Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel Investments lost a record $1.14-billion in 2008 and $642 million in the fourth quarter alone. He has the distiction of suffering the steepest loss recorded in Israeli business history.
A sign of just how bad things are for Lev is this piece of fevered wishful thinking via the Jerusalem Post:
“Signs of growing anti-Semitism in the world may act as a catalyst to apartment purchases in Israel by foreign residents, despite the economic crisis,” Africa Israel said in its quarterly report, posted on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s Web site Sunday.
Yeah, and the pope will change his name to Goldstein as well.
It remains to be seen what impact this might have on Leviev’s settlement building efforts in the West Bank or his funding of Chabad projects worldwide, but especially in Russia. At the very least, it will certainly put a damper on some of his bad habits, like stealing Arab land in East Jerusalem and building new settlements enabled by Israel’s Separation Wall land grab. Recently, a campaign by British peace activists moved the British government to cancel the move of its Tel Aviv embassy to Leviev’s flagship Tel Aviv high-rise. The London stock exchange is considering de-listing his company. Another set of blows against the injustices perpetrated by Leviev’s empire.
Lev Leviev is someone who has thrived in the high stakes world of diamond mining and real estate. Like another formerly wealthy right wing Jew, Sheldon Adelson, the global economic debacle has hit his highly leveraged and highly speculative empire hard. I can only hope that their financial misfortunes will force them to turn off the spigot for some of their worst anti-Arab ventures.
Whatever you do, don’t get your news about this story from JTA, which wrote thus:
The company lost $426 million in 2008, it announced Monday.
Africa Israel…had a net loss of $637 million in the fourth quarter.
I scratched my head for a few moments trying to figure out how a company can lose more in a single quarter of a year than it lost in the entire year. That would take some financial hocus pocus of Madoffian magnitude. I figured I better check out Haaretz which provided the correct figures that lead off this post. In other words, the $426 million figure is wrong. Who knows where it came from.