Satmar vs. Israel Lobby in NY Congressional Primary

As always, a hat tip goes out to Richard Silverstein and Tikun Olam..

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2016/10/18/satmar-vs-israel-lobby-new-york-congressional-primary/

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR – YOSEF FELDMAN

 

Lost Messiah – Yosef Feldman – a Fundamental Disagreement on the Acts, Conduct and Omissions of an Individual and the Community he Supports…

Lost Messiah, July 24, 2016

We are posting these three letters to the editor, from someone whom we are taking at face value is the real Yosef Feldman. We can’t think of why anyone not him would go to the trouble.

We make no comment with regard to what we believe to be the truth and veracity of his statements or the lack thereof. We do reiterate that we are going on the assumption that this is coming from Yosef Feldman.

We leave you to come to your own conclusions.

If criticizing Chabad and those within the organization who cover up, or advocate for leniency for abusers is Jew bashing than we wear that as a badge of honor. Are we to believe that Chabad and its actions in this debate is what it means to be a Jew? If so, than G-d help us all.

In our view, criticising and demanding accountability is our jobs, collectively as Jews. Anything less than harsh and unwavering scrutiny would be throwing salt on the wounds of children whose lives have been forever changed, whose wounds will never heal. The level of insensitivity is beyond the pale. Didn’t Maimonides say something about the levels of giving?

We think that changing the focus from the children to the man who wrote these letters and has about a dozen lawsuits against people and entities who allegedly mischaracterized him, is the quintessential reason why this man and the organization he supports is a disgrace.

We will not be retracting or apologising. We apologize, however, to the former abuse victims, the adults and the children who may read this. You deserve better from the community in which you may live and the people in whom your very upbringing was entrusted. You were wronged. We hope to help make things right. We sincerely hope that Mr. Yosef Feldman will donate to you the spoils of his settlements. That would be only a tiny sliver of the justice you so deserve.

LM

For references: FrumFollies, Eric Aiken and Protect Jewish Kids, Chafraud Depravitch

For DONATIONS: Annual Drive of JCW

The IBT Apology Link


Again re dishonest LM

He posted the above notwithstanding that I already posted and emailed (with him responding…) this…

Firstly it is pro bono and if I lose I don’t owe them anything but if I win then obviously they’d want and Id want to pay them for their costs…

Re leniency, again if you’d read the evidence you’d know. There were 3 perpetrators. One was in my charge thst before he left I didn’t know that there was sexual abuse. The other one who was a friend of mine in my younger years but didn’t have real remorse is in jail. The third one (Gug) who had remorse and paid his victims is, who I argued, should have leniency and the judge actually showed him leniency and gave him a suspended sentence.

Did you know that there are different sort of abusers. There are some who act out of a natural tendency for sexual relations with little children and don’t control themselves. There are some with sexual attraction for young adults who don’t control themselves and there are some who abuse because they were abused. And in each group there are all sorts. Some can certainly and have been rehabilitated and the one who I called for leniency was from the category which I saw the report that he was rehabilitated with very little or no risk of reoffending…

I am not looking for words of praise from yourself or from anyone else (besides from my parents and wife…) and even from my recipients! I do what I do as it’s the right thing. As I said in Sydney it is well known and even the paper reported how I help people and victims. The outrageous defamation against me was generated by the anti Chabad forces and so be it.

As you may know all Chabad institutions here are working hard to rectify any mistakes made in the past and even M Waks met with the Groners to make peace as it was reported. Any mistakes were made -not because of not caring for the victims. But because of not realising the serious effect on the victims and how best to deal with it at the time. This is not the case now in Australia or in any Chabad institution in the world that I know of at present. Everyone is trying their best. Otherwise the reporting negatively is just Loshon Horo and hoitsoas Shel Ru as you see how you got it all wrong in my case. You attacked Chabad for supporting me in my cases. WRONG YOU SHOULD RETRACT AND APOLOGISE FORTHAT. You attacked myself for saying that I held that touching genitals sexually isn’t a crime. WRONG AND YOU SHOULD APOLOGISE FOR THAT.

So instead of being a publicly false holier than thou person with me, do the right thing and make an article of retracting and apologising FOR ABUSING MYSELF IF YOU REALLY GENUINLY, SINCERELY AND HONESTLY care about abuse. Let’s see you have the courage not to do the easy thing by being a hero for all those Orthodox Jew haters but by showing you’re a person of integrity that when you make a mistake in a abusing someone you retract and apologise. If you don’t all you are is the Orthodox Jew basher protector and not an abuse protector…

Btw a settlement may be to negate further costs but not an apology. Please read the apology. IBT understood they did the wrong thing an apologised because they don’t have the Jew bashing agenda. Let’s see if you can be as proper as these Goyim or you’re just a real continuation of Shmarya who ultimately no one of substance took seriously because it was clearly seen that he had an agenda and acted improperly accordingly and those loser Jew bashers couldn’t even support him because he was just catering to the low class substandard humans who couldn’t make a living. Is that the direction you want to go?

I’m awaiting to see whether you’ll do the right thing resgarding your abuse of myself and Chabad or if you’re just a reincarnate Shmarya to end up like him. It’s your choice…

 

Another Iteration of Letter to the Editor – Yosef Feldman

Re dishonest LM who doesn’t report what I’ve already posted.

Firstly it is pro bono and if I lose I don’t owe them anything but if I win then obviously they’d want and Id want to pay them for their costs…
Re leniency, again if you’d read the evidence you’d know. There were 3 perpetrators. One was in my charge thst before he left I didn’t know that there was sexual abuse. The other one who was a friend of mine in my younger years but didn’t have real remorse is in jail.

