web analytics
April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Bribery’

Rabbi Metzger to be Indicted for Bribery

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger will be indicted for allegedly stuffing into his pockets nearly $2 million from bribes, he was told Tuesday by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.

Rabbi Metzger denies all charges.

Police investigations concluded with several charges for bribery, fraud, breach of public trust, money laundering and cheating on taxes while he was serving as the leading light for the Jewish people.

In Israel, not everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but the country is chock full of apparently airtight cases against public officials who eventually are not convicted, often because the police are even more guilty for sloppy work.

A public official, especially a rabbi, must be above suspicion. Barring the possibility, not to be dismissed,  that Rabbi Metzger is squeaky clean and the police have been on another witch hunt, the case is a black stain on the Chief Rabbinate.

The rabbi allegedly helped himself to princely sums of money to help convert people  to Judaism. Rabbi Metzger is from the Haredi community that frowns on conversions of national religious rabbis, who so far have a record of being among the cleanest of public officials.

The indictments cite several examples of Rabbi Metzger’s alleged contributions to his bank account under the guise of increasing the ranks of Jews. One case involved a wealthy Russian businessman who allegedly paid Rabbi Metzger $360,000 to convert his son and daughter.

Supposedly, he taught them the basic laws of the Torah, such as the prohibitions against stealing and not to place an obstacle in the path of the blind, the basis for prohibitions against being a con artist.

The Israeli public never was thrilled with the appointment of Rabbi Metzger as Chief Rabbi from the day he was suggested for the post.

His appointment as Chief Rabbi was rare if not unprecedented because he never had served as a religious judge.

His predecessor was Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, arguably the most popular Chief Rabbi in generations, one who managed to draw praise and respect from all sectors of Israel, including secular and Sephardi Jews.

His shoes were impossible to fill, but Rabbi Metzger was not even a midget compared to Rabbi Lau.

Rabbi Metzger was only 50 years old when appointed in 2003. He had a national religious background but clearly was in the Haredi court.

To Rabbi Metzger’s credit, he initiated a prayer for Jonathan Pollard, one which has been adopted by thousands of synagogues.

During his tenure, he was very active in approving relations between Jews and other religions.

He also announced his disapproval of attempts to separate men and women on buses.

If Rabbi Metzger is acquitted, he will have moral grounds to sue the police and the government for incredible recklessness.

If he is pronounced guilty, whatever punishment he will serve will not correct the loss of faith of Jews in rabbis.

Ehud Olmert’s ‘Talansky Affair’ Re-Opens in Jerusalem District Court

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The corruption trial of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert — this one relating to wads of cash from Long Island businessman and philanthropist Rabbi Morris “Moshe” Talansky — has reopened in Jerusalem District Court.

Talansky founded The New Jerusalem Fund together with Olmert. He told the Jerusalem District Court in past testimony that over a period of 13 years he gave the former prime minister about $150,000, most of it in cash, earmarked for campaign and personal expenses. Some was intended as a loan, some not.

The court was set to hear testimony from former Olmert aide Shula Zaken, who has turned state’s witness, as well as from Olmert in defense of himself.

The Israeli leader was convicted of breach of trust in the Holyland Complex affair in 2012 and given a suspended sentence of one year in prison and a fine of NIS 75,000 ($21,000). This year he was convicted of lying to the court in testimony about the case, and was convicted again on one count of breach of trust in the same case.

Olmert was sentenced on May 13, 2014, to six years in prison and fined NIS 1.5 million ($430,000), and was to begin serving his sentence yesterday, September 1.

He was acquitted in the Rishon Tours and Talansky affairs, but due to new evidence the Talansky affair was also re-opened today.

All three cases span Olmert’s tenures as mayor of Jerusalem, Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Finance Minister and finally as Prime Minister – a period from 1993 to 2009.

Update: President Ruby Rivlin No Longer Under Investigation

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

11:05pm Despite the cacophony surrounding Israel’s newly elected President Reuven Rivlin which opened the Channel 2 TV broadcast this evening at 8pm….Reshet Bet Radio has announced that after discussions between the State’s Attorney and the Government’s Legal Advisor….the Police will not be investigating the President and the case is closed.

