dimanche 28 septembre 2008

How the Zionists are able to listen in on any phone conversation in America

How the Zionists are able to listen in on any phone conversation in America

An Israeli Trojan Horse
How Israeli Backdoor Technology Penetrated the U.S. Telecom System and Compromised National Security
By Christopher Ketcham
Since the late 1990s, federal agents have reported systemic communications security breaches at the Department of Justice, FBI, DEA, the State Department, and the White House. Several of the alleged breaches, these agents say, can be traced to two hi-tech communications companies, Verint Inc. (formerly Comverse Infosys), and Amdocs Ltd., that respectively provide major wiretap and phone billing/record-keeping software contracts for the U.S. government. Together, Verint and Amdocs form part of the backbone of the government’s domestic intelligence surveillance technology. Both companies are based in Israel – having arisen to prominence from that country’s cornering of the information technology market – and are heavily funded by the Israeli government, with connections to the Israeli military and Israeli intelligence (both companies have a long history of board memberships dominated by current and former Israeli military and intelligence officers). Verint is considered the world leader in “electronic interception” and hence an ideal private sector candidate for wiretap outsourcing. Amdocs is the world’s largest billing service for telecommunications, with some $2.8 billion in revenues in 2007, offices worldwide, and clients that include the top 25 phone companies in the United States that together handle 90 percent of all call traffic among U.S. residents. The companies’ operations, sources suggest, have been infiltrated by freelance spies exploiting encrypted trapdoors in Verint/Amdocs technology and gathering data on Americans for transfer to Israeli intelligence and other willing customers (particularly organized crime). “The fact of the vulnerability of our telecom backbone is indisputable,” says a high level U.S. intelligence officer who has monitored the fears among federal agents. “How it came to pass, why nothing has been done, who has done what – these are the incendiary questions.” If the allegations are true, the electronic communications gathered up by the NSA and other U.S. intelligence agencies might be falling into the hands of a foreign government. Reviewing the available evidence, Robert David Steele, a former CIA case officer and today one of the foremost international proponents for “public intelligence in the public interest,” tells me that “Israeli penetration of the entire US telecommunications system means that NSA’s warrantless wiretapping actually means Israeli warrantless wiretapping.”
As early as 1999, the National Security Agency issued a warning that records of U.S. government telephone calls were ending up in foreign hands – Israel’s, in particular. In 2002, assistant U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Diegelman issued an eyes only memo on the matter to the chief information technology (IT) officers at the Department of Justice. IT officers oversee everything from the kind of cell phones agents carry to the wiretap equipment they use in the field; their defining purpose is secure communications. Diegelman’s memo was a reiteration, with overtones of reprimand, of a new IT policy instituted a year earlier, in July 2001, in an internal Justice order titled “2640.2D Information Technology Security.” Order 2640.2D stated that “Foreign Nationals shall not be authorized to access or assist in the development, operation, management or maintenance of Department IT systems.” This might not seem much to blink at in the post-9/11 intel and security overhaul. Yet 2640.2D was issued a full two months before the Sept. 11 attacks. What group or groups of foreign nationals had close access to IT systems at the Department of Justice? Israelis, according to officials in law enforcement. One former Justice Department computer crimes prosecutor tells me, speaking on background, “I’ve heard that the Israelis can listen in to our calls.”
Retired CIA counterterrorism and counterintelligence officer Philip Giraldi says this is par for the course in the history of Israeli penetrations in the U.S. He notes that Israel always features prominently in the annual FBI report called “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage” – Israel is second only to China in stealing U.S. business secrets. The 2005 FBI report states, for example, “Israel has an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States. These collection activities are primarily directed at obtaining information on military systems and advanced computing applications that can be used in Israel’s sizable armaments industry.” A key Israeli method, warns the FBI report, is computer intrusion.
In the big picture of U.S. government spying on Americans, the story ties into 1994 legislation called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, which effected a sea-change in methods of electronic surveillance. Gone are the days when wiretaps were conducted through on-site tinkering with copper switches. CALEA mandated sweeping new powers of surveillance for the digital age, by linking remote computers into the routers and hubs of telecom firms – a spyware apparatus linked in real-time, all the time, to American telephones and modems. CALEA made spy equipment an inextricable ligature in our telephonic life. Top officials at the FBI pushed for the legislation, claiming it would improve security, but many field agents have spoken up to complain that CALEA has done exactly the opposite. The data-mining techniques employed by NSA in its wiretapping exploits could not have succeeded without the technology mandated by CALEA. It could be argued that CALEA is the hidden heart of the NSA wiretap scandal.


