Sunday, 2 December 2012

Weekly Rogues Gallery

By Richard Edmondson

Hello one and all! It’s Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, which means it’s time once again for our Weekly Rogues Gallery, our regular, periodic look into Jewish crime and corruption. And today we have a gallery packed with material of just about the vilest, most rancid sort. And when I say that, I’m not kidding—seriously, if you are the squeamish type you might want to pass on reading what follows.

Blood, Gore, and a Pardon

Before I get to that, though, I need to sort of set the stage. And I’m going to do this by quoting for you one of the sickest, most twisted passages in the Old Testament. Specifically I’m talking about the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Judges, where it tells of a man who kills a woman and cuts her body into twelve pieces. As you read it, to avoid confusion, you might want to keep in mind that while the standard definition of the word “concubine” usually is paramour or mistress, in certain polygamous cultures—which the biblical Hebrews certainly were—it can also refer to a secondary wife, usually one of inferior rank. This is the context in which it’s used in the passage below.

A Levite and His Concubine

 In those days Israel had no king.

Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. 2 But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her parents’ home in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months, 3 her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents’ home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him. 4 His father-in-law, the woman’s father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking, and sleeping there.

5 On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Refresh yourself with something to eat; then you can go.” So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the woman’s father said, “Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself.” 7 And when the man got up to go, his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed there that night. On the morning of the fifth day, when he rose to go, the woman’s father said, “Refresh yourself. Wait till afternoon!” So the two of them ate together.

9 Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the woman’s father, said, “Now look, it’s almost evening. Spend the night here; the day is nearly over. Stay and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up and be on your way home.” 10 But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward Jebus (that is, Jerusalem), with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine.

11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Come, let’s stop at this city of the Jebusites and spend the night.”

12 His master replied, “No. We won’t go into any city whose people are not Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah.” 13 He added, “Come, let’s try to reach Gibeah or Ramah and spend the night in one of those places.” 14 So they went on, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin. 15 There they stopped to spend the night. They went and sat in the city square, but no one took them in for the night.

16 That evening an old man from the hill country of Ephraim, who was living in Gibeah (the inhabitants of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields. 17 When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going? Where did you come from?”

18 He answered, “We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the Lord.[a] No one has taken me in for the night. 19 We have both straw and fodder for our donkeys and bread and wine for ourselves your servants—me, the woman and the young man with us. We don’t need anything.”

20 “You are welcome at my house,” the old man said. “Let me supply whatever you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.” 21 So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.

22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”

23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.”

25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.

27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.

29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!”


Judges 19:18 Hebrew, Vulgate, Syriac and Targum; Septuagint going home

Again, the above comes to us from the Old Testament Book of Judges, specifically comprising the book’s nineteenth chapter. Notice that the man who killed his concubine and cut up her body is identified in verse 1 as a Levite, which in ancient Israel was the tribe of the nation’s priests. If we go on and read the twentieth chapter we find no indication he was ever punished for his act of barbarism. The implication seems to be that crimes of this nature are perfectly fine when committed by Israelis, or at any rate priests. Indeed, if we read the remaining two chapters of Judges, we learn that what everybody was so upset about in verse 30 was not that the woman had been dismembered, but that the residents of Gibeah had initiated the whole episode by calling the Levite out to have sex with them (which is also what is suggested in verses 23 and 24) and by raping the concubine. For this reason, and not the murder and mutilation, the remaining tribes of Israel fight a war with Benjamin. It is a bloody war, to be sure, though one fought with much overt anguish and forlornness, for after all it is “Chosen” killing “the Chosen”, and at the end we are informed that all is amicably resolved—with the nation blissfully united once more.

A possible alternative reading of verse 28 could be that the woman is already dead, and in fact the narrative doesn’t specify one way or the other, but the text, taken as a whole, strongly suggests she is still alive at the time the man emerges from the house in the morning. In either event, it’s a gruesome and horrific story.

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, let’s cut to the chase. The following story was recently published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:

Israel’s Interior Minister Denies Reports He Helped Spring Murderer from Thai Prison

Eli Cohen Maimon, 45, has been imprisoned in Thailand since 2004 for murdering his ex-wife and dismembering her body while the two were vacationing in Bangkok.

By Yair Ettinger and Jonathan Lis

Eli Cohen Maimon and Carol Cohen at their wedding

Interior Minister Eli Yishai has denied reports that he intervened to obtain the release of an Israeli serving a life sentence in Thailand for murdering his ex-wife.