The third one (Gug) who had remorse and paid his victims is, who I argued, should have leniency and the judge actually showed him leniency and gave him a suspended sentence.
Did you know that there are different sort of abusers. There are some who act out of a natural tendency for sexual relations with little children and don’t control themselves. There are some with sexual attraction for young adults who don’t control themselves and there are some who abuse because they were abused. And in each group there are all sorts. Some can certainly and have been rehabilitated and the one who I called for leniency was from the category which I saw the report that he was rehabilitated with very little or no risk of reoffending…

I am not looking for words of praise from yourself or from anyone else (besides from my parents and wife…) and even from my recipients! I do what I do as it’s the right thing. As I said in Sydney it is well known and even the paper reported how I help people and victims. The outrageous defamation against me was generated by the anti Chabad forces and so be it.

As you may know all Chabad institutions here are working hard to rectify any mistakes made in the past and even M Waks met with the Groners to make peace as it was reported. Any mistakes were made -not because of not caring for the victims. But because of not realising the serious effect on the victims and how best to deal with it at the time. This is not the case now in Australia or in any Chabad institution in the world that I know of at present. Everyone is trying their best. Otherwise the reporting negatively is just Loshon Horo and hoitsoas Shel Ru as you see how you got it all wrong in my case. You attacked Chabad for supporting me in my cases. WRONG YOU SHOULD RETRACT AND APOLOGISE FORTHAT. You attacked myself for saying that I held that touching genitals sexually isn’t a crime. WRONG AND YOU SHOULD APOLOGISE FOR THAT.

So instead of being a publicly false holier than thou person with me, do the right thing and make an article of retracting and apologising FOR ABUSING MYSELF IF YOU REALLY GENUINLY, SINCERELY AND HONESTLY care about abuse. Let’s see you have the courage not to do the easy thing by being a hero for all those Orthodox Jew haters but by showing you’re a person of integrity that when you make a mistake in a abusing someone you retract and apologise. If you don’t all you are is the Orthodox Jew basher protector and not an abuse protector…

Btw a settlement may be to negate further costs but not an apology. Please read the apology. IBT understood they did the wrong thing an apologised because they don’t have the Jew bashing agenda. Let’s see if you can be as proper as these Goyim or you’re just a real continuation of Shmarya who ultimately no one of substance took seriously because it was clearly seen that he had an agenda and acted improperly accordingly and those loser Jew bashers couldn’t even support him because he was just catering to the low class substandard humans who couldn’t make a living. Is that the direction you want to go?

I’m awaiting to see whether you’ll do the right thing resgarding your abuse of myself and Chabad or if you’re just a reincarnate Shmarya to end up like him. It’s your choice…

And Yet Another Self-Promoting Iteration of the Dear LM Letter:

Dear LM

So I see you do have a little honesty to post my response. Thanks for at least that.
Just to remind all part of my other post of clarification…

I have financially helped many victims in the past. My main reason for suing is to get them to retract and apologise. The financial aspect is secondary and not that profitable as the lawyers need to get paid and certainly not assured…

With regard to yourself Im seriously waiting for you to retract.

Just briefly to explain it further to you, I NEVER said that I didn’t know it was a crime to sexually touch genitals. It’s in fact legally allowed to
touch genitals for many reasons including a Bris. She was trying to lead me on with the question as though I knew at the time that there was sexual abuse that I didn’t which is why I answered it literally. Look at comments on reddit (who don’t have an agenda…) who recognised this. Many times in the evidence I clearly mentioned that to sexually touch is a crime. Please read my evidence and submission. All of this is coming out in court which is why IBT settled. If you’re an honest person, which it seems from your writing -a little different than Shmarya- that you may be, please retract everything you wrote and apologise.

Ezri Namvar, Namco, Africa Israel, Mishpachat Rechnitz – A ROCK CONCERT? or is it in stones…?

“We are, today, a wounded and perplexed community,” novelist Gina Nahai wrote in a column for The Jewish Journal. “For us, the question is no longer what a Jew will and will not do; it’s what we, as a community, will and won’t tolerate. It’s whether our increasingly Orthodox rabbis will take a public stand against larceny in our own midst, or choose to look away.”
http://www.laweekly.com/news/ezri-namvar-is-the-new-bernie-madoff-and-the-most-reviled-man-in-town-2171466

861_33506a2ee7a652121a197aa74f1413e1_1c15b2dab730ef790b2eb2cdd96fa4db

 

This Site Is Under Construction and Coming Soon.

(from the link on Africa Israel’s website….)

This Domain Is Registered with Network Solutions

Park Fifth Project – Robert Rechnitz, Africa Israel, Ezri Numvar – Abraham Assil  – Stones or Diamonds…

 

 

We write this article to the victims of Ezri Namvar, most notably Abraham Assil. As you do, we believe that there is money belonging to Namco investors hiding in different countries. It is our position that hiding money in the form of stone, whether the Jerusalem stone that acts as the building blocks of Israeli real estate, or precious rocks, like Leviev’s diamonds, would have been easy for Namvar. Just peruse the company he kept.

We thank the readers of this blog, and others like Tikun Olam, for shedding light on the secrets a community keeps. We are paying attention.

