Monday, April 03, 2006
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 6 Comments
If there was one thing Benjamin Netanyahu had come to stand for it was his reformist economic policies that challenged Israel's outmoded socialism and also tackled the monopolies with which Israel is overrun, particularly the monopolization of the banking sector. Twelve groups control 60 percent of the market value of all of Israel's companies, these groups use banks to buy and control families of corporations. These groups themselves are controlled by powerfull billionaires very much involved in Israeli politics.
When Netanyahu began working to destroy these monopolies as finance minister, particularly in the banking sector which is the linchpin used to control the Israeli economy, he made some very powerfull and dangerous enemies. And the entaglements become very corrupt indeed. Consider one of the 12, Matthew Bronfman of the Bronfman clan who purchased a controlling stake in the Israeli Discount Bank from the State of Israel while being elected to the World Jewish Congress audit and budget commission to cover up the corruption practiced under his father and investigated by the New York Attorney General. His partner in the bid was arrested New Jersey buisnessman Charles Kushner who among a litany of financial crimes paid a prostitute to entrap a witness against him.
There were no other bidders for the Israeli Discount Bank because Israeli banks are not financially profitable in and of themselves, they are only good for amassing corporations which Bronfman proceeded to do buying up majority control of Ikea Israel, Blue Square Israel's largest supermarket chain which controls 35 percent of the country's supermarkets. Bronfman's emphasis has been very much on the 'peace process' promising that peace would produce economic dividends. At the Israel Council on Foreign Relations, Bronfman reiterated that an Israel at peace will be a magnet for foreign investment. Of course the interest of such figures is not in actual peace but in doing buisness, such as Bronfman's plans to expand his group into Palestinian areas, something that requires the cooperation of the Palestinian Authority, namely Hamas. It is little surprise that Bronfman was a donor to the Barak campaign.
A much more obviously hands on example is another of the 12, Haim Saban, close personal friend of Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon; best known to Americans for inflicting the Power Rangers on a generation of children, but behind the scenes was the Democratic Party's largest donors donating over one million dollars in 2000 alone and 7 million dollars in 2002. He became the owner of Germany's largest television corporation and acquired a controlling interest in Bezeq, Israel's national telephone company. Thanks to his donations to the Clinton Administration he was appointed to the President's Export Council where he had input on US trade issues.
In 2002 he donated 13 million dollars to the Brookings Institute to create the Saban Center for Middle Eastern Policy whose senior fellow is Shibley Telhami, Vice Chair of Human Rights Watch, Middle East and currently using the Saban Center to advocate on behalf of Hamas penning such phrases as, "Many in the Arab world, including liberals...now see possibilities in Hamas' victory and seem fully prepared to accept that the organization will change. They are viewing it through the prism of hope." Another scholar is Akbar Ahmed who after 9/11 warned the Department of Homeland Security that, "At the time of September 11, there were millions of Muslims in the world and probably a few dozens of them wanted to do harm to the US. But when you antagonise and alienate Muslims like this, those that are angry at America start to multiply. "
The Saban Forum held in November of 2005 under its auspices featured predictably enough Ariel Sharon, Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres and of course Ehud Olmert. In attendance was Sharon's close advisor and architect of his schemes, Dov Weinglass as well as World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who raised money for the transfer of the greenhouses of Gush Katif to Arab hands and today holds down a post at the State Department as he goes around lobbying for more money for Hamas.
Defense Secretary Shaul Mofaz was there along with Amnon Lipkin Shahak, former Shabak head and reborn peace activist Avi Dichter, current Justice Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and and Immigration Tzipi Livni who bailed out of Likud for Kadima, Stanley Fischer Governor of the Bank of Israel and former Deputy Director of the IMF, Dalia Itzik who bailed out of Labor for Kadima, Dan Meridor Olmert's likely next Justice Minister, Gilead Sher one of the chief negotiators with the Palestinians who wrote up a paper on the legality of Disengagement, Dov Lautman who combines extensive buisness interests with extensive positions in left wing organizations. Along with Bill and Hillary Clinton, former ambassador Dennis Ross, Sandy Berger who got a slap on the wrist for stealing and destroying top secret document, Strobe Talbot who was behind the Kosovo War and former Ambasador Martin Indyk who took tampering in Israel's domestic policy to new heights.
At this forum Kadima's elite to be and the men and women who had done much to bring Israel to the brink of destruction met up with their Clinton era counterparts who had worked towards the same goal under the auspices of a billionaire with worldwide media interests who had not so secretely funded their political ambitions.
The disaster that would follow saw the crippling of Israel's Labor and Likud parties, the promotion of fake pensioner's party led by another billionaire buisnessman with major foreign interests and a Mossad veteran, not to mention the deeply corrupt Yisrael Beiteinu mafia. It was not an accident of fate but a well orchestrated campaign to destroy what remained of Israel's democracy by inflitrating Likud and Labor's voting ranks in order to destroy them from the inside and create a new Putinesque government party, Kadima, devoid of ideals with no allegiance to anything but international interests.
The 12 billionaires and the politicians they support have no interest in peace or Israel's security or fighting terrorism. They are not motivated by ideals, only by power and profits. They have no goals besides being on top. They are not Zionists and they are only Anti-Zionists insofar as Zionism interferes with their bottom line and holds back their profits. Their goal is to dismantle as much of Israel as is needed to appease the Arabs and the West to smooth the way for their buisness ventures. To them Israel is nothing more than a corporation, portions of which they will liquidate to improve productivty and market value while its executives will be rewarded with generous bonuses such as Sharon's greek island or Olmert's million dollar house sale.
The buisnessmen made common cause with the left wing because they see international respectability and open markets as the key to their success. They do not care if buses blow up in Jerusalem. They don't ride buses anyway. If bombs blow up in Haifa cafes, that too is alright because they prefer Parisian ones. If shells fall on Ashkelon or any part of Israel they will simply move. They have adopted Peres' vision of a New Middle East without borders or economic barriers and they greedily lust for the potential profits no matter the cost.
If they are not stopped, Israel will not survive.
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