Much ado about nothing….back to our regularly scheduled cease fire.


Channel 2 TV reports that President Ruby Rivlin is under investigation by police for allegedly receiving thousands of shekels from Real Estate mogul Dudi Appel a decade ago.

Rivlin claimed the story was previously investigated twice, and closed because he hadn’t done anything wrong.

Appel is currently serving a 3.5 year sentence for a bribery sentence related to some real estate deals in Lod.

Appel was linked to Ariel Sharon and other politicians.

Numerous Associates Sentenced to Prison with Former PM Ehud Olmert

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Several other associates of former prime minister Ehud Olmert were sentenced to prison Tuesday and fined millions of shekels, along with the ex-politician.

Of 13 top public officials and business leaders who were charged in the affair, 10 were convicted on March 31 of charges of bribery, moral turpitude, money laundering and more.

The guilty sentenced today (Tuesday) were:

Dan Dankner,  former chairman of Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s second largest bank. He is currently joint chairman of Israel Salt Industries. Dankner was convicted on charges of offering hundreds of thousands in bribes to rezone the land on which the Holyland complex is built. Dankner was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined NIS 1.5 million.

Hillel Cherney, developer of Holyland, the residential complex project that started the nightmare in the first place. He was convicted on 19 charges of corruption and additional charges of breach of trust.  Cherney was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined NIS 2 million.

Avigdor Kelner, another developer of Holyland. He was convicted of two charges of corruption. Kelner was sentenced to three years in prison and fined NIS 1 million.

Meir Rabin, a real estate developer. He was charged with mediating the bribery between developers and government officials for Holyland. Rabin was sentenced to five years in prison.

Uri Sheetrit, a former Jerusalem municipal engineer. He was charged with taking bribes. Sheetrit was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Eliezer Simchayoff, a Jerusalem city council member. He was convicted on two counts of bribery and immediately suspended himself following sentencing, pending the outcome of his appeal.  Simchayoff was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined NIS 300,000.

All are expected to appeal to the Supreme Court within a few days.

Others convicted but not sentenced today are:

Shmuel Dachner (deceased), before his death in March 2013 represented Holyland real estate developer Hillel Cherney. Dachner turned state’s witness and gave testimony that formed the core of the case against most of those convicted in March.

Shula Zaken, former top aide to Olmert. Zaken was convicted on charges of corruption and was closely associated with nearly everything the former mayor, minister and prime minister did. She made a plea bargain arrangement with the state that has reportedly led to a prison term of 11 months. She will be formally sentenced this coming Thursday, May 15.

Uri Lupolianski, was assistant mayor to then-Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert and then succeeded him in the post. He was convicted on charges of offering  bribes to rezone the land on which the Holyland complex is built. Lupolianski, in poor health, will be sentenced on June 9.

Fines are to be paid in 10 installments, according to the court decision.

Olmert’s Lawyers Claims $500,000 Bribe Not Such a Big Deal

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

The judge who will sentence former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for bribery admonished his lawyer for claiming that the conviction over %400,000 of money is only small change.

The prosecution on Monday asked the court to sentence Olmert to six years in jail and fine him more than $300,000.

Olmert’s attorneys, as expected, asked for a much lighter punishment, but his lawyer’s comment on the sum of the bribes says a lot about the workings of the minds of the political-legal-business establishment that has its hands in the taxpayers’ pockets.

Olmert took the stand to deny his guilt, and he no doubt believes he did nothing wrong because bribes are simply a means to justify the end of building businesses and personal empires in Israel. It is something like so-called religious leaders taking bribes to promote yeshivas and charities, all in the “name of God.”

Somewhere between the lines, there seems to be a violation of the Third Commandment, “You shalt not take the name of God in vain,” but let’s leave that for Him to decide.

Eli Zohar, one of Olmert’s attorneys, told the court that his poor and mistreated client “already has seen punished” by the heartless media that have caused him “insufferable damage” and “blackened his image,” which already was blacker than nothingness except for the die-hard leftist media and politicians who held out hope that the world can survive upside down.