While researching our previous article, the Rialto and the relationship between Robert Rechnitz and Africa Israel we found a listing on the Africa-Israel (AFIGROUP) website that caught our attention. The listing was for a California property referred to as Park Fifth (Residential, Commerical) [land intended for development of residential buildings]. What raised our tail-feathers was the broken link to the Park Fifth website from the Africa Israel website.

Park Fifth, according to a number of articles is a residential/commercial property in downtown LA. It had been purchased by Africa-Israel and was the source of losses in 2007/2008. In 2010 Africa-Israel attempted to sell the property to an Oil Baron Gabriel Hertzberg of the Triangle International Oil Company, something we found interesting only insofar as mining, though in the form of diamonds, has been the source of many an article on this site: 

Continue reading

The Rialto Building – San Francisco and Robert Rechnitz’s Bomel Co. – 2006

Rialto-Building_San-Francisco-The-Registry-Hines-real-estate

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN AFRICA ISRAEL AND ROBERT RECHNITZ – REAL ESTATE PARTNERS…

Lost Messiah, July 19, 2016

Based upon a tip that Robert Rechnitz was like his son Jona connected to Africa-Israel, and an article that circulated the web by Tikun Olam’s Richard Silverstein, we began searching where he left off, the Friedlander Group. A Robert Rechnitz search of the Friedlander Group site, brings up 37 results, none of which mentions any connection to anything but Agudath Israel and political activism (not to be confused with altruism). But then there’s the real estate…

As you may recall, Jona Rechnitz (of Mile-High Club Fame) worked for Africa Israel USA for several years; and on the coattails of that employment set up JSR Capital, which either acquired or managed companies of or for Africa Israel and/or Lev Leviev.

Africa Israel’s CEO is Lev Leviev a diamond magnate, who is now known in New York circles for his escorted foray through the Lincoln Tunnel, with the assistance of Jeremy Reichberg and his NYPD or NYPAPD connections, is or was an owner of some of New York’s most iconic buildings. 

Africa Israel is connected to Platinum Partners (and Murray Huberfeld) through investments (and diamonds). Africa Israel is connected to 88 Queensway through NY and California properties transferred from Africa Israel to 88 Queensway or Sam Pa.

Lev Leviev is also connected to 88 Queensway and Sam Pa through diamond mines in Africa, most notably Angola. And the wheels go round and round.

Robert Rechnitz has made finding connections to anything but his media consulting firm, the Friedlander Group, the Iron Dome Project, his apparent “philanthropic” donations to Israel (politicians) and political connections very difficult. We highly recommend the Friedlander Group if you want your secrets kept secret as apparently, they have done a brilliant job, almost.

While Robert Rechnitz’s LinkedIn Profile mentions Bomel, a company active in real estate which apparently Robert Rechnitz established in 1978, finding news articles and information on that connection is not obvious. The Bomel Companies website site makes no obvious connection to Robert Rechnitz , nor is there much media available on Rechnitz and Bomel. There is far more information that can be garnered from what is not public than what is. 

The fact that Bomel and Africa Israel are connected took some doing to substantiate. In November of 2006, the San Francisco Business Times reported on the Bomel Group’s acquisition of 116 New Montgomery Street, the Rialto Building in San Francisco. That property was allegedly subsequently sold to Africa-Israel. We had previously written about Africa Israel’s acquisition of that property. In June of 2010, in an obscure article about the relocation of Trulia, the San Francisco Business Times reported on a partnership between Robert Rechnitz’s Bomel and Africa Israel as joint owners of that same property, the Rialto.

The connection was made.

A final note: On the bottom of this article we have listed the 37 search results of the name Robert Rechnitz from the Friedlander Group website. We were intrigued by an article about FBI Special Agent Frankel who spoke at an Agudath Israel Breakfast. We make no implications or assumptions in this notation, only insofar as we think it quite anomalous that an FBI special agent would speak at an Agudath Israel anything. What is more intriguing is perhaps the Agudath connection itself, which also includes the likes of Murray Huberfeld, Mark Nordlicht, the Rechnitz clan, the Bodner clan – a veritable who’s who of extremely wealthy individuals and families who we maintain may have acquired wealth under very unsavory circumstances. Continue reading

Solomon Rechnitz, Netanyahu – Corruption, a Family Business

Netanyahu Corruption Scandal Envelops Wealthy U.S. Haredi Family

shlomo reichnitz

Shlomo Rechnitz, under investigation for money laundering donations to Netanyahu family &/or Likud Party

The only thing better than a nice, juicy sex scandal is a nice, juicy corruption scandal.  Bibi Netanyahu has already had his very own sex scandal.  But it didn’t manage to wreck his career or his marriage.  The brewing corruption scandal threatens to do at leastone, if not the other.

I reported yesterday on an investigation that has caught up Netanyahu, his son, Yair, possibly his wife, Sara, and his former chief of staff Ari Harow.  Today, a Channel 2 news report snares a new player in the scandal, Shlomo Rechnitz.  There’s a baseball saying: you can’t tell the players without a scorecard.  As this criminal probe expands, I’ll try to keep the players clearly identified and offer some background.

robert reichnitz & netanyahu

Robert Rechnitz with pal, Bibi Netanyahu

Rechnitz comes from a wealthy, extended ultra-Orthodox family based in California.  The scion of the family and Shlomo’s uncle, is Robert Rechnitz, a real estate investor who founded the Bomel Companies and an Israeli subsidiary, Bomel Israel.  He has been vice chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition and founded a Congressional lobbying group on behalf of Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system (or should I say, “racket system?) the Iron Dome Tribute.  He even developed a branding slogan: “the Humane Defensive Weapon.”  I always thought the words “humane” and “weapon” were oxymorons.  But not in the topsy-turvy world that is pro-Israel advocacy.