According to former CIA officer Giraldi and other US intelligence sources, software manufactured and maintained by Verint, Inc. handles most of American law enforcement’s wiretaps. Says Giraldi: “Phone calls are intercepted, recorded, and transmitted to U.S. investigators by Verint, which claims that it has to be ‘hands on’ with its equipment to maintain the system.” Giraldi also notes Verint is reimbursed for up to 50 percent of its R&D costs by the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade. According to Giraldi, the extent of the use of Verint technology “is considered classified,” but sources have spoken out and told Giraldi they are worried about the security of Verint wiretap systems. The key concern, says Giraldi, is the issue of a “trojan” embedded in the software.
A trojan in information security hardware/software is a backdoor that can be accessed remotely by parties who normally would not have access to the secure system. Allegations of massive trojan spying have rocked the Israeli business community in recent years. An AP article in 2005 noted, “Top Israeli blue chip companies…are suspected of using illicit surveillance software to steal information from their rivals and enemies.” Over 40 companies have come under scrutiny. “It is the largest cybercrime case in Israeli history,” Boaz Guttmann, a veteran cybercrimes investigator with the Israeli national police, tells me. “Trojan horse espionage is part of the way of life of companies in Israel. It’s a culture of spying.”
This is of course the culture on which the U.S. depends for much of its secure software for data encryption and telephonic security. “There’s been a lot discussion of how much we should trust security products by Israeli telecom firms,” says Philip Zimmerman, one of the legendary pioneers of encryption technology (Zimmerman invented the cryptographic and privacy authentication system known as Pretty Good Privacy, or PGP, now one of the basic modern standards for communications encryption). “Generally speaking, I wouldn’t trust stuff made overseas for data security,” says Zimmerman. “A guy at NSA InfoSec” – the information security division of the National Security Agency – “once told me, ‘Foreign-made crypto is our nightmare.’ But to be fair, as our domestic electronics industry becomes weaker and weaker, foreign-made becomes inevitable.” Look at where the expertise is, Zimmerman adds: Among the ranks of the International Association for Cryptological Research, which meets annually, there is a higher percentage of Israelis than any other nationality. The Israeli-run Verint is today the provider of telecom interception systems deployed in over 50 countries.
Carl Cameron, chief politics correspondent at Fox News Channel, is one of the few reporters to look into federal agents’ deepening distress over possible trojans embedded in Verint technology. In a wide-ranging four-part investigation into Israeli-linked espionage that aired in December 2001 [watch entire FOX series below], Cameron made a number of startling discoveries regarding Verint, then known as Comverse Infosys. Sources told Cameron that “while various FBI inquiries into Comverse have been conducted over the years,” the inquiries had “been halted before the actual equipment has ever been thoroughly tested for leaks.” Cameron also noted a 1999 internal FCC document indicating that “several government agencies expressed deep concerns that too many unauthorized non-law enforcement personnel can access the wiretap system.” Much of this access was facilitated through “remote maintenance.”
Immediately following the Cameron report, Comverse Infosys changed its name to Verint, saying the company was “maturing.” (The company issued no response to Cameron’s allegations, nor did it threaten a lawsuit.) Meanwhile, security officers at DEA, an adjunct of the Justice Department, began examining the agency’s own relationship with Comverse/Verint. In 1997, DEA transformed its wiretap infrastructure with the $25 million procurement from Comverse/Verint of a technology called “T2S2” – “translation and transcription support services” – with Comverse/Verint contracted to provide the hardware and software, plus “support services, training, upgrades, enhancements and options throughout the life of the contract,” according to the “contracts and acquisitions” notice posted on the DEA’s website. This was unprecedented. Prior to 1997, DEA staff used equipment that was developed and maintained in-house.
But now Cameron’s report raised some ugly questions of vulnerability in T2S2.
The director of security programs at DEA, Heidi Raffanello, was rattled enough to issue an internal communiqué on the matter, dated Dec. 18, 2001, four days after the final installment in the Cameron series. Referencing the Fox News report, she worried that “Comverse remote maintenance” was “not addressed in the C&A [contracts and acquisitions] process.” She also cited the concerns in Justice Department order 2640.2D, and noted that the “Administrator” – meaning then DEA head Asa Hutchinson – had been briefed. Then there was this stunner: “It remains unclear if Comverse personnel are security cleared, and if so, who are they and what type of clearances are on record….Bottom line we should have caught it.” On its face, the Raffanello memo is a frightening glimpse into a bureaucracy caught with its pants down.
