Israel: Promised land for criminals

An Israeli attempt to prevent the extradition of one of its most wanted citizens is true to Israel’s record of protecting criminals.

Media tycoon Gusinsky is wanted by Russia for fraud
Media tycoon Gusinsky is wanted by Russia for fraud

Over the years Israel has shouted loud and hard about the need to bring alleged Nazi war criminals to justice wherever they may be.


But when it comes to its own less salubrious characters, Israel sings from a different hymn sheet.


The Jewish State, along with the US, urged Greece on Tuesday not to extradite a Russian media tycoon to his native land.


Vladmir Gusinsky fled Moscow three years ago after allegedly swindling a state gas company out of $250 million.




But Gusinsky, who has lived in Israel since 2000, is only one of a host of alleged criminals who have found safe haven there.


Israel famously refused to extradite an accused war criminal to face trial in Poland in 1998.


Solomon Morel, who commanded a camp for German prisoners in southern Poland, was considered responsible for at least 1538 deaths.


Poland requested Morel’s extradition on charges of beating and torturing prisoners at the Swietochlowice camp.


Camp deaths

Dame and fugitive: Porter 

Dame and fugitive: Porter 


But Israel refused the request, saying too much time had passed for him to be prosecuted.


The investigation into Morel was the only one in Poland against a Jew accused of retaliating against the Germans after their defeat.


Polish investigators said “extremely bad conditions” at the camp, including hunger, overcrowding and epidemic diseases, led to a number of deaths.


But as long as Morel stays within Israel’s borders the investigators will never get the chance to put him on trial.




Another high-profile Israeli fugitive is the heiress to the Tesco supermarket empire, Dame Shirley Porter.


The former leader of London’s Westminster Council is currently having the kind of retirement most pensioners can only dream of.


The woman who masterminded the biggest corruption scandal in British political history is living a life of luxury near Tel Aviv.


Dame Shirley was found guilty by a British court last year of trying to gerrymander elections by selling flats intended for the homeless to her supporters.




Ariel Sharon’s Israel is harbouringscores of alleged criminals

Ariel Sharon’s Israel is harbouring
scores of alleged criminals

She was ordered to pay £27m and the first steps were taken towards freezing her assets.


Yet despite the combined efforts of the British High Court, law lords, auditors and solicitors, Dame Shirley has not paid a penny of the fine to this day.


Instead, she and her millionaire husband, Sir Leslie, are considered pillars of the Israeli establishment.


Lebanese torturers


But perhaps the most infamous criminals currently being harboured by Israel are the torturers of Lebanon’s Khiam detention camp.


From 1985 until the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, thousands of Lebanese were held in Khiam without trial.


Most of them were brutally tortured – some of them died.


To help secure its hold on Southern Lebanon, Israel armed and financed a Lebanese Christian militia, the South Lebanon Army (SLA). 


It was they who provided Khiam’s guards and interrogators.


Death sentences


In May 2000 more than 6000 SLA members fled across the border and took refuge in Israel.


Several of these fugitives have since been sentenced to death in absentia by Lebanese courts.


Yet they are now living under Israeli government protection at the expense of the taxpayer.


Many feel Israel’s policy of protecting its own citizens despite all evidence against them is the height of hypocrisy.


And as long as fugitives are given protection within its borders, Israeli calls for its enemies to be brought to justice will have a hollow ring. 


*Porter picture supplied by Express Newspapers  

Source : Al Jazeera

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