*is any Mossad agent ever really 'ex'?
According to the FT, Mr Hochman had "long been a prime target of shareholders who lost their money when the shares were suspended in October 2005."
It also stated that the UK High Court had previously "declared Mr Hochman in contempt for failing to comply with a multi-million pound asset-freezing injunction and sentenced him in his absence to 12 months in prison."
Spanish state-owned broadcaster TVE, in their main 9 pm news bulletin, quoted Mr. Hochman as saying "he was only protecting the Jewish community's interests"
Curiously, most of the British press left out the bit about him being a Mossad agent, ex or not. Those who did mention it were: the Sun, Daily Mail, ITN, Haaretz. Those that didn't: BBC, Guardian, Independent, Financial Times, Metro. Spanish El Pais mentioned Mossad.
One begins to get a picture of exactly what the Israeli state is all about. Not only are they ethnically cleansing Palestinians in an attempt to steal all their land and have been since 1948, but they are a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders"...
Those words were written by Sir John Troutbeck, head of the British Middle East Office in Cairo and later British Ambassador to Iraq, on 02 June 1948. He had previously written on 18 May 1948 "It is difficult to see that Zionist policy is anything else than unashamed agression carried out by methods of deceit and brutality not unworthy of Hitler." (Troutbeck to Wright, 18 May 1948, FO 371/68386/E8738 Quoted by William Roger Louis in 'The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945-1951' p.576) This was after the massacre at Deir Yassin, in April 1948. William Roger Louis notes that before WWII Troutbeck had served in Czechoslovakia and he "now believed he was witnessing the spectacle of history repeating itself."
One just has to look at all the scandals surrounding recent Israeli leaders to see that Troutbeck was not far off the mark:
Ariel Sharon was described by Labor leader Amram Mitzna, as a “godfather” running the “family” business. “There is no doubt that organized crime is apparently infiltrating a party, a ruling party,” Mitzna said, according to a Forward article. Mitzna was referring to the Likud party. The Forward article article, written by Matthew Gutman, started "It seemed like a scene straight out of the television series "The Sopranos": A group of political insiders gathers at a swank restaurant, owned by a suspected mob family, and is allegedly plied with food, drinks and cash-filled envelopes while considering nominees for plum political posts. After enough drinks and cash are passed around, the restaurant owner's 27-year-old daughter, a law student and part-time waitress, ends up poised to represent her party -- and, it's feared, her family -- in the state legislature. But the story didn't take place in New Jersey and it isn't fiction..."
Sharon of course left Likud and founded Kadima a truly gangster party. Its current chief and acting PM Ehud Olmert faces criminal indictment in corruption probes to do with a Jerusalem property deal in which Olmert allegedly bought an apartment in 2004 for $1.2 million US. He has resigned which is what prompted the upcoming Israeli elections.
"A US businessman at the centre of a high-profile corruption investigation told an Israeli court ... he gave thousands of dollars to Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, in envelopes stuffed with cash, some of which he claims was spent on expensive hotels, holidays and cigars. Morris Talansky, a long-time supporter and friend of Olmert, said he gave at least $150,000 (£75,000) over 15 years, including the years when Olmert was a government minister and mayor of Jerusalem."
In June 2007, former Israeli President Moshe Katsav resigned "after a year-long scandal in which several former employees accused him of sexual assault and harassment, and one accused him of rape. Katsav took a leave of absence from his duties in January but stayed on as president before quitting just before the end of his term. A plea deal allowed him to escape the rape charge--and jail. Israel's legislature, the Knesset, reportedly passed a resolution to strip Katsav of many perks awarded to former presidents, including a state-funded office, a secretary, and a car and driver."
Israel's justice minister, Haim Ramon, "resigned on 20 August 2006, two days after he said he would step down to face accusations that he forcibly kissed an 18-year-old female soldier. Israel's attorney general announced plans to indict him on an indecent assault charge." The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court convicted him on 31 January 2007 for "non-consensual indecent acts against IDF female soldier H, who worked as a military secretary at the Prime Minister's Bureau. The judges' decision was unanimous".
Another scandal is that of Olmert's former Finance Minister, Abraham Hirchson, who was indicted for money laundering and embezzling more than $1 million from a non-profit organisation - a euphemism for saying that he stole money from the “March of the Living” project and the Holocaust. The multiple charges included theft, aggravated fraud, breach of trust, fraudulently obtaining funds, money laundering and falsifying corporate documents. Hirchson "was caught boarding a plane from Poland in 1997 with $250,000 in cash stuffed into suitcases that he planned to bring into Israel...Yaakov Weinrot, Hirchson’s lawyer, confirmed the minister had indeed been caught illegally trying to smuggle the cash into Israel and had been fined by a Polish court. But he said Hirchson had only done so because of the technical problems of transferring money to Israel from a Polish bank. " Right.
Now what 'technical problem' would that be? Oh yes, you can't legally transfer dirty money...
"Sarah Amrani, the head of his private office, is also under investigation....Hirchson has been a member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, since 1981. He is also a member of the Board of the Special Swiss Committee for Needy Holocaust Survivors. A Filipino nurse who once tended Hirchson’s late wife told police she had seen envelopes filled with cash being delivered to him at home. Ovadia Cohen, the chairman of Nili, has already confessed to embezzling funds from the organisation."
There was a further conviction in the same case: "The Tel Aviv District Court found former National Labor Federation Director Yitzhak Russo guilty of theft, fraud, breach of trust, money laundering and other offenses. Russo was convicted as part of a plea bargain following his confession in a case involving former Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson."
