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Magda Hassan
07-26-2009, 02:59 PM
Busloads of NJ politicians
and a flock of rabbis were taken to FBI HQ in Newark
for booking the other day.

The charges? Garden variety corruption and money
laundering - with one big twist.

One of the indicted is charged with offering
a kidney for sale to an informant.

What the TV news is NOT reporting is:

1. The FBI was advised of this organ traffciking
ring SEVEN YEARS AGO by a totally credible source
(a university professor) and it's MUCH larger than
a single potential transaction.

2. Law enforcement in Brazil and South Africa acted
immediately on the information and went after the criminals.

3. This was not just organ dealing. It was organ
stealing. Impoverished people were flown in and
told if they didn't go through with the deal, they'd
be shot. Some had no idea the details of what they'd
agreed to.

Organs were "bought" for $10,000 and re-sold for
$150,000 and more.

It took the FBI SEVEN YEARS to get themselves in gear
and get an indictment.

Details:

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/676.html


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.nypost.com/seven/07242009/news/regionalnews/kosher_nostra__dirty_jersey_180980.htm?page=0

Everything was for sale -- from politicians to kidneys.
Separate federal probes targeting rogue rabbis in Brooklyn and corrupt public officials in New Jersey led to the arrests yesterday of 44 people, including three mayors and five religious leaders.

All the suspects in both investigations were brought down by the same shady developer, who wore a wire for three years while he bought off politicians, passed supposedly dirty money for laundering and even arranged for a $160,000 kidney sale.
"The list of names and titles of those arrested today sounds like a roster for a community leaders' meeting," said Weysan Dun, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Newark office. "Sadly, these prominent individuals were not in a meeting room, but were in the FBI booking room this morning."
The rabbis and politicians -- among them the mayors of Hoboken, Ridgefield and Secaucus, and the Jersey City Council president -- were hauled into court in handcuffs to answer a staggering number of charges that shocked even the most jaded Jerseyans.
One suspect, Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, a Democrat, was caught on tape at a diner bragging, "I could be indicted and still get 85 to 95 percent of the vote," said acting US Attorney Ralph Marra.
At the center of the stings by the FBI and the IRS was Solomon Dwek -- a real-estate developer busted in May 2006 for trying to rip off $50 million from PNC Bank through a check-kiting scheme.
He was identified by sources as the confidential witness in the case.
Dwek's original brief was to expose international money laundering by rabbis in Jersey and Brooklyn.
Once flipped by the feds, the 36-year-old posed as a crooked businessman looking to launder proceeds from fraudulent bank loans or sales of fake designer handbags to accomplices who would launder the money through charities in the United States and Israel.
They moved "at least tens of millions of dollars through charitable, nonprofit entities controlled by rabbis in New York and New Jersey," Marra said.
Dwek boasted to his unsuspecting clients that he "schnookied," or fooled, the banks into giving him the loans -- and needed to clean the money so it couldn't be traced back to him. But the clients turned out to be the schnooks.
The various rabbis operated independently or in small groups, rather than as one network, authorities said.
Dwek, who ran a Deal, NJ, yeshiva that catered to Sephardic Jews, also offered to bribe officials to smooth the way for his real-estate projects. That phase of the ruse ensnared the politicians.
Cammarano, Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez, Jersey City Council President Mariano Vega Jr., Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt, and Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith, were allegedly captured on tape seeking to trade their influence for cash, according to federal complaints. All are Democrats except for Van Pelt, a Republican.
The investigation was described by the feds as "dual track," because the political corruption and laundering probes were separate.
The only overlap occurred when alleged money launderer Moshe Altman of Hudson County allegedly washed $600,000 in FBI checks provided by Dwek.
Altman introduced Dwek to Jersey City buildings inspector John Guarini, who took $40,000 in bribes, authorities said.
Perhaps the most shocking charge to rock the Jewish community involved Brooklyn rabbi Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, 58, who allegedly said he could broker the sale of a kidney for $160,000.
On tapes, Rosenbaum allegedly boasted to Dwek that he'd been an organ "matchmaker" for more than 10 years and could bring over an Israeli donor for a "schmear," or money.
Other prominent busts in the Jewish community included:
* Eliahu Ben Haim, the principal rabbi of Congregation Ohel Yaacob synagogue in Deal, who allegedly laundered up to $160,000 by cashing checks made out to his tax-exempt charities and an Israeli connection, then keeping a 10 percent commission.
* Saul Kassin, 87, the chief rabbi of Sharee Zion synagogue in Brooklyn, who allegedly accepted Dwek's checks to launder money.
* Two Brooklyn brothers, Mordchai Fish and Lavel Schwartz, both rabbis at Congregation Sheves Achim in Brooklyn, who also allegedly were caught boasting they could launder millions. Agents raided the offices of Dial-a-Beeper in Williamsburg, where the holy men allegedly picked up their "washed" cash.
"These are the biggest leaders of our community," said Steven Esses, a member of the Ohel Yaacob congregation. "It's hard to believe they could do something like that when these people, all day long, teach the importance of being an ethical person." But he insisted, "I still have faith in them."
On the corruption case, Marra said, "The politicians willingly put themselves up for sale. They existed in an ethics-free zone."
Cammarano pleaded not guilty and was released on $100,000 bail.
His lawyer, Joseph Hayden, said the mayor is "innocent of these charges. He intends to fight them with all his strength."
Assemblymen Smith and Van Pelt were also busted for allegedly accepting cash to facilitate permits and approvals for Dwek.
Suarez was charged with taking a $10,000 payment for his legal defense fund. Elwell was accused of taking $10,000.
Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini was charged with conspiracy to commit extortion by taking $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions.
"The scale of the corruption we're seeing as this unfolds is simply outrageous and cannot be tolerated," said Gov. Jon Corzine.
Corzine's director of community affairs, Joe Doria, whose home was searched as part of the investigation but who has not yet been charged, resigned yesterday. With Post Wire Services

