67 thoughts on “Netanyahu Corruption Scandal Envelops Wealthy U.S. Haredi Family – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. “Among Shlomo’s wide and varied philanthropic endeavors was funding Hebron yeshivas, among the most virulently racist and violent in Israel” –
    1. Do the “Hebron yeshivas” (plural) have a name?
    2. Why are you hiding their identity?
    3. Do you have any statistics to back up your your claim that those unnamed yeshivas are “the most virulently racist and violent in Israel”?

    1. @ eli: That information is in the Hebrew article to which I linked. If you read Hebrew do your homework & read it.

      As for the list of terror attacks perpetrated by students of Hebron yeshivas, it’s a long & sordid one. Just Google those keywords.

      1. The point, Richard, is that you are sloppy in doing your homework.
        The Hebrew article you link makes no mention of “Hebron yeshivas”.
        It merely mentions the fact that Rechnitz donated to two of the most prominent haredi Lithuanian yeshivot: “Mir” and “chevron”.
        Anybody with the most rudimentary knowledge of hareidi society knows that chevron yeshiva has nothing to do with today’s Hebron, just as the Mir yeshiva has nothing to do with today’s town of Mir in Poland. Your remark about chevron yeshiva “being the most virulently racist and violent in Israel” is sheer ignorance.
        You’re telling mistake reveals a lack of basic comprehension skills in Hebrew reading.
        Which naturally leads to the question: if you get basic facts wrong (in a very biased and predictable manner), how reliable are your comprehension skills regarding facts that can’t be independently verified?

        1. @eli: Actually the point is you’re a horse’s ass & I’ll tell you why. I’ll bet 90% of Israeli secular Jews & 99%of all Jews outside israel, if they heard “Hebron Yeshiva,” would think it was in Hebron. Only Orthodox Jews like you would know the yeshiva used to be in Hebron but relocated to Jerusalem after the 1929 massacre.

          So it has nothing to do with my mastery of Hebrew & everything to do with my lack of familiarity with the inner workings of the Haredi community.

          The fact that you deliberately attempted to confuse the two proves my initial insult towards you was warranted.

          It shows you’re someone behaving in bad faith. But why should anyone here be surprised? That’s the MO of people like you.

          1. Richard – do not blame eli for your own shortcomings.
            If you have searched the original term ‘ישיבות מיר וחברון’ you would have wiki page https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%99%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%91%D7%AA_%D7%97%D7%91%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%9F_%D7%9B%D7%A0%D7%A1%D7%AA_%D7%99%D7%A9%D7%A8%D7%90%D7%9C as one of the top results on Google which has an English version as well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebron_Yeshiva

            It will also be a good idea to correct erase the sentence “Hebron yeshivas, among the most virulently racist and violent in Israel.” and post a correction at the bottom. That is what any reputable journalist would have done.

          2. @ Dave: well, if it isn’t the yeshiva bocher hasbarati!

            I don’t spend much time googling about yeshivot. They’re not exactly my highest priority in life.

            When I need yr editorial advice on how to run my blog I’ll ask. Till then, bugger off.

          3. I wondered before why on Wikipedia your blog isn’t consider reliable though you interview on a major network, PressTV. Now it is clear!

          4. @ dave: I wondered why Wikipedia says you’re a lying hasbara troll. It’s true. Just go read your article…

            Wikipedia has never said my blog is not reliable. Those who have said it, themselves aren’t reliable nor have they reported a tenth the true & accurate scoops I have. Tell a lie here again & you’ll be moderated or banned.

          5. From Wikipedia: “Yossi Melman, a veteran security and intelligence reporter for Haaretz, argues that Silverstein “spreads rumors without checking them” and “is an ideologue, not a journalist.” He adds, “[Silverstein] is speculative. It is like at the casino: Sometimes he gets it right, and sometimes he doesn’t.”[19][3]”

            Seriously, Richard, you want to say that Yossi Melman and Ehud Yaari, highly awarded journalists, analysts and book authors which you quote in your articles, aren’t “reliable nor have reported a tenth the true & accurate scoops” you have?

            Reaching a bit, no?

