Israel's Schwartze Problem—And Ours
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[Previously by Takuan Seiyo: The Case Of The "Disappeared" Subprime Minority Borrower]

Israel's mob wars are so lethal that the U.S. State Department has issued travel advisories warning Americans of the danger from "bombs, grenades, anti- tank missiles, and small-arms fire" from mobsters fighting each with no regard for collateral damage.

On November 17, 2008, The Jerusalem Post announced Mobster Yaakov Alperon assassinated [By Abe Selig].The godfather of the Alperon mob family had just been dispatched to the next world with the aid of a bomb that exploded in his car on a crowded Tel Aviv intersection.

The story referred to the rival Abutbul and Abergil families, with whom the Alperons battled over a lucrative bottle-recycling racket. Several visits to Israel and Morocco, and past residence in France, caused me to notice that all these crime families bear Maghrebian-Jewish names, i.e. these are dark-skinned Jews mostly from Morocco, who have as much in common with Wittgenstein, Mahler and Bronfman as I have with Queen Latifah.

Well, maybe it's only five degrees of separation instead of six. Notice these Ab and Al prefixes.

A primer of Israeli crime [By Amir Zohar, Haaretz, December 1, 2006]informs us that the fourth Maghrebian crime family is the Ohaninas—"Rafi and Moshe Ohanina, from Kfar Sava, who want to avenge the murder of their brother, Hananya" (NB: by the just-deceased Yaakov Alperon). The fifth mob family of Levantine origin is that of Riko Shirazi, a notorious extortion and money laundering racketeer. Though no biographical information about Mr. Shirazi is available, the surname originates somewhere in the crescent between Iran and Morocco.

From Arabian Jews to Arabs. The sixth Israeli mob family is the Jarushis, who, legend has it, "fired the first LAW missile in the underworld." They are described as the "No. 1 police target in the Arab sector." The rest of the Arab crime families mentioned are the Karaja hamula (clan), the Abu Ziads, the Mugrabis, the al-Issawi, Nazia and Sheikh Malik Khariri, the Abdel Kader family from Taibeh, and the Khamed and Awari families from Nazareth.

The only classy outfit on the Israeli mob scene seems to be the Azazma Bedouin tribe, which has "unchallenged control of the desert," is "meticulous about upholding agreements and faithful to everyone who pays good money and on time," and "Israeli Jews do not mess with them."

The Ashkenazim (European Jews) seem to have a single boutique firm in the Israeli underworld. Predictably, it's not based on family or tribal ties. The godfather, Ze'ev Rosenstein, was until recently tooling about in an armored Mercedes 320 and was a regular staple in the Israeli society columns. Facing extradition to the US on drug trafficking charges, Rosenstein entrusted Amir Mulner (note Ashkenazi, i.e. European, surname) with the management of the business during his "absence." Mulner is described as No. 1 "engineer" and "up-and-coming star" of the Israeli underworld.

Incidentally, on Jan. 2, 2008, an arbitration "summit" in the lobby of the luxury Daniel hotel turned violent, as "knives and guns were drawn" and Yaakov Alperon stabbed Amir Mulner in the neck. After that, Alperon went into hiding and, as per this week's news, has now disappeared for good within the twisted shards of his car.

And so it goes —ethny against ethny, the East and the West that cannot meet even when facing a common enemy. Brown-skin people with a full sigma below the mean IQ of white-skin people and an "I and My Brother Against My Cousin" mentality. Middleasterners versus Europeans; tribalism and physicality versus a civic culture of respect for law, order and rationality.

One additional aspect of the mob scene in Israel is the dreaded Russian Mafiya, with roots among the Russian Jewish immigrants in Brighton Beach, but of worldwide power and presence. The most notorious member is Ukrainian-born Semion Mogilevich, but others like Monya Elson and Ludwig "Tarzan" Fainberg are no slouches either. Most of these international gangsters hold American, Russian and Israeli citizenships, and have much impact in Israel, though their base is not there.

These are, by definition Ashkenazim, and many of considerable intellect and education. But having grown up in the Soviet system, they have deviant souls and predatory hearts, with the tribal unity of a Hun raider party set loose in the fairyland of the West with an insatiable craving for plunder.

A small country does not offer a large enough arena for the talents of an ambitious man. And so we find that the world trade in the drug Ecstasy is a specialty of Israeli criminals, who control, among others, 75 percent of the Ecstasy market in the U.S.

But these are not mere Israelis, as closer scrutiny reveals.

There is Jacob Orgad, an Israeli-Moroccan immigrant in Los Angeles who started out as an electronics salesman, moved on to become Heidi Fleiss' enforcer, and from that climbed to became America's King of Ecstasy, before ending up in Federal prison, acting as a rabbi.

