them for ads they never ordered in a non-existent newspaper. The bills were followed up with phone callers demanding payment, threats of legal action, and accusations of anti-Semitism. An executive at Media Health Pharmaceutical Services was told that "the reason he didn't want to pay, the reason he didn't want to advertise, was probably because he was anti-Semitic." [LAWTON, p. C1]   "This is a very powerful threat," said Annie Lalonde, director of communications at the firm, "Most companies, just to keep quiet and not be accused of being racist, they'll pay up." [LAWTON, p. C1]
      In a twist of using the accusation of anti-Semitism for criminal profit, in 1990 an Israeli court convicted a messianic Jew of spraying anti-Semitic graffiti on 300 Jewish tombstones in a cemetery in Haifa, calling for the extermination of the Jews. David Goldner did it, he said, "to enlighten the Jewish nation and to unite it against its enemies." [LA TIMES, 5-28-99, p. A4] In February 2000, for whatever strange reason, Alan Jay Lorenz, a Jew, dumped medical waste decorated with swastikas at two Connecticut synagogues with a message that it was "a wake-up call to America to kill the Jews." [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 2-11-2000]
     In 1999, Sylvia Wygoda, the Executive Director of Georgia's Commission on the Holocaust, wrote a hostile letter to state legislators. The letter became local news. In it she compared meticulous state auditors (of the Commission's yearly budgetary records -- of which $250,000 was provided by the state) to Nazis. [MANTINI, P., 12-10-99, p. 1E] Wygoda had been criticized for "budget and allocation" vagueness. She "earns more than any other Holocaust commission director in the country" and was "unable to produce substantial minutes and records of commission meetings where money was allocated and spent." [ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES, 6-18-99]
     In March 2000, the Omaha World-Herald reported that "a Canadian businessman [Jewish executive Larry Weltman] who once accused gambling regulators in Nebraska and Washington state of being anti-Semitic and anti-Canadian was indicted Friday in New York City on charges that he and another man [Jack Banks] defrauded a bank of $32 million." During Weltman's accusations of anti-Semitism, he was the Chief Financial Officer of the Gambling Lottery Co. Gambling regulators had insisted that they were merely enforcing laws, and, as the Omaha paper explained, "Gaming Lottery's chairman and other directors were Jewish." [TAYLOR, J., 4-2-2000, p. 52]
     In 1999, a former chiropractor, David Becker, self-described as an Orthodox Jew, was convicted in the San Francisco area of "three counts of statutory rape, four counts of child pornography, two counts of furnishing marijuana to youngsters and two counts of showing lewd material to minors." The next year he charged a Contra Costa Deputy Probation Officer, Betty Maloney, with anti-Semitism because she resisted his efforts to move to Florida. Becker had failed two drug tests which were conditions of his current probation after only five months in jail.  Becker formally complained to the court that Mahoney "implied that because I am Jewish I got special treatment."  (Both the prosecutor and judge in his case were also Jewish). [HALLISSY, E., 1-12-00,p. A15]
     Also in 1999, some in the Argentine Jewish community accused the head of Argentina's central bank, Pedro Pou, of anti-Semitism. Three Argentine banks -- all, as the (Jewish) Forward notes, "controlled by Jews" -- were facing economic crisis and imminent closure. The president (Ruben Beraja) of the largest of them (Banco Mayo), was also president of the DAIA, the major Jewish organization in Argentina. Beraja was soon, notes Joseph Goldman, being "investigated for fraud and tax offences ... At least $160 million is accounted for. Some of that money may have been diverted to pet Beraja projects -- like Israel's Bar-Ilan University, the [Jewish] cable station Alef Network, and Fundacion Banco Mayo, which supports cultural activities in the Jewish community." [GOLDMAN, J., 1998, p. 34] Repercussions of the banks' collapse effected the whole philanthropic structure of the Argentine Jewish community and Beraja looked for a bail-out, filing a complaint of "religious discrimination" against the Central Bank. Central Bank President Pou responded by saying that his organization had "propped up Banco Mayo more generously than any other bank, with $350 million in rediscounts," and that Catholic- and Arab-owned banks had also went under. The (Jewish) Forward quoted a Jewish reporter at Pagina 12 newspaper who said that "the allegation of anti-Semitism may be a smoke screen for real problems at Banco Mayo." "There is an attitude," said Horacio Verbitsky, "of some Jewish community people [who] tend to disguise their mistakes behind the anti-Semitic attitudes of other people." [STOLL, I., p. 1]
      In March 2000, "con man" Robert Friedland, facing a prison term "for writing [$200,000 worth of] bad checks in connection with a scam to develop a marina restaurant," embarked upon an especially innovative use of the accusation of anti-Semitism. The judge in his case was Edward Turnbach. Friedland eventually "filed a lawsuit against Turnbach, saying the judge's German ancestry interfered with his ability to be fair to Friedland, who said in the court document that he is Jewish." Friedland also "sued his victims in the scam," as well as the judge, the prosecutor, and local reporters who covered the case. [WILLIAMS, C., 3-10-2000, p. B3]
      One of the ways the Holocaust can be exploited by Jewish criminals as a manipulative tool -- both as a convenient shield from justice and magnet for sympathy -- is described by David Klinghoffer:
     "The [New York] Times reported that some Hasidim up in Rockland
     County had been indicted on the charge that they had defrauded the
     federal and state governments in a multi-million dollar scheme involving
     student loans and housing subsidies. Subpoenas had been served at
     6 AM to ensure that the subpoenaed individuals would be on hand to
     receive the documents personally. Getting woken up at such an early
     hour scared the children, the Jews claimed, and was 'remindful of the
     Holocaust that many in this community endured decades ago.'"
     [KLINGHOFFER, p. 10-13]