I learned all this not from Wikipedia or Rechnitz’s corporate biography, but from the corporate PR firm Rechnitz hired to polish his image, the Friedlander Group.  Unfortunately, he didn’t hire them to monitor the reputation of his children and close family members.  Because now two of them are in very hot water.

His nephew, Shlomo owns the largest nursing home conglomerate in California: Brius Healthcare Services (brius is the Yiddish version of the word for “health”).  The State of California has investigated his firm numerous times for violations of health regulations.  He was the subject of a class-action suit.  His Pasadena nursing care facility was accused of recruiting felons as patients. Several employees faced criminal charges from that escapade.   He complained once to the Sacramento Bee that the charges against him made him out to be “the Charles Manson of the nursing home business.”  I’m guessing no one from Friedlander was available to accompany him to this interview.  That image really sticks in your mind.

Not to mention the time he announced that his employees, for whom he’d purchased 18,000 Powerball tickets, had won the Powerball jackpot.  The NY Times even featured him in a major story.  Well, it turns out it wasn’t true.  It was all a hoax, supposedly perpetrated by the son of one of the “winning” employees.

Rechnitz is also reported to have bought the anti-Haredi blog, Failed Messiah, written for years by Shmaryahu Rosenberg.  Rechnitz and many of his associates had been skewered in its posts for years.  Though conditions of the sale were not made public, they apparently bar Rosenberg from creating a new blog; or at least one covering the same subject as his old one.  That online property promptly disappeared from the internet.  Clearly, the Haredi community had withstood the slings and arrows of outrageous (mis)fortune from Rosenberg’s pen for too long.  The tycoon stepped in to end the attacks.  Lately, a new iteration of the blog, Lost Messiah, was launched by former readers of the old blog who wished to maintain the service it had done to the Orthodox community and the Jewish world.

Rechnitz appears to be playing a lead role in the Scandal of the Day as a major donor to Netanyahu and the Likud.  His uncle, Robert, was the western chair of American Friends of the Likud, which would mean he both donated and raised massive sums from Orthodox Jews on behalf of the Israel far-right.  As such, the elder Rechnitz would’ve worked closely with Ari Harow, the man in the spotlight of the current scandal.  That’s how Shlomo would’ve come to the attention of the Israeli police investigating the money-laundering operation.  Among Shlomo’s wide and varied philanthropic endeavors was funding Hebron yeshivas, among the most virulently racist and violent in Israel.

I haven’t dug deeply into the background of Victor Deutsch, Harow’s former business partner.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if he too is Orthodox and perhaps a close friend of the Rechnitz family.  If this guess turns out to be true, Deutsch would have excellent motive to benefit Harow and the Likud by the sort of fraudulent business transaction they’re accused of arranging, in selling the latter’s company for $3-million in largely unaccounted-for funds.

Jonah Reichnitz

Jona Rechnitz: show him the money!

Another Rechnitz facing the glare of bad PR is Jona, Robert’s son and cousin to Shlomo.  Jona began his career in real estate working for Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel.  Leviev, who began his own career as a blood diamond merchant to the stars, also maintains vast real estate holdings in the U.S., Britain and Israel.  His company has also built Israeli settlements.  Jona helped manage the Leviev real estate portfolio in New York until they had a falling out.  After that, Rechnitz formed his own company, JSR Capital.

Jona and another wealthy Hasidic Jew have beenswept up in the bribery and corruption scandal which has rocked the De Blasio administration in New York City.  They did favors for the corrupt head of the city prison officers union, Norman Seabrook, and offered gifts and benefits to senior police officers in the precinct where they lived.  Among the crooked deals was a $60,000 payment to Seabrook (paid in a $1,000 Ferragamo hand bag) in return for the union boss’ steering $20-million to a Rechnitz associate’s investment fund.  Seabrook was miffed as he’d been told he could net $150,000 from the arrangement.

Among other favors were all-expenses paid gambling junkets to Las Vegas on a private jet.  Another part of the entertainment provided was a prostitute dressed as a flight attendant whose “services” included far more than providing drinks and snacks.

Presumably, Rechnitz did this so he could gain favorable service response and attention from local police personnel in Brooklyn Orthodox neighborhoods.  But he had even bigger ambitions, which led him and his associate made six-figure donations to various DeBlasio political fundraising vehicles once he’d won the Democratic mayoral primary.

Jona lobbied the City Council and succeeded in gaining a $655,000 “discretionary” allocation to underwrite a “cultural sensitivity” police training seminar hosted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which was Rechnitz’ pet project.  Presumably, part of the curriculum was learning sensitivity to the special interests of the Haredi community.  You certainly won’t find any sensitivity to the Muslim community in this program.

All of this paints a portrait of a wealthy Haredi family parlaying money into political clout on a local, national and international scale.  Unlike other American families in which wealth is wielded within discrete nuclear families, in the Haredi world extended families (clans) unite to pursue objectives that benefit both their families personally and their extended Orthodox communities.  It’s certainly cleaner and less deadly than the old Italian mob.  But as the Netanyahu investigation shows, it’s no less venal and corrupt.

 

To see the article it’s entirety, see Titan Olam, click here

Jewish Fundamentalism, Another Case – in – Point 2008

religous fundamentalis

Are We Really so Different?