Eli Cohen Maimon, 45, has been imprisoned in Thailand since 2004 for murdering his ex-wife while the two were vacationing in Bangkok, and then dismembering her body. However, according to a report in Maariv Tuesday, the Thai king recently pardoned Cohen Maimon, who will be able to return to Israel in May 2013, a free man.

Yishai stated on Tuesday that it was his custom to help young people who had become entangled with the law in India and Thailand, mainly over drug infractions, so they could serve out their sentence in Israel, due to the harsh conditions in prisons in those countries.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai

The Interior Ministry spokesman said that Yishai "had never knowingly acted to promote the release of a murderer, and if [Cohen Maimon] was indeed involved in this act, Yishai was misled and the matter will be investigated."  Yishai's personal spokesman, Yaakov Betzalel, said the minister had nothing at all to do with Cohen Maimon.

Cohen Maimon, who had previously served time in Israel for drug smuggling, emigrated to Australia after turning state's witness against 18 drug dealers. During that period, around three months before the murder, he divorced his wife, Carol Cohen, 26. Carol's relatives said at the time that Cohen Maimon had tried repeatedly to contact her, and that he had finally persuaded her to vacation with him in Thailand. Her body, minus the head and legs, was found in a suitcase in a Bangkok canal a few days after the murder.

Cohen Maimon was arrested on February 24, 2004 at the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok, while he was filing a missing person report about his ex-wife. The Bangkok police, who had already begun to suspect Cohen Maimon of the murder, communicated their suspicions by phone to the Israeli consul, Yaakov Dvir while he was dealing with Cohen Maimon's report. Dvir then summoned the police. Suspicion against Cohen Maimon deepened after investigators found a bloody towel in the couple's hotel room and blood elsewhere in the room and on his clothing. Cohen Maimon was also caught on the hotel security camera leaving the hotel in the dead of night with two suitcases. Cohen Maimon confessed to the murder during the trial.

An additional story in YNet reports the following:

Rivkah Amsalem, the mother of Carol Cohen who was brutally murdered by her ex-husband in Thailand in 2004, told Ynet that she believes that Interior Minister Eli Yishai is lying about having no connection with Eli Cohen's release.

Cohen is slated to be released from prison soon, having being pardoned by the King of Thailand.

Alert readers may remember the comments of the interior minister made during Israel’s recent eight-day aerial assault on Gaza. “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages, only then will Israel be calm for the next 40 years,” Yishai said at the time. Would a government minister capable of making such a statement have sought a pardon for a man convicted of a grisly murder?

More denials can be found here:

A government spokesperson said: “The minister has never knowingly worked for the sake of releasing a murderer and if it turns out he was involved in such instances it was a mistake and the instance must be checked.

"The minister believes that the place of a murderer, any murderer, is in prison for the rest of their lives.”

The government spokesperson apparently thought it prudent not to add, “unless of course you’re murdering a Palestinian, in which case it’s alright.”

A somewhat curious aspect to the story, is that while Yishai denies seeking a pardon for Cohen-Maimon, he doesn’t deny springing Israelis arrested in Thailand—and also India—on drug offenses. This raises a question. Why are such large numbers of Israelis getting arrested on drug charges in that part of the world—so many that it requires a government minister to expend effort arranging pardons for them? The answer, at least in part, is provided in the following BBC video. It seems that after completing their “tours” of duty oppressing the people of Palestine and confining them to their Bantustans and outdoor prisons, the heroic Israeli soldiers love to go sporting off to Thailand and India for some recreational drug use. You’ll see one after another smoking bongs and getting wasted, as a couple of Chabad representatives valiantly set out to try and “rescue” one of them, said to be in particularly bad shape. “Chabad is a worldwide Messianic orthodox Jewish movement,” the segment tells us. What it doesn’t mention is that Chabad is also a racist organization with devout beliefs in Jewish supremacy, although you can sort of gather that by some of the comments made.

A pronounced tip of the hat is in order to msa, who initially tipped us off to this whole story—the saga of the depraved murderer/mutilator Eli Cohen Maimon, as well as the whole Thailand/India angle to the story. Msa also points out that another strange component to the affair is that one of Yishai’s chief political rivals in Israel, nay even within his own Shas Party, is Knessett Member Rabbi Haim Amsalem. If we go back to the YNet story, quoted above, we see that the mother of the slain Carol Cohen is named Rivkah Amsalem. Is she possibly a relative of the Knesset member?