     In 2001, Jewish Los Angeles real estate mogul Sam Menlo (worth $154 million) faced a court far a variety of slum lord offenses (112 building-code violations and 34 criminal counts of violating city codes: mushrooms coming out of the mildew in ceilings, etc.) Twenty years earlier, at his nursing homes, "investigators found patients lying in beds full of excrement and urine and one patient with bedsores infested by maggots." Menlo's lawyer for the more recent offenses argued that, since Menlo was a Holocaust survivor, "I can only imagine what lies in a concentration camp versus someone who has a leaky faucet or someone who has a little bit of mold or mildew building up on a bathroom wall. His minimum standard is lower than mine."
[YOSHINO, K., 12-30-01]
    Then there are the likes of lawyer Alan Mirman, who eventually received a two year prison sentenced for swindling an elderly client out of $92,000 (she died broke). Mirman's lawyer, in an appeal for court mercy, "hinted that Mirman, who is Jewish, may have been tortured by the Nazis." [DAVIS, M., 8-21-99, p. B1]
      Moving along in our criminal overview, in February 1998, Rabbi Peter Hoffman and his associates (Abraham Woldiger, Abraham Taub, David Abrahamson, Bella Schon, and Joseph Sochaczewsky) were arrested on charges that "they pocketed millions of dollars in government funds that were supposed to be used to maintain" eight federally subsidized low-income housing projects that they owned in five states. [See earlier section on Jewish slumlords]  Over seven years, the owners had received $52 million in Housing and Urban Development funds.  "Much of the money that allegedly was skimmed," noted the New York Daily News,
     "reportedly was spent on cars, homes and vacation trips, but hefty
      amounts also were allegedly contributed to Jewish charitable
      organizations and schools, including the United Institution of Israel,
      Chafetz Chaim Heritage Foundation, Meesifta Sanz of Hudson County
      and the Children's Torah Foundation. Court papers show than additional
      $30,000 was deposited into the Chaim Shel Shulem Gemilas Chesed
      Fund in Borough Park, Brooklyn, which is under investigation in the
      laundering of Colombian drug money." [PETERSON, p. 38]

