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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
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Another Day, Another Life Down

Another Day, Another Life Down

Photo Credit: Yehoshua Yosef/Flas90

The fellow on the right is Rafi Peled was born in Kibbutz HaZore’a on July 2, 1944. In 1967 he left the IDF with the rank of Major after having fought as part of the paratrooper corps in the battles over Gaza in the Six Day War. He joined the police force and after years of service, which included solving a few celebrated murder cases and an assignment to the police intelligence unit, he became Police Commissioner in 1993.

In 1994 he was exposed by the press as having accepted bribes in the form of vacation junkets in local hotels. A picture of him splashing in a Jacuzzi with fellow officers gave the scandal its name: Jacuzzigate (Parshat Ha’Jacuzzi). To avoid prosecution Peled resigned.

Rafi Peled is also a well known artist. Here is one of his sculptures, “Pencils.” You’ll find it in Petach Tikvah, Israel.

After leaving the police, Rafi Peled served as CEO of the electric company, and for a short stint was the Prime Minister’s chief of staff.

Then Peled started a hedge fund called “Peled Fund,” together with known politicians and a smattering of known criminals. The fund collapsed in 2002, leaving behind hundreds of millions in debt. On Wednesday, Rafi Peled was finally convicted on counts of fraud and breach of trust.

Israel is a very small country, and so, much as you find in high school productions of plays that call for a very large cast, some people take on more than one role. Rafi Peled managed to take on the role of Israeli kibbutznik, distinguished warrior, policeman, artist and embezzler.

Also, for the next three years, if he receives the maximum penalty, he will play the role of Israeli prisoner.

I have no idea who the fellow on the left is in the top picture, and how many lives he has led.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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