Diversity Macht Frei
September 12, 2017
Is Israel a mafia state? The question is asked not by David Duke or other anti-semites, but by the Times of Israel. Much of this article reads like something that could have been in Der Stürmer.
Indeed, it’s worth bearing in mind this extract from Mein Kampf while you read extracts from the article quoted below.
They have no thought of building up a Jewish State in Palestine, so that they might perhaps inhabit it, but they only want a central organization of their international world cheating, endowed with prerogatives, withdrawn from the seizure of others: a refuge for convicted rascals and a high school for future rogues.
Is Israel a Mafia State?
…on a recent vacation in Washington, DC, I found myself talking to a Jewish woman who works in the US government. “I don’t understand,” she said with dismay. “In America, Jewish people are upstanding citizens. What is happening in Israel?”
The woman was referring to the massive growth of organized crime in Israel over the past ten years, as well as the fact that Israel has become one of the world’s leading exporters of investment scams, stealing an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion per year from victims worldwide.
Despite the fact that Israeli police recently announced that these investment scams are largely run by organized crime, which has grown to “monstrous proportions” as a consequence of little to no law enforcement for years, the Israeli government, parliament and authorities have to date proved unwilling or unable to shut them down, in part because these fraudulent industries have a powerful lobby in the Knesset.
Indeed, Israel’s democratic system has become riddled with corruption of late. Analysts who study Israel’s high-tech sector (and who were unwilling to talk on the record for fear of angering their colleagues) told The Times of Israel last year that an estimated 25 percent of the revenue of Israel’s lauded high-tech sector comes from shady or fraudulent industries, including online gambling, binary options, forex, downloaders/injectors (companies that put malevolent software on your computer without your knowledge), and the payment, affiliate marketing and adtech companies that service these industries.
Israel’s Finance Ministry recently issued a report showing that the cost of nearly every consumer product, with the exception of education and produce, is significantly higher in Israel than the OECD average. Analysts attribute this high cost to monopolists and rent seekers who pull strings and lobby the government to block competition in industry after industry.
Meanwhile, apartment prices have risen 118% in the last ten years, for reasons economists cannot fully explain. Recently, the sale of new apartments has slowed, which a report in The Marker by Nimrod Bousso attributes to a recent crackdown on money laundering in Israeli banks ordered by the Bank of Israel’s Supervisor of the Banks. The report suggests that rampant money laundering was a significant factor in the rise of apartment prices in the first place.
…between the years 2008 and 2014, Israel’s off-the-books economy soared from approximately 22% to 28% of the country’s GDP. This is an astounding jump. The first figure puts Israel in the company of countries like Italy and Spain; the second resembles economies like those of Romania and Bulgaria.
…On a separate but related note, a Knesset member recently told The Times of Israel that three-quarters of the 120 parliamentarians here are in thrall to special interest groups, whose lobbyists and PR flaks crowd the halls of the Knesset, and are relentlessly pressured to the point where the public interest, this MK lamented, becomes a weak voice in the back of their heads.
“Lobbyists control the Knesset; they set the agenda and they usually win,” he said. “There is no question that the majority of Knesset members today work on behalf of lobbyists and not the people.”
Earlier this year, draft legislation that would have banned all of Israel’s fraudulent online trading companies, and not just the part of the industry called “binary options,” was watered down in the course of behind-the-scenes consultations among the Israel Securities Authority, the Justice Ministry and the online trading industry itself. Anti-fraud advocates were stunned to arrive at the Reforms Committee meeting where the legislation was being debated to discover that the bill had been constricted and truncated without their knowledge, as a direct consequence of input from the very industries it was originally formulated to target.
Asked how this happened, one Israeli forex company owner told The Times of Israel, “You have no idea who you are dealing with. This is an industry that has way too much money and influence. Do not concern yourself over such things.”