American law enforcement was not alone in suspecting T2S2 equipment purchased from Comverse/Verint. In November 2002, sources in the Dutch counterintelligence community began airing what they claimed was “strong evidence that the Israeli secret service has uncontrolled access to confidential tapping data collected by the Dutch police and intelligence services,” according to the Dutch broadcast radio station Evangelische Omroep (EO). In January 2003, the respected Dutch technology and computing magazine, c’t, ran a follow-up to the EO scoop, headlined “Dutch Tapping Room not Kosher.” The article began: “All tapping equipment of the Dutch intelligence services and half the tapping equipment of the national police force…is insecure and is leaking information to Israel.” The writer, Paul Wouters, goes on to discuss the T2S2 tap-ware “delivered to the government in the last few years by the Israeli company Verint,” and quoted several cryptography experts on the viability of remote monitoring of encrypted “blackbox” data. Wouters writes of this “blackbox cryptography”:
…a very important part of strong cryptography is a good random source. Without a proper random generator, or worse, with an intentionally crippled random generator, the resulting ciphertext becomes trivial to break. If there is one single unknown chip involved with the random generation, such as a hardware accelerator chip, all bets are off….If you can trust the hardware and you have access to the source code, then it should theoretically be possible to verify the system. This, however, can just not be done without the source code.
Yet, as Wouters was careful to add, “when the equipment was bought from the Israelis, it was agreed that no one except [Verint] personnel was authorized to touch the systems….Source code would never be available to anyone.”
Cryptography pioneer Philip Zimmerman warns that “you should never trust crypto if the source code isn’t published. Open source code means two things: if there are deliberate backdoors in the crypto, peer review will reveal those backdoors. If there are inadvertent bugs in the crypto, they too will be discovered. Whether the weaknesses are by accident or design, they will be found. If the weakness is by design, they will not want to publish the source code. Some of the best products we know have been subject to open source review: Linux; Apache. The most respected crypto products have been tested through open source. The little padlock in the corner when you visit a browser? You’re going through a protocol called Secure Socket Layer. Open source tested and an Internet standard. FireFox, the popular and highly secure browser, is all open source.”
None of U.S. law enforcement’s problems with Amdocs and Verint could have come to pass without the changes mandated by the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which, as noted, sought to lock spyware into telecom networks. CALEA, to cite the literature, requires that terrestrial carriers, cellular phone services and other telecom entities enable the government to intercept “all wire and oral communications carried by the carrier concurrently with their transmission.” T2S2 technology fit the bill perfectly: Tied into the network, T2S2 bifurcates the line without interrupting the data-stream (a T2S2 bifurcation is considered virtually undetectable). One half of the bifurcated line is recorded and stored in a remote tapping room; the other half continues on its way from your mouth or keyboard to your friend’s. (What is “T2S2”? To simplify: The S2 computer collects and encrypts the data; the T2 receives and decrypts.)
CALEA was touted as a law enforcement triumph, the work of decades of lobbying by FBI. Director Louis Freeh went so far as to call it the bureau’s “highest legislative priority.” Indeed, CALEA was the widest expansion of the government’s electronic surveillance powers since the Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, which mandated carefully limited conditions for wiretaps. Now the government could use coercive powers in ordering telecom providers to “devise solutions” to law enforcement’s “emerging technology-generated problems” (imposing a $10,000 per day penalty on non-compliant carriers). The government’s hand would be permanently inserted into the design of the nation’s telecom infrastructure. Law professor Lillian BeVier, of the University of Virginia, writes extensively of the problems inherent to CALEA. “The rosy scenario imagined by the drafters cannot survive a moment’s reflection,” BeVier observes. “While it is conventionally portrayed as ‘but the latest chapter in the thirty year history of the federal wiretap laws,’ CALEA is not simply the next installment of a technologically impelled statutory evolution. Instead, in terms of the nature and magnitude of the interests it purports to ‘compromise’ and the industry it seeks to regulate, in terms of the extent to which it purports to coerce private sector solutions to public sector problems, and in terms of the foothold it gives government to control the design of telecommunications networks, the Act is a paradigm shift. On close and disinterested inspection, moreover, CALEA appears to embody potentially wrong-headed sacrifices of privacy principles, flawed and incomplete conceptions of law enforcement’s ends and means, and an imperfect appreciation of the incompatible incentives of the players in the game that would inevitably be played in the process of its implementation.”(emphasis mine)