In a story at the Jerusalem Post we learn a little more about the animosity between Amsalem on the one hand, and Yishai—as well as Shas Party spiritual leader Ovadiah Yosef—on the other. Yosef, you’ll perhaps recall, is the infamous Israeli rabbi who has made numerous racist comments, including calling for the annihilation of Palestinians and likening Gentiles to “donkeys.” From the Jerusalem Post story:

Amsalem also intensified his attacks on Shas chairman Eli Yishai, calling him “an embarrassment” to Israel who causes people to cringe when he opens his mouth to speak, and who acts like the head of a crime family in internal party politics.

He also repeated his assertion that when the 90-yearold Yosef speaks, “the voice is actually that of Yishai” and others close to the rabbi, who feed him bits and parts of information, and manipulate Yosef, who has the ultimate say in Shas.

Allegations such as these, which Amsalem had already aired last Wednesday, brought Yosef to lash out against the MK in his Saturday-night sermon.

Wikipedia informs us that Haim Amsalem was born in Oran, Algeria. And as msa points out, the name Amsalem is indeed Algerian, while the names Yishai and Maimon are, on the other hand, of Tunisian origin. So is this possibly a feud within the Israeli Sephardic community, and perhaps more specifically between the Jews of Algeria and those of Tunisia? Hard to say for sure, but it’s at least worth considering. At any rate, one thing we can conclude with certainty: the fate of Carol Amsalem Cohen attests to the overall sickness and perversity of Israeli society.

A few loose ends here to wrap up: In the twentieth chapter of Judges, where the war between the Benjamites and the rest of the tribes unfolds, we are informed that the ark of the covenant at this time was located in Bethel, where it was under the care and protection of Phinehas, son of Eleazar. In an essay I wrote roughly a year ago, I discussed this particular biblical character, Phinehas, who is also mentioned in the Book of Numbers. That book contains, in chapter twenty-five, a story of him murdering a couple by plunging a spear through both their bodies. Slain are an Israeli man and a Midianite woman. Their “crime”? Interracial dating/marriage. We are told by the writer of the Book of Numbers that God was extremely pleased with the atrocity committed by Phinehas. Mention of the same character at this point in the Book of Judges would strongly suggest to us that for the writer of this book, as well as those fighting the war with the Benjamites, the main issue of concern was not the murder and mutilation of an innocent woman.

And finally this one other observation, perhaps as an aside:

“Not only do you not recognize the Jewish state, you’re also trying to erase Jewish history. This year you even tried to erase the connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem. You said the Jews were trying to alter the historical character of Jerusalem. You said that we’re trying to judaize Jerusalem. President Abbas, the truth is Jerusalem had the Jewish character long before most cities in the world had any character. Three thousand years ago, King David ruled from Jerusalem, and Jews have lived in Jerusalem ever since.”
Ron Prosor, speech at UN, Nov. 29, 2012

But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward Jebus (that is, Jerusalem), with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine. 11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Come, let’s stop at this city of the Jebusites and spend the night.” 12 His master replied, “No. We won’t go into any city whose people are not Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah.”
Judges 19: 10-12

Apparently, at least if we go by the Book of Judges, the “judaization of Jerusalem” is not without historical precedent. It would also seem that erasing history can be a matter of convenience, depending upon which parts you wish to erase

Jewish Pedophiles in Australia

This past week brought forth another story about Jewish pedophiles, this time in Australia. If you’ll recall in our last Rogues Gallery, I discussed a child molestation investigation into two Jews in Toronto, one of them a rabbi and the other a former director of a boys choir. The case in Australia seems to be much, much wider than that. Judging from the following story, not all of those under investigation are Jewish, but apparently a good many are. The following item appeared in the Jewish Daily Forward:

New Child Sex Scandal Erupts in Australia

Jewish Group is Accused of Cover-Up in Abuse Complaint

By Dan Goldberg

SYDNEY — Another major Jewish organization in Australia is embroiled in a child sex abuse scandal, adding to the trauma triggered by recent revelations of similar cases involving students at two schools in Melbourne, run by Chabad and Adass Israel, respectively.

Because of a suppression order issued by an Australian court, the name of the organization, the alleged sexual abuser and the alleged victims cannot be disclosed.

The Forward can, however, reveal that a man faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on more than 25 counts of child sex abuse, including indecent acts with a minor and sexual intercourse with a child.

Despite the involvement of the unnamed Jewish organization in the case, the defendant is not believed to be Jewish. He entered a “not guilty” plea and is scheduled to face court again in December, with a trial date expected to be set for next year.

The alleged sexual abuse is understood to have taken place during an overseas trip about a decade ago.