Peter Lemkin
07-26-2009, 07:32 PM
No one would believe it if it were fiction...so it has to be non-fiction!...

Peter Presland
07-27-2009, 01:46 PM
Interesting information from Christopher Bollyn (http://www.bollyn.com/index.php#article_11243) on this. I know the guy is said to have something of a fixation about Jews - bolstered by widespread charges of 'anti-semitism' which tend to scare people off, but which frankly I have become inured to of late - largely because most of it is pure bullying Zionist bullshit. Anyway, I personally still find Bollyn (now resident in Estonia having fled the US following a run-in with the Hoffmann Estates IL police ) well worth reading on 9-11 and a few other Deep-State issues too.


Busted: The Orthodox Criminal Network



http://www.bollyn.com/public/Busted_in_Newark3.jpg
Some of the members of the international Orthodox Jewish criminal network arrested on July 23, 2009. This network is deeply involved in illegal narcotics and financial crimes.
The FBI's mass arrest on July 23 of Orthodox rabbis, their partners-in-crime, and the venal and corrupt politicians who accepted bribes from a Jewish gangster-turned-witness provides essential insight into the extensive Othodox Jewish criminal network that dominates Israel, New York, New Jersey, and to a great extent the United States of America. Having written a great deal about this subject, particularly in relation to the false flag terror attacks of 9-11, there are a few important things that need to be pointed out about this developing story.
"TERRIBLE BLASPHEMY"
This is a very important story, not only for the insular and segregated Orthodox Jewish community in which this criminal network operates but for the larger intercommunal relationship between Jews and the U.S. general public, which is incensed and indignant about being ripped off for hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars by notorious Jews like Bernard Madoff, Maurice Greenberg of A.I.G., and Ben Shalom Bernanke of the Federal Reserve. "If the charges against the rabbis are proved to have been correct," one veteran Brooklyn rabbi told the Israeli press, "it'll be the worst and most terrible blasphemy that will ever be remembered about the New York Jews."

