Friday, May 30, 2014

2014-05-30 ISRAEL: What happens when police gets tired of Social Protest (Occupy) demonstrations

===2014-05-30 ISRAEL: What happens when police gets tired of Social Protest (Occupy) demonstrations===
The Israel Police engages in violence against demonstrators, then tries to frame the same for violence against police. A series of such cases have been conducted in the courts in recent years. Video recordings to the contrary did not stop police from lying on the stand.
[via Local Talk]

2014-05-31 Hello world!

5/31 @ 2:52 : Israel, IL
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2014-05-30 Israeli whistle blower Rafi Rotem - increasingly subject of international attention

The corruption case against General Electric Company - Writ Petition (Civil) 1280/ 2012 (in the matter of Seema Sapra v General Electric Company and Others) - was listed on 8 May 2014 in the Delhi High Court before Judge Sistani and Judge V K Rao. Judge V K Rao recused from the matter and this petition will now be listed for hearing before a different two judge bench on 15 May 2014.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

The battle of Rafi Rotem - Israeli whistle-blower

Israel's anti-corruption whistle-blower needs justice
Rafi Rotem, a senior investigator at the Tax Authority, exposed serious corruption and was fired. He’s still harassed by the police.
By Aryeh Eldad | 02:19 23.06.13

Only a few times have I hesitated so much before writing. I hesitate because I'm almost certain that this article will be detrimental to the person it's about. All the same, in an interview in Haaretz's Hebrew edition on June 7, former Attorney General Menachem Mazuz discusses the possibility that organized crime has infected the top of Israel's government bureaucracy.
"The one scandal where it was possible to speak in these terms, making it the most serious corruption scandal in certain respects, is the Tax Authority scandal," Mazuz said. In this scandal, senior Tax Authority officials and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's bureau chief, Shula Zaken, were convicted of fraud. At issue were bribes for appointing people chosen by outside interests.
Mazuz latter added, "If the process hadn't been cut short in its early stages, within a few years the Tax Authority's upper ranks would have been staffed by people who owed their appointments to outside interests." Mazuz may be troubled by the light punishments meted out in this case, but he's confident the process at the Tax Authority was "cut short" at the start. Can this be true?
What about the case of Rafi Rotem, a senior investigator at the Tel Aviv office of the Tax Authority's customs department, who exposed serious corruption at the authority and was eventually fired. He now wanders around Tel Aviv, persecuted by the police, who harass him every time an article is published about him.
Rotem's case shows that the corruption at the Tax Authority, and more gravely, at the police and State Prosecutor's Office that are linked to it, hasn't been eradicated. The person who exposed the corruption has been punished while the corrupt continue to serve and be promoted. The stables haven't been cleaned out.
The case consists of hundreds of documents, videos and recordings that Rotem sent to the Tel Aviv police and prosecutors, but the case was closed in several hours (before, of course, the material could be perused ). So there are clear concerns that the system is still rotten. A few senior Tax Authority officials have been brought to trial and convicted, but they're just the tip of the iceberg.
Rotem's accusations are much more serious and worrisome. Rotem detailed the apparent cooperation between senior Tax Authority officials and big-time criminals, smugglers and tycoons. Included in this affair is the mysterious death of one of his informers, who Rotem believes was killed after he was exposed by a Tax Authority employee. The police closed the case claiming that it was suicide despite big question marks at the scene of the killing.
Journalists Kalman Liebskind, Moshe Lichtman and Malka Taicher-Miller wrote about Rotem, and Channel 1's TV news program "Mabat Sheni" covered the case. And every time after an article about Rotem was published, the police arrested him.
Rotem was handcuffed and humiliated, beaten and sent to jail, only to be released the next day by the first judge to consider whether to extend his detention. The police know full well that these detentions won't be extended, but they have power and use it against those who accuse them of corruption and cooperation with criminals.
Rotem is a tough man. The proof is that he's still alive. Otherwise he surely would have committed suicide. He lost everything since he set out on his campaign for justice, including home, family and property. He lives in the street. And it's a horrible lesson for anyone considering exposing an act of corruption.
Hans Kohlhase was born around the year 1500 near Berlin. On his way to a fair, an anonymous noble stole his horses. Since he didn't receive justice, he set out to destroy everyone who had abused him in the state of Saxony. The countryside drowned in blood until he was caught and executed by being broken on the wheel.
Heinrich von Kleist's novella "Michael Kohlhaas" transformed Kohlhase into a historical fable. Will the attorney general, the state comptroller, the justice minister, the public security minister or the finance minister set up a parliamentary or government investigative committee to provide justice before the breaking wheel finishes its work on Rafi Rotem?