Another one straight out of The Sopranos is the case of the Israeli police commissioner:
Moshe Karadi, who resigned in February 2007 according to the International Herald Tribune, in order to "spare the police the harm of a scandal".
"In 1999, when he was head of Israel's southern district, Karadi failed to pursue an investigation into close ties between police officers and a crime family in the south.
In 1999, a suspected crime boss, Pinchas Buhbut, was murdered while in a hospital by a uniformed policeman working for a rival crime family, the Perinians. Buhbut was recovering from an assassination attempt and was supposed to be under police guard.
A year later, three months after he had left the police, the murderer, Tzachi Ben-Or, was arrested for a robbery and offered to testify. His offer was declined, and a judge, not informed of the Buhbut murder, released him to house arrest. Ben-Or later fled the country and was murdered himself, in Mexico in 2004.
Karadi was accused by the investigators of promoting a police commander in the southern district who was suspected of hushing up the case for the Perinian family."
There were two other scandals from 2006 that reached into the higher echelons of the Israeli government:
Tzahi Hanegbi of Kadima, the chairman of parliament's influential defence and foreign affairs committee, was indicted "on charges of fraud and breach of trust for allegedly making 69 inappropriate political appointments while serving as environment minister between 2001 and 2003. The state has also charged Hanegbi with committing election fraud, giving false testimony, taking a false oath and attempting to exert unlawful influence on a voter."
The 33-page indictment included a list of 321 witnesses for the prosecution:
He had been in trouble before. In 2001 in "a dramatic turnabout" several hours before Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon was to appoint the Likud's cabinet ministers, "Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein reversed an earlier decision" and closed a graft case against Tzahi Hanegbi "because the evidence against him would not stand up in court." He was "a suspect of fraud, deceit and election’s bribery as well as breach of trust."
In spite of all this, this man is now Chairman of the Knesset's Security and Foreign Affairs Committee...Need I really say more?
Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, chief of staff of Israel's armed forces, has acknowledged "selling off his stock portfolio just hours after Hezbollah gunmen kidnapped two Israeli soldiers July 12 triggering the five-week Lebanon war. While regulatory authorities have said he did nothing illegal, Reuters said many Israelis are questioning why cutting his own financial losses was on Halutz's mind at such a time."
A list of other contemporary scandals include:
Israel Katz, Likud MK, former Agricultural Minister. The police recommend trying him for breach of trust, cronyism, misuse of power and forgery. Katz, who was interrogated twice, is now facing indictment.
The list is much longer, so permit me to mention just some outlines:
There were and still are investigations of some MK members: Ruchama Avraham, (Free flight tickets to USA, from Agresco). She paid back and was reprimanded.
Danny Nave, MK and former Health Minister – for political appointments. He recently resigned from the Knesset.
Salach Tariff, former Minister – indicted.
Shlomo Benziri, former minister of Work, Welfare and Health – was charged for receiving bribe from a constructor.
Neomi Blumenthal – former Likud MK – was sentenced to 8 months in prison, and 75 thousands NIS fine, for bribing Likud central committee members, “buying” their votes for the party’s primaries. Her sentence has been delayed for 2 months, at her request.
Yona Metzger, Chief Rabbi, (Ashkenazi) – a suspect of bribery and false testimony.And on top: A huge scandal at the Tax Authority, involving 15 senior civil servants for bribery, fraud, political appointments and breach of trust. Among the accused are Shula Zaken, Olmert’s head of office, and her brother, Jacky Matza, one of the two directors of the Tax Authority together with Ethan Rove.
This is not just a recent problem either.
A WRMEA article of March 2003 also confirmed that "corruption is rampant in their country, which is home to a powerful criminal underworld. Drug money finances the smuggling of guns and people. Israel’s shady diamond industry may even exchange so-called “conflict” diamonds for weapons in the Congo and other African countries. Illegal foreign workers are imported and kept in terrible conditions, and prostitution is a big racket. Over the years, Russian, as well as South and North American Mafia have flourished in Israel. Crooked millionaires, like American fugitive and financier Marc Rich, have gained respectability by making contributions to Israeli universities and institutes.
Israeli banks are a favorite place for international money laundering. British media tycoon Robert Maxwell poured his ill-gotten gains into Israel, before his mysterious death on his yacht in 1992—after his money-laundering and outright thefts became public knowledge.
It should come as no surprise, then, that corruption also is rife in Israel’s government. Scandal has always dogged politicians in “the only democracy in the Middle East.” Perhaps because they now take it for granted, allegations of corruption never have much of a long-term impact on Israeli voters.
Sharon’s predecessors also were embroiled in funding irregularities or corruption scandals. Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, always were up to their necks in charges and investigations, only to emerge unscathed, ready to run again. Ehud Barak remains enmeshed in a scandal involving shell companies that poured foreign funds into his election campaign. In 1977, allegations of corruption were instrumental in the late Yitzhak Rabin’s fall from power."
The same paper published this the following day: "Police suspect Lieberman of money laundering, fraud and breach of trust. Sources in the national fraud squad said Sunday that the evidence gathered against Lieberman in recent months was far more serious and substantial than anything that has been previously published. "
The Lieberman mafia has apparently an " international nature, encompassing countries from Cyprus to Ukraine". All this from the man who has been called "a Jewish Hitler".
Another member of the gangster state's leaders, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai "went as far as threatening a "shoah," the Hebrew word for holocaust or disaster" in March 2008, just 10 months before the latest Gaza massacre. This was at the same time as Ehud Barak threatened Hamas: "Hamas is directly responsible for the current situation and will be the one to bear the cost of our response", Barak said during a visit to Ashkelon, adding that "an Israeli response is necessary and will be carried out."