 Lost Messiah must credit Richard Silverstein and Tikun Olam for the historical perspective and eloquent insights. Please view the site. Silverstein is beautifully eloquent and the pure definition of a journalist, whether or not you agree with his perspectives. We’ve had eight years to consider his comments and we have apparently done a grossly inadequate job of learning from history.

 

On December, 8, 2008 Richard Silverstein the author and editor of Tikun Olam posted an article regarding a Long Island Orthodox Jewish Columnist who advocated for the killing of Muslims. On December 18, 2008 he published a follow-up article.

Today, following a massacre in Orlando, we posted a video wherein a Chabad member advocated for the killing of members of the LGBT community, on the generally same anti-Biblical grounds.

Previously, we had posted several posts about radical Jewish fundamentalism, including a post with videos of Rabbis preaching the killing of Muslims using basically the same agruments the Islamic Fundamentalists use for killing Jews. This is a subject particularly relevant whether you accept that the Orlando shooter committed this act of atrocity because he was a Muslim terrorist or because he was mentally unstable and hated the LGBT community. Either way, what happened in Orlando was a hate crime of epic proportions.

As a Jewish community or as members of a blogosphere which criticizes and scrutinizes the ills of the Jewish community, Lost Messiah believes that these articles have relevance in the picture they paint of extremism and its cross-religious scope. While the articles posted below are historical they are nonetheless very much a part of today’s religious extremist parlance.

It has been nearly 8 years since Silverstein posted the below two articles but the same articles could have just as easily been posted today. They reflect in vivid color current events if not equal than magnified. 

We would be remiss were we not to ask the question: are we in a state of increasing fundamentalism and extremism within ultra-Orthodox Judaism or are these isolated incidents. Is this a sign of the diminishing state of Judaism? We find it unsettling.

You take a stab at judging for yourself.

 

Long Island Jewish Columnist: ‘Kill Muslims’

When you read stories like the one I’m about to tell, it makes you wonder about the editorial judgment of the staff of some American Jewish newspapers.  The Five Towns Jewish Times published yesterday, The Appropriate Response To Islamic Terror (the newspaper doesn’t have the courage of its publishing convictions and has removed the original article–I’ve linked to a cached version) by Lawrence Kulak. It’s a long, rambling discourse on Islamism and Muslim terror that advocates killing Muslim civilians in retaliation for Islamists killing western civilians.

Apparently, some Arab American activists picked up on the article and noticed a few glaring statements that simply boggle the mind:

…The only way to deal with Islamic terrorists is the same way in which they deal with their victims. Muslims believe in the literal interpretation of the Biblical doctrine of an eye for an eye, and they do not have respect for anything perceived as a lesser standard of justice. They killed our innocents, and unless we kill theirs, they will go on killing ours. The Torah, however, preaches a doctrine which, if implemented by the West, could finally put an end to all Islamic terror: If somebody is coming to kill you, rise up and kill him first.

Hard to believe the newspaper’s editor didn’t stop when he saw the italicized phrase.  Unfortunately for him, CAIR noticed it and the paper is going to be in a considerable amount of hot water.

In addition, the problem with Kulak’s understanding of the Talmud’s (not the Torah as Kulak claims) dictum, which he apparently believes is the equivalent of the Bush Doctrine’s justification of pre-emption–is that he is wrong.  The Talmud speaks of rising up to kill someone who is coming to kill you in the most literal sense.  It does not mean for you to take the statement figuratively (though many on the Jewish far-right do).  In other words, it would never justify murdering Islamists (even moreso innocent Muslim civilians) because they have expressed hostility to Jews or even, God forbid, attacked Jews in the past.  Halacha would demand that you know that specific Muslims are coming to kill you before it would be permitted for you to kill those specific individuals (and certainly not other Islamists).  And the statement is certainly not meant as justification for religious war against Islam or even Islamists.

The Arab-American community has rightfully called on New York’s Jewish community to denounce both the column and the editors who endorsed the sentiments in allowing them to see the light of day.  Let’s see whether Abe Foxman and David Harris understand the impact that such Jewish racism has on the public discourse.

Of course, the rest of Kulak’s articles is full of specious generalizations about Islam which he probably gleaned from Jewish “experts” on Islam like Daniel Pipes and Frontpagemagazine.  Here he claims that the Pakistani state targeted India in the Mumbai terror attack:

Muslim countries are routinely targeting innocent civilians via their terrorist proxies and leaving the standing armies of nations alone. This is more or less what recently occurred in Mumbai, India.

Kulak conveniently drops any reference to Lashkar e Taibe, the Pakistani terror group generally believed responsible for Mumbai.  Why bother to differentiate?  It’s all Al Qaeda to Kulak:

The Mumbai attack signifies a change of course for Al Qaeda…

Here Kulak, the anti-terror expert, proffers advice India never asked for:

…The Mumbai attack [was]…an attack on India’s sovereignty…As such, it cries out for some type of retaliatory attack by the Indian government.

India’s foreign minister pointedly rejected the author’s advice saying there would be not attack against Pakistan.  Thank God, there are cooler heads in India policymaking circles than in the suburban Long Island Jewish community.

Here, Kulak urges the western nations whose citizens were murdered in Mumbai to launch an invasion of Pakistan to destroy Lashkar and any Pakistanis who stand in their way:

…The attack on the foreign nationals of Israel, the United States, and Great Britain…constitutes an act of war against these countries and therefore legitimizes the infiltration of Pakistani territory for the purpose of pursuing the aggressors. While a generalized war with Pakistan should not be contemplated or pursued, it may be unavoidable…

The retaliation that is undertaken should strike hard at the…properly identified terrorist commanders and fellow terrorists of those identified in the attack, in a series of sustained surprise attacks over a period of time that is aimed at total eradication of the entire network that coordinated this attack. Any and all collateral damage in the form of casualties to friends, relatives, or anyone connected to the lives of these terrorists should be swiftly ignored. Public opinion and what is written in the newspapers should also be ignored by nations seeking to avenge the death of its innocent civilians.