While the controlled media wrongly puts the focus on the corrupt minor politicians who allegedly took bribes, the real crooks are those who paid the bribes and used dirty money to corrupt politicians. The main players in this criminal network are among the leading members of the Sephardic Jewish community of Brooklyn, New York City, and Deal, New Jersey. The key players, such as the FBI's cooperating witness Solomon "Shlomo" Dwek and the 87-year-old "chief rabbi" Shaul J. Kassin, are both high-ranking members of this closed community, which is actually Israeli (or Palestinian prior to 1948). A member of the Dwek clan, Rafi Dwek, for example, is director-general of the Likud party, the extreme right-wing party of Ehud Olmert, Ariel Sharon, and Benjamin Netanyahu.

http://www.bollyn.com/public/Dwek_Solomon_from_Asbury_Park_Press.jpg
Shlomo Dwek, the Talmud teacher and Jewish gangster-turned-witness who helped expose a small part of the international Orthodox criminal network
Israeli members of this Syrian Orthodox Jewish community are discussed in my articles about the secret visit of Ehud Olmert to New York City on the very eve of 9-11. During this top-secret visit on September 10, 2001, Ehud Olmert, then the Likud mayor of Jerusalem, met with two other Likudniks from the Syrian Jewish community, namely Shaul and Meir Levy, founders and owners of the "Wings" beach store chain. Having visited one of these massive "Wings" stores in North Miami Beach, I am convinced that the Levy brothers deal in more than beach towels and suntan lotion.

The tiny Syrian Jewish enclave of Deal, New Jersey (population 1,000), has been mentioned in my 9-11 research, for example in the chapter on the Architecture of Terror. When the FBI busted 5 prominent rabbis from this secretive group of Syrian/Israeli Orthodox Jews, I was very interested and watched to see how the media covered this story, which is far more important than many realize. This story reveals the fundamental Jewish method of corruption and political control, which is the subject of my earlier 9-11 article about Italian Gangsters and their Jewish Bosses. While the rabbis and the Jewish "charities" were laundering tens of millions of dollars, venal politicians were being bought off by the rabbi's son for a few thousand dollars, literally for pennies on the dollar. Two things are striking about this latest story: the depth and extent of the Jewish criminal network and the cheapness and degree of corruption of our political leaders. The Jewish criminal network is just as entrenched in Chicago, Miami, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles as it is in New York and New Jersey.
The Dwek and Kassin families are very close and have been since at least the early years of the 1900s when they studied Talmud and Kabbalah together in the yeshiva in Jerusalem (then part of the district of Syria in the Turkish Ottoman Empire). The Kassin family came to America from Palestine in August 1933. Rabbi Jacob and his wife Mazal arrived in New York with their first four children, the eldest being Shaul, the now indicted rabbi. Mazal, the rabbi's 30-year-old wife was unable to read or write, according to immigration documents, which is not unusual for this segregated and backwards community. Orthodox Jewish women are known to be treated as untouchable second-class humans and are made to ride in the back of the bus even today in Israel. Non-Jews, "Goyim" or Gentiles, are considered to be even lower and are despised by Orthodox Jews yet they choose to live and carry out their criminal schemes in America, which has a population which is overwhelmingly non-Jewish.
"WE DON'T WANT GENTILE CHARACTERISTICS"
The Syrian Jewish community is known for its strict racial Edict that acts like "an invisible fence" and bans members of the community from marrying anyone outside of the community. "Never accept a convert or a child born of a convert," the son of rabbi Kassin told Zev Chavets of the New York Times in 2007, summarizing the message of the Edict. "Push them away with strong hands from our community. Why? Because we don't want gentile characteristics."
To understand the ties between the key families in this story, I recommend Sarina Roffé's articles on the Kassin and Labaton rabbinic dynasties. Sarina is an expert on Syrian Jewry and a member of Brooklyn's Syrian Jewish community and the Jewish Genealogical Society, Inc. of New York.
The "Syrian" Jewish community is well known for its notorious criminals. One of the most infamous is Eddie Antar, a.k.a. Crazy Eddie. In the '70s, he created an empire in the home electronics business. When he was caught defrauding investors of nearly $100 million dollars, he fled to Israel, was extradited, prosecuted (by then U.S. Attorney Michael Chertoff), and sent to prison. Antar, who still lives in the community "enclave", told the Jewish Week that the recent mass arrest of rabbis doesn't surprise him at all. “Most people in this community are law-abiding hard-working Americans and the alleged actions of a few people are no reflection on the entire community. But I'm not surprised when I see this kind of thing happen.”
Small, tight-knit communities such as the Syrian Jewish enclave in New Jersey and Brooklyn are particularly prone to financial crime, he said. “It happens all the time in all kinds of closed, insular communities, and these crimes are the toughest to crack,” he said. “The people are bound not just by economic incentives, but cultural, religious, ethnic and family ties. They tend to be highly coordinated, and they can take years to investigate.” When the dust settles “hundreds” of people could be implicated, Antar predicted. Antar's prediction that many more people are involved comes from a person who knows the Orthodox criminal network from the inside.
ORTHODOX RABBIS = CRIME BOSSES
The most obvious question that a person would ask after hearing the report of the mass arrest of Orthodox rabbis: What kind of religious community is this Orthodox Jewish community in which its leaders are venal crooks who engage in serious criminal activity as easily as one drinks a glass of water?