          6. @Oneisraeli: you conveniently left out the flattering compliment Melman offered as well. Why would you do that? Also would you like me to point out all the stories Melman got wrong?

            Why should anyone trust Yossi Melman’s opinion about anything?

          7. Richard, without wanting to target your ego – seriously, do you think his content about circumventing local gag orders balances out his criticism? Then you’re really grasping at straws.

            And as to why someone would trust Yossi Nelman’s opinion? You mean, apart from having been a Nieman Fellow (journalism) at Harvard, receiving multiple international awards for investigative journalism, 8 books, writing (paid work, not op-eds) for the major israeli newspapers… yeah, I can’t think of a single reason.

          8. @ OneIsraeli: You left out all the times he was wrong. All the times he slavishly regurgigated the pablum he was fed by IDF spokesflacks.

            Yossi is mad at me essentially for one instance when I ignored his warning that I was publishing something wrong. It turned out he was right. But this is the only time I’ve been wrong on a major story. And holding a grudge is one of Yossi’s strong suits.

          9. Thanks for the clarification – would you kindly point me towards some of these times when he was wrong? And how does that count compares, say, with yours?

            I’m sorry you’re not best buddies, but I still do think his credentials speak for themselves. To say “why should anyone trust him” based on some perceived mistakes (which I am willing to bet are outnumbered by other factors) and some grudge sounds a bit unworthy of someone who wishes to be considered a serious journalist.

          10. @ OneIsraeli: I have written critically here of Melman’s journalism. Do your homework & find what I wrote using a Google search. As for more evidence than that, I don’t waste my time ferreting through Yossi Melman’s checkered journalistic career for your benefit. I have better things to do with my time.

            I don’t “wish to be considered a serious journalist.” I am one. Nor do I need your heksher for that designation. In fact, if I ever had it I would suspect I’d done something wrong.

            Here is the portion of Melman’s comment about my work which was once featured in the Wikipedia article, but which a vandal has since removed:

            The American blogger Richard Silverstein has transformed himself into a veritable international message board of information which military censorship and Israeli courts forbid publishing. In the past, he reported on the Anat Kamm case while Israeli authorities gagged the mouths of Israel’s media.

            Currently Silverstein, who calls his blog, Tikun Olam, claims he knows the identity of Y., deputy director of the Shabak, and even published it. According to him, the prime minister decided that Y. would replace Yuval Diskin when the latter’s term as director ends in May 2011. Silverstein is fed by information that comes to him from Israelis. In his reports, there is usually a grain of truth, if a few speculations as well

            …Silverstein’s blog is important because he exposes the security services and the courts in all their nakedness.

            You are done in this thread. Real done.

  2. Interesting. Lots of coverage (here, and to a lesser degree elsewhere) of the quid…. What was the pro that was involved? What does paying off Bibi’s son get the person who’s doing the paying?

    [obviously lots of possibilities, but what?]

    1. @ lepxii: Really? You can’t imagine what benefits a donor could expect if he bribed Sara, Bibi or Yair with donations? Not to mention that there are Jewish donors all over the world who seem entranced by Israeli prime ministers & they open their pocketbooks to them. Often, they don’t expect much in return. Think of Morris Taslansky & Olmert, Abe Feinberg & Ben Gurion. They just like to be where the action is & near the heart of Israeli power.

      1. Surely I can imagine – there’s alot to be had. I’m no fan of Bibi – and surely he could have promoted whomever!

        The question is what are the specifics here? The investigation seems to be rather tight so far and they’re not leaking all that much (in contrast to normal Israeli practice).

        I can imagine a whole raft of possibilities – I’m with you here – the question is what in particular?

        Are the Rechnitzs’ involved in Israeli businesses? Israeli real-estate (a whole can of worms……)? American businesses that could be promoted by Israel?

        If he just gave money to Yair “to be close to the action” – that’s actually not a crime you could definitely pin on Bibi – and we might end up with an Omri Sharon scenario (Omri fell on his sword so to speak – and was sentenced to jail time…. His father got out scot free (until the stroke got him))…. To get to be bibi you need the pro quo – what did Bibi do in return for his son’s bank account being padded with cash?