The real novelty – and the danger – of CALEA is that telecom networks are today configured so that they are vulnerable to surveillance. “We’ve deliberately weakened the computer and phone networks, making them much less secure, much more vulnerable both to legal surveillance and illegal hacking,” says former DOJ cybercrimes prosecutor Mark Rasch. “Everybody is much less secure in their communications since the adopting of CALEA. So how are you going to have secure communications? You have to secure the communications themselves, because you cannot have a secure network. To do this, you need encryption. What CALEA forced businesses and individuals to do is go to third parties to purchase encryption technology. What is the major country that the U.S. purchases IT encryption from overseas? I would say it’s a small Middle Eastern democracy. What we’ve done is the worst of all worlds. We’ve made sure that most communications are subject to hacking and interception by bad guys. At the same time, the bad guys – organized crime, terrorist operations – can very easily encrypt their communications.” It is notable that the first CALEA-compliant telecom systems installed in the U.S. were courtesy of Verint Inc.
If a phone is dialed in the U.S., Amdocs Ltd. likely has a record of it, which includes who you dialed and how long you spoke. This is known as transactional call data. Amdocs’ biggest customers in the U.S. are AT&T and Verizon, which have collaborated widely with the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping programs. Transactional call data has been identified as a key element in NSA data mining to look for “suspicious” patterns in communications.
Over the last decade, Amdocs has been the target of several investigations looking into whether individuals within the company shared sensitive U.S. government data with organized crime elements and Israeli intelligence services. Beginning in 1997, the FBI conducted a far-flung inquiry into alleged spying by an Israeli employee of Amdocs, who worked on a telephone billing program purchased by the CIA. According to Paul Rodriguez and J. Michael Waller, of Insight Magazine, which broke the story in May of 2000, the targeted Israeli had apparently also facilitated the tapping of telephone lines at the Clinton White House (recall Monica Lewinsky’s testimony before Ken Starr: the president, she claimed, had warned her that “a foreign embassy” was listening to their phone sex, though Clinton under oath later denied saying this). More than two dozen intelligence, counterintelligence, law-enforcement and other officials told Insight that a “daring operation,” run by Israeli intelligence, had “intercepted telephone and modem communications on some of the most sensitive lines of the U.S. government on an ongoing basis.” Insight’s chief investigative reporter, Paul Rodriguez, told me in an e-mail that the May 2000 spy probe story “was (and is) one of the strangest I’ve ever worked on, considering the state of alert, concern and puzzlement” among federal agents. According to the Insight report, FBI investigators were particularly unnerved over discovering the targeted Israeli subcontractor had somehow gotten his hands on the FBI’s “most sensitive telephone numbers, including the Bureau’s ‘black’ lines used for wiretapping.” “Some of the listed numbers,” the Insight article added, “were lines that FBI counterintelligence used to keep track of the suspected Israeli spy operation. The hunted were tracking the hunters.” Rodriguez confirmed the panic this caused in American intel. “It’s a huge security nightmare,” one senior U.S. official told him. “The implications are severe,” said a second official. “All I can tell you is that we think we know how it was done,” a third intelligence executive told Rodriguez. “That alone is serious enough, but it’s the unknown that has such deep consequences.” No charges, however, were made public in the case. (What happened behind the scenes depends on who you talk to in law enforcement: When FBI counterintelligence sought a warrant for the Israeli subcontractor, the Justice Department strangely refused to cooperate, and in the end no warrant was issued. FBI investigators were baffled.)
London Sunday Times reporter Uzi Mahnaimi quotes sources in Tel Aviv saying that during this period e-mails from President Clinton had also been intercepted by Israeli intelligence. Mahnaimi’s May 2000 article reveals that the operation involved “hacking into White House computer systems during intense speculation about the direction of the peace process.” Israeli intelligence had allegedly infiltrated a company called Telrad, subcontracted by Nortel, to develop a communications system for the White House. According to the Sunday Times, “Company managers were said to have been unaware that virtually undetectable chips installed during manufacture made it possible for outside agents to tap into the flow of data from the White House.”