When terrorists undertake to hide behind a sovereign government and to attempt to hide within its borders, it becomes the responsibility of that government to take swift action to flush them out and to neutralize them. Pakistan has obviously not done this…It must now step aside and let the foreign governments whose citizens have been mercilessly attacked take the proper course of action.

Spoken like the true armchair warrior Kulak undoubtedly is.  He won’t have to be flying the sorties or infiltrating the terror bases or spilling his guts when he’s attacked by Pakistanis defending their homeland from such attack.  He won’t be defending himself from the inhabitants outraged that western nations have trampled over Pakistani sovereignty.  Though if a Pakistani succeeds in infiltrating New York to get revenge, he might get caught in a terror attack.  Then he’d be yet another statistic in the holy war between Islam and the west.  And he’d be playing into the Al Qaeda plan and playbook.

The Jewish author clearly favors all out war against Islam.  Even George Bush comes in for criticism for being too “soft” on the religion:

President Bush also delivered a setback to his own war on terror when, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, he labeled Islam a peaceful religion…

In the following twisted passage, Kulak argues that Barack Obama is committed to killing Osama bin Laden because the president-elect knows this will create a Muslim martyr and thereby further the goals of “Muslim radicals:”

…If…Barack Obama is really sympathetic to the Muslims radicals, it might also explain why his main promise in continuing Bush’s war on terror was to pursue this archterrorist through the hills of Pakistan. If Bin Laden is killed and hence martyred, it will only bring honor to himself and his family, who will be very much intact and alive. That will only give rise to more militant imams and more terrorist leaders.

This is how Kulak justifies collateral damage when the U.S. attacks and kills innocent Afghans in the pursuit of terror suspects.  In the process he commits a travesty in mischaracterizing the hilchot milchama:

In terms of Jewish law…a nation may defend itself with whatever means necessary, even if it includes causing death to civilians.

Jewish law states that a nation should defend itself with weaponry commensurate to the danger it faces and an army must do its absolute utmost to avoid killing civilians.  So much for the niceties of actual Jewish halacha.  Don’t let them get in your way, Mr. Kulak.

The reason why it’s important for the Jewish community to speak out about garbage like this is because lately the world has become a tinder box of religious hate: Hebron, Mumbai, etc.  While Kulak’s views may be in the minority in our community, he is by no means alone.  In fact, many national Jewish leaders probably aren’t quite as outspoken or radical in their views.  But they would find much to sympathize with here.  That’s why we need to let the world know that Jews don’t hate Muslims.  They don’t want a holy war against Islam.  They don’t want to invade Muslim countries.  If we remain silent then the Islamists will fill in the picture for us and we won’t like the image one bit.

The reader who provided this story tip also discovered through online research that a Lawrence Kulak was involuntarily hospitalized in New York State under a 1991 disagnosis of bipolar disorder.  Research indicates that both the Lawrence Kulak who was hospitalized and the one who wrote this article are (or were) lawyers.  If I were a newspaper editor and knew this information, I think I would’ve exercised due care and deliberation before publishing.  The ideas expressed here (and possibly the author himself) are in extremis.  But then again, I think we can say that the state of Muslim-Jewish and Israeli-Arab relations are also in extremis and I wouldn’t denigrate or diminish Kulak’s views by attributing them to a mental condition.  They are dangerous precisely because they are shared by so many other Jews.

Long Island Orthodox Jewish Paper Defends Killing Muslims

Once again let me say I find astonishing the near total silence of the organized Jewish community and media to Lawrence Kulak’s diatribe against Islam published in the Long Island Orthodox paper, Five Towns Jewish Times.  In his guest column, he claimed that if Islamists kill innocent non-Muslims that Muslim innocents should similarly be targeted for murder.  Essentially, an invitation to anti-Muslim mass murder:

“The only way to deal with Islamic terrorists is the same way in which they deal with their victims. Muslims believe in the literal interpretation of the Biblical doctrine of an eye for an eye…They killed our innocents, and unless we kill theirs, they will go on killing ours. The Torah, however, preaches a doctrine which…would finally put an end to all Islamic terror: if somebody is coming to kill you, rise up and kill him first.”

The fact that Kulak was diagnosed in 1991 with a bipolar disorder and hospitalized at a mental health facility never appears to have factored into the publisher’s editorial decision about publishing the piece.  Not only has the 20,000-circulation paper’s editor not distanced himself from the column (though he HAS strangely removed it from the website), he has gone on the counter-attack against the Muslim organization which first brought the world’s attention to Kulak’s hate speech, CAIR.

The Muslim defense organization has a lot of nerve pointing out the deficiencies of the Jewish paper’s editorial when CAIR won’t denounce every single terrorist act ever committed by a Muslim against anyone. It doesn’t matter than CAIR HAS in fact denounced Muslim terror. They haven’t denounced the particular Muslim terrorists who most exercise Gordon, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. So instead of taking responsibility for the hash he’s made of things, Gordon decides to blame the Muslim victim for his attack.