  3. @re quid pro quo: these men are both Chabad donors. It is Lost Messiah’s belief that the political relationships allow millions in smuggled diamonds into the US. No better way to open up “border controls” than payoffs. These men boast their political connections unabashedly. We think that the connection with the related Chabad organizations is a place to look. It’s all public information. It’s, just a lot of work to uncover.

    1. What does your comment have to do with the vile people and their bribery/money laundering of this nasty family? Do you have a point?

    2. What a bizarre non-sequitur. Not a stellar attempt at defense of this cretin or his family– maybe you should go and have a lay-down.

    3. @ Laurel: so the highest standard you wish Israel to be compared to is a brutal corrupt regime like Saudi Arabia? Funny, I always thought Israel considered itself in a class with Western democracies which, aside from the mafia, doesn’t generally have quasi-criminal clans like the Rechnitzes.

        1. @ Jane Doe: Oh I’m much more interested in the outright criminal Trump clan.

          BTW, I haven’t heard of any Clinton Panamanian accounts, have you? More than I can say for Yair Netanyahu. Who do you think gave Sara the legal advice to open one of those accounts? He should be fired.

      1. ” Western democracies which, aside from the mafia, doesn’t generally have quasi-criminal clans like the Rechnitzes”

        I am afraid Richard the US does have some quasi-criminal clans (families).
        I am think of the fact that both presidential candidates, Trump and Hillary have in common son in-laws whose fathers were both convicted of illegal political donations, fraud, embezzlement and witness tampering.
        And then Trump says he couldn’t pick Christie as VP because his son in law Jared hates Christie because he was the one who prosecuted his father,,,,,,
        So among the elite and political class is really is……all in the family clan.

        1. @ Renfro: The crimes for which Mezvinsky was convicted pale in comparison to the crimes of the Rechnitzes. And his crimes had nothing to do with the Clintons. I’m not sure which father you’re referring to regarding Trump? Kushner?

          Now if you had said the Kennedys and referred specifically to Joe Kennedy, I would’ve agreed. If there had been an Irish mafia, Joe would’ve been a charter member.

  4. First of all the person in that picture is Freddie Friedman, not Shlomo Rechnitz. Second, had you done a modicum of research, you would know that Rechnitz has given money across the board to many Jewish and non Jewish causes. You would also be very hard pressed to find a single human out there with a bad thing to say about Shlomo or Steve Rechnitz. Third, the nursing homes he buys in CA are rehab projects, that is his business, and if you actually look at them 18 months post purchase(which I assume you won’t because it will get in the way of you narrative,) you would see drastic improvement across the board, most notably improved healthcare.

    1. @ Stteve Kass:

      You would also be very hard pressed to find a single human out there with a bad thing to say about Shlomo or Steve Rechnitz.

      You mean except for the multiple articles in The Forward, Failed Messiah, the Sacramento Bee & others? Let’s also examine your own motives? How do you benefit from Shlomo? Employed by the Friedlander Group? Or has he bought you Powerball tickets too?

      As for drastic improvement–is that what you think the State of California is investigating him for? Because he renovated or improved the shabby properties he bought? As for improved healthcare, when you put your bubbeh or Zaydeh into one of his homes let me know how things turn out. I’m curious to know.

      1. There were a few CA investigations into healthcare practices that conducted immediately after purchase. A few others found that statistics across the board were in fact improved upon renovation/new management. He buys distressed nursing homes and rehab centers, by their very nature they are poorly run and in need of renovations upon purchase. It takes time for some of these facilities to meet CA health standards, and in fact all of his centers purchase over 18 months ago are in good standing. So would I put my Bubbe or Zayde in one of his recently purchased homes? absolutely not, one of his turned around homes? sure.

        As an aside, I have been told by reliable sources that A) Rechnitz was in fact the leader of a group of Orthodox buyers of FM but also that B) Shmarya was looking for a way out, he was going through serious mental/financial troubles and needed a break that was provided by that group, and C) FM will still post sexual assaults, will not post white collar crime and finally D) FM had hardly posted anything in its history damaging to Rechnitz.

