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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Abbas’ Son Loses $10 Million Libel Suit in US Court

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit threw out a $10 million libel suit by one of the sons of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas Friday, the same day the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a suit demanding compensation from settlers for “terrorist stacks.”

The suit in New York charged several right-wing Israeli charities with funding settlers in violation of anti-terrorism laws. “American federal judges recognize the difference between the financing of murder and violence… and legitimate bona fide financial support of the daily needs of peaceful Israeli settlements over the Green Line,” said attorney Nathan Lewin, who represented the charities.

The libel suit that was rejected in Washington may go to the Supreme Court, said a lawyer for Tarek Abbas, one of the PA chairman’s sons.

He sued Foreign Policy magazine and Foundation for the Defense of Democracies researcher Jonathan Schanzer, who in 2012 wrote an article for the magazine, whose subhead line read:

Are the sons of the Palestinian president growing rich off their father’s system?

A three-judge panel unanimously agreed that defining defamation to include raising a question would “dramatically chill” public debate.

The judges wrote:

Just imagine the severe infringement on free speech that would ensue in the alternative universe envisioned by Abbas. Is the Mayor a thief? Is the quarterback a cheater? Did the Governor accept bribes? Did the CEO pay her taxes? Did the baseball star take steroids? Questions like that appear all the time in news reports and on blogs, in tweets and on cable shows. And all such questions could be actionable under Abbas’ novel defamation theory.”

Admitting that journalists often unfairly raise questions to imply a negative conclusion, the judges stated, “There is no good or predictable way to neatly divide (i) the questions that are routinely posed in America’s robust public forums from (ii) the kinds of questions that would be actionable as defamation by implication under Abbas’s theory.”

Abba’s lawyer Louis Adolfson told Politico. “We are considering our options,” meaning a possible appeal to the Supreme Court.

Schanzer wrote in his article for Foreign Policy, “The conspicuous wealth of Abbas’s own sons, Yasser and Tarek, has become a source of quiet controversy in Palestinian society since at least 2009, when Reuters first published a series of articles tying the sons to several business deals, including a few that had U.S. taxpayer support.

“Yasser, the elder son,…owns Falcon Tobacco, which reportedly enjoys a monopoly on the sale of U.S.-made cigarettes in the Palestinian territories. According to the Toronto Star, Yasser also chairs Falcon Holding Group, a Palestinian corporate conglomerate that owns Falcon Electrical Mechanical Contracting Company, an engineering interest that was established in 2000 and boasts offices in Gaza, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and the West Bank.

“This business success has come with a helping hand from Uncle Sam: According to a Reuters report, Abbas’s company received $1.89 million from USAID in 2005 to build a sewage system in the West Bank town of Hebron.

Yasser Abbas also manages a company that engages in public works projects for his father’s regime and which was awarded $300,000 in USAid funds between 2005 and 2008.

His younger brother Tarek’s advertising firm received $1 million in USAID funds “to bolster public opinion of the United States in the Palestinian territories.”

And what do Palestinian Authority Arabs think about the sons of their leader, who now is serving something like the 10th year of his elected four-year term of office?

Schanzer wrote:

On a research trip to Ramallah last year, several Palestinians told me that the Abbas family dynasty is common knowledge. However, discussion of the issue rarely rises above a whisper — thanks to growing fear of retribution by PA security officers, who have apprehended journalists and citizens for openly challenging President Abbas’s authority.

Tarek could have been $10 million richer, but the U.S. Appeals Court in Washington ruined his plans.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Egyptian Imam Says ‘Corrupt Interpretation’ Led to Radical Islamic Terror

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

The head of the centuries-old Al-Azhar Islamic Center, Grand Imam El-Tayeb, blamed “corrupt interpretations of some texts in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah” for the spread of radical Islamist groups.

“The most striking reason, that I see, is the historical accumulation of extremist tendencies,” the country’s top Islamic cleric said, according to the Al Ahram newspaper.

Speaking at an anti-terrorism conference in Mecca on Sunday, El-Tayeb said it is essential to impose a “control” on the “chaos of fatwas (religious rulings) against other Muslims as infidels.”