In my own post about this I wrote that Kulak’s piece was a meandering anti-Muslim rant.  If possible, Larry Gordon, the paper’s editor, wrote an even more lugubrious, non-responsive reply.  The most relevant passage is this one:

The editorial staff of the Five Towns Jewish Times decries the notion of any support of terrorism, and we fully support the United States government’s War on Terrorism. As an Orthodox Jewish weekly, the 5TJT also rejects the demonization of Muslims, both in this country and abroad. If any such implication of supporting the terrorization or murder of innocent Muslims who do not support terrorists or terrorist activities was made by an article in the 5TJT, it was due simply to a poor choice of words—a slip of the author’s pen, if you will. Read in its entirety, the article is clearly conveying the message that members of a community that supports terrorists and allows them to remain in its midst should not expect to escape retaliation.

For the editor, the fact that Kulak clearly advocating killing Muslim “innocents” is a mere “poor choice of words–a slip of the author’s pen.”  Somehow Gordon transmutes Kulak’s phrasing into a hardly less offensive locution that Muslim members of communities supporting terror deserve retaliation.  Kulak advocated western nations and Israel invading Pakistan to exterminate Muslim militants.  Gordon’s articulation would also justify such egregious violation of international law.  So what has his warped apologia gained?  Not much.

To make matters worse, the paper has published a defense Kulak wrote of his column in which he included this memorable contradiction of the passage I quoted above:

I never advocated the wanton killing of innocent Muslims…

Has he forgotten this passage?  “They killed our innocents, and unless we kill theirs, they will go on killing ours.”  I thought killing innocents was automatically “wanton” killing.  Or has somehow Islamist terror caused the killing of Muslim civilians to become acceptable?

The ADL, the ony Jewish group to respond in any way to this Jewish publishing outrage, published a generic objection that wasn’t even attributed to a staff person:

We were shocked by Lawrence Kulak’s suggestion that Jews should kill innocent Muslim civilians to counter Islamic terrorism.

Regardless of one’s views on terrorism, to even entertain the notion of responding in kind is morally reprehensible and appalling. It is unfair to hold innocent Muslims responsible for the radical views of an extreme minority.

In the Jewish tradition, words have consequences. In this case, Kulak’s words crossed the line.

“Crossed the line.” That’s as bothered as the organized Jewish community seems to be by Kulak’s Islamophobic hate.

I’m pleased to note as distinguished a theologian as University of Chicago professor Martin Marty has denounced the Five Towns diatribe in Sightings his weekly newsletter:

Kulak is unsentimental in his “kill them all” approach…The problem of making a principle of this…is that the…counter-belligerents who read this…editorial–and read them they do–find occasion to raise the price, engage in more indiscriminate violence, and that, in turn…impels us to raise it still higher and engage in ever more violence…We all know that in all wars, including those we call “just” or “good,” there are “collateral damages” and deaths of innocents. However, making a principle out of doing so, and especially doing so on religious grounds, only invites more violence. Then there are no eyes to trade for eyes, teeth to exact for teeth, while hatred and violence triumph.

If Martin Marty finds this important enough to write about why can’t Jewish organizations? Why can’t Abe Foxman actually sign his name to the ADL denunciation of this malarkey? Why can’t we Jews tell the world in no uncertain terms that the Kulaks and any Jewish paper that publishes him do not represent us in any way shape and form?

I note that Reb Kulak discovered my denunciation of his work and published his own diatribe here:

I would love to personally drive you and Marty into Gaza and then return several hours later to watch the vultures pick at the remains. (and later watch the vultures drop dead from ingesting poison)

That’s slightly less murderous than advocating mass killing of Muslim innocents, but not much.  Thanks to RM for the links and some background research for this post.

 

 

Tikun Olam Reports – Sex Abuse and the Abusers who flee to Israel

Small World lyre & bird
Small World lyre & bird

TIKUN OLAM – 

About

“The day is short, the task is great, the master is insistent. It is not your duty to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it….”
—Pirkei Avot, 2:21

 

 

I’ve been writing Tikun Olam, one of the earliest progressive Jewish blogs, since February, 2003. It focuses on exposing the excesses of the Israeli national security state.

I wrote a chapter for the Independent Jewish Voices essay collection, A Time to Speak Out (Verso) and will contribute a chapter to the upcoming, Israel and Palestine: Alternate Perspectives on Statehood (Rowman & Littlefield). I currently contribute regularly to Middle East Eye and Mint Press News. In the past, I’ve contributed to Truthout, Haaretz, Christian Science Monitor, Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, Comment Is Free and Al Jazeera English. My work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine. The NY Times featured my reporting about the Shamai Leibowitz FBI tapes on its front page.

Israel was intended to be a safe-haven for Jews of the world. By design it was a place to which Jews could return. It has become in addition to a Jewish homeland, a place of assylum  for sex abusers to flee their accusers. Richard Silverstein has taken on the task of holding the State of Israel and its judicial system accountable.  LM – June 5, 2016

 

Israeli Judicial System Miscarries Justice, Protects Accused Sex Abuser

.הבלוגרית לורי שם טוב נעצרה על שעשתה את עבודתה העיתונאית בפרשת חטיפת הילד יהודה כהן

Two particularly disturbing cases are roiling the Israeli judicial system this week. In the first, a court ruled that an Orthodox Jewish former school principal wanted on 74 counts of child sex abuse in Australia (the account of one victim is here), should be set completely free. The Australian legal system has requested her extradition from Israel, to which she had fled in the dead of night, for almost a year.

