Michael Isikoff dishes the dirt on sleazy money and its destination and uses.
"More than $140,000 of foundation funds were actually sent to the Israeli West Bank where they were used by a Jewish settler to mobilize against the Palestinian uprising. Among the expenditures: purchases of camouflage suits, sniper scopes, night-vision binoculars, a thermal imager, and other material described in foundation records as 'security' equipment. The FBI, sources tell Newsweek, is now examining these payments as part of a larger investigation to determine if Abramoff defrauded his Indian tribe clients."Jason Raimondo adds...
The fraudulently obtained money funded a paramilitary outfit based in the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Beitar Illit, a large community annexed after the '67 war and the site of renewed building in open violation of the American-sponsored "road map." The conduit for the money was one Schmuel Ben-Zvi, an old buddy of Abramoff's who, like so many Americans, was recruited into the rabidly expansionist Israeli "settler" movement. A series of e-mails between Ben-Zvi and Abramoff illustrate the agenda that energized and inspired the Abramoff crime family. While Newsweek reports Ben-Zvi "heatedly denied" that he had any connection to Abramoff, other than being a high school bud from Abramoff's Hollywood days, the e-mails, featured as exhibits in a Senate Indian Affairs committee hearing, tell a different story. In a missive of thanks from Ben-Zvi to Abramoff, the former writes:Chances of Chuckles covering the funding of extremist Zionist paramilitaries? Slim to non existent.
"I feel like the tank commanders in the Yom Kippur war, who when hearing over the radio that reinforcements were coming, felt so great that they raised their seats higher out of the tank hatch and went forward."
Abramoff replied: "If only there were another dozen of you the dirty rats would be finished."
The "dirty rats" are Palestinians: according to fanatical Zionist ideologues like Abramoff, Ben-Zvi, and the "Christian" dispensationalists who make up the activist wing of the neoconized Republican Party – e.g., Abramoff associate and former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed – the Palestinian people are a subhuman species who must be ethnically cleansed from the Biblically defined land of Israel. Greed greased the wheels of the Abramoff money machine, but ideology played a role, too. It is characteristic of the neoconservatives that they often manage to combine their policy proposals with profit-making activities that invariably accrue to their own accounts