web analytics
October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Former PM Ehud Olmert Enters Prison Today

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert entered prison at 10 am Monday morning to become the first Israeli head of state to serve a jail term.

He is to stay in a special wing at the Ma’asiyahu Prison in Ramle, with extra security to protect him at all times outside his cell.

Only specially screened inmates are allowed in his wing, and the wing itself has a separate area for eating, medical and other activities, apart from the majority of other inmates. These measures are not only designed to protect Olmert – they are also meant to ensure that no prisoner will be able to extract information from the former head of state.

Olmert’s sentence is set for a minimum of 18 months but could run as long as 27 months, depending on the outcome of current appeals.

Olmert released a video statement to the media earlier Monday professing his innocence. In his statement Olmert again denied his guilt after being convicted of bribery and graft.

“At this hour it is important for me to say once again that I am innocent of charges that I took bribes. None of the charges stemmed from the time during which I served as prime minister,” Olmert said in the clip.

On the one hand, he called the prison sentence “an unusual, serious event that shows the strength of Israeli democracy.”

But he said his particular case “snowballed for reasons that were not related to legal considerations,” as if to accuse the judicial system of being guilty of political corruption instead.

He did, however, grudgingly admit to “making mistakes,” albeit “not of a criminal nature.”

Hana Levi Julian

PM Olmert, Two More Holy Land Hotel Defendants to Start Prison Terms

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

On Monday a new chapter will be written in Israel’s annals of politics and crime, as former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (Kadima) enters white-collar Ma’asiyahu prison near Ramla for 27 months for receiving a bribe and deception. Olmert was originally sentenced to six years, but the high court acquitted him on one major indictment. Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran wrote in his opinion that Olmert “is a public servant who embezzled money and betrayed the public’s trust, for which he must be punished.”

Olmert will be staying at Division 10 at Ma’asiyahu, set up for normative inmates who committed relatively light crimes. He will share a cell with two other inmates, dine at the division’s own mess hall and be able to use the gym. In one year he could appeal for a sentence reduction.

Danny Dankner and Meir Rabin, two of the defendants who were convicted in the Holy Land Hotel scandal, will also begin serving their sentences on Monday, after Supreme Court Justice Miriam Naor rejected their petition to receive another hearing in their case and to lighten their punishment. Naor ruled that neither defendant’s case revealed any exception that would justify an additional hearing.

Dankner was convicted in the Tel Aviv District Court, along with other defendants, and last month the Supreme court accepted his appeal partially, reducing his sentence from three to two years. Dnakner was convicted of giving bribes and money laundering.

Meir Rabin, who served as an aide to Shmuel Dachner, who ended up turning state’s evidence, was convicted of taking about $350,000 from Dankner, to help the latter re-zone lands owned by his family. He will serve five years, on receiving a bribe and money laundering.


Swedish FM Margot Wallström in Rental Corruption Scandal

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer gal. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, who’s been accusing Israel of dealing disproportionately with Arab terrorists, and went as far as to accuse Israel of “extrajudicial executions” of said terrorists, might be otherwise engaged for awhile, on account of her Stockholm apartment which, according to Aftonbladet, she received as a nice gesture from Sweden’s biggest trade union, Kommunal, which in her case overlooked the waiting list of a few years everyone else had to obey. Well, not everyone, according to the daily newspaper, there were several key left-wing politicians who enjoyed the same VIP treatment.

Wallstrom claimed she had no idea about the special treatment, saying that when she had taken the apartment she insisted on receiving “confirmation from the highest level that they followed all the rules and procedures in assigning apartments, and that I was not going to jump ahead of anyone on the waiting list.”

She is very moral that way. In fact, she opted to push the union leadership under the bus, very much in Arab terrorist fashion, saying, “They lied to me,” and “I am angry and disappointed with Kommunal.”

A spokesman for Wallström told TT she had been offered the apartment last spring during an informal discussion with the head of Kommunal. But a spokesman for the opposition Moderaterna party said The Minsiter’s finger-pointing did not strike him as being very believable and that “she should shed light on her own actions,” since “she is part of the government and should not create a relationship of dependency with a trade union.”