In 1997, detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department, working in tandem with the Secret Service, FBI, and DEA, found themselves suffering a similar inexplicable collapse in communications security. LAPD was investigating Israeli organized crime: drug runners and credit card thieves based in Israel and L.A., with tentacles in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, and Egypt. The name of the crime group and its members remains classified in “threat assessment” papers this reporter obtained from LAPD, but the documents list in some detail the colorful scope of the group’s operations: $1.4 million stolen from Fidelity Investments in Boston through sophisticated computer fraud; extortion and kidnapping of Israelis in L.A. and New York; cocaine distribution in connection with Italian, Russian, Armenian and Mexican organized crime; money laundering; and murder. The group also had access to extremely sophisticated counter-surveillance technology and data, which was a disaster for LAPD. According to LAPD internal documents, the Israeli crime group obtained the unlisted home phone, cell phone, and pager numbers of some 500 of LAPD’s narcotics investigators, as well as the contact information for scores of federal agents – black info, numbers unknown even to the investigators’ kin. The Israelis even set up wiretaps of LAPD investigators, grabbing from cell-phones and landlines conversations with other agents – FBI and DEA, mostly – whose names and phone numbers were also traced and grabbed.
LAPD was horrified, and as the word got out of the seeming total breakdown in security, the shock spread to agents at DEA, FBI and even CIA, who together spearheaded an investigation. It turned out that the source of much of this black intel could be traced to a company called J&J Beepers, which was getting its phone numbers from a billing service that happened to be a subsidiary of Amdocs.
A source familiar with the inquiries into Amdocs put to me several theories regarding the allegations of espionage against the company. “Back in the early 1970s, when it became clear that AT&T was going to be broken up and that there was an imminent information and technology revolution, Israel understood that it had a highly-educated and highly-worldly population and it made a few calculated economic and diplomatic discoveries,” the source says. “One was that telecommunications was something they could do: because it doesn’t require natural resources, but just intellect, training and cash. They became highly involved in telecommunications. Per capita, Israel is probably the strongest telecommunications nation in the world. AT&T break-up occurs in 1984; Internet technology explodes; and Israel has all of these companies aggressively buying up contracts in the form of companies like Amdocs. Amdocs started out as a tiny company and now it’s the biggest billing service for telecommunications in the world. They get this massive telecommunications network underway. Like just about everything in Israel, it’s a government sponsored undertaking.
“So it’s been argued that Amdocs was using its billing records as an intelligence-gathering exercise because its executive board over the years has been heavily peopled by retired and current members of the Israeli government and military. They used this as an opportunity to collect information about worldwide telephone calls. As an intelligence-gathering phenomenon, an analyst with an MIT degree in algorithms would rather have 50 pages of who called who than 50 hours of actual conversation. Think about conversations with friends, husbands, wives. That raw information doesn’t mean anything. But if there’s a pattern of 30 phone calls over the course of a day, that can mean a lot. It’s a much simpler algorithm.”
Another anonymous source – a former CIA operative – tells me that U.S. intelligence agents who have aired their concerns about Verint and Amdocs have found themselves attacked from all sides. “Once it’s learned that an individual is doing footwork on this [the Verint/Amdocs question], he or she is typically identified somehow as a troublemaker, an instigator, and is hammered mercilessly,” says the former CIA operative. “Typically, what happens is the individual finds him or herself in a scenario where their retirement is jeopardized – and worse. The fact that if you simply take a look at this question, all of a sudden you’re an Arabist or anti-Semitic – it’s pure baloney, because I will tell you first-hand that people whose heritage lies back in that country have heavily worked this matter. You can’t buy that kind of dedication.”
The former CIA operative adds, “There is no defined policy, at this time, for how to deal with this [security issues involving Israel] – other than wall it off, contain it. It’s not cutting it. Not after 9/11. The funeral pyre that burned on for months at the bottom of the rubble told a lot of people they did not need to be ‘politically correct.’ The communications nexuses [i.e. Amdocs/Verint] didn’t occur yesterday; they started many years ago. And that’s a major embarrassment to organizations that would like to say they’re on top of things and not co-opted or compromised. As you start to work this, you soon learn that many people have either looked the other way or have been co-opted along the way. Some people, when they figure out what has occurred, are highly embarrassed to realize that they’ve been duped. Because many of them are bureaucrats, they don’t want to be made to look as stupid as they are. So they just go along with it. Sometimes, it’s just that simple.”
Christopher Ketcham writes for Vanity Fair, GQ, Harper’s, Salon and many other magazines and websites. You can reach him at cketcham99@mindspring.com.
September 27 / 28, 2008