Otherwise, he said, there will be “no hope” for the Islamic Ummah – the Islamic world – to retrieve its unity.

The Imam called for a conference of Muslim scholars, to create a set of common values, yet allow the people of each nation to follow their own set of agreed-upon unique teachings. Such a system would create “social stability,” he said.

El-Tayeb also called for the introduction of a special education curriculum to correct “false and ambiguous concepts.”

In addition, the Muslim leader underlined the importance of ‘tolerance’ in dialogue.

Hana Levi Julian

Jerusalem District Police Commander Hands In Surprise Resignation

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Jerusalem District Police Commander Assistant Chief Yossi Pariente announced Sunday in an abrupt statement that he will step down at the end of his term.

A 30-year veteran of the force, Pariente was believed to be next in line to succeed Inspector-General Yochanan Danino as Chief of Police. The move comes as a surprise.

But Israel has seen two major police scandals this summer and months filled with riots, war and ongoing Arab violence. Not to mention the ongoing corruption trials of Israel’s former prime minister, and past corruption trials of the country’s former president and at least one lawmaker.

Pariente’s abrupt announcement followed a storm of international protest in response to a YouTube video that showed a police officer beating 15-year-old Tariq Khdeir of Tampa, FL.

The Arab-American citizen, who himself was involved in riots against police, is a cousin to 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir. The young Jerusalem Arab teen was kidnapped and murdered by Jewish gang members a day after searchers found the bodies of three Jewish teens murdered by Hamas terrorists buried in a field north of Hebron.

In addition, an autopsy report this month confirmed that Arab teen Muhammad Abd al-Majid Sunuqrut died after being shot in the head with a rubber bullet. The report vindicated the claims of Arab eyewitnesses who were rioting alongside the teen. The group was hurling rocks at police on August 31 in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz. But police had claimed the teen died after being shot in the leg and hitting his head after having tripped and fallen while fleeing.

Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch called Sunday’s resignation by Pariente a “strategic threat” to police deterrence.

“An external appointment is required to build a new corporate police culture,” Aharonovitch said in a brief statement following the resignation.

Pariente will remain at his post until a replacement is found.

He resigned just two weeks after a similar move by Central District commander Assistant Chief Bruno Stein, who was accused of guilt by association in a corruption case against well-known attorney Ronel Fisher.

Stein was “outed” in an article published by the Hebrew-language Ha’aretz newspaper which claimed he attended a private party at Fisher’s home while the attorney was under investigation for bribing several police officials.

Jewish Press Staff

Palestinian PM Hints: Hamas Stole Food and Medical Aid

Monday, September 8th, 2014

The Palestinian Authority Prime Minister admits that Hamas has stolen food and medicine meant for civilians, and the PA has no say over what goes on in Gaza, despite the so-called “Palestinian Unity Government”.

Video of the Day

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.

Hana Levi Julian

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.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Yet Another Presidential Race Dropout Following Allegations of Wrongdoing

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Labor MK Binyamin “Fuad” Ben-Eliezer dropped out of the race for President of Israel, just days before the June 10th election.

Ben-Eliezer quit following a much publicized last minute police investigation, examining whether or not illegally received money to buy an apartment.

Ben-Eliezer is the second MK knocked out of the race for president following much publicized investigations, the first was Minister Silvan Shalom, who dropped out after allegations that he had committed some sex-related crimes.

The Attorney General eventually closed the investigations against Silvan, but as a result Silvan decided to not run.

Ben-Eliezer maintains his innocence, and says he will continue to fight to prove his innocence, and called it a ‘targeted assassination’.

But even if he could prove his innocence in the next few days, the allegations are enough to kill his chance to be in a reasonable position to challenge Ruby Rivlin, the Likud front-runner, in a run-off race.

On the online Israeli political forums they’re taking it a step further, as members discuss how presidential candidate Dalia Itzik, after leaving politics in 2012, was able to afford a NIS 4.5 million luxury apartment in Tel Aviv in 2013. Itzik’s husband works for the Israel Electric Company.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein has offered Labor the option to postpone the presidential elections for 2 weeks to give them the opportunity to select a different candidate to support.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yet-another-presidential-dropout-following-allegations-of-wrongdoing/2014/06/07/

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