"These rings, led by clergymen, cloaked their extensive criminal activities behind a facade of rectitude," New Jersey District Attorney Ralph Marra said, describing a disgraceful picture of religious leaders heading money-laundering crews and acting as crime bosses. They moved "at least tens of millions of dollars through charitable, nonprofit entities controlled by rabbis in New York and New Jersey," Marra said. Exactly where the "tens of millions of dollars" came from has not been explained, but connections to the illegal drug trade and the Madoff scam are both very likely.

http://www.bollyn.com/public/Busted_Kassin_NYT.jpg
"Crime Boss" Shaul J. Kassin, 87, chief rabbi of the Syrian Jewish community

"Religious leaders allegedly acted like 'crime bosses'", was the Marra quote that became the title of a July 26 article in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz. "For these defendants, corruption was a way of life."
Israelis, however, are well aware of the gangster methods and tactics of the Orthodox Jewish community, something most Americans are only becoming aware of as a result of this mass arrest. Small Orthodox Jewish parties, such as Israel's theocratic Shas Party, have long wielded enormous clout in Israel's coalition governments and used political extortion to obtain special privileges for the Orthodox community. Orthodox religious practices and conversions, for example, are the only ones recognized in the "Jewish state." The Shas party's seed money was raised in rabbi Kassin's living room in Deal, N.J., in the early '80s.
In most cases the indicted rabbis used Jewish and Zionist "charitable organizations" to launder money that they believed came from bank fraud and selling counterfeit goods. Dwek told the rabbis he was trying to hide large amounts of cash. In some instances, he said, the money came from the sale of fake Gucci bags. It should be noted, however, that the Orthodox Jewish community has a long and documented history of involvement in the sale of narcotics and illegal drugs, such as Ecstasy. The Syrian Jewish community is very powerful in Latin America. Another Kassin family member, a Miami resident from Colombia named "Victor Tesone Kassin," for example, was indicted in a $100 million money laundering operation to wash drug profits from Colombian narcotics with drug financier Isaac Kattan in 1982 following a similar investigation called Operation Greenback. This operation involved a bank in Miami and Switzerland. Switzerland and Israel played roles in the recently busted Jewish money-laundering operation and are also thought to be involved in the disappearance of tens of billions of dollars from the Madoff scam as well.
A Brooklyn Jewish man, Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, is charged with enticing poor people in Israel to give up a kidney for $10,000 so he could sell their organs for $160,000 each, according to Marra. Some, if not all, of the kidney removal operations were reportedly carried out at New York's Mount Sinai hospital.
The arrest of the Orthodox rabbis led some to dub the affair "Kosher Nostra." The rabbis, including two synagogue leaders, are suspected of organizing a money-laundering network that allegedly worked through charities in Deal, Brooklyn and Israel, Ha'aretz reported. The 15 people arrested on money laundering charges were all Orthodox Jews and/or Israelis, including the "kidney trade middleman," a.k.a. Levi-Yitzhak Rosenbaum. There were so many detainees that a bus was used to transport them. This massive arrest, however, is seen by many as only the tip of the iceberg.