More on Verint’s Malodorous Ties to the Shady Israeli Intelligence World

Posted By Michele

(Verint is the Israeli firm doing video surveillance in the Montreal metro subway sysytem. See sidebar of this site for Mtl911truth’s doc film on this subject)

Thick as Thieves: The Private (and very profitable) World of Corporate Spying

..But there is a darker side to Verint. As investigative journalist Christopher Ketcham revealed on the muckraking website CounterPunch, U.S. intelligence agencies are wary of Israeli penetration and interception of U.S. military systems and advanced computing applications through a backdoor, called a “trojan,” secretly built into enterprise architecture…
Kobi Alexander would’ve certainly known the drill, exploiting family connections for advantage over competitors with movers and shakers in Washington. As they say, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Kobi’s father Zvi was a fabulously wealthy oil baron who wound up running Israel’s state oil company. Bamford recounts how Zvi won drilling franchises: he’d bribe African cabinet ministers, “often in partnership with the U.S. tax cheat Marc Rich, who became a fugitive and was given sanctuary in Israel.”
That is, until Rich was handed a pardon during the waning days of the Clinton administration. In the aftermath of Clinton’s “gifting” the tax scofflaw with a “get-out-of-jail-free” card, Rich’s close confidant, attorney and convicted felon, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, denied that Rich had conspired to hide illegal profits or violate U.S. laws.
Yet despite a documentary record of shady dealings that spanned continents–and decades–a “neutral, leaning towards favorable” opinion on Rich’s petition for pardon was signed-off by none other than former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder, Barack Obama’s apparent pick for U.S. Attorney General.
Like Kobi Alexander and his pals at Comverse, Rich too, had a dirty little secret as CNN reported back in 2001: “Marc Rich did help the Israeli security services in some way.” CNN doesn’t specify how Rich curried favor with Mossad, only that he did. Which just goes to show its a small world–of one hand washing the other.
(Memo to Obama supporters: you can forget about future Justice Department investigations of Bush cronies and war criminals. Why? Shortly before entering private practice at the tony law firm Covington & Burling, Holder was Bush’s Acting Attorney General until John Ashcroft’s nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Out of government, Holder made a killing defending Chiquita Brands International against charges that the firm paid the far-right Colombian, narcotrafficking AUC death squad millions in “protection money” to murder labor activists. But I digress.)…
For complete article by Tom Burghardt :
About Tom Burghardt: is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly and Global Research, an independent research and media group of writers, scholars, journalists and activists based in Montreal, his articles can be read on Dissident Voice, The Intelligence Daily and Pacific Free Press. He is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press. Read other articles by Tom, or visit Tom’s website.

vendredi 26 septembre 2008

Stéphane Dion renvoie un candidat identifiant Israel et les USA comme responsables du 11 septembre

Dion ditches candidate over remarks about Jews and 9-11


TORONTO — Liberal Leader Stephane Dion dumped a candidate Friday after she was accused of anti-Semitism.
Lesley Hughes — who’s running for the party in a Winnipeg riding — had faced criticism for an old blog posting in which she suggested Israeli intelligence warned the United States in advance of the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center and “Israeli businesses” vacated the premises before the attack.
Hughes later described herself as a “lifelong friend and supporter of the Jewish community in Winnipeg” and apologized for the “perception” that she is anti-Semitic.
But the apology wasn’t enough for her party leader.
“The Liberal party’s commitment to tolerance and multiculturalism is paramount,” Dion said in a statement.
“I have reviewed the past comments of Lesley Hughes and it is clear they do not meet this standard. While I appreciate her apology, I cannot condone those sentiments in any way.
“I have therefore asked Ms. Hughes to step down as the Liberal party candidate in Kildonan-St. Paul.”
Dion had earlier fended off questions about Hughes, saying the Canadian Jewish Congress was investigating to determine whether in fact the blog post should be construed as anti-Semitic.
He had been asked about his reasons for not firing Hughes on the spot, while he also demanded the immediate firing of Tory candidate Lee Richardson, who publicly suggested that some Canadian immigrants are prone to crime.


Dion sacks city-area candidate  
Conspiracy theory on 9/11 sinks Hughes
Manitoba Liberals suffered a huge blow Friday on a day they were supposed to be showcasing their candidates and trumpeting their election campaign platform.
The release of the Grit action plan for Manitoba at an noon-hour event was completely overshadowed by the Liberal leader Stéphane Dion's sacking of Kildonan--St. Paul candidate Lesley Hughes.
A portrait of Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion sits in Lesley Hughes’ campaign office. (Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press )
The net result is that the Grits have now handed victory to incumbent Tory MP Joy Smith while the party is left trying to do damage control with the mess Hughes has left.Dion asked Hughes to step down as Liberal candidate over a column she wrote in 2002 claiming Jewish businesses in the World Trade Centre had prior knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
"Israeli businesses, which had offices in the Towers, vacated the premises a week before the attacks, breaking their lease to do it," Hughes wrote.
When Hughes' column surfaced in the midst of the campaign, the Tories were quick to make political hay and not even an apology she released could save her.
"You can say I am devastated and still disbelieving,'' said Hughes, a former CBC journalist.
"It is an utterly unjust decision which serves no constructive purpose. I am considering many options but am undecided as to what to do. I feel very badly for all the people who have supported me with so much energy -- I fear their reputations will suffer also, by association.
"I'm especially disturbed that the young people on my campaign will be turned off politics, having witnessed what's happened to me... There's so much more to say but I'm not up to saying it yet.''
Sen. Sharon Carstairs, who's heading up the party's campaign in Manitoba, said Dion had no other choice.
"The reality is she wrote an article in which she supported 9/11 conspiracy theorists," Carstairs said. "It was necessary for her to go."
Hughes' column has been on the Internet for years, but was only brought to light by a local blogger after Hughes and other Liberal candidates appeared with Dion Wednesday courting the Jewish vote at the Asper Jewish Community Campus.
Carstairs said the Canadian Jewish Congress approached the party for an apology on Thursday.
Hughes issued this statement later in the day: "I find any interpretation of my journalism as anti-Semitic personally offensive and I heartily apologize for that perception."
The Canadian Jewish Congress made clear that Hughes' apology was not enough. "So the leader made a decision," Carstairs said.
Hughes' Liberal-sponsored website disappeared by midday Friday. Her Henderson Highway campaign office was also to close.
However, Hughes' name will stay on the ballot for the Oct. 14 election as nominations have already closed.
CJC chief executive officer Bernie Farber said Hughes' apology read more like she was sorry people read her column wrong, not that she was sorry for offending people.
"I needed a few people to help translate it," he said. "I couldn't figure it out."
Farber said the words in the column are a "bizarre and odious anti-Jewish theory" which the congress is continually fighting as 9/11 conspiracy theorists continue to push it on the Internet.
He said he believes Hughes to be a honourable person but she still needs to do the right thing. "She still has the responsibility to set the record straight and she hasn't done that yet," he said.
In May 2007 Hughes appeared at a media roundtable at the Gas Station Theatre to discuss the media's role in failing to report what 9/11 conspiracists believe is "biggest news story of all time."


Posted: September 27, 2008, 11:50 AM by Kelly McParland
Stéphane Dion was right to jettison Lesley Hughes, the Liberal candidate in the Winnipeg riding of Kildonan-St. Paul. Her poisonous views have no place in a major Canadian party.
Ms. Hughes, a former CBC radio host who until recently edited the socialist magazine Canadian Dimension, is sympathetic to the so-called 9/11 Truth Movement. “Truthers,” as they are known, believe the downing of New York’s World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 was the result of a vast plot by the Israeli secret service, or the CIA, or both.
In a 2002 column, Ms. Hughes wrote that the shock and sorrow portrayed by “corporate media, privately owned newspapers, television and radio chains” following the 9/11 attacks “was hard to swallow, coming from the same media that … couldn’t wait to send young Canadians into a war on terrorism.” Without citing specific examples, she insisted the CIA (which she claimed gets its “strategies and directions” from Wall Street, which itself is “heavily dependent on laundered drug money”) had “foreknowledge” of the al-Qaeda attacks. She also insisted the attacks were possible only through “the complicity of highly placed officials in the U.S. government.”
Ms. Hughes then went on to repeat a variation of the Internet canard that legions of Jews avoided death in the Twin Towers because the Mossad knew the attacks were coming and warned them: “Israeli businesses, which had offices in the Towers, vacated the premises a week before the attacks, breaking their lease to do it.”
As recently as last year, Ms. Hughes was still peddling her preposterous views, appearing on a panel in Winnipeg with notorious 9/11 denier Barry Zwicker and others. Good riddance to this woman. Her consolation: Now that she has been bounced from the Liberal campaign, she will have plenty of time to find the “real killers” behind 9/11.

