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Monday, December 12, 2011

[Agudath Israel Mouthpiece] Rabbi Avi Shafran, smears as virtual anti-Semites those who criticize how the Orthodox handle sex-abuse cases!



Fight against intimidation must rage on

By MICHAEL LESHER

Last Updated: 12:54 PM, December 11, 2011

In 1985, Avrohom Mondrowitz — a Hasidic “therapist” working in Brooklyn — was indicted for abusing five young boys. Police suspected he abused well over 100 more.

Mondrowitz fled to Israel, where he remains a free man to this day.

Although nearly all of his alleged victims were children from ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn, not one of them joined his few non-Jewish alleged victims in testifying before the grand jury that indicted him. Efforts to extradite Mondrowitz to face his accusers in a Brooklyn court have been unsuccessful.

Today, thank heaven, things seem to be changing.

According to Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes, child sex-abuse cases now being pressed in the Orthodox Jewish community reflect over 100 victims, and many of these families have been encouraged by local rabbis to work with police and prosecutors.

Heartening as this is, it’s clear we still have obstacles to tackle.

Parents of abused Jewish children shun the police not because they’re indifferent to their children’s needs. When they hesitate to report a sex crime, it’s generally because they’re afraid of retaliation from community leaders. The DA must address that fear — and the very real problems of rabbinic and institutional intimidation that lie behind it.

Just take a look at the current Ami Magazine, a popular Orthodox Jewish publication. In this week’s issue, its editor at large, Rabbi Avi Shafran, smears as virtual anti-Semites those who criticize how the Orthodox handle sex-abuse cases.

So, yes, reports of Orthodox victims cooperating with the DA make for encouraging news. But we’ll know we’re on the right track when victims who come forward — and their advocates — don’t face friction from rabbis or from powerful institutions in Orthodox Brooklyn.

The Talmud says the divine light of truth brings healing to the innocent but is painful to evildoers. The only people who will be hurt by shining a light on child-sex crimes in the Orthodox community will be those trying to conceal them. Victims can only gain.

Michael Lesher is a writer and lawyer, and a contributor to “Tempest in the Temple: Jewish Communities & Child Sex Scandals” (Brandeis University Press).

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/fight_against_intimidation_must_5NILTrpPtVjMJ42bUmD0DJ

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can someone kindly link the Ami article by R. Shafran?

Anonymous said...

Re: Kaufman of Waterbury, I've heard that what happened was the bank foreclosed on their old dorm to buy a new one. They falsified the papers so as to say the building wasn't in their ownership, so the bank went straight for their assets, and froze all their accounts.
Typical Chaim Berlin product.

Dovy said...

As much good work as Lesher might do, I know of a case where he has sided with a rabbi against an ex-congregant despite the evidence, r'l, being overwhelming that the man is innocent and the rabbi's own son sexually abused his own siblings.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

Dovy:

I need to challenge you on the above incident! Unless you have all the facts, you can't make that kind of determination.

Anonymous said...

Honorable mention is due for an even handed article on this subject. Without a doubt, there has been significant progress. Likewise, it is also clear that there is more to do. The only safe place for a molester is removed from society completely. And our systems to accomplishing that, while improved, are still flawed. Much should be said for those who are working with rabbonim to guide them to being effective in making our children's world a safer place.

mark meyer appel the voice of justice said...

i am so proud to be labled a antisemite keep fighting folks we will prevail

Avi Shafran said...

A bunch of anti-footballninks!

Two men who say they were sexually abused by an assistant basketball coach at Syracuse University say they are suing the school. A news conference is scheduled to start shortly. You can watch live on 7online.

Apple loves Israel said...

Israel National News:

"Apple May Spend Half a Billion on Israeli Flash Startup

Apple already uses Anobit's flash memory in many of its devices-and, a report says, is willing to spend up to $500 million for the company.

By TechIsrael Staff

12/13/2011

Israel is about to find itself in the thick of the fierce competition between Apple and the companies that make Android-platform smartphones – and specifically Samsung.

According to a report in Calcalist, Apple is interested in spending between $400 and $500 million for Israeli startup Anobit, a maker of improved flash memory for cellphones and portable devices. According to Calcalist, Anobit chips are already integrated into Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air – and on Samsung devices as well.

The purchase, if it comes about, would grant Apple exclusivity to Anobit's products, cutting off a supply of sophisticated flash memory for Samsung, probably setting back Samsung's release of new devices while the company seeks new suppliers.

And replacing Anobit might not be so easy. While there are plenty of flash memory manufacturers, very few, if any, have enhanced the product the way Anobit has. Anobit has developed and patented a technology called Memory Signal Processing, which, according to the company, greatly enhances endurance of the flash memory chips that are at the heart of the storage systems of devices today.

Besides endurance, the technology also lowers production costs, the company says; Anobit's MSP technology enabling SLC (one bit-per-cell) endurance and performance with MLC (two bits-per-cell) NAND, and MLC endurance and performance with TLC (three bits-per-cell) NAND, resulting in a significant reduction in cost-per-bit.

Among the innovative products Anobit has come out with lately is a solid state hard drive (SSD) that comes in various configurations up to 400 GB. The lower production costs made possible by Anobit MSP allows the company to sell its branded Genesis SSDs for significantly less than those made by other companies – and it lasts longer too, supporting user data writes of 10 times the drive capacity per day for 5 years.

Anobit announced today that it had shipped more than 20 million of its MSP-based high-performance embedded flash controllers for smartphones, tablets and media players in just the first half of 2011. Many of those controllers are now in the new models of Apple's iPhone, the 4s, which has proven to be extremely popular and is likely to boost sales for Anobit significantly during the second half of the year.

"For too long, the high prices of SLC SSDs and concerns about MLC SSD endurance have slowed the adoption of flash memory storage in the enterprise. Anobit Genesis SSDs effectively neutralize both of these concerns," said Prof. Ehud Weinstein, Anobit CEO. "By delivering true enterprise-class SSD reliability at affordable MLC SSD prices, Anobit Genesis SSDs unlock the full promise of solid-state enterprise storage."

Apparently, Apple has unlocked the promise of Anobit's mobile flash products – and wants to make it its own, for a cool half billion!"

The road to war with Iran 16 said...

Fox News.com:

"Iranian Official Threatens Military Drill Sealing Off the Strait of Hormuz

December 13, 2011

[Photo caption: April 2010: An Iranian warship and speed boats take part in a naval war game in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, southern Iran.]