Officials say investigations originally focused on an international Orthodox Jewish network that laundered tens of millions of dollars through charities controlled by rabbis in New Jersey and New York. This money-laundering network is most likely connected to the $50 billion Bernie Madoff scam. Madoff, as I pointed out in my articles about his scam, managed the Sy Syms school of business at the Orthodox Jewish community's Yeshiva University. Another Sephardic family, the Recanati family, has a great deal of influence in the shipping and selling of crude oil and at the Israel Discount Bank, the corrupt private bank where Sy Syms was a director for many years. Like the 9-11 crime and cover-up, at every key nodal point of this vast criminal financial network -- one finds an Orthodox Jew.

http://www.bollyn.com/public/Busted_Levy-Izhak_Rosenbaum_small.jpg
Levy Itzhak Rosenbaum used his gun to threaten poor kidney donors who got cold feet. He made more than $150,000 for each kidney he traded.

Sources and Recommended Reading:
Bollyn, Christopher, "The Architecture of Terror: Mapping the Israeli Network Behind 9-11 (http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_911_57.htm)"
Bollyn, Christopher, "Ehud Olmert Was in New York on 9-11 (http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/archive.cgi?noframes%3Bread=114367)," December 2, 2007
Bollyn, Christopher, "9-11: The Israeli Network in Florida (http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=8680)," May 21, 2008

Bollyn, Christopher, "The Italian Gangsters and Their Jewish Bosses (http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=7317)," October 1, 2007

Chavets, Zev, "The Sy Empire (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/14/magazine/14syrians-t.html?pagewanted=print)," New York Times Magazine, October 14, 2007
Roffé, Sarina, "Kassin Rabbinic Dynasty (http://www.jewishgen.org/rabbinic/journal/kassin.htm)" and "Labaton Rabbinic Dynasty (http://www.jewishgen.org/Rabbinic/journal/labaton.htm)"

Peter Presland
07-29-2009, 10:26 AM
More on this from "Time Magazine" - of all places. I've not researched them but references to the reporting and reactions in Israel look interesting - possibly significant too if they add to what appears a growing viciousness by Orthodox/Extreme Israeli Zionists to the US in general. Anything that tends to undermine US subservience to Israel is A-OK by me :D

http://www.uruknet.info/pic.php?f=israel_new_jersey_0724.jpg (http://www.uruknet.info/pic.php?f=israel_new_jersey_0724.jpg) Two men are taken into custody in New Jersey on July 23, 2009, during a federal probe of public corruption and international money-laundering
Amy Newman / The Record / MCT / Landov

Jerusalem, July 28, 2009

The mass arrests in the New Jersey corruption scandal last week were big news — in Israel. Images of prominent rabbis and Jewish businessmen being cuffed and arrested after morning prayers filled the front pages under headlines trumpeting the discovery of the "Jewish laundry" used to bribe prominent New Jersey officials allegedly using Israeli charities. In particular, Israeli commentators seized on the connection between several of those arrested and prominent figures in Shas, the ultra-Orthodox Sephardi Torah Guardians Party, founded by the octogenarian Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who remains its spiritual leader.

