Israel Resource Review 22nd Febuary, 2005


Incitement Against the Israeli Prime Minister Emanating from Israeli Intelligence
Kalman Liebeskind
Investigative Journalist, Maariv

[For the past four months, the Israeli media has been reporting that there are increased threats against the life of the Israeli Prime Minister.

Each time our news agency hears of such a threat, we call to the spokesman of the Israeli Prime Minister to verify if this is the case that the PM is indeed under such a threat.

The consistent answer that we have received from the PM office is that there is no such threat.

However, the news reports of these threats have continued, culminating in a resolution taken by the visiting Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations from North America on February 20th, 2005 which condemned "the campaign of threats to the life of the Prime Minister".

On February 21st, 2005, respected investigative reporter Kalman Liebskind, writing in the Maariv newspaper, revealed that a special intelligence unit of the Israeli police has been spreading threats against the life of Israel's Prime Minister.]

Here is the translated article in question:

[The term "champagne" is derived from the term that Israeli police intelligence used to describe Avishai Raviv, the intelligence agent who created an extremist group which operated Yigal Amir before the assassination of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin]

The Police's Champagne
Ma'ariv, February 21st, 2005
by Kalman Liebeskind

A police intelligence source who is active in extreme right-wing groups in Israel, and who hands over information to the Judea and Samaria police, is himself responsible for printing stickers against the prime minister and against Arabs.

The man, who hands over the information without payment, was also involved in recruiting activists for demonstrations that took place last week during which right-wing extremists blocked traffic intersections.

In recent weeks the man told his associates that he intends to spearhead additional activities of much more violent civil disobedience during the implementation of the disengagement plan, which will begin in five months. According to the plan, government institutions and courts, where security is weak, will be attacked and various places torched in an attempt to keep the police busy and prevent it from properly carrying out the operation of evacuating settlements in the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria.

The activist, who lives over the Green Line, is not acting under the orders of the intelligence coordinator who is in charge of maintaining contact with him, but only gives his handlers information, sometimes partial, about his activities. It is feared that his statements and threats might escalate, in light of his previous activities in a radical right wing movement. Inter alia, in one instance he and several other members bought several pocketknives with the intention of handing them out to settlers during the evacuation. Members of the organization said that the goal was to enable settlers who were arrested by police to cut off the plastic handcuffs easily.

Another activity in which he took major part was the distribution of the sticker reading "Sharon, Lily is waiting for you." He was also one of those behind the distribution of the Monopoly game whose board contained slogans calling for the expulsion of Arabs and mass riots.

After the appearances of the game and the sticker, the State Attorney's Office ordered the police to begin investigations of alleged incitement.

Two investigations are still in progress. The Samaria and Judea police did not comment.

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People in Pain
Rachel Saperstein
Neve Dekalim, Katif,

"Do you think it is psychosomatic?" I asked the doctor. "I have a persistent cough. Yes, I had had a high fever, but now it's this cough."

"Your lungs are clear" the doctor said. "Take it easy. Drink hot lemonade with lots of honey."

My cough gets worse when I speak and speaking is what I do. I speak to reporters, and television and radio crews from around the world. The message of Gush Katif must get through. I also speak to people who just call and need emotional support.

The government of Israel has signed the official expulsion orders and we are fighting for our lives.

Each of us volunteers in the battle for Gush Katif and I write and speak with passion about my home, and when I speak I cough and choke. I cry, silently, at night. I try not to let my husband hear. He suffers, too.

I'm not alone. The people are in pain. One woman said "I have nightmares of a bulldozer coming towards me and I cry out 'STOP' but it doesn't stop. It smashes into my home. I hear my children scream and I wake up shaking."

"I have a constant headache", a colleague at school told me. "I know what it is from."

"Why don't you pack and leave?" I ask.

"I can't. I have to be here with the people. But I suffer. If you believe in Eretz Yisrael and all the values I grew up with and teach my own pupils, then I can't just walk away. I even signed my daughter up for first grade at the Atzmona school for next year."

"Aren't you being impractical?"

"I guess so. I know you're right. I'm the most practical person you ever met. This time I can't be practical. I have to believe that we will be here next year, and the year after that."

A friend from a community in Samaria called. "We're not slated for this expulsion, but I know we're next on the list. If they succeed in destroying you, there is no hope for us. I have severe stomach pains. I don't sleep. I find myself crying at all times of the day. I pray a lot. Surely the Almighty will have compassion on us."

Men don't cry as easily, but the pain in their heart is no less great. "I'm over 50. I put my whole life into making my greenhouse farm successful. With the Lord's help we made these vegetables grow. Religious people around the world depend on us to provide insect-free kosher vegetables. My sons live here with their families. Three generations to be thrown out. They want to give this land to the Arabs. It will return to sand. Excuse me, I've got to get back to work. My heart is breaking. My pain is for me and Eretz Yisrael."

The pain is there, for me, for my people in Gush Katif, for the people of Israel, and for people all over the world. How often do journalists and radio and tv reporters say "Why is Sharon doing this to you?" The world media is here in Gush Katif listening to us and reporting this terrible shameful story of expulsion to listeners around the world. And despite my personal pain I speak to the world and tell our story over and over again.

