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'FBI sting was a case of anti-Semitism'

JPost -- 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.


Click to view image: 'Shas MK Nissim Ze'ev'
Shas MK Nissim Ze'ev

"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.

"After Madoff, now there is this. I'm frankly concerned about the rise of anti-Semitism in the US," said Grylak.


Added: Jul-28-2009 Occurred On: Jul-27-2009
By: dan_man_
In:
Middle East
Tags: anti-Semitism, FBI, organ trafficking, israel, jpost, Jerusalem Post, Jerusalem,
Views: 9364 | Comments: 23 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 1 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • yah sell kidneys and claim its anti semitism, wow these ppl are soooooo corrupt they think they run the world.

    Posted Jul-28-2009 By 

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  • It's always anti-semitism when they get caught. The author should have read the details about how they got scammed by the son of a Rabbi who turned snitch after getting caught passing a bad multimillion dollar check.

    Posted Jul-28-2009 By 

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  • These people should STFU. They are criminals and they got caught.
    It is not only muslims that protect their own.

    Posted Jul-28-2009 By 

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  • Its only ok when the FBI busts non-jew whites.

    Posted Jul-28-2009 By 

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  • Jesus!... What do you call this? The Old Testament card?

    I'll defend Judaism to the last, but if you commit a crime like bootlegging human organs, then I don't give a shit if you call yourself "Rabbi", you belong in fucking jail.

    Posted Jul-28-2009 By 

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  • oh ya, all the crimes committed (that have yet to be proven) have no bearing on their arrests at all. It was all because they we're jewish. The crimes weren't worthy of an investigation, subsequent arrest and possibly the prosecution to follow. yep, not safe to be a jew in America, eventho America is they're biggest supporter.


    lol

    Posted Jul-29-2009 By 

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  • "After Madoff, now there is this. I'm frankly concerned about the rise of anti-Semitism in the US"

    Gee, I wonder why...

    Posted Jul-29-2009 By 

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  • Seems you can't interact with these people in any way on any level without being accused of of discrimination. Either you arrest them like anybody else, in which case you're an antisemite, or you don't - then you're still discriminating: everybody else, for example.

    Posted Jul-29-2009 By 

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  • i said it all along for years. Check all the Mosque and bag em all . Right under our noses . Bad addition to any gene pool .

    Posted Jul-28-2009 By 

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  • The Kosher Nostra would never deal in human body parts unless they're kosher.

    Posted Jul-29-2009 By 

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  • Why am I not surprised ?

    It's disgusting how this bullshit is claimed anytime Jewish people are caught committing crimes...

    This card is way, way, overplayed and it needs to stop.

    Posted Jul-29-2009 By 

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  • i'm really tired of the term "anti-semitism" being used every time a jewish person or group screws up and gets caught. Just take responsibility for your actions and show that you at least have some level of honor.

    Posted Jul-29-2009 By 

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  • you're not allowed to use the term anti-semitism or generalise about israel on this post, the mods will delete your comment if you do

    Posted Jul-28-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

    • Are you serious mods deleting comments they dont agree with dan.

      Posted Jul-28-2009 By 

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    • Yep. It may be for the good of this site though - see what happens when you criticize certain cultures on youtube - you have the ADL's henchmen coming after you.

      Whatever it takes to keep this site running without crazy lawsuits is fine by me but if it's personal, that would suck....

      It's hard to know

      Posted Jul-28-2009 By 

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    • is it the user? or does it happen on your own posts

      Posted Jul-28-2009 By 

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    • no it can only be the moderator or the uploader & since it wasn't the uploader (me)..... i guess it might have been a bug - ya never know.

      Posted Jul-28-2009 By 

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  • Haredi on the defensive? lmao great!

    Posted Jul-28-2009 By 

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  • Rabbis and Mullahs are one and the same. Money is money no matter what religion you belong to.

    Posted Jul-29-2009 By 

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  • I doubt it was organizational collusion against one of Israel's closest allies. Israel takes full advantage of its past persecution by playing the race card. I'm pretty sure there were Jews working on that case as well, Jews who were actually more loyal to the United States than they were to Israel. They should be commended for their integrity while on the other hand this anti-semite argument is baseless and corrupt.

    Posted Jul-29-2009 By 

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  • He was a Innocent business man too bad he was small time other wise he would have gotten away with it FREE THE RABBI NOW he did not commit a crime there is nothing wrong with selling Human Organs

    Posted Jul-28-2009 By 

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  • anti-semitism is a bullshit term and doesnt mean anything

    Posted Aug-17-2011 By 

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