A high-ranking Iranian official has said Iran's military will practice sealing off the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important oil transport channel, in a provocative move that illustrates Iran’s capability of disrupting the world’s oil supply.

The announcement Monday by Parviz Sarvari sent oil prices up about $3 to $100 a barrel based on the speculation of a disruption during the military drills, Bloomberg reported.

“Soon we will hold a military maneuver on how to close the Strait of Hormuz,” Sarvari, a member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security Committee, said in a statement reported by Reuters. “If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure.”

Iran has long used the threat of disrupting oil production as a main military deterrent, a sort of economic missile in its silo.

Although Sarvari did not name a specific country making the region insecure, though diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and Iran have been on the rise recently over the U.S. drone that went down in Iran.

The report of the planned exercise in the Strait of Hormuz is the latest example of Iranian provocation. In September, Iran’s navy laid out plans to move naval vessels out of the Persian Gulf and into the Atlantic Ocean “near maritime borders of the United States,” the Tehran Times reported.

Iran also has faced international pressure for it's nuclear program. Iran insists the program is for peaceful uses, but in November, the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a report that Tehran has conducted secret experiments whose sole purpose is the development of atomic weapons. Iran denies that charge.

About 15.5 million barrels of oil a day, about a sixth of global consumption, flows through the Strait of Hormuz, Bloomberg reported, citing the U.S. Department of Energy."

The road to war with Iran 17 said...

The CS Monitor.com:

"Strait of Hormuz threat rattles oil markets. Time to sell?

Strait of Hormuz will be sign of Iran army exericises, Iran official says, sending oil prices up immediately. Although 30 percent of world's seaborne oil exports is shipped through the Strait of Hormuz, analysts doubt Iran would act.

By Laurent Belsie / December 13, 2011

[Photo caption: In this photo released by the semi-official Iranian Fars News Agency, Revolutionary Guard's boats (right) attack an abandoned warship, being used as a target, during war games purportedly in the Persian Gulf last year. A threat by an Iranian official to hold war games to practice closing the Strait of Hormuz sent oil prices higher Dec. 13, 2012.]

A couple of “Fast Money” pros largely brushed aside concerns about Iran’s effect on crude oil prices Tuesday, focusing instead on decreasing demand as the stronger factor in the commodities market.

“It’s saber-rattling again,” MercBloc President Dan Dicker said.

Crude oil prices briefly spiked $3 Tuesday on news that Iran was preparing military exercises in the Strait of Hormuz.

Thirty percent of global seaborne crude shipments and 17 percent of oil traded worldwide passes through the waterway.

“There’s been a lot of activity in the way-out-of-the-money calls, both on the upside and on the downside, which makes it very strange,” he said. “Every fundamental says you should short oil. You don’t want to be long oil, but it’s practically impossible to be short here.”

Call options in the $130 to $155 range were 25 percent to 93,000 contracts, while $45 to $60 put options were 33 percent to 60,000 contracts, according to Dicker. Brent futures were up $1.68 a barrel to $108.94 shortly before 1 p.m. ET, and U.S. light, sweet crude rose $2.17 a barrel to $99.94.

“It is very much in Iran’s interest to rattle the cage,” trader Steve Cortes said. “It is not in their interest to actually start a fight with the United States.”

Cortes said he used the day’s rally to sell.

“Oil has so vastly outperformed other commodities — say, for instance, aluminum, which has traded dreadfully — that the oil bid is not about real demand,” he said. “It’s purely about Iran fear, and you should fade that fear.”

Cortes also looked to China, noting that the Shanghai Composite was down 20 percent for the year.

“That is terrible news for crude,” he said. “Crude is only being held up by Iran, and maybe that’s enough if there’s going to be an actual conflagration in the Strait of Hormuz.

“I’m going to bet that there won’t be, and I used today’s crude rally to fade it. One of the main reasons is weakness in China.”

Trader Brian Kelly also said China was a big concern.

“If you just run a simple correlation of China GDP versus oil, they are positively correlated, which they’re negatively correlated if you do the U.S.,” he said. “So, if you have a falling China, you have falling oil prices.” "

Obsessed with the Kardashians and Kleinmans said...

Babble.com:

"Kate Gosselin Has A Secret Kardashian Obsession

Posted by Chris Rogers on December 12th, 2011

It seems as though Kate Gosselin [Jack Perlow] isn’t only watching re-runs of her [his] former TLC [AGUDA] hit Kate Plus 8 [Jack And Conventions]. According to a source formerly close to Gosselin [Perlow], Hollybaby.com [Yatedmodia.com] has learned that Kate [Jack] watches hours of Kourtney and Kim Take New York [Yossi and Elly Take Boro Park] as well as episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians [Kleinmans] in her [his] down time.

“Kate [Jack] watches reality TV [UOJ] all the time, especially the Kardashians [Kleinmans],” a Hollybaby [Yatedmodia] source says. “But she [he] doesn’t want anyone to know about and she [he] won’t let her [his] oldest daughters Cara and Mady [Brocha and Breindel] watch it when they beg to with her [him]. Kate [Jack] just shuts the door and goes in her [his] room and watches countless episodes [behisbodedus].”

Is Kate [Jack] trying to learn from the best business professionals in Hollywood [Agudath]? Does she [he] wish her [his] family [mishpoche] was just as famous as the Kardashians [Kleinmans]?

What do you think? [Nu?]"

Haredi hooligans ruin life in Beit Shemesh again said...

Jerusalem Post.com:

"New incident at Beit Shemesh girls’ school

By JEREMY SHARON
12/13/2011 03:37

15 haredi extremists reportedly shouted insults at classrooms and attacked an activist photographing the incident.

The Beit Orot elementary girls’ school in Beit Shemesh was again the focus of tension on Monday when a group of about 15 haredi extremists arrived at the school during the afternoon and reportedly shouted insults at the classrooms and attacked an activist photographing the incident.

According to resident and local activist DK – who preferred not to be named – the men turned up at the school at approximately 1 p.m. and shouted various slogans at the classrooms, including “Zionists are defiling our neighborhood,” “get out of our neighborhood,” and “woe to immorality.”

According to DK, as he was taking photos of the event, two of the extremists attacked him and threw him to the ground, before a second activist intervened and the men fled to the adjacent neighborhood of Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet.

Police arrived at the scene 30 seconds after the men had fled and took the incident very seriously, said DK. He subsequently submitted an official complaint to the police.

The religious-Zionist Bet Orot School, located between the haredi neighborhood of Ramat Bet Shemesh Bet and the mixed neighborhood of Givat Sharet, has drawn anger from certain haredi groups who are opposed to the school’s location close to their community. There is also a severe shortage of classroom space in the city.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, DK said that the extremists involved in Monday’s incident were not ones he recognized from previous disturbances.

“It’s not clear that the municipality is dealing with the problem properly and it hasn’t given us reason to believe that it will be dealt with seriously,” he said. “But we’ve had a month or two without problems, so hopefully the issue will die back down again.”

Rabbi Dov Lipman, who heads the Or Hadash activist group seeking to combat the radicalization of certain haredi groups in the city, said that Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul’s efforts to resolve the ongoing tensions in the city through peaceful means have not worked.

“His ‘darkei shalom’ [ways of peace] have merely brought more violence,” Lipman said.

“There is one clear conclusion here: If the mayor will continue to bring more and more extremist haredim to the town, we will see more violence from these thugs and law breakers in the name of religion, and we will also see more religious coercion against the peaceable population – the moderate haredi, religious-Zionist and secular communities.” "

Montreal said...

http://www.cjnews.com/news/canada/ponzi-scammer-gets-five-years

Putative financial adviser Perry Newman, who defrauded his Orthodox Jewish clients of more than $6 million, has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Newman, 51, pleaded guilty to all nine charges against him of fraud, theft and forgery. He was sentenced Nov. 30.

Between 1996 and his arrest in 2010, Newman ran a Ponzi scheme under the guise of a company called Dover Financial.

The court heard how Newman targeted Orthodox Jews, most of them living in New York, playing up his own religious background which included education at a religious institution in his native England.

He victimized about a dozen people, the most seriously hurt was Edith Olanoff, formerly of New York and now living in Israel, who went to the police.

Newman used his “Jewish Orthodox roots to convince investors of his honesty, his high level of ethical standards, and his financial capacity,” a document entered by bankruptcy trustee RSM Richter stated.

The evidence showed that he and his wife enjoyed a lavish lifestyle including a fine home in Hampstead, several vacations a year and educating their three sons at prestigious American colleges.

The forgery charge stems from Newman’s practice of sending out regular statements on the doctored letterhead of a reputable U.S. brokerage firm.

Civil proceedings are underway against his wife and sons, as well as clients who profited from the scheme, to recover some to the money.

UOJ GETS RESULTS said...

AP - Albany, NY - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to introduce legislation that would require college and high school coaches to report possible child sex abuse to police.

The governor’s office says college employees aren’t required to report it now, and while public school teachers are mandatory reporters, that doesn’t apply to coaches.

Cuomo said Wednesday that his proposal will address those gaps in order to better protect children who are on high school and college campuses.

He says parents need to be sure that their children are safe in programs and activities organized by and at colleges.

A former Penn State football coach has been charged with sexually abusing boys on campus and a former Syracuse University basketball coach is under federal investigation after three men accused him of molesting them as boys.

A world without yeshivaworld said...

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/Human+Interest/111496/Do-Religious-Jews-Suffer-In-The-American-Justice-System%3F.html

Shmeckstein is running this article that paints the Satmar goniv Samet who stole $3 million as a "victim" of American injustice for having to go to jail.

Anonymous said...

John Farahi, a Los Angeles Iranian-Jewish radio talk show host and financial investment manager, last week was charged in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles for allegedly defrauding more than 100 local Iranian-American investors and various financial institutions of nearly $20 million over the course of nearly five years.

The 41-count indictment claims Farahi, 54, misled investors by telling them their funds were being invested by his Beverly Hills firm, NewPoint Financial Services Inc., in unsecured corporate bonds, FDIC-insured certificates of deposit, government bonds and corporate bonds issued by companies backed by funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The indictment alleges Farahi did not make these investments for his clients but instead used the funds to create a Ponzi scheme, making payments to his firm’s earlier clients, trading in high-risk future options and using the funds to support his family’s lavish lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Last night was the launch party for the official cookbook of the TAG girls school in the 5 Towns. TAG is also known as Bais Yaakov of Long Island. Some of the recipes are not kosher as far as inyanei tolayim. The book does not appear to have been vetted by anyone for kashrus inyanim even though it has the haskama of Rabbi Weitman who would love to see high volume sales for fundraising. The party was a big fashion show. There was gridlock for blocks around with the women blocking people's driveways as they could not waste a second finding a legal parking spot in the rush to show off their latest fur coats. Every single woman on the party committee has a Hungarian name. Some of the families are known to have no shaychus to Torah whatsoever. One of the families has such terrible behavior bain adam lamakom and lachavairo that a rov wants to do something about it but doesn't know how to tackle it. They pretend to be bnei Torah when it comes to fashion, fressing and making kovod for themselves.

Marv Albert said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/16/sports/basketball/former-nba-official-says-sex-harassment-concerns-were-ignored.html

A former N.B.A. security official says that he repeatedly warned his superiors that women in the office were being sexually harassed or discriminated against, but that his concerns were ignored and that he was ultimately fired for his actions on the women’s behalf.

UOJ GETS RESULTS! said...

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

December 14, 2011

ALBANY (AP) — With reports of child sexual abuse rocking two college sports programs, New York State lawmakers plan to revisit lifting time limits on lawsuits by victims, an issue that has pitted the Roman Catholic Church and other institutions against advocates for children.

Fearing millions in payouts, the church, as well as schools, municipalities, synagogues and others with potential liability, has helped block similar measures in New York. The Assembly has passed legislation three times, with the bills dying in the Senate.

Assemblywoman Margaret M. Markey, a Queens Democrat, is the chief sponsor of the current bill, which includes a one-year window for victims to file previously barred claims. The current statute of limitations in New York for civil claims is five years after the episode has been reported to the police or five years after the victim turns 18. (State lawmakers in 2008 lifted the time limits altogether for first-degree rape, aggravated sexual abuse and multiple acts of sexual conduct against a child.)

Ms. Markey said that abuse was an issue across society and that recent cases at Penn State University, Syracuse University and other institutions had undercut the claim that her bill was anti-Catholic.

“It is something we have to deal with as a society and protect our children,” Ms. Markey said. She said research shows that 20 percent of children are affected by sexual abuse, that the trauma is lifelong and that, for many victims, the one-year window might be the only way to get justice. She has sought support for her measure from the administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

YU - Torah Madua? said...

One of the YU newspapers just published a disgusting first person description from a Stern College girl who was mezaneh with a YU bochur in a hotel room. She does not say if she at least went to mikvah. She later told a Jewish press service that she and the bochur both used contraception and that YU offers counseling on contraception and sexually transmitted diseases if asked and are "not judgemental" about it.

The story got major coverage in the NY Times and Wall St Journal.

YU and it's rabbonim are refusing to criticize it because they do not want to appear to go against free speech and other Liberal -isms. Didn't R' Elchonon say that all the post-WWI -isms are avoidah zarah mamash? The new YU spokesman is Mayer Fertig, who was dumped a year ago as editor of the Jewish Star newspaper. He put out the official YU statement that they are both a yeshiva and a secular university, whatever that means, and therefore will not interfere.

60% of students polled were upset about the prustkeit and several editors and writers quit the student newspaper. The student council pulled their funding so the newspaper continues without the $500 a year from the council. All without one word of protest from the YU "leadership".

YU recently looked stupid in the gay male "kiddushin" conducted by their openly gay musmach Steve Greenberg. YU refuses to revoke his semicha in case they get sued. 100 YU rabbis from Hershel Shlechter on down signed a pathetic kol koirei that gay marriage has no place in orthodox Judaism. One kluggeh pundit asked if they will next issue a proclamation that eating cheeseburgers is also a violation of halachic precepts.

French Bastard from Le Marais said...

French court convicts Chirac of corruption

By INGRID ROUSSEAU, Associated Press – Thurs. Dec. 15th

PARIS (AP) — A French court found former President Jacques Chirac guilty of embezzling public funds to illegally finance the conservative party he long led, in a historic verdict Thursday with repercussions for his legacy and France's political elite.

UOJ GETS RESULTS! said...

http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/16/news/companies/fannie_freddie_sec/index.htm

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged six former executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with securities fraud on Friday for misrepresenting their holdings of high-risk mortgage loans.

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/12/renewed_firesto.php

For Ben Hirsch, the founder of Survivors For Justice, a support organization for sex-abuse victims from the Orthodox world, it's clear that Hynes isn't interested in addressing the problem.

"There's only one solution here," Hirsch says. "We need federal law enforcement. We need prosecution of the people who are blocking the reporting -- the problem is less the sex offenders themselves and much more the people who obstruct justice, thereby creating a safe haven and breeding ground for sex offenders."

Dovy said...

>Every single woman on the party committee has a Hungarian name. Some of the families are known to have no shaychus to Torah whatsoever.<

Aren't you repeating yourself?

Apple keeps on loving Israel said...

Israel National News:

"Report: Apple Opening Israel Dev Center, First Outside US

Apple is set to join dozens of other multinational tech companies, and open a development center in Israel.

By TechIsrael Staff

12/14/2011

For the second day in a row, Apple is making hi-tech headlines in Israel. On Tuesday, a report said that Apple was considering spending up to $500 million on Israeli flash memory startup Anobit – and on Wednesday, Globes reported that Apple is planning to open a development center in Israel, its first outside the U.S.

By doing so, Apple will finally be joining other global tech leaders who have, for years, had large development centers in Israel. Microsoft has nearly 1,000 people working on R&D in Israel – and its teams here have come up with some important innovations, such as the networking technology at the center of every version of Windows for the past decade. Google has not one, but two development centers in Israel – the only country in the world outside the U.S. so honored. Much of Intel's laptop technology was developed at its two R&D centers in Israel. And Motorola – which first set up shop in Israel in 1964 – Cisco, IBM, Oracle, and many others have been here for decades.


Apple currently has only one development center, at is Cupertino, California headquarters. Often, when foreign tech companies acquire Israeli companies, they convert the local office of the startup they've bought into a “development center” - as, for example, CAD software giant Autodesk did last year when it acquired Israel's PlanPlatform – but according to Globes, Apple had made the decision to set up an Israeli development center even before beginning talks with Anobit on its possible acquisition,

According to the report, Apple has hired Aharon Aharon, currently Chairman of the Board of Camero, located outside of Netanya. Aharon is a veteran of IBM and in the past ran the Israel design center for Zoran (now CSR). Camero specializes in Radio Frequency (RF) based imaging systems, and is known for its through wall imaging systems have become the solution of choice for top military and law enforcement agencies throughout the world, according to the company.

For a major hi-tech company, Apple has invested very little in development – as little as 2% of its total sales, considered a very small percentage in the hi-tech world. The vast majority of Apple staff engage in sales and support. Apple is said to have some $80 billion in the bank, and has been shopping around for ways to invest and grow their business, according to Silicon Valley insiders. Many of Apple's products are manufactured in China, but its main support centers are in the U.S. Several years ago Apple planned to open a tech support center in India, but the plan was scrapped for various reasons.

There was no word on when the Apple development center would open, but Aharon will reportedly be traveling to California where he will learn firsthand about the “Apple Way” before opening and managing the center here. Apple corporate VP R&D Ed Frank is currently visiting Israel, said to be exploring options for the development center. Frank's specialty is semiconductors, and he has worked at several senior positions at Broadcom, another multinational with Israeli roots. By seeking to open a development center in Israel, Apple is joining what has become a tradition among multinational tech companies – picking up some of their best ideas in Israel and bringing them to the rest of the world."

NY UJA falls asleep at the wheel as millions go missing said...

New York Times:

"Access to Details on Wealthy Donors Fueled Theft Ring

[Photo caption: Tracey Nelson, left, was arraigned Friday in Manhattan on allegations that she stole information about donors to her employer, UJA-Federation of New York.]

By JOSEPH BERGER
December 16, 2011

She worked as an ordinary clerk in the back offices of UJA-Federation of New York in Manhattan, but her position gave her ready access to the credit card and checking account details of enormously wealthy donors, including the billionaire Ira Rennert and a half-dozen generous philanthropies, like the Starr Foundation.

The woman, Tracey Nelson, 24, and the man she lived with in Brooklyn, Roberto Millar, 26, an Audi car salesman who similarly had access to confidential information from customers, stole the identity details for their own enrichment, according to an indictment announced by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, and sometimes used their smartphones to photograph and e-mail checks written by donors or customers.

Since at least May last year, they and a loosely connected group of more than 50 accomplices stashed or cashed the money using bank accounts they set up or invaded their victims’ bank accounts and transferred money to accounts they controlled, the indictment said. Much of the money was spent on expensive clothes, electronics and luxury cars, like the Porsche and two Mercedes-Benzes the investigators seized.

The conspirators included three Chase bank tellers who either stole information from customers’ accounts or turned “a blind eye” to transactions they knew were nefarious, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said. Altogether, more than $2 million was stolen from over 200 individuals and organizations.

Ms. Nelson, Mr. Millar and at least 10 others of the 55 defendants were arraigned on Friday in Manhattan on an assortment of charges, including grand larceny and identity theft. UJA-Federation said Ms. Nelson, who had worked at the agency for three years, was suspended without pay in August...

UJA-Federation contended that the financial injury was suffered not by its donors but by banks and credit card companies that included JPMorgan Chase, TD Bank, Citibank, American Express and Discover...

Those stealing the identity information, it seems, did not necessarily know that some of their targets were fabulously wealthy individuals like Mr. Rennert, whose fortune was estimated this year by Forbes magazine at $5.9 billion and whose mansion in the Hamptons is considered one of the largest private homes in the world. Mr. Rennert did not return a call.

Another prominent victim was Eric Zinterhofer, a founder of Searchlight Capital Partners, a private equity firm, and the husband of Aerin Lauder, an Estée Lauder executive.

UJA-Federation is a leading social service agency and provider of assistance to people in 60 countries. With 400 employees at its headquarters, on 59th Street, it garners contributions from 60,000 donors...

In the scheme described on Friday, several of those indicted were affiliated with a gang called the Outlaws, in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, and one or two were members of the Crips or Bloods. During a search at the home of Ms. Nelson and Mr. Millar, officers discovered duplicated debit cards and scanned images of hundreds of checks made out to UJA-Federation. At the homes of other defendants, the authorities recovered computers and printers they said were used to forge checks."

Treat foreclosure as a crime scene 1 said...

Politico:

"Treat foreclosure as a crime scene

By: Matt Stoller
December 15, 2011 11:45 PM EST

Bubbling under the surface of politics is the foreclosure crisis — where the power of big finance is brushing up against the rule of law. The party leaders seem to have decided it is essentially a giant — but unavoidable — tragedy. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said foreclosures have to clear for the housing market to reset. The Obama administration, meanwhile, has spent only about $2 billion of the $75 billion authorized for the Home Affordable Modification Program.

But the foreclosure crisis is not only a few million personal tragedies. It is a few million crime scenes.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley recently filed the first broad civil suit against five major banks and the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems for foreclosure fraud. Her suit alleges that mortgage servicers routinely backdated and falsified documents to expedite foreclosures. In many cases, they foreclosed on loans they did not even own.

This is one of a series of suits that state officials are bringing against leading financial institutions. Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto last month indicted two employees of the foreclosure specialist Lender Processing Services, which works with the big banks, on 606 felony and misdemeanor counts of fraud.

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden is also suing MERS — as I recently wrote in POLITICO — for unfair and deceptive practices. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman successfully intervened to stop a whitewash settlement of Countrywide’s ostensible fraud in packaging and selling mortgage-backed securities it knew to be poisoned.

These attorneys general have changed the legal environment around the mortgage and foreclosure mess — refocusing the core issue on justice. They are reframing the problem as a crime scene.

What is behind these suits? Simple: Crime by mortgage servicers and their contractors. And this is more than just the crime of these foreclosures themselves — it’s the residual tail end of a housing bubble based on fraud. The reason these bank servicers must now routinely employ notaries using false documentation is because they never established a clear chain of the property title upfront.

The attitude during the go-go days of the housing bubble was “here today, gone tomorrow,” as Joe Nocera and Bethany McLean make clear in their book “All the Devils Are Here.” This was a refinement of the financial deal makers’ code, “IBG-YBG,” meaning “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone,” described by Jonathan Knee in “The Accidental Investment Banker.”

In this environment, why bother getting your paperwork in order when the goal is to put someone into a predatory loan, reap fees and disappear tomorrow?

Now that these homes are in foreclosure, however, the lack of paperwork is a serious problem. And, since no one has yet been held accountable for the fraud perpetrated during the housing bubble, the business model of financial institutions is often still predatory.

This fraud is now coming back to haunt our courts — for example, in the falsified foreclosure paperwork required to cover up the corner-cutting of the subprime lenders and the banks that funded them.

The banks themselves have confessed to breaking the law. The Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing early this year when JPMorgan was found to be illegally foreclosing on 18 U.S. military families — a violation of the Servicemember Civil Relief Act.

This law bans foreclosing on active duty troops. Knowingly violating the ban carries up to one year in prison for each count. JPMorgan apologized for its violations, because for banks, being sorry when caught is what really counts. The families were compensated by JPMorgan financially, but no one at the bank got jail time or had to plead guilty."

Treat foreclosure as a crime scene 2 said...

"Treat foreclosure as a crime scene

Bank regulators have now found that up to 5,000 military families may have been foreclosed on illegally, as The Financial Times reported last month. Yet the Justice Department settled with Bank of America for alleged violations of the service member act. BofA, like JPMorgan, doesn’t have to admit to wrongdoing — but it says it is very sorry anyway.

“The SCRA is not some obscure legal technicality,” said Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), who wrote the law, “that might just have escaped the attention of mortgage servicers. Those servicers are all affiliates of the biggest banks. … Servicing mortgages is all they do, and they really don’t have that many laws to keep up with. They have got to have known what the law required and consciously decided that they could just ignore it, the same way they apparently decided it was OK to file false affidavits in legal proceedings.”

President Barack Obama has argued, as recently as last Sunday on “60 Minutes,” that what happened on Wall Street wasn’t criminal. “Some of the most damaging behavior on Wall Street,” the president told Steve Kroft, “in some cases, some of the least ethical behavior on Wall Street, wasn’t illegal. That’s exactly why we had to change the laws.”

Obama is wrong. Fraud was illegal before the crisis; it’s illegal now. The Servicemember Civil Relief Act was signed in 2003. So it was already on the books. During the savings and loan crisis, the George H.W. Bush administration sent about 3,000 white-collar criminals to jail. This administration has yet to send one.

And it is for lack of trying. Attorney General Eric Holder and his network of U.S. attorneys haven’t brought one criminal suit on illegal military foreclosures or foreclosure fraud. There have been enough books and investigations revealing rampant criminality in the housing bubble and now in foreclosure crisis. Yet Holder’s DOJ is still settling with banks to let them off the hook for illegal foreclosures on active duty troops.

The administration is now attempting to quash state-level officials by fiercely lobbying for a 50-state settlement to paper over the foreclosure fraud scandal. Obama may talk about his fealty to the “99 percent,” but his administration is engaged in an aggressive coverup of bank crimes."

Treat foreclosure as a crime scene 3 said...

"Treat foreclosure as a crime scene

The administration’s response to Coakley’s suit is perhaps the most revealing, for the Massachusetts case against the banks was particularly sweeping.

The banks’ press release response has largely been “we’re disappointed” boilerplate, and only the taxpayer-owned lender Ally Financial (formerly GMAC) pushed back hard. The company declared that it plans to cease all mortgage lending in Massachusetts.

Coakley’s response was simply that this is proof that Ally is not interested in following the laws regarding rules of evidence. In other words: good riddance.

After this dispute, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Coakley called for congressional hearings into Ally’s behavior.

Ally’s action is an attempt at what is known as a capital strike — a threat by financial interests that they will cease financing critical social activities unless their legal demands are met.

Gretchen Morgensen and Josh Rosner detail a similar case in “Reckless Endangerment,” their history of the housing bubble. In 2003, before the bubble, Georgia lawmakers noticed that mortgage lending was riddled with fraud and predation. So the Legislature passed a law clamping down on fraud with a state consumer protection law.

The response was devastating — Standard & Poor’s declared it would no longer rate mortgage-backed securities with loans originated in Georgia. The agency made enormous profits by rating subprime mortgages, so a predatory lending law may well have proved a threat to this profit stream. The state quickly reversed the law for fear that there would be no more housing finance in the state.

Other states and localities took notice — and we saw what happened next.

The housing bubble, in other words, was not just due to tragic herding behavior. It also involved the financial sector’s aggressive responses to democratic attempts to rein in creditor abuses. Now Ally, a bank 74 percent owned by taxpayers and controlled by the administration, is continuing this abusive trend.

Turning our markets into playpens for predatory behavior didn’t happen overnight, and it will not be fixed overnight. But until we have public servants strongly focused on justice for all, we can expect the crime spree to go on. After all, what we’re all learning is that, at least for large banks, crime pays.

Matt Stoller worked on the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and Federal Reserve transparency issues as a staffer for Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.). He is now a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute."

Anonymous said...

http://www.nypost.com/f/print/news/local/brooklyn/perv_protect_bwvdVPMYSZT6Yy7YoqyUFM

Critics charge the Brooklyn DA fails to fight intimidation that leads victims to back out of pressing charges. “If victims feel protected, they want their cases publicized, because it encourages others to come forward,” Lipner said.

The father of two boys accusing an alleged molester told The Post his rabbi denied the family the right to hold the sacred Torah scrolls during a holiday in which everyone, including kids, get to do so. He also said his family has gotten harassing phone calls.

Axis of Evil heads keep on rolling First Sadam then Gadafi now its Kim Jong Il said...

Not a moment too soon another tyrant falls by the grace of God. Who knows what the true story is, but now North Korea's ruling tyrant is as dead as Sadam of Iraq, Gadafi of Libya and Osama of AlQaida....that leaves Ahmadinejad of Iran....

Associated Press:

"Dec 18, 11:06 PM EST

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il dead at age 69

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- Kim Jong Il, North Korea's mercurial and enigmatic longtime leader, has died of heart failure. He was 69.

In a "special broadcast" Monday from the North Korean capital, state media said Kim died of a heart ailment on a train due to a "great mental and physical strain" on Dec. 17 during a "high intensity field inspection." It said an autopsy was done on Dec. 18 and "fully confirmed" the diagnosis.

Kim is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008, but he had appeared relatively vigorous in photos and video from recent trips to China and Russia and in numerous trips around the country carefully documented by state media. The communist country's "Dear Leader" - reputed to have had a taste for cigars, cognac and gourmet cuisine - was believed to have had diabetes and heart disease.

"It is the biggest loss for the party ... and it is our people and nation's biggest sadness," an anchorwoman clad in black Korean traditional dress said in a voice choked with tears. She said the nation must "change our sadness to strength and overcome our difficulties."

South Korean media, including Yonhap news agency, said South Korea put its military on "high alert" and President Lee Myung-bak convened a national security council meeting after the news of Kim's death. Officials couldn't immediately confirm the reports.

The news came as North Korea prepared for a hereditary succession. Kim Jong Il inherited power after his father, revered North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, died in 1994.

In September 2010, Kim Jong Il unveiled his third son, the twenty-something Kim Jong Un, as his successor, putting him in high-ranking posts.

Traffic in the North Korean capital was moving as usual Monday, but people in the streets were in tears as they learned the news of Kim's death. A foreigner contacted at Pyongyang's Koryo Hotel said hotel staff were in tears.

Asian stock markets moved lower amid the news, which raises the possibility of increased instability on the divided Korean peninsula.

South Korea's Kospi index was down 3.9 percent at 1,767.89 and Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8 percent to 8,331.00. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 2 percent to 17,929.66 and the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 2 percent to 2,178.75."

Former Fannie and Freddie execs charged by SEC said...

Financial Times:

"December 18, 2011 7:00 pm

SEC bares teeth with Fannie and Freddie charges

By Kara Scannell in New York

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil fraud charges against six former Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives brings the total number of senior executives charged in connection with the financial crisis to 45, a statistic the agency is promoting as it seeks to rebuff criticism of its enforcement efforts.
“At its core, today’s action is about holding individuals accountable for their role in misleading the public about their companies’ subprime exposure,” Robert Khuzami, the SEC’s enforcement chief, said Friday when announcing the case. “First and foremost it is the responsibility of company executives to provide full, complete and accurate disclosure of its operations.”

The case comes as the SEC has been deflecting criticism from politicians and judges who have questioned the agency’s enforcement policies and its willingness to go after top executives tied to the crisis.
To date, Mr Khuzami said, the SEC has filed 38 actions against 87 defendants, including 45 who are chief executives and chief financial officers. The SEC has sued the former chief executives of New Century, IndyMac and Countrywide. Some of the executives have settled while others are fighting the allegations.

The former Fannie and Freddie executives have denied any wrongdoing.

US Judge Jed Rakoff has been a frequent critic of the SEC. Last month he refused to approve the SEC’s $285m settlement with Citigroup over its sale of a mortgage-related security, citing the SEC’s policy to allow companies to settle allegations without admitting or denying wrongdoing. The SEC said Thursday it is appealing against the decision. On Friday, the House Financial Services Committee said it would hold a hearing next year to review the no-admit, no-deny policy.

Mr Rakoff pressed the SEC in 2009 over its settlement with Bank of America partly because no individuals had been sued.

Another US judge queried the SEC’s decision to sue only two Citigroup officials and not others in 2009 for failing to disclose nearly $40bn in subprime mortgages.

The SEC has sought to highlight its record through recent speeches by top officials who maintain they pursue individuals aggressively and bring cases when there is evidence to support an allegation.

Unlike companies that usually settle, individuals are more willing to fight the allegations, especially if their legal fees are advanced by their former employer.

Fabrice Tourre, the Goldman Sachs banker sued in 2009 for misleading investors who bought a mortgage-related security, is fighting the allegations. Goldman paid $550m to settle the same case without admitting or denying wrongdoing. It agreed it made a “mistake” in its marketing documents.

Edward Stefflin, a team leader at a collateral manager responsible for a mortgage-related securities sold by JPMorgan, has denied SEC allegations he misled buyers of the security. JPM paid $153.6m to settle the same allegation, without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

Going to trial can tie up SEC resources for years and reveal the challenges with some of the cases.

State Street paid $600m to settle allegations it misled investors about an investment fund’s $3bn exposure to subprime mortgages. Two former State Street executives sued by the SEC fought the allegations, and in October an administrative law judge issued a scathing opinion dismissing the SEC’s complaint.

The SEC did not sue Fannie or Freddie, which is now controlled by US taxpayers, but signed non-prosecution agreements in exchange for their co-operation against the executives."

Anonymous said...

"his rabbi denied the family the right to hold the sacred Torah scrolls during a holiday in which everyone, including kids, get to do so. He also said his family has gotten harassing phone calls."

It says in halacha there is a chiyuv to hold a sefer Torah on Simchas Torah. I hope they are now davening somewhere else and that is no longer their "rabbi". Maybe the telephone stalkers are on loan from Margo.

Teaneck said...

If you are reading this, you know who you are and should take heed.

The fellow in Teaneck who knew about a molester a couple of years ago and didn't know if he should call the police. Someone put you in touch with a virtually unknown chassidishe Rebbe in NY for guidance.

This Rebbe is protecting a child abuser in his own shul because he used to walk 90 minutes round trip to closest mikva on Shabbos until the child abuser built a private mikva in his house which was made available to the Rebbe. The Rebbe is himself a crony of the Skverrer Rebbe. He is a corrupt two faced snake and backstabber. He has very few followers but some of them are like his personal mafia enforcement detail and he tries to exact revenge from anyone who stands up to him. He lives in that neighborhood because it is very wealthy so that he can shnorr off the locals who he has zero respect for anyway. He derides them when he is among his own. For his followers who give him plenty of money, he lets them get away with kol davar assur. He says he won't step foot in Young Israel shuls because the women don't dress properly. But when his rich followers daughters screw around with guys who don't wear yarmulkas in the house for the whole weekend with parental permission and march to the chuppa not dressed properly, the Rebbe comes running to be mesader kidushin.

Rabbi Avraham Israel said...

http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/60372/soup-kitchen-charity-fraud-scandal-0

Soup kitchen charity in fraud scandal

By Jessica Elgot, December 16, 2011

A British charity is on the verge of collapse this week, after further investigations into alleged misconduct by the Israeli poverty charity, Hazon Yeshaya, came to light.

Last month the British Friends of Hazon Yeshaya, which runs soup kitchens and professional training for Israel's impoverished, commissioned a Deloitte audit into the work of the charity in Israel. The JC understands that if the suspicions of the UK trustees are confirmed by a formal Deloitte report, the activities of the British Friends will cease. Its website has already been taken down. The charity has no assets left in the UK, as it transfers all the money it raises straight to Israel.

Hazon Yeshaya was founded in 1997 by Rabbi Abraham Israel, who lived in poverty in Paris as a child after his family fled persecution in Egypt.

Suspicions about the charity's conduct were first raised by the Canadian Friends, who sent a charity investigator to Israel in August. As a result of his investigations, which found that the charity was not making the 14,000 meals a day it claimed, Canada cut ties with the Israel charity.

But in November, backed by other international supporters, the Canadian Friends hired private investigators, ex-Mossad operatives, to "infiltrate" the charity, and the investigators filed a 100-page report on the company's alleged wrongdoings.
These international donors have now hired Israel's biggest law firm, Herzog Fox Ne'eman (HFN), and are now considering legal action. Meanwhile Deloitte Israel has written to HFN, stating it was unable to conclude its investigation because the charity refused to turn over financial information.

A source, who did not want to be identified,representing HY's former supporters in Canada, US, Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa and Israel, said: "We approached Abraham to give us information about it, and he refused."

He said those who raised the original concerns about the charity were opposed to using Deloitte. "That was the wrong approach in our view. He [Rabbi Israel] will put on a show for them."

The JC understands the trustees, who are said to have been horrified at the original allegations, are considering simply closing the charity without pursuing donations which may have been misused.

Leib Pinter said...

"the charity was not making the 14,000 meals a day it claimed"

So?

Ocean Parkway said...

I wonder if this shyster Rabbi Israel is related to the other shyster Rabbi Israel from Ahaba Ve'ahba in the attic of the Young Israel next to the Mirrer yeshiva.

They are both Egyptian. The shul in Young Israel attic broke away from the shul at the corner of Ave R with the same name. Those primitive Sefardim had a riot between factions for and against the rabbi. The cops made multiple arrests which was on TV news. That's when the breakaway started with the rabbi getting the boot.

But the problems didn't stop at the new location. Israel refused to give his wife a get. When women came down to chant in Young Israel's courtyard "Rabbi Israel give your wife a get", his flock came barreling down the stairs and started kicking and punching the women. Believe it when girls say they are afraid to marry Franken because they hit women. As soon as you could hear the police sirens, the cowards split. Sympathizers of Israel still hung around to argue halacha with Mirrer rabbonim about the "merits" of hitting women. The Brisker rosh kollel of Flatbush Rav Weissman happened to be passing by and started screaming at them that they are a bunch of lowlives for hitting women.