     In 2001, in Toronto, Canada, Rabbi Leon Edery "was sentenced to a year of house arrest and must pay a fine of $32,229, in a tax evasion scheme that issued false receipts in the names of three registered charities ... Rabbi Edery had been charged with 48 violations of the Income Tax Act, but convicted on one that encompassed all the major accusations ... Court heard that under the scheme, which ran from 1992 to 1997, donors to three charities, two of which are synagogues, were issued tax receipts by Rabbi Edery. However, the receipts were for much higher amounts than the actual donations ... Edery's age and poor health saved him from prison." [CSILLAG, R., 6-5-01]
     Fraud upon others to benefit the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community was perfected to a science by yet another rabbi, the so-called "Robin Hood rabbi," Joseph Prushinowski. This man, an ordained rabbi, and described as "an international economic menace" and "one of the world's most wanted con men," was sought for ten years by the FBI, Canada's Royal Mounted Police, Scotland Yard, the New York Police Department, and the Dutch police. His media nickname stemmed from the fact that he kept little of the money he scammed for himself; most went to projects in his ultra-Orthodox community -- the Hasidic Tasch sect. He was arrested most recently, in Israel, in 1998. He was the principal player in a series of frauds that caused "banks, building societies and insurance companies" to lose over $200 million; other fraudulent schemes stripped the world's banks of another $200 million. Originally born in Israel, Prushinowski emigrated to America but first fled the arm of the law in 1977 (because of a $1.5 million bank scam early in his crime career), rushing back to Israel. He eventually returned to the U.S., however, and in 1981 began a three year sentence in prison. He later settled in Canada, "running frauds around the globe by telephone, fax and Telex." [GILLARD, M., 1-3-93, p. A2] Prushinwski's main partner, Selig Waldman, also Jewish, in his most recent frauds, "jumped bail [in 1990] and is now thought to be in South America." [GILLARD, M., 11-8-98]
     In 2000, Allen Wolfson, a Salt Lake City business man and founder of a 50-person Orthodox Chabad Lubavitch community (Bais Menachem) there, was arrested and charged with "five counts of securities fraud, two counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud." He had earlier served time in prison in the 1980s for fraud and illegal political contributions. Originally from Brooklyn, in Salt Lake City Wolfson had a one-hour business radio show and he "promoted building a city, modeled after Jerusalem, and a religious theme park dubbed 'City of Peace' in remote northwest Utah." [CEKOLA/MIMS, 6-14-2000]

    Convicted Jewish American/Israeli terrorist Era Rapaport (who bombed and maimed Palestinian mayors) recalls the sympathy he had from the Hasidic community when he was a fugitive: "When I was in New York, I found that a lot Jews were sympathetic to me. Satmarer hasidim offered to hide me out if the police came looking for you. Ditto for Lubavitch [the Chabad organization]. I had friends who said: 'Come hide in our basement till it's safe. No one will find you there.' Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. For many people it was sort of a thrill to hide out a bandit type who they thought was a good guy." [RAPAPORT, E., 1996, p. 269]

     Then there is the ultra-Orthodox Tasher hassidism community in Canada. "In 1999," notes William Shaffir,

       "the [Tasher] community was the target of a federal revenue department raid by 25
        agents and a Royal Canadian police officer. Revenue Canada alleged that the college
        Rabbinique de Montreal, Yeshiva Oir Hachaim D'Tash, was involved in fiscal fraud,         mainly through the community's charitable organization ..." [SHAFFIR, W., 2000, p.

     In March 2001, 14 members of the ultra-Orthodox Hasidic enclave of Kiryas Joel, 40 miles north of New York City, were indicted "for cheating individuals, banks, and insurance companies out of millions of dollars ... The indictment alleges the group carried out 'a myriad' of financial frauds since 1996, including soliciting individuals for bogus lotteries, defrauding bankd with counterfeit checks, submitting false death claims to insurance companies and using false information to get tax refunds." A key member of the racketeer ring was Mordechai Sarret. [HA'ARETZ, 3-29-01]
In 1997 the Israeli-based Jerusalem Report featured an article on widespread financial corruption and crime among religious leaders and institutions of Ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups in America. "The Jerusalem Report has learned of at least a dozen current or pending civil allegations of financial misconduct against leaders and institutions in the Ultra-Orthodox community in America," wrote J. J. Goldberg, "Allegations of hasidic and non-hasidic groups included drug-money laundering, banking and currency code violations, embezzlement of federal and state funds, insurance investment and charity fraud, and misuse of federal student aid, housing assistance and small business loans ... And more charges may be coming." [GOLDBERG, Thou, p. 40]