Expressen, which has been critical of Wallström’s attacks on Israel, said she was a hypocrite, “pretending to be a woman of the people while skipping above the people on the housing waiting list.”


Arye Deri Returns as Interior Minister

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Twenty-two years after he was forced to resign in disgrace from the position, Shas chairman Arye Deri was approved Sunday by the government as Israel’s new Interior Minister.

Two decades ago, the Shas minister – who recently served as Minister of Economy – was forced to resign from the Interior Ministry after an indictment on charges of corruption.

Deri was later convicted and sentenced to a four-year prison term on charges of bribery.

The former Economy Minister replaces former Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, who recently resigned.

Shalom left his position in the wake of accusations of sexual harassment by a number of former employees.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Abbas Controlling Multi Billion Dollar Fund that Hasn’t Had a CEO in 15 Years

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Palestinian National Fund has existed since the 1960s, but its leaders keep its operations out of the limelight. It manages billions of dollars, has not appointed an active CEO for 15 years to allow the PA Chairman to retain control over it. Part of the money is funneled to PA officials and funds anti-Israel activities, including organizing rallies in support of the boycott against Israel, Calcalist reported Sunday.

Israelis tend to view Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) as a gray and weak leader who lost his control and influence on the Palestinian street, and therefore may no longer be relevant. That may be true, but at least one area in the Palestinian arena the veteran, 80-year-old leader continues to hold tremendous power — he effectively controls the billions of dollars of the Palestinian National Fund, the most important economic institution in the PA, whose activity is conducted mainly in the dark and which has been linked in recent years to a near-complete lack of transparency and widespread corruption. Abbas decides where Palestinian money is directed in the domestic arena, be it for the benefit of the PA resident or to other, more clandestine activities.

Pursuant to the PLO rules, the Palestinian National Fund should be managed by a special council, and its chairman should be a member of the PLO executive committee. In practice, over the past 15 years the fund has been run without Chairman, in violation of PLO rules. A decade ago, then PLO chairman Abbas appointed Ramzi Khouri, head of the office of Yasser Arafat, as CEO. With Arafat gone, Khouri has been a sworn Abbas loyalist. This means that in practice Abbas controls the fund money, and the flow of its funding for anti-Israel propaganda and activities is being carried out with his knowledge and approval.

The Palestinian National Fund is currently funded by donations received from states, organizations, and individuals, as well as from returns on investments in economic projects (companies, real estate, etc.) all over the world, especially in Arab countries. Its exact scope is unknown, but it is estimated at tens of billions of dollars. One of the activities the fund finances is the war of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority against Israel’s international legitimacy.

Although the size of the annual budget for this cause is not known, it appears to be a fairly high on the fund’s list of priorities. Last August, when Chairman of the PLO Foreign Affairs Department Tayseer Khaled received the freed prisoner Khader Adnan in his office in Ramallah. Khaled announced that the priority of his department is “to expand the international boycott against the ‘state of occupation,’ to prosecute Israeli war criminals in the international court and to preventing the Judaization of Jerusalem.” Visitors to the website of the PLO Department of Foreign Affairs can see these priorities plainly, with regular reports from all over the globe on boycott initiatives against Israel and other material portraying Israel in a negative light. Last week the PLO called on Palestinian communities abroad to organize rallies to support for the Palestinian people in Jerusalem.

But the same fund is being used by Abbas to reign in insubordinate PLO members. Last year it was reported that due to disagreements between Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo, the PA Chairman decided to take revenge on the latter and revoked his powers associated with the National Trust funds. Sources close to Abbas explained the move by the authority in the fact that supervising the fund is not the responsibility of the PLO secretary general.

Another example: last year, it was reported that Abbas had ordered stopping allocations to the Popular Front—a PLO member—from the budgets of the National Trust. He did so in response to criticism from this group over security cooperation with Israel in Judea and Samaria.


FIFA President Sepp Blatter Re-Elected Despite Corruption Scandals, Arrests

Friday, May 29th, 2015

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, 79, was re-elected Friday to a fifth term as head of the international soccer federation that controls the annual World Cup, even as controversy swirled around him and FIFA.