        As far as what I gain from him? nothing in fact. As a conscientious Orthodox Jew, I admire and look up ti him greatly for his charitable contributions across the board, including a scholarship fund for African Americans, medical healthcare grants, among others. He has brought to peoples attention issues not otherwise publicly addressed, starting with the Lakewood school acceptance/rejection https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7y2rFhnjbs Worthy of a watch, among many other problems in the orthodox world. I also happen to be aware of the massive charity he provides to widows and orphans.

        1. @ Steve Kass: Please stop, just stop pimping for Shlomo. He hasn’t improved anything or done anyone any favors. His nursing homes are a shambles. He hides behind numerous sham companies in order to shield himself from lawsuits from patients who’ve been killed or harmed in his facilities.

          As for Shmaryahu: declaring that he’s mentally ill is a convenient way to besmirch his reputation and quite shabby. To claim that Failed Messiah has any presence at all, let alone that it’s publishing information on sexual assaults is completely bogus. The site looks like a piece of crap. It’s gornisht.

          As for his scholarship for African Americans, goody, his best friends are African Americans. Just like his best employees win the lottery.

          Shlomo Rechnitz is as crooked as his cousin, Jona. They’re just both crooked in different ways.

          I’m not going to get into a pissing contest with you on this. The above was your last comment in this thread. You may post elsewhere if you wish in other comment threads. But not in this one.

  5. This is a classic example why all of stories about Jews and money are probably correct. Thanks for reporting this!

  6. @Tomb of the Patriarchs
    Richard, over one million people annually visit this sacred Jewish site. Are they all, as you insinuate here, evil extremists?

      1. Richard why are you so cavalier and offensive in your reference to Jews who visit the Tomb of the Patriarchs? It’s one of the holiest sites in Judaism. For some reason I have a hard time believing you would refer to Muslims visiting one of their holy sites this way, let alone one of the holiest

        1. @ John F.: Because Jews don’t worship property, buildings or relics unlike some Christians. We worship a book, values and an Idea.

          We don’t have “holy sites” to speak of either. Certain Jewish sects have turned burial plots for deceased holy men into venerated objects. But this is not a long-established Jewish tradition.

          The Western Wall is an exception that proves the rule. It is for that reason I think it’s one of the most damaging sites to Judaism. It encourages & incites settler Jews to work toward destroying the Haram al Sharif & commence a religious war.

          1. Those sites aren’t worshipped and neither is the Torah. They’re holy sites because they are spiritually significant and there have always been such sites. The walls of the Tomb of the Patriarch were built by Herod two thousand years ago! Also the western wall itself is not the holy site per se but just a herodian supporting wall of the Temple Mount which is the actual holy site. Also Muslims have tons of holy sites too and they are even more strictly monotheistic than Jews.

            Also there seems to be a double standard with your constant references to Jewish extremists and then your most recent post about the terrorist in Nice.

          2. The Torah isn’t worshipped? Are you insane? It’s the most sacred object to Jews. There would be no Judaism w/o it. If you are a Jew, you’re an ignoramus.

            Jews worship at the Western Wall, not the Temple Mount unless you’re Moshe Feiglin or Yehuda Glick. Orthodox rabbis in fact refuse to permit Jews to visit the Temple Mount at all. Again, you’re an ignoramus not to know that as well.

          3. The Torah is not worshipped. It is the central holy text but no it isn’t worshipped. And the holy site is the Temple Mount not the western wall per se; people pray there because it is a convenient area of open wall (the western wall actually extends very far beyond that plaza and there is another small open section which is even holier since it’s closer to where the Temple stood) where you can come close to the Temple Mount without walking in it because we are unsure of where the Temple actually stood and it is forbidden to walk on the Holy of Holies, like it is forbidden for Muslims to enter the Kabaa instead they go around it.

          4. @ John F.: Then you’re not a Jew. The Torah as both a physical object & book is worshipped. It is what’s called the sifrey kodesh, ‘sacred books.’ The sacred is worshipped. Torah scrolls are treated so reverently they are kissed by worshippers. If you drop a Torah scroll you must repent the sin for 30 days. That’s worship, period.