Leib Pinter davened in that Young Israel before he went back to jail but only because they are the earliest Sat. night maariv in town.

Anonymous said...

It's been a big mystery who Mrs. Debbie Maimon is who writes some of the most dishonest propaganda pieces around, even by Yated standards. The truth doesn't mean very much to her when she is given the task of defending Sholom Rubashkin and painting anyone not fighting for him as ante-Semitten on a quest of alilas dam. There are so many articles she wrote to that effect that they are too numerous to recount. All of her Yated pieces are regurgitated by the various Chabad media outlets. To think that Pinny's fetter Elya would have any inkling az es kumt tzu dem.

http://www.chabad.info/index.php?url=article_en&id=25453

Here is one of her latest ones. She is all over the UFCW union for being corrupt, which indeed they are, but tries to skew the results of an independent testing lab because chalilah that anything incriminating should be allowed to get out about Rubashkin, even letoyeles.

Remember the lab test that Rubashkin poultry had something like 300+ % more sodium than legally allowed? Maimon tries to spin it that an independent lab is lying in cahoots with the union to misrepresent salt residue from kashering. This is not only absurd but sort of like Moish Finkel's lies about low sodium salt in reverse.

It is a known deceptive practice in the industry that producers inject extra salt into meat for enhanced taste, preserving old product and other shady benefits. Rubashkin just liked to take advantage of this more than your average shyster.

So who is Maimon? Her husband is Rabbi Avraham Maimon. They are Turkish Sefardim who claim to shtam from the Rambam.

http://www.powerprofiles.com/profile/00005166484638/YATED+NEEMAN+INC-MONSEY-NY

Rabbi Maimon is the Yated office manager.

There doesn't appear to be a shul at his house when checking satellite maps but he does list the house as Congregation Even Shelema.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

The Bush that should have been president:

*

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in the WSJ:

The right to rise doesn’t seem like something we should have to protect.

But we do. We have to make it easier for people to do the things that allow them to rise. We have to let them compete. We need to let people fight for business. We need to let people take risks. We need to let people fail. We need to let people suffer the consequences of bad decisions. And we need to let people enjoy the fruits of good decisions, even good luck.

That is what economic freedom looks like. Freedom to succeed as well as to fail, freedom to do something or nothing. People understand this. Freedom of speech, for example, means that we put up with a lot of verbal and visual garbage in order to make sure that individuals have the right to say what needs to be said, even when it is inconvenient or unpopular. We forgive the sacrifices of free speech because we value its blessings.

But when it comes to economic freedom, we are less forgiving of the cycles of growth and loss, of trial and error, and of failure and success that are part of the realities of the marketplace and life itself.

Protecting the freedom to engage in business is not the same as protecting business. Advancing the interests of politically connected capitalists does not advance capitalism. It’s a lesson many of those who claim to believe in free enterprise too often forget.

Toiv's shul said...

"They are Turkish Sefardim"

Or as Joe Kornfeld shlita would say: "A Tooork!"

Chaimtchu said...

Does anyone remmeber the recent discussion at Yudel Shain's site about Hungarian party planners playing Russian Roulette with kashrus and shmiras Shabbos? A reader added an observation about faker Hungarian chassidishe hiding Haagen Dazs cholov akum ice cream at the back of their freezer.

'You know who' at the Queens Vaad who tries to assign every sharfe comment on this blog as having been authored by his critic "Spotlight", jumped out wagging his sticky finger again that it is "Spotlight" talking and that he is "probably lying anyway".

We all know what 'you know who's" agenda is to defend all things Queens Vaad AND Hungarian.

He couldn't have picked a worse time however to deny that Hungarians act this way when this past month, Satmar hocker Isaac Abraham & his wife tried to generate publicity for themselves again, this time over Haagen Dazs ice cream of all things!:

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/34/47/all_dimecream_2011_11_25_bk.html

The Abrahams went to the press that the Haagen Dazs cholov akum they bought to fress at Duane Reade was contaminated with a ten cent dime.

In the comments to the Brooklyn Paper newspaper article, a bunch of Williamsburg Yidden using cute names like chazirfresser are giving heck to the Abrahams for making a chilul Hashem.

Rav Aron Teitelbaum of Satmar casts early vote for Obama said...

Israel National News/Arutz Sheva

"Satmar Rebbe Warns Jews Not to Oppose Obama

The leader of the Satmar Chassidic movement, Grand Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum, has come out against Jews who oppose US President Barack Obama.

By Chana Ya'ar
12/19/2011

The Rebbe of the Satmar Hassidic movement, Grand Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum, spoke out Saturday night against Jews who oppose U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Rebbe, who lives in the New York State Hassidic town of Kiryas Yoel, made his remarks during a speech delivered during the sect's annual dinner commemorating the 67th anniversary of the miraculous escape in 1944 of the previous Rebbe, Grand Rabbi R' Yoel Teitelbaum, from the Nazis in Hungary.

One of the leaders of Budapest’s Vaadat Ezra V’Hatzalah (Aid and Rescue Council), Rudolph Kastner, had brokered a deal with top Nazi official Adolph Eichmann to let 1,600 passengers leave the country by train in exchange for a large sum of money, plus gold and diamonds. Eichmann reneged at the last minute, though, and instead sent the train to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Miraculously, the passengers were released after four months of negotiations and allowed to travel on to Switzerland. (ed. note: The choice of the passengers led to Kastner's being accused of making deals with the Nazis for his own benefit. He was found innocent when tried in Israel, but was gunned down by someone who had lost his family).

The present Rebbe, Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum, told the dinner guests about his predecessor's emphasis on continuing the sect's customs in America. He also told the thousands who attended the affair, held at the New York State Armory in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood, that religious Jews pray daily for the welfare of the United States -- including a special blessing for its leaders.

“We enjoy freedom of speech and freedom of religion. But recently self-appointed Jewish leaders have gotten up and insulted the President in the worst way," Rabbi Teitelbaum said. "Their words have been broadcast on the radio and television and all the media.

"Why should Jews come out in public with these sort of statements? It is provoking the nations to hate us and it brings danger upon Jews not only here but all over the globe.," he warned.

"We mustn’t forget that this is exile. Who knows what the effects of this irresponsible behavior could be?”

The Satmar hassidim are anti-Zionist, because they believe that Jews must await the Messiah's coming to establish a state and because Zionism is anti-religious [which was true enough at its start].. The Rebbe naturally spoke about what he considered to be "the dangers of Zionism." "