A 13-page indictment presented on Tuesday for the first time to homeless Tax Authority whistle-blower Rafi Rotem contained accusations of repeated harassment of public servants, including police from the north Tel Aviv precinct.

In most of the alleged cases listed in the indictment, Rotem, a longtime intelligence officer with the Tel Aviv branch of the Tax Authority’s investigations department, sent faxes or called police on dozens of occasions, typically referring to them as corrupt or incompetent. Rotem, according to the allegations, sends faxes on a near-daily basis to all kinds of people – heads of the Israel Police and the Public Security Ministry (in charge of Israel Police), the State Comptroller’s Office, State Prosecutors and journalists who have since stopped answering his calls.

As Rotem and his lawyer have not yet had a chance to view the document, the court set the next hearing for mid-February.

Rotem, who for the past several years has been living on the street, first began working as an investigator for the Tax Authority in 1984. In 2003, he was one of 15 senior authority investigators who complained of corruption within the organization’s ranks.

The so-called “document of the 15” called for a commission of inquiry into allegations of corruption inside the authority, including what it alleges are connections between then senior Tax Authority officials and known crime figures in Israel who were subject to investigations by the authority.

Among the 14 officials who joined Rotem in the complaint in 2003 was Shuki Mashul, then head of the Tel Aviv branch of the authority’s VAT department, whom the authority terminated in 2006 in what he and Rotem say was payback for speaking out – a charge the Tax Authority denies. Mashul joined Rotem at the courthouse on Tuesday morning, where he called the proceedings a disgrace.

Mashul made mention of a Facebook post on Monday by Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich, in which she accused Ashdod Port union head Alon Hassan of being a “corrupt thug.”

“So when an elected leader goes on Facebook and publicly says someone is corrupt, it’s OK, but when a private citizen sends a fax calling someone corrupt, it’s harassment, it’s an indictment?” he wrote.

“The State of Israel wants Rafi Rotem dead, that’s how they want this to end,” Rotem said about his case, adding, ”I’m not afraid of them, they can lock me up for 100 years if they want to. This is the biggest mafia case there has ever been in Israel.”

Rotem, a 51-year-old native of Jaffa’s “Bulgarian neighborhood,” has been on an unpaid leave of absence since 2005, not long after he was reassigned to work as a clerk at a Tax Authority branch in Ramle in 2004, which he said was punishment for speaking out. He spends his nights on the street, sleeping in hotel lobbies, in his car or on a friend’s couch when he’s lucky. He gets by scrounging together a few shekels a day for a roll with some cold cuts, supplementing the sandwiches with free samples from supermarkets in north Tel Aviv. The rest of his worldly belongings – including dozens of boxes full of documents from his years as an intelligence officer with the Tel Aviv branch of the Tax Authority’s investigations department – are crammed inside a storage locker underneath the offices of the Ma’ariv newspaper in Tel Aviv.

Rotem has been the subject of a number of recent TV and radio news segments covering his case. In a column in Ha’aretz in June, headlined “The corruption fighter who became homeless,” former MK Aryeh Eldad said Rotem “lost everything since he set out on his campaign for justice, including home, family and property. He lives on the street. And it’s a horrible lesson for anyone considering exposing an act of corruption.”

The Tax Authority has repeatedly denied all of Rotem’s allegations, saying that he and Mashul “have chosen to use the media to settle their personal accounts with their managers” and that there has been no proof found to substantiate any of their allegations. 

1 comment:

  1. View additional information regarding Rafi Rotem and his battle for justice against government corruption (many of the record with English translation): =LINK= Rotem Scribd Index

2014-05-30 ISRAEL: Demonstration by organized labor for raising the minimum hourly pay

===2014-05-30 ISRAEL: Demonstration by organized labor for raising the minimum hourly pay===
The demand is for NIS 30 per hour (USD 8.5). Over the past decade, the Israeli government adopted US-style policies, which led to soaring levels of poverty and unaffordable housing costs. Government agencies replaced direct employment with benefits with contract labor with no benefits at all.
 — with Itamar Pirchi. (4 photos)
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2014-05-30 Hello world!

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