     The Jewish Week also noted in 1997 that
       "The term Orthodox and all it stands for has been so besmirched and
        sullied lately that when most people hear the word Orthodox, what
        comes to mind is not 'pious,' or 'God-fearing,' but 'crooked,' 'violent,'
        'intolerant,' and 'coercive.' Hardly a day goes by without the media
        noting another moral scandal involving Orthodox Jews ... The New   
        Times recently featured a story about an Israeli politician who
        spends the entire morning, six days a week, absorbed in prayer and
        Talmud study, and for the rest of the day is busy with activities that
         have led to a series of indictments against him." [LOOKSTEIN, p. 21]
      With little changing by the year 2000, the (Jewish) Moment magazine also addressed the by now recurring theme of ultra-Orthodox corruption:
     "Imagine then the embarrassment that has regularly been rippling
     through the American Jewish community as it reads headline after
     headline about Hasidim and other strictly Orthodox persons being
     hauled off to court, or jail, for sordid crimes from laundering drug
     money, sexually abusing children, and kidnapping to bribery, theft
     of government money, and even attempted murder. While some
     crimes were the work of aberrant individuals or idiosyncratic family
     disputes, others entangled distinguished rabbis and bedrock
     community institutions in schemes that involved dozens of
     accomplices." [BERGER, J., 2-28-2000, p. 50]
    This Jewish magazine also had the rare courage to list a number of possible reasons for the avalanche of corruption in ultra-Orthodox circles, including this one: "[Some critics] note fine distinctions in the Talmud: Jews behave one way with Jews and another with non-Jews and secular governments." [BERGER, J., 2-28-2000, p. 50]  "One scholar," noted the article's author, Joseph Berger,
       "notes that a Jew is under no halachic obligation to return a lost
       possession of a gentile but must do so for a Jews. 'They have one
       moral standard within the tribe and one moral standard outside the
       tribe,' says an Orthodox rabbi who requested anonymity ... Sometimes
       the talmudic reasoning can be stretched so far it amounts to
       casuistry to justify an obvious wrong." [BERGER,
       J., 2-28-2000, p. 50]
      In 1997 too, the (Jewish) Forward noted that "chasidim [ultra-Orthodox], though commonly drawing upon their rights and prerogatives as American citizens, have commonly been taught that they inhabit a culture and world that is answerable to another, higher authority. They see the world often divided between 'us' and 'them.' For insiders, everything; for outsiders, contempt ... Chasidism therefore do all they can to insulate themselves from America and its influence, which has led both to a contempt for American culture and its normative rules as well as an attitude that encourages chasidim to take themselves and vouchsafe their world and values." [HEILMAN, S, p. 1]

    In the wake of President Bill Clinton's controversial pardons of four Chasidic criminals, the Jewish Forward noted the case of Assistant U. S. Attorney Deborah Landis of New York who protested such leniency and had come under attack for smearing "all Jews as potential criminals." As the paper noted:

     "[Landis] reportedly urged the White House in a January 16 letter not to commute
     the sentences of four chasidic men convicted of stealing government student-aid
     and other funds, claiming clemency would 'send a message to that worldwide
     community that its pursuit of its own religious customs justifies fraud against
     the government.' The letter, obtained by the Associated Press but not released,
     prompted angry retorts from two groups that seldom agree with one another:
     the Jewish Council on Public Affairs, a liberal-leaning coalition of national
     agencies, and Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox advocacy group. Both
     accused Ms. Landis of stereotyping a group because of the actions of a few ...
     In a possible reflection of the senstive nature of the dispute, however, no other
     Jewish organizations were willing to comment on the Landis letter, including
     such normally outspoken agencies as the Anti-Defamation League and the
     American Jewish Congress. The ADL had objected once before to a federal
     investigation of student-aid fraud by Orthodox groups, arguing that a 1993
     probe risked creating an image that such fraud was characteristic of a
     particular community, only to be told by federal officials that it was ...
     [A 1993 congressional hearing on its investigations] prompted a letter of
     protest to the subcommittee's chairman, then-Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia,
     from ADL national director Abraham Foxman, who charged that
     the largely Orthodox Jewish roster of institutions under investigation might
     create the impression that Orthodox seminaries were particularly prone to
     these student-loan frauds. Mr. Nunn replied in a letter to Mr. Foxman that
     the investigation had found just such a pattern." [KLEIN, A., 2001]

      The avalanche of financial fraud and corruption in Orthodox Jewish circles also pushed the Jewish Observer, a periodical of the Agudath Israel Orthodox organization, to devote some space to the subject in its Summer 1997 issue. "What might the sin of our day be?" wondered Rabbi Aaron Brafman of Yeshiva Derech Ayson in Queens (which had itself come under investigation for embezzlement a few years earlier), "... I submit that the new sins to be concerned about are those of geeiva and gezeila (thievery and robbery) -- dishonesty in money dealing." [GOLDBERG, Thou, p. 40] Ironically, one of Agudath Israel's featured speakers at a yearly gathering two years before was David Schick, an Orthodox investment counselor, who lectured about ethics in business. He also chaired that Agudath Israel of America national convention. A year later he himself, notes the Jewish Week,
     "was accused of swindling at least $150 million from hundreds of
     Orthodox Jewish investors ... in a massive real estate investment scam...
     [His] potential cooperation with law enforcement authorities is sending
     shivers throughout the frum [Orthodox] world because of potential
     involvement by the Internal Revenue Service into investors who used
     unreported cash in the investment scam." [GREENBERG, E., Schick, p.

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