The conviction, of course, was justice at its worst according to Olmert, partly because of the testimony of his former close aide Shuli Zakan, who finally decided it would be best to tell the truth – or as Olmert claims, to frame him – and spend a few less years in jail.

Olmert accused the media of creating a circus out of her testimony and making it impossible for him to receive a fair trial. He is right if the definition of a fair trial is “not guilty.”

Zohar had the audacity to tell the court that Olmert was charged with four counts of bribery but was convicted “only” on two charges,

What a righteous person! Such a great Tzadik, he is.

Not only that, but Zohar also stated that the $500,000 Olmert pocketed illegally is not such a significant sum of money. That just goes to show what is “big” money for the political-legal-business complex.

What’s half a million dollars? That was the attitude of Ephron, the landowner in Biblical Hebron when he negotiated with Avraham over the sale of the Cave Of the Patriarchs to bury Sarah.

The Arab understanding of “negotiations” hasn’t changed from then through today. After congenial talks in which Ephron told Avraham to take the land and after Avraham said, “Look, I know this game. How much do you want?” Ephron kept a straight face and said, “Oh, just some symbolic price, like 400 shekels of silver.” By some estimates, that is around $40,000 in today’s currency.

The judge was taken aback by Zohar’s comment and told him, “What are you talking about. That is a huge sum of money. This is not 20,000 shekels and not 50,000 shekels. I find it difficult accept your argument.”

In other words, Olmert is headed for the slammer – except for one big detail. After his sentencing May 13, He will appeal to the Supreme Court, and unless the justices break a record and give the case the priority it should have, Olmert may be out of jail for months or more.

Police Want Rabbi Metzger on Trial for Bribery Charges

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Police from Israel’s Major Crime Unit have recommended that former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger be put on trial for charges of bribery, money laundering and breach of public trust.

The recommendation revealed more details of alleged criminal violations, including the rabbi’s allegedly pocketing money for his participation in a ceremony in Poland marking 70 years since the Warsaw Ghetto Rebellion and for speeding up conversions.

As previously reported, the rabbi also is accused of putting in his personal pocket half of funds that were raised for charities, including seminaries and a yeshiva.

Court Orders New Elections in Beit Shemesh

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

The Jewish Home party won its day in court on Thursday with an administration court ruling that the October 22 elections for the Beit Shemesh mayor and city council are invalid because of suspected fraud. The court ordered a new vote.

Jewish Home mayoral candidate lost the election by 956 votes to Shas party incumbent Mayor Moshe Abutbul.

Shortly before the voting, police raid several homes and found identification cards that were in the hands of impersonators, and investigators said there is evidence of widespread fraud and suspicion of possible organized crime behind the forgeries.

Amazingly, Mayor Abutbul’s attorney told the court that, sure, there were some forgeries, but “you have to prove that all of the votes [separating Abutbul and Cohen] were invalid in order to cancel the elections. This is simple math. The police raided several homes and caught 120 identification cards, 36 of which were used to vote illegally. These are the facts, and the rest is speculation.”

Nice try, but no go, said the court. It is not just speculation; it is evidence that the foul play“went to the roots of the elections,” the court’s judges wrote in their ruling. It noted that “public trust collapsed.”

Shas is not known for clean politics. Neither is the Likud, but Shas’ problem is that it gets caught more often. It does not have the finesse of the Ashkenazi elite to be crooked and get away with it.

Just ask Aryeh Deri, who has returned to head the party after time ran out on his not being able to hold public office by virtue of his conviction and prison sentence for bribery, which politicians, religious and secular, think is not illegal if is a mitzvah.

Thursday’s decision was victory for the Jewish Home party, which already tastes an electoral victory in the re-run of the votes. A date has not yet been announced, but Beit Shemesh residents are anxious to vote again.

The city has been severely divided over religion. A radical Haredi cult has made life miserable for many national religious families. Many secular residents are furious over the increasing Haredi influence, let alone the radicals who want separate sidewalks for men and women.

A relatively large number of Americans live in Beit Shemesh, located a few miles west of Jerusalem. One of them is Dov Lipman, who now is a Knesset Member for the Yesh Atid party.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/court-orders-new-elections-in-beit-shemesh/2013/12/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: