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US Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham expressed concern with the growing threat of organized crime in Israel in a cable from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv leaked this week on the WikiLeaks website entitled "Israel, a promised land fore organized crime?"
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Cunningham questioned Israel's ability to deal with the growing problem.
"Despite their notoriety, organized crime figures have generally been viewed as a nuisance to be handled by local police. Law enforcement resources were directed to more existential security threats from terrorists and enemy states. In recent years, however, the rules of the game have changed."
The cable dealt with the possibility of Israeli organized crime
spreading its influence to the US and spoke of Washington's efforts to
become familiarized with the various mafia families and those in their
employ, in order to prevent them getting visas to the US.
the growing reach and lethal methods of Israeli organized crime,
blocking the travel of known organized crime figures to the United
States is a
matter of great concern," Cuningham stated. "Through
collaboration with Israeli and US law enforcement authorities, Post
[Cunningham] has developed an extensive database and placed lookouts for
OC figures and their foot soldiers."
The US was also aware of Israeli organized crime's entrance into, and corrupting of government.
is not entirely clear to what extent OC elements have penetrated the
Israeli establishment and corrupted public officials. The Israeli
National Police insists that such instances are rare, despite the
occasional revelation of crooked police officers in the press."
The cable discussed organized crime as a unifying factor within Israeli society.
profit motive serves as a great unifier among Israel's diverse
demographic groups, " Cunningham noted. "Arab and Jewish Israeli
criminals routinely cooperate and form alliances to expand control of
lucrative drug, car theft and extortion rackets," he added.