Support for Blatter came from a wide majority in the 209-member organization despite the arrest of seven top federation officials in Switzerland on Wednesday on charges of racketeering and corruption. The U.S. Justice Department indicted a total of 14 executives and marketing officials from the world body.

“I’m not perfect. Nobody is perfect. But we will do a good job together,” Blatter told members in his victory speech following the vote. “I take the responsibility to bring FIFA where it should be… At the end of my term [this time] I will give up FIFA in a strong position,” he said.

Calls for him to resign were issued by a number of world leaders, including UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

While the organization’s top echelon struggled with the allegations, Israel fought off a sportsfare attempt by the Palestinian delegation to expel its members from the world body. At the very last moment before a scheduled vote on the issue, Palestinian soccer league head and convicted terrorist Jibril Rajoub instead submitted an amendment cancelling the proposal.


Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Warns FIFA: Palestinian Threats Will Destroy International Sport

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Palestinian Authority government heads are continuing to use the international arena as their new battleground against Israel.

But Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Thursday that if the membership of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) caves to PA pressure, such a vote will also eventually kill FIFA.

“The effort to hurt Israel will destroy FIFA because if they start with one country they will move on to another and it will collapse the organization. The effort to suspend Israel is severe and we will resist it unequivocally.

“I told [FIFA president Sepp] Blatter that if he allows the suspension of Israel he will have allowed for the destruction of FIFA.”

Even as new allegations appear against the organization and its president, Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub is refusing to withdraw a PA proposal to ban Israel from the sports organization. A two-thirds majority vote at the 209-member organization would succeed in expelling Israel from the international sports body.

“Nothing has changed, the vote is still on the agenda,” Rajoub told the AFP news agency after a meeting with Blatter on Wednesday.

The Palestinian soccer league president is no stranger to any form of terror – be it warfare, lawfare or sportsfare – having served his first prison term in Israel at age 15. Two years, in September 1970, later he was arrested again, this time for hurling a grenade at an IDF bus near Hebron. Upon being convicted on charges of terror and membership in an armed terror organization, Rajoub was sentenced to life in prison. He was subsequently released in 1985 as part of a prisoner swap to free three Israeli hostages held by the PFLP terror organization. He was arrested again, numerous times, after returning to his life of violent crime, working with the Fatah terror organization.

After deportation to Lebanon and relocation to Tunisia, Rajoub eventually became a close adviser to PLO terror chief Yasser Arafat. He was also involved in a plot to assassinate former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Following the signing of the Oslo Accords, Rajoub returned to Judea and Samaria, where he served as head of the PA security force.

In June 2012, as head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, Rajoub called a request for a minute of silence to remember the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics by Palestinian terrorists, “racist.”

In May 2013, Rajoub told the Lebanese Al Mayadeen television network, “We, the Palestinians are enemies of Israel…. Until now we have not had nuclear weapons, but in the name of Allah, if we had nuclear weapons, we’d be using them.”

Rajoub has conditioned withdrawal of the proposal to expel Israel from FIFA on a ruling by the United Nations to determine the status of five Israeli soccer teams based in Judea and Samaria. The teams are from the Jewish communities of Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel, Kiryat Arba, Beka’at HaYarden and Givat Ze’ev.

Teams not located within Israeli territory require Palestinian authorization to participate in the Israeli leagues under FIFA regulations.

Because the United Nations does not recognize Israel’s annexation of post-1967 parts of the country – including numerous Jerusalem neighborhoods, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria as well as Gaza, the decision would de facto force Israel’s league to expel the five teams, or force the soccer federation to expel Israel’s league.

On Wednesday, a counter proposal was allegedly offered to the Palestinians by the Jewish State, according to one delegate. The FIFA vote on the Palestinian proposal is slated to take place Friday in Switzerland.

The Palestinian contingent has been complaining because some of its members are stopped at security checkpoints when leaving for international events. Some are prevented from leaving entirely and a few are arrested, in fact.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-warns-fifa-palestinian-threats-will-destroy-international-sport/2015/05/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: