Rudy Giuliani and his two partners in (Ukrainian) crime, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, enjoyed the mob equivalent of the Last Supper (in this case, lunch) at the Trump International in DC earlier this week. After their boozed-up parting (after watching the video and their red-faced dishevelment, clearly they’d ‘had a few’), the two hopped on a plane with a one-way ticket back to Ukraine. But the FBI intervened and they were apprehended and thrown in jail before they could make their get-away.
They are charged with making a $325,000 contribution to a Trump SuperPAC established by Linda McMahon (how else do you think she was named head of the Small Business Administration?), and advised by former Trump press conference comic relief, Sean Spicer. The two wannabe oligarchs were charged with laundering funds they received through a Russian national (a campaign funding no-no) and funneling it to various GOP candidates. The threesome also conspired to get the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch fired.
Before the lunch ended, the Three Musketeers filmed the bizarre video above, in which they addressed Rabbi Moishe Azman, the founder of the charity, the Anatevka Jewish Refugee Community, which created a real-life version of a fairytale shtetl, Anatevka, created by the Yiddish writer, Sholem Aleichem. Anatevka was the Ukrainian Jewish village where Tevye and his family lived before they were driven away by anti-Semitic Cossacks and pogroms. Though there apparently was a real place called Anatevka, it was a tiny village consisting of ten houses, according to one of its former residents.
In the video, you can hear Parnas say: “Anatevka is the best place in the world.” Which is odd, considering that the fictional shtetl the chronicler of Jewish life in the Pale of Settlement invented was a place of ethnic cleansing and pogroms. Azman’s Anatevka was established to offer haven to Jewish refugees displaced by the Crimea fighting.
During the video, Giulian addresses Rabbi Azman: “Moish, howya doin’ baby!” Maybe the way you’d address a mob boss. But not a rabbi.
The project to create a real-life Anatevka seems to be an odd philanthropic concept: a Fiddlerland in the Pale and revive Jewish rural life:
In May 2015, there was nothing there but a plot of muddy land and Rabbi Azman’s sincere desire to help. The surprising discovery of the Ohel (burial place) of Rabbi Mordekhai Tversky of the famous Chernobyl Chassidic dynasty conveyed the blessings of the Almighty Himself. The village, called “Hnativka”, invoked memories of Shalom Aleichem’s Anatevka. So “Fiddler on the Roof” is back!
The Chabad rabbi behind the project appears to be exploiting (or helping, depending on your perspective) real Jews displaced by the fighting between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea.
Parnas and Fruman appear to be small-time wannabe Ukrainian oligarchs. Not of the sort who buy $100-million penthouse apartments in Trump Tower. But rather fixers and kibbitzers who do favors for the real oligarchs. That’s why they’re clients of Rudy Giuliani, who gravitates to such small-time crooks and wheeler-dealers.
Parnas, Fruman and the Settlement Nexus
Parnas also inveigled themselves into a summer 2018 “pilgrimage” to Israel organized by Mike Huckabee. Among those he partied with according to Haaretz were Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister’s foul-mouthed son, and Ambassador David Friedman, who’s pretty handy with a pickax at demolishing Palestinian homes. He joined them at a festive gathering at the Jerusalem home of Simon Falic, owner of the world’s largest airport duty-free shop chain, and a mega-donor to Netanyahu’s political campaigns. According to the Queens JewishLink report featured (pdf) with the accompanying photograph, they were celebrating the expansion of the settlement of Efrat. It was the first settlement established exclusively by American Jews, in this case by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, formerly of New York’s Lincoln Square Synagogue.
At a ceremony celebrating the settlement’s new growth, Huckabee sent a “shout-out” to Trump:
“If President Trump could be here today, he’d be a very happy man,” said Huckabee. “President Trump is naturally a builder and he would be proud to see what is going on here in Efrat.”
…At the Efrat brick-laying ceremony, the Trump theme also included red baseball caps with the “Built Israel Great Again” slogan. The branding was designed to attract the President’s attention. “The idea is that Judea and Samaria have to grow,” said Frager. “I think this catches his eye and his interest, and it could be helpful.”
Parnas and Fruman were also honored with the Lover of Zion award by Young Israel, an Orthodox pro-settler group, at its annual fundraising gala. House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy was another honored guest at this shindig. He also received tainted donations from Fruman and Parnas. Haaretz notes:
It’s not entirely clear why Young Israel gave Parnas and Fruman special recognition during that event, but one explanation offered by a senior figure in the organization was that the pair “brought Rudy Giuliani” to the dinner.
Is anyone surprised that the same sewer that Trump swims in would also dredge up Israeli settler boosters like Friedman, Netanyahu and Falic? They are like an extended intercontinental mafia clan. But instead of engaging in organized crime, they engage in settler colonialism on the dime of U.S. taxpayers who subsidize this with IRS tax-deductions.