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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Twelve business groups with close ties to Israel’s political leaders control more than 60 percent of Israel’s economy, making it among the most concentrated in the world, according to a report in Forbes Israel.
 
The magazine lists the groups, which include private citizens: Sami Ofer, Nochi Dankner, Shari Arison, the Cerberus-Gabriel consortium, Charles Bronfman, Yitzchak Tshuva, the Saban group, Lev Leviev, Matthew Bronfman, Tzadik Bino, the Borovich family, and Eliezer Fishman.

Forbes contends the families constructed their empires, which consist of Israel’s largest companies, using organizational methods that were abolished in the Western world more than 50 years ago. The article states the groups have a disproportionately large amount of control over Israel’s economy, its political leaders and the media because of the way the companies are set up in pyramid style to ultimately answer to the various business groups.

The magazine feature comes after warnings by Haaretz commentator Ari Shavet, who wrote that the Kadima Party led by Ehud Olmert represents the interests of “the 18 families” – Shavit’s reference to those controlling most of Israel’s assets. Shavit warned that a Kadima victory would lead to a takeover of several important Israeli institutions by the powerful families.

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United States churches are secretly run by Jews who converted to Christianity with the intention of controlling religious Americans including President Bush, a top Hamas official claims.

“Even the churches where the Americans pray are led by Jews who were converted to Christianity, but they were converted to keep controlling the Americans,” Mohammad Abu Tir, the number two Hamas terrorist in the newly formed Palestinian Authority government said during an exclusive interview from his home with this reporter.

“I made a study and I know very well that all this radicalism in some parts of the Christianity, [including] the Anglicans who are being led by Bush, is because of the control of Zionists,” said Abu Tir. The Hamas official, famous for his orange-dyed beard, went on to accuse “Zionists” of controlling Western media organizations and “leading terrorism inside the mass communications media.”

Abu Tir was elected to the number two spot in the PA in January’s legislative ballots in which Hamas won by a large margin. He spent nearly 25 years in Israeli prisons for directing terror activities, including the attempted poisoning in the early 1990′s of Israel’s water supplies.

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Israel must withdraw from the West Bank; otherwise Arabs will soon outnumber Jews and threaten Israel’s Jewish character, former prime minister Shimon Peres claimed in an exclusive WorldNetDaily interview. Peres’s statements come in spite of a new study presented to the U.S. Congress last month which contends Israel’s withdrawal policy is based on erroneous Palestinian population data and predicts that in 20 years Jews will outnumber Arabs by two-to-one even if Israel keeps the West Bank and Gaza.

The study, directed by American Bennet Zimmermn, found Palestinians have inflated their population figures by as much as 50 percent. It said Jewish birthrates are far outstripping Palestinian rates, and Israel’s own statistics fail to account for even low levels of Jewish immigration when calculating national demographic trends.

Under Zimmerman’s mid-case scenario, a Jewish majority in Israel of 63 percent will be realized in 2025 if Israel retains the West Bank and Gaza. According to other likely scenarios contained in the new data, Jews could outnumber Arabs by 71 percent if Jewish fertility rates continue to rise and immigration increases further.

“It is ironic that just as we now find Israel is in the best position ever with regard to population, Olmert announces a plan to run away and give up the West Bank, claiming Israel’s Jewish character is threatened,” said Zimmerman

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Olmert signed a public charter last week against government corruption, declaring the issue of fighting crookedness in the Israeli government of “utmost importance.” But Olmert’s statements come at the same time he is being implicated in multiple corruption and bribery scandals.

Israeli Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss is investigating multiple political appointments made by Olmert while he served as minister of Industry and Trade under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s administration. Olmert was minister from 2003 until 2005. He is charged with making appointments in exchange for political and business favors.

Another investigation tied to Olmert involves political appointments allegedly coordinated with Sharon’s son and former minister, Omri. The state was asked to investigate the younger Sharon following a recent television report airing excerpts from Omri’s diary concerning a large number of political appointments allegedly aimed at shoring up support for his father while he was prime minister.

Among Olmert-tied entries, Omri Sharon in the diary reminded himself to “meet with Ehud [Olmert] about [Likud member] Yigal Yosef,” as well as with a top Olmert adviser on the same subject.

Yosef’s vote was needed in 2004 to approve Ariel Sharon’s move to bring the Labor party into his coalition. Yosef, who voted in favor of Labor joining the government, eventually was given a top job in Olmert’s Industry Ministry.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He is a co-host of ABC Radio’s nationally syndicated John Batchelor Show and can be heard regularly on American radio.

 

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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