WikiLeaks: US wary of rising organized crime in Israel

Cable from Tel Aviv embassy discusses spread of mafia and measures to keep Israeli crime figures from gaining entrance to US.

December 2, 2010 13:52
1 minute read.
WikiLeaks: US wary of rising organized crime in Israel

netanya abutbul mafia mob hit crime 88. (photo credit: )


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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?"

Cunningham questioned Israel's ability to deal with the growing problem.

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"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.

"Given 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.

"It 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.

"The 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.

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