Among those arrested on July 23 were Rabbi Eliahu Ben Haim and Rabbi Edmund Nahum, who are reportedly close to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and his son, Rabbi David Yosef. Ben Haim and Nahum were allegedly major fundraisers for Shas and Yosef family networks of educational institutions. According to a report on Israeli television, Rabbi David Yosef was also said to have been the target of Solomon Dwek, the FBI's chief informant, who asked the rabbi to help him launder a check for $25,000. David Yosef reportedly declined. (Read about the New Jersey corruption sting.) (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1912761,00.html) Leaders of Shas, which won 11 seats in the Knesset and is the fourth largest member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government, told TIME the party has no connection to the scandal. Roei Lachmanovich, spokesman for Shas Party leader Eli Yishai, told TIME that fundraising by the American rabbis for Sephardi institutions in Israel did not mean they were connected to Shas. He said that Shas institutions — including the rabbinical schools, or yeshivas — received their budget directly from the Israeli government and denied that Shas had been involved in any money-laundering or illegal activity. Furthermore, he said that Rabbi David Yosef was not a member of Shas and did not represent the party. "Besides the fact that he is Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's son, he has no formal connection to the Shas organization," said Lachmanovich.
One of those arrested was a Brooklyn man, Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, who was charged with trading in human organs. In Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox community this week, Rosenbaum, who claimed to be a real estate dealer, was described as a macher, or fixer, who assisted renal patients in finding appropriate medical treatment in the U.S. According to the official complaint, however, Rosenbaum planned to give an Israeli donor $10,000 and then charge the client who requested the kidney $160,000. The payment would be laundered through what Rosenbaum described first as a "congregation," then as a charity. According to published reports, Rosenbaum ran the Brooklyn branch of Kav Lachayim, a charity for sick children that was once supported by convicted financier Bernie Madoff. (Read about how kidney-trafficking works.) (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1912880,00.html)
The Shas media reacted to the entire scandal with countercharges of anti-Semitism. Yitzhak Kakun, editor of the Shas newspaper Yom Le'Yom told the Jerusalem Post: "The FBI purposely attempted to arrest as many rabbis as possible at once in an attempt to humiliate them." Meanwhile, Nissim Ze'ev, a Shas Knesset member, said, "The U.S. police are trying to make it seem as though there is some kind of Jewish mafia."
This is not the first time, however, that the Shas party has been embroiled in a corruption controversy. Two Shas ministers have been convicted on corruption charges in recent years. Yossi Klein Halevi, a senior fellow at the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies in Jerusalem, explains that some parts of the ultra-Orthodox community tend to disregard secular law, despite a tenacious adherence to the minutest detail of Jewish religious ritual. Says Halevi: "You have a kind of borderless community that in its best expressions maintains international charity efforts that are second to none. But the dark side of this is a mentality that often too easily slides into rationalizations for acts that cannot be rationalized, with the idea that the end justifies the means. Here we are raising money for charitable institutions, and therefore we're allowed to cut corners." Halevi adds, "There have been other examples in the past of drug-running happening under cover of certain religious institutions here. There have been too many examples of abuse in the past."

Peter Presland
07-29-2009, 01:15 PM
Further to previous post #4, this from the Jerusalem Post. (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1248277897130&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull)

The term 'Anti-Semitism' is becoming TOTALLY devalued. It is trotted out ad-nauseam any and every time Zionists spot an opportunity to promote their victimhood. The merits of the issue simply do not enter into it.