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Israel's Peres Under Investigation for Role in Funds Tied to Palestinian Authority
Aaron Klein, Israel Bureau Chief,

JERUSALEM - Israel's Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres is being investigated for alleged involvement in a private technology fund coordinated with the Palestinian Authority while he was a government minister -- a move some are charging was a conflict of interest requiring him to step down from his government position, WorldNetDaily has learned.

The investigation, to be conducted by members of the Knesset Ethics Committee, focuses around the establishment by Peres of the Peace Technology Fund, a $160 million venture-capital entity created in part to encourage investment in the Palestinian economy. Investors in the fund, allegedly procured while Peres was minister of regional cooperation under Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 1999, include the Palestinian National Authority and several companies that have in the past contributed to the Peres Center for Peace, a non-profit think tank he founded.

The fund's first investment was announced in Business Week in June 1999, one month after Peres assumed his ministerial position that year.

The article reported, "A venture capital fund founded by former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres has taken a $9 million, 3.3 percent stake in Paltel, the Palestinian Telecommunications Co., according to officials of the Peace Technology Fund. The investment is the first by the peace fund, which was established last year by Israeli and Palestinian investors."

"The fund has raised $60 million from Israeli, Palestinian, and foreign investors. The Peace Technology Fund was established by Peres and the World Bank as part of an attempt to spur investment in the Palestinian economy."

The Palestinian National Authority, according to a report by the Democratic Council, invested $22 million in the fund, also allegedly while Peres was an Israeli minister. The PNC is a monetary branch of the Palestinian Authority.

Other investments in the fund, totaling nearly $10 million, were made by Bank Leumi, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Federmann Enterprises, Koor Industries, Arison Investments, Strauss Holding, Delta Galil, Daimler Chrysler and Keter Plastics. Most are contributors to the Peres Center for Peace, which itself is listed as a member of the fund's advisory board.

David Bedein, director of the Israel Resource News Agency, alerted members of the Knesset Ethics Committee yesterday to the fund's activities and has sparked a Knesset investigation to determine if Peres' involvement with the fund was a conflict of interest and whether the veteran Israeli politician received or continues to receive fees for allegedly securing multimillion dollar investments or profits from previous fund ventures.

Bedein told WND, "Since Peres was the minister of regional cooperation when the Palestinian investment was made, the Knesset Ethics Committee will now investigate whether Peres was paid a consulting or broker fee as payment for bringing in the investment."

Consultants procuring investments for companies or funds typically receive finders fees of 2 to 5 percent. The Palestinian Authority's investment of $22 million could have earned Peres a fee of $440,000, according to yesterday's briefing to members of the Ethics Committee.

Another charge brought to the Knesset focuses around the fund's $9 million investment in the Paltel Palestinian communications company, also after Peres assumed his 1999 government position.

The price of Paltel's shares rose from 2.5 Jordanian dinars in May 1999 to 4.5 in August 1999, reportedly realizing a nearly $10 million profit for the fund's investment that year.

The stock increase has been widely attributed to a monopoly license granted in August 1999 by the Palestinian Authority to Paltel for the company to operate exclusive wireless services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

WND has learned the Ethics Committee will investigate whether Peres knew in advance, through contacts while he was a member of the Israeli government, the PA was planning to grant Paltel the exclusive contract, and whether Peres personally profited from the fund's investment.

Other questions surround Peres' relationship to Evergreen Canada Investment Management, a Canadian company listed on the advisory board of the fund. A subsidiary of the company was reportedly granted an advisory contract to help the Palestinian Commercial Services Corporation, a financial arm of the Palestinian Authority, invest more than $170 million in international private equity funds in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Bedein asks, "What was the role of Peres in helping Evergreen receive the advisory contract from the PCSC? Was Mr. Peres paid a consultancy fee by Evergreen for his work in convincing the directors of the PCSC that they should give this investment advisory work to Evergreen? As Evergreen has no expertise or experience whatsoever on investment capital into private equity funds, the question remains why the PCSC would chose Evergreen?"

Further questions being raised by the Ethics Committee include: "Do Mr. Peres or the Peres Peace Center today hold any shares or equity in the Peace Technology Fund? Why does the Peres Peace Center maintain an advisory role in the private held Peace Technology Fund?"

Peres served twice as Israel's prime minister - following the formation of a unity government in 1984, he was an alternate prime minister with Likud leader Yitzhak Shamir, and again in 1995 after Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. Peres has held numerous other government posts, including deputy defense minister, minister of immigrant absorption, minister-without-portfolio, minister of transport and communication, and minister of information. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appointed Peres foreign minister until Labor left the government in 2003, and created for him the position of vice prime minister when Labor again joined Sharon's coalition in December.

Peres founded the Center for Peace in 1996 with the aim, according to its website, of "realizing [Peres'] vision of a 'New Middle East,' in which people of the region work together to build peace through socio-economic cooperation and people-to-people relations."

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