Malka Leifer
Malka Leifer, Australian Orthodox Jewish principal accused of 74 counts of sex abuse
Malka Leifer, who was the principal of the Orthodox girl’s school in Victoria, was wanted for questioning regarding the charges. But she absconded with the likely connivance of other school staff and community members. She flew to Israel where she knew she would receive immediate asylum regardless of her criminal charges. Ever since, she’s been feigning mental illness every time a Israeli court date approaches.

She’s received psychiatric evaluations during a hospital stay in which staff reported she was completely normal except when a formal review was conducted that would impact her court case. Then she donned a different disguise entirely.

In a surprise move, the Israeli court, freed her under one condition: that she undergo a six-month psychiatric evaluation process involving a single meeting every month for six months. After that, the court plans to review her status.

The State prosecutor plans to appeal this decision. The Australian government expressed mild shock at today’s decision. Though they will have to get much tougher if they expect any movement from the Israeli political-judicial system.

An Israeli lawyer noted to me that Israeli courts are loath to approve the extradition of Jews within their jurisdiction to their home countries when facing criminal charges. My guess is that it has something to do with a taboo against Jews handing other Jews over to Christian authorities. Jews traditionally have always preferred to mete out justice internally, not knowing how severe the sentence Jews might receive in a non-Jewish system. There is also a prohibition against informing on fellow Jews to the non-Jewish authorities. Of course, in the modern era all this should be considered hocus-pocus in the face of international law and judicial precedent. But apparently not in Israel, where ancient traditions remain alive.

Leifer also plays two other powerful cards. She is a woman and an Orthodox Jew. Israeli courts, in another throwback, often tend to defer to traditional Jewish belief and practice. There is a natural inclination to believe that an Orthodox Jew could not behave in such a fashion. Hence a refusal to take the charges against her seriously.

Manny Wax, himself a victim of sexual abuse at a Chabad Jewish Day School in Australia, calls the decision an outrage. He also supports the claim that Leifer’s posture was an act and that she’d getting away with the equivalent of murder.

This case comes during a period of prolonged tension in Australian-Israel relations which began with the Mossad’s exploiting Australian passports in the assassination plot against Mahmoud al-Mabouh. That led to the expulsion of the Mossad station chief in Australia. Then, the Mossad secretly arrested Australian Jewish agent, Ben Zygier. They imprisoned him in secret isolation, which in turn drove him to suicide. Israel only barely smoothed things over with a $1-million payment to Zygier’s Australian parents and Israeli wife.

It’s hard to believe that the Israeli justice system wants to return to the strained relations that characterized these past two episodes. And how can relations not be strained when Israel is harboring an accused sex offender who preyed on so many Jewish children? Is there any possible justification for this? Given that Australia is ruled by a right-wing government it’s possible it will not fight hard to get Leifer back. If so, that would be a shame. More than that, it would be almost criminal.

In the second case, Israeli family rights activist, blogger and journalist, Lory Shem Tov was arrested by Israeli police (Hebrew; an English story here) for the crime of practicing journalism. A father who kidnapped his son after finding videotapes of his wife beating the boy (Hebrew), contacted Shem Tov, hoping to interest her and Israeli media in his case. Though their names have not been widely reported, I believe it’s important to have full and open discourse on this subject. The father’s name is Roi Cohen, the mother’s name is Batya (Mizrahi) Cohen and the child’s name is Yehudah Cohen.

My hope is that a real child with a real name will engender enough sympathy within Israel for the public and child welfare advocates to rally on his behalf.

lory-shem-tov-and-kids
Lory Shem Tov with her two sons, who were kidnapped by her well-connected ex-husband.

The police threatened the TV news show that planned to run a story (which cancelled the segment) and arrested Lory. It searched her home and confiscated her computer. The mother’s lawyer succeeded in getting a judge to slap a gag order on the case and no Israeli media outlet can report this outrage and name the victim. The mother claimed she did so in order to “protect her son.” Which is ironic considering that the video shows her beating him. She had earlier claimed it was the father who had beat the boy. This is yet another example of a state whose judicial system embraces opacity, rather than transparency. A state which permits miscarriages of justice on a regular basis.

In court testimony (Hebrew), Lory’s lawyer elicited from police that she was not suspected of committing any crime. She had not conspired to kidnap the child nor had she helped hide the father and son. The police believed that if she was free she might “sabotage the investigation.” Note again that this is not a crime. In fact, it is a form of preventive detention. Arresting someone because you believe they may commit a crime. Except in national security or military justice cases, there is no such concept in Israeli law. Therefore, the police are violating Israeli law. But they may do so because they are the police and the court defers to them, even when they invent it. In any western democracy observing the rule of law, this is a flagrant abuse of state power. Yet in Israel a judge extends her remand in deference to State power.

The Israeli online news portal, Walla!, notes that since former Shabak deputy chief became national police chief, the police have escalated their war against journalists. Earlier, an Army Radio journalist was arrested for requesting comment for a story from a Jerusalem municipal employee, who filed a complaint for harassment. Now here I thought municipal employees were meant to serve the public, not the other way around.😏

UPDATE: In the past few minutes, Lory was released from prison. But the police have retained her computer and other personal items.

Not to mention that Lory is a journalist. Her goal is not to commit a crime or further a criminal conspiracy, but to inform the Israeli public of a great social wrong. In well-functioning societies, the role of activist and whistleblower is valued. Such societies understand that they need reformers challenging the system if it is to transform itself for the good. A society which criminalizes such behavior is one that is dysfunctional and moribund. That is, alas Israel.