Anti-Semitism was behind the highly publicized arrests last week of rabbis, including three from the Aleppo-Syrian Jewish community in New York and New Jersey, according to Yitzhak Kakun, editor-in-chief of the Shas weekly Yom Le'Yom.
"There is a feeling here that the FBI purposely attempted to arrest as many rabbis as possible at once in an attempt to humiliate them," Kakun said in a telephone interview Sunday.
"Regardless of the details of the case - I am not familiar with the precise charges and the evidence - you would never see the FBI and police behaving that way with Muslim sheikhs or Christian priests. It is so obvious that the whole thing is motivated by anti-Semitism," he said.
Kakun added that he planned on devoting the editorial of his paper to an attack on the Obama administration for attempting to whip up anti-Semitic feelings against the Orthodox Jewish community in the US. Meanwhile, Shas MK Nissim Ze'ev said US police authorities had deliberately created the false impression that members of the Aleppo community were somehow connected with organ trafficking and extortion, when in reality their only crime was money-laundering.
"There is absolutely no connection between the rabbis from the Aleppo community and those others," said Ze'ev, who was once a rabbi for the Aleppo community in Brooklyn and continues to pray with the community on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
"The US police are trying to make it seem as though there is some kind of Jewish mafia," he said.
Ze'ev was referring to impression some media outlets had given by calling the group of rabbis involved the "Kosher Nostra," a play on the words "Cosa Nostra."
He also rejected any special connections between Shas and the Aleppo Jewish community in the US.
"Saul Kassin [one of the suspects in the money-laundering scheme] is a man who contributes to many different causes, many of them very Zionistic," said Ze'ev.
"He helps various charitable institutions in Israel and he has also helped fund IDF projects," added Ze'ev. "We are not talking about a community that is particularly supportive of Shas. They are much more Zionist and nationalist."
Members of the Aleppo Jewish community who were arrested on suspicion of money laundering are Eliyahu Ben-Haim, rabbi of Congregation Ohel Yaacob in Deal, New Jersey; Edmond Nahum of the Deal Synagogue; and Saul Kassin of Shaarei Zion Synagogue in Brooklyn.
Ben-Haim is known to have ties to Yehaveh Da'at, a Torah institution headed by Rabbi David Yosef, the son of Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. Members of the Aleppo community contributed to the construction of its large building, located near the elder Yosef's home in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood.
Two other Orthodox Jews - Mordechai Fish of Congregation Sheves Achim, and Label Schwartz - were also charged with money-laundering.
Another man, Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn, was charged with allegedly acquiring and trading in human organs.
Ze'ev claimed there was no connection between the members of the Aleppo community and the others, besides their mutual connections with Solomon Duek, an Aleppo Jew charged with bank fraud in 2006 who apparently turned FBI informant.
Revelations regarding the money-laundering came after the haredi community in Israel had been the subject of several negative media reports.
In recent weeks, a haredi woman from Beit Shemesh known as the "Taliban mother," due to her custom of wearing multiple layers of clothing and covering all parts of her body, including her face and hands, was convicted of child abuse.
Meanwhile, another haredi woman from Jerusalem's Mea She'arim neighborhood was accused recently of starving her three-year-old son. Her arrest sparked a string of violent street demonstrations and clashes between groups of haredim and police in the capital.
Moshe Grylak, editor-in-chief of the haredi weekly Mishpacha, said the recent spate of bad publicity had put the haredi community in Israel on the defensive.
"The secular population is convinced we are a bunch of Talibans who starve their children and money-launder," said Grylak, who argued that the local media had broken the rules of journalistic ethics by labeling the perpetrators as haredi.
"And on top of it all, we are also a bunch of parasites who don't work," he said. "It's been a tough time for us. And Tisha Be'av is just around the corner."
Grylak added that the FBI had purposely created a media fanfare around the US incident in an attempt to cover up the bureau's failures in uncovering the Madoff scam.
"It was obvious they were trying to prove something, trying to show they were capable," he said.
Both Grylak and Ze'ev were concerned about possible anti-Semitic repercussions from the incident.

Jan Klimkowski
07-29-2009, 07:22 PM
Peter - yup.

What a crock.