            The Temple Mount is a place. But the building that once existed there is gone. There is no longer any physical presence there. So the holiness of this site is completely historical and symbolic. That’s the way it should stay.

            Again, you’re done in this thread. Do not post further even in responding to this comment. Move on.

          5. Think of the spot of the holy of Holies in the temple like a nuclear reactor, which is forbidden to approach directly, and the wall as a kind of safe area where you are not harmed by the radiation but can still come close to that holy of Holies.

          6. @ John F.: Not at all parallel. The Holy of Holies does not exist. It is a historical object from the ancient past with no physical presence, except the empty space where it once existed. But nuclear reactors do exist.

            Comparing radiation to holiness? Really? Can’t you do any better than that?

            You’re done in this thread. Move on. As a rule of thumb, if you’ve posted three comments in any single thread that’s enough to make your point of view known. Any more than that & you risk repeating yourself, which I truly hate.

          7. John F
            “people pray there because it is a convenient area of open wall”

            Now, WHY is it a convenientn area of open wall?

            Do you care enough to know?

            The Moroccan Quarter was a 770-year-old neighborhood in the southeast corner of the Old City of Jerusalem, bordering on the western wall of the Temple Mount on the east, the Old City walls on the south (including the Dung Gate) and the Jewish Quarter to the west. It was an extension of the Muslim Quarter to the north, and was founded by a son of Saladin in the late 12th century.

            The quarter was razed by Israeli forces three days after the Six-Day War in order to broaden the narrow alley leading to the Western Wall and prepare it for public access by Jews seeking to pray there.

            On Saturday evening, 10 June 1967, three days after the Israeli army had captured the Old City of Jerusalem, on the last day of the Six Day War, 650 residents of the Moroccan Quarter were told to vacate their homes on short notice. Workers guarded by soldiers first demolished a public lavatory, and then the remaining buildings, which included 135 houses and the Bou Medyan zaouia. Some of the residents refused to leave until their homes were collapsing. An elderly woman discovered in the rubble died soon after.

            The Sheikh Eid Mosque, one of the few mosques remaining from the time of Saladin was also destroyed.

            Lovely history, huh? Proud, are you??

            Surprised that there is some resentment among the indigenous population??

          8. Elizabeth you are changing the subject of the discussion to the six day war which I’d be happy to discuss in the appropriate thread. The point being discussed here is regarding why the western wall is a place of prayer.

          9. @John F: No she’s not changing the subject to the 1967 War. She’s pointing out that in order to satiate your veneration of these empty ruins Israel expelled neatly 1,000 Palestinian families & destroyed their neighborhood as well. I’m sure these ethnically cleansed refugees received no compensation for their suffering as well.

            This is NOT an excuse fur you to enter into a debate about the merits of that War from a hasbara vantage pt.

  7. [Comment deleted for major comment rule violation: you may not accuse me of hating Jews or Israel. Respect & read comment rules before trying to publish again.]

    1. Don’t compare Jews to Arabs!
      Are you not the chosen people?
      If you are then you should behave much better then the rest of the world!
      If not then get out of Palestine!

      1. @Former Jew – The author of this site may agree with our position or disagree. Extremism is extremism, whether Jewish, Arab, Christian Scientist, you name it. There are countless articles of Jewish extremists dressing as Israeli soldiers and burning Israeli flags on Purim. Is that any different than the Arab who burns the Israeli flag? Are they any less damaging to Judaism as a whole and Zionist as a specific? Do you not think that the Arab anti-Israel sites have a field day with these sorts of pictures. Just Google Satmar and Muslim and you will find endless sites where Jew is pitted against Jew for the purpose of arguing the destruction of Israel. There is a movement in Israel and abroad to force women into more “modest” dress, not allowing girls to ride bicycles, etc. When will Jewish fundamentalist women be wearing burkas so only their eyes can be seen. It is not far off. You don’t like the comparison then get educated, make changes, demand moderation. Otherwise, you are not part of the solution; you are part of the problem.

    2. Moshe, you say “Let’s ignore anything the Arabs do. After all they are prosecuted (=persecuted) and are justified in everything they do….”

      What is that supposed to mean? Really, what do you mean by that?