Orgad's counterpart on the East Coast, particularly in Florida and New York, was another Israeli of Moroccan origin, Oded Tuito. Tuito, who had the distinction of being one of eight Designated Foreign Narcotics Kingpins, died in June 2008 of a heart attack while in the custody of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

Among the various criminals linked to the great Orgad and Tuito mobs there was the occasional goyische or Ashkenazi name like Kevin McLoughlin or Melissa Schwartz. But the prevalence of Israelis of North African origin is startling . A casual Internet search will yield multiple quotes of this sort: 

  • "Expected to go to jury this week in L.A. Federal Court is the case of Gilad Gadasi, 26, of Woodland Hills, who was arrested May 6 and charged with conspiracy to distribute more than 118,000 Ecstasy tablets. And last week, police in New York arrested two Israelis, David Roash, 28, and Israel Ashenazi [sic], 25, for possession of 450 pounds of E, more than a million tablets packed into eight duffel bags and a suitcase. "[How Cookie Crumbled, By Sheldon Teitelbaum, The Jewish Journal, August 2, 2001]
  • "The biggest fish named in the indictment is Gabriel Ben Harosh, the reputed 39-year-old jet-setting No. 2 man in the Jerusalem Network.

    "Ben Harosh… was taken into custody in Toronto and is awaiting extradition. Though investigators describe Ben Harosh in sworn affidavits as a "high-ranking member of an Israeli organized crime syndicate,"
    [Ben Harosh's lawyer] Chesnoff says his Moroccan-born client is a legitimate businessman." [Vegas has new crime element: Israeli mob, by Jeff German, Las Vegas Sun, April 30, 2004]

Additional drug mobster Israelis with Maghrebian-Jewish names that a brief Internet search will yield are Sasson Barashy and Alex Maimon, Yaniv Yona, Ereza Abutbul, and David Bitton.

A certain Semitic catholicity in the American and worldwide narcotic pills trade is provided by a few Ashkenazi Israelis or Arabs. Among the former is Ilan Zarger, the head of the notorious Brooklyn Terror Squad, who famously not only acted as supplier of Ecstasy to the Italian mob hit-man Sammy "The Bull" Gravano but was caught on tape threatening to "whack" Gravano over a price dispute.. Among the latter are a Syrian, Mounir Deiri, and John and Tamer Ibrahim, two notorious LA drug kingpins, who are Egyptian-born Coptic Christians.

At least since 1965, U.S. Immigration Law has been spectacularly naïve and dysfunctional with respect to attracting and filtering the better demographic segment from the large pool of potential immigrants to America, whether legal or illegal. Actually, the American Establishment no longer believes that a phrase like "better demographic segment" ought to be uttered in polite society. But, to return to the case of Israel, there are qualitative demographic changes in the source populations there as well, and they are controversial there too.

During my first visit to Israel, in the early 60s, the prestige areas of the city were adorned with café's that would not have been out of place in Vienna. That went for the lingua franca—primarily high Polish and German with a smattering of native-born Hebrew—and the quality of the pastries. When the young Placido Domingo sought to perfect his craft in the early 60s, he did so for three years with Hebrew National Opera. When the young wunderkind Zubin Mehta looked to make his mark in the world of classical music in the late 60s, it's with the Israel Philharmonic he did it.

But now, Ashkenazim—the founding ethny of Israel—are 37% of the population. By 2000, my last visit there, the cafés had been replaced by shwarma joints and fast food franchises. The role of classical music had diminished greatly, as the old Ashkenazim die out and their children have one fourth the number of children of the Arab Jews and one fifth that of the super-orthodox Jews and the Arabs.

In addition to the generational divide and the Idiocracy factor, Israelis of non-European extraction do not appreciate classical music and protest its support by the Ashkenazi establishment. And Israel has its own Affirmative Action, through which the Arab-origin Jews of a more primitive cultural cast and fewer educational attainments have been elevated to positions of unearned power. Through their influence, the country drifts further into the Middle-Eastern cultural sphere.

In the old days, Israeli Ashkenazim used to refer to their co-citizens of Arab-Jewish origins as schwartze, which is the same German/Yiddish word for "black" that the older Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants in New York used in reference to American blacks. It stood in both places as a code word for lower cultural attainment and unseemly behavior. Now the term is gone there, as it is here, and anyone who uses it is likely subjected to public censure.

But when words and perceptions that discriminate between qualities are gone, quality is gone.

Israel no longer feels like an outpost of Old Europe in the Middle East. Instead, it's more like a cross between a Lebanese shopping center and a Moscow disco.

But then, Europe no longer feels like an outpost of Old Europe either. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Takuan Seiyo [Email him] is a multiethnic and multilingual Euro-American immigrant, writer and former international media executive. A happy and highly contributive Californian for decades, TS left as a demographic, political and fiscal refugee. He is now content to live in Japan, a country that does not actively pursue its own extinction, where he is an oft-fingerprinted and respectfully discriminated-against minority.

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