More details have risen
that connect not just Ariel Sharon to financing an illegal Jericho casino, but even Avigdor Lieberman and Ehud Olmert:
(IsraelNN.com) A lengthy investigative expose in Haaretz targeting Yisrael Beiteinu’s Avigdor Lieberman has unearthed connections between the financier of the corruption-laden Oasis Casino in Jericho and PMs Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon.
Lieberman is currently being investigated for receiving a bribe from Austrian-Jewish businessman Martin Schlaff.
Schlaff “was known during the Cold War for his ties with the East German secret police, the Stasi,” Haaretz reports. It also notes fact that he met with Yitzchak Rabin hours before Rabin was murdered on November 4, 1995. He established the Jericho casino with the help of former Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri during Binyamin Netanyahu’s term as prime minister. The two were introduced by Dov Weissglas, who went on to be the architect of the 2005 Gaza Disengagement as a consultant to Sharon.
Many see the casino as one of the most corruption-laden aspects of the Oslo Accords. For years, gambling moguls lobbied for a casino in Israel and were rebuffed. Finally, with the “Gaza and Jericho First” stage of the Oslo Accords, in which the two areas were relinquished to PLO control, the Knesset no longer needed to approve the casino’s establishment.
While it remained illegal to gamble in Israel, Israelis flocked to the Jericho casino to gamble there, forking over an average of a million dollars a day. Local Arabs were barred from gambling there by the nascent Palestinian Authority.
At the start of the Oslo War, after Arab terrorists had used the casino to fire at IDF soldiers and a tank blew a hole in the front of it, Schlaff tried to broker a cease-fire to get the casino running again. The biggest Haaretz revelation was that he did so through then-mayor of Jerusalem Ehud Olmert, who would meet with Yasser Arafat’s confidant Mohammad Rashid, a partner in the casino.
Olmert, Rashid and Schlaff met at least six times – the last meeting included Shas Chairman Eli Yishai and Atty. Dov Weissglass.
Schlaff is now afraid to set foot in Israel as he is being investigated for giving out millions of dollars in bribes to Lieberman and former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Police have concluded that Schlaff transferred $3 million in bribes to Sharon through South African millionaire Cyril Kern to open offshore casinos on boats docked in Eilat. Austrian police confirmed that Sharon accepted the bribes.
I'd strongly suggest that anyone who thinks that Sharon was admirable take a good look at what was discovered about him here. I think that Schlaff should be extradited, but I get the feeling that the Austrian police may not do that.
Labels: Israel, political corruption