A representative for the Office of Public Prosecutions also confirmed to the Forward that there are multiple complainants. Not all of them are believed to be Jewish.

It should be noted that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called for a royal commission of inquiry to be established for purpose conducting an investigation “across religious denominations,” as The Forward puts it. But perhaps shockingly (or not, depending on your perspective) those under scrutiny include a former teacher at a Chabad yeshiva, as well as an Israeli woman, Malka Leifer, who served as principal of Melbourne’s Addas Israel girls school. This comes from an Australian newspaper:

Police Investigate Former Principal Over Molestation Claims

By The Age

A FORMER principal of a Jewish girls' school in Elsternwick is being investigated over claims she molested students, as the Victoria Police probe into alleged sexual abuse widens to take in a second school.

Malka Leifer, a former principal of the Adass Israel Girls' School, fled to Israel in 2008 after the school board sacked her following complaints of inappropriate conduct with students. At the time, parents told The Age that Ms Leifer, a mother of eight, had molested students at school, at her home and probably at school camps. They said one victim had attempted suicide.

Parents were critical of the Adass Israel School, claiming it allowed Ms Leifer to flee before notifying police. The school has denied this.

The above article was published in 2011. Apparently Leifer is still in Israel. Perhaps Yishai won her a pardon—but it seems she had lots of support from high-up Jews in Australia as well. Now we go back to The Forward article:

The chief rabbi of Adass, Avraham Zvi Beck, and other officials have been accused of helping Leifer flee Australia for Israel as soon as the allegations — denied by her — emerged within the tightly knit, non-Zionist, Yiddish-speaking community in 2008.

Last year, claims also emerged of alleged child sex abuse in the 1980s perpetrated on 12 Yeshivah College students, three of whom now reside in America.

David Cyprys, a former security guard contracted to the college, will stand trial next July on 41 counts of child sex abuse, including child rape. He has pleaded not guilty.

Another alleged perpetrator, David Kramer, is a former teacher at Yeshivah College, which is part of the Chabad movement’s Yeshivah Centre, in Melbourne. Kramer is awaiting extradition from America, where he was jailed in 2008 for molesting a 12-year-old boy in a St. Louis synagogue. In October, a judge in the United States approved the extradition order to Melbourne, where he is wanted by police investigating claims that he molested four boys attending Yeshivah College between 1989 and 1992.

“These new revelations highlight that instances of child sexual abuse are not unique to one segment within our community.”—Those are the words of Manny Waks, an alleged victim of child sexual abuse some twenty years ago when he was a student at the Chabad Yeshiva College in Melbourne, and whose case is discussed in The Forward:

“The Yeshivah leadership has excelled in doublespeak: They inform the public that they are cooperating fully with the relevant authorities, yet in private they are engaged in the most vile and irreligious acts,” he told the press.

Waks, who claims that his family has been victimized by fellow Lubavitchers critical of his public exposure, said that more alleged victims have come forward. “I’m receiving more and more allegations of child sexual abuse coming from the Melbourne, Sydney and Perth Jewish communities,” he said.

The sexual abuse scandals have triggered a flurry of online debate. In one post, a blogger wrote: “In each case, the rabbis of the respective [Chabad and Adass] community were approached by victims. In each case, there was discussion by the victims about going to the police. In each case, the respective rabbi said the victims and their families are prohibited from doing so.”

I recommend going to The Forward and reading the article in its entirety. It is quite informative, and of course this is the kind of thing you will not find in the mainstream media, who always seem eager to peddle Catholic sex scandals but never Jewish ones.

Before we close, here’s an update on the Grimm-Biton-Pinto affair, a case I have discussed in previous Rogues Galleries, most recently last week’s. The following comes from Politico:

The Justice Department has asked the House Ethics Committee to hold off on its probe of Rep. Michael Grimm while federal investigators conduct a criminal investigation of the New York Republican over alleged campaign-finance violations, the panel said in a statement Monday.

DOJ is looking into Grimm’s relationship with Ofer Biton, an Israeli citizen with close ties to Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, who has a large following in New York. Grimm — with Biton’s help — raised more than $500,000 from Pinto’s followers, including alleged improper cash donations or contributions from non-U.S. citizens. Biton reportedly sought help from Grimm in obtaining a green card.

Biton was charged in August by the Justice Department with immigration fraud and other alleged violations. Biton has denied wrongdoing and is free on a $1.5 million bond. Pinto is being investigated by Israeli authorities in a bribery case.

Read more

That’s going to wrap it up for our Rogues Gallery this week. Join us again next time.

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