      Is it bad to take up the cause of people who are oppressed?

      Or can we only take up the cause of oppressed people when they are perfect?

      Where the Jews persecuted by the Nazi’s perfect? Is that a requirement for opposing persecution and oppression of a people?

      And what is perfect then? ‘Equal rights for gays’, or respect for ‘family values’? You choose.

      Did the Jews in war-time Europe have respect for the equality of women, gays and lesbians? I would say no. Should we concentrate on their failings in that respect then, instead of on their persecution by the Nazi’s?

      Or is perfection only a requirement when ‘Arabs’, specifically Palestinian rights are the topic?

      Think clearly, or don’t comment.

  8. @former Jew If you are a former Jew, than what right do you have to instruct ‘present Jews?’ You obviously don’t know what Judaism is if you call yourself ‘former.’
    You are correct though that it’s impossible to compare Jews to Arabs. The Arab /Islamic culture is founded upon hate, violence, and religious coercion.
    Judaism is just the opposite.
    But, Jews don’t live in palestine, they live in the Land of Israel, known as Eretz Yisrael!

    1. @ Rabbi Berl Winter: Even if your comments about Islam is correct; and it is not, but arguing as such, has extremist Judaism become any different? If arguendo, Islam is founded upon hate and if, arguendo Judaism is founded on the opposite, then how do you explain a video by a Chabad Rabbi wherein he praises the murders in Orlando because those who were killed were of a different sexual orientation? Is that not hate? If arguendo your theory is correct then how do you explain the violence against ultra-Orthodox children who do (rarely) choose to perform their army service in Israel? Does that reflect love, patience, kindness, compassion (what you have called Jewish principles as different form those of Islam) or is that a form of religious coercion and hate? If arguendo your thesis is correct, then what explanation can you give for the anti-non-Ultra-Orthodox sentiments coming from the Satmar of Kiryas Joel, the Chabad of the United States, Israel and Australia (to name a few) and the countless YouTube shameful diatribes about violence against Jews who are practicing “a distorted form of Judaism” by not following the rules of the most extreme? How do you explain Rabbi Twersky’s New Square celebration of the release of a Jew who burned another Jew for not practicing in his synagogue in New Square (an example of many)? Is that the basis for our religion as different from the basis for Islam? If anything, even were your theory to be accepted as correct, then we have done a better job of bastardizing Judaism – worldwide. Not only is your thesis wrong regarding Islam but even were your thesis be correct, the conclusions garnered are being proven wrong by current events. The most extreme of the Jews unsettlingly similar to the most extreme of Islam. Whatever principles the two religions were founded upon are being distorted, bastardized, destroyed by all extremists.

    2. All I can suggest that Holy land of three religions should be kept HOLY when you are born into a family you have no choice to accept their language,culture and RELIGION so far All three followers of major religions in Holy Land are insulting the
      Holy place by promoting hate,bigotry and violence.
      Can some one justify the long history of killings of innocents in the land of Israel since last 70 years? If all the three Religions are on the Right Path then who is to
      Blame for all the atrocities in the last seven decades ? Is there any hope for the future generations to live in PEACE as promised in Torah,Bible &Koran

  9. According to the JPost: “Both Channel 10 and Channel 2 quoted police sources saying Netanyahu was correct in dismissing claims by an American blogger and repeated by two Zionist Union MKs on the Knesset floor that the probe surrounded a passport obtained by Netanyahu’s son Yair in another name.”
    Try again Richard

    1. @ Bibi’s Bad Boy: Gee, I always trust Israeli police sources because, like, they’re never wrong. They never lie. Gee, dya think???! In fact, I’d go one farther: if they say I’m wrong, then they’re lying & it proves I’m right. But we shall see soon enough.

      BTW, I didn’t make up the passport story myself. Israeli bloggers & activists have reported it. And they didn’t invent it either.

      Try again, asshole. Or should I say, Zio-troll-asshole.

  10. Thanks for this. If Bibi falls I will cheer, if he at last plea for insanity – I will be relieved than roll on floor laughing.

    1. By the way. im no expert, and i dont know how good is your hebrew but that david levy sounds like a wacko, but with bibi anythings possible

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