There are some who claim Tory Calgary Centre MP Lee Richardson should also be bounced, for saying to a Calgary weekly newspaper that immigrants are behind most of that city’s crime. “Look who’s committing the crimes,” he said. “They’re not the kid who grew up next door.”
Well, in many cases, they are the kids from next door. That, in part, is what Mr. Richardson’s own party’s youth-crime strategy is all about -- putting a little deterrent into the criminal justice system so ordinary kids don’t go astray in such numbers.
But Mr. Richardson was referring specifically to the recent rash of fatal shootings and stabbings in Calgary, most of which, according to Calgary police, are related to gangs with such names as FOB and FOB Killers. (FOB stands for Fresh Off the Boat -- a derogatory reference to immigrants that, like other taboo words, has been appropriated by those it purports to describe.) In August, Calgary police conducted 25 raids on FOB hangouts, netting 14 suspects who face more than 100 charges for drug and gun possession, car theft, robbery and a variety of other crimes.
Which is to say, there was a grain of truth behind Mr. Richardson’s ill-chosen remarks. As such, they were hardly in the same league as Ms. Hughes’ rantings. His indiscretion wasn’t severe enough to merit expulsion.

The same can’t be said, however, for Bev Collins, who is now running as the NDP candidate in Cariboo-Prince George. Here’s what Ms. Collins has said about the possibility of another major terrorist attack in the United States: “Bush is losing his support base faster than he can say al-Qaida. Now officials are warning their fellow Americans and the world that Cheney and friends are planning to launch a 9/11-style attack on American soil within the coming months to bring about martial law and keep their hold on power.”
Even more damning was Collins’ participation in a creepy 2007 9/11 “truth” conference in Vancouver, at which various experts presented evidence to show that the World Trade Center was blown up from within.
Yet unlike Stéphane Dion, NDP leader Jack Layton has so far refused to cleanse his candidate ranks of a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. Why? Is it because, unlike Ms. Hughes, Ms. Collins has aimed her ludicrous theories only at the United States, and not at Israel? Or does the NDP simply regard such theories as Ms. Collins’ to be acceptable?
Either way, Canadians should be offended. If Mr. Layton wants to convince Canadians that the NDP is a truly mainstream party, he must strike Bev Collins from his candidate list.
National Post


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Liberal candidate Leslie Hughes: 9/11 Truther?

Remember Jack Layton talking about his pal, Barry Zwicker? Zwicker is the "leader" of the Canadian 9/11 "Truth" group. And remember who broke that story? (No, it wasn't the Western Standard, although we have been digging into stories like this for a while). It was Liberal blogger Jason Cherniak.
Cherniak made a really big deal about Jack Layton's ties to the Truth groups. And now it turns out that Kildonian-St. Paul Liberal candidate Leslie Hughes is a super-duper-truther.
From Dawg's Blawg:
Here's Lesley Hughes, running for the Liberals in Kildonan-St.Paul, on the 9/11 attacks:
"German Intelligence (BND) claims to have warned the U.S. last June, the Israeli Mossad and Russian Intelligence in August. Israeli businesses, which had offices in the Towers, vacated the premises a week before the attacks, breaking their lease to do it. About 3000 Americans working there were not so lucky."
I await Cherniak's denunciation of the Liberal Party for running one of those Troofer anti-Semites he's been going on about.
And here's Jay Currie, who often appears on the Al & Mike Show, part of the Western Standard radio network:
"(I have been trying to reach Ms. Hughes campaign office for confirmation…line’s busy.)
Update: Reached the Campaign Office and spoke to the very pleasant campaign manager, Selina Bieber. They are aware of the story…the Globe and Mail had called. they are trying to verify it. I left my number and said I’d be happy to talk to the candidate.)
Update II Smoking Gun! At the lovely “Canada Wants the Truth Blog” from 2007 “Barrie Zwicker and Lesley Hughes to speak Thursday September 6th, Winnipeg MB Canada
Thursday on the 3rd floor of Mondragon (91 Albert street.) for 7:30 PM, featuring Author, Media Critic Barrie Zwicker & Fromer CBC jounalist, Editor of Canadian Dimension (www.canadiandimension.com) Leslie Hughes will be discussing 9/11.”
Hey, isn’t Barry Zwicker Smilin Jack’s Troother pal??
Update III And here is a report of Ms. Hughes as a panelist at a Troother event."
Here, meanwhile, is The Black Rod:
And speaking of unreported stories---what about that coverup of the 911 bombings of the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.
Now that's an unreported story -- according to a well-known Liberal candidate.
Lesley Hughes, step right up. Yes. Former CBC radio host Lesley Hughes. Now running against Conservative Joy Smith in Kildonan-St.Paul.
She's a 9-11 Truther.
She was upfront about her views in a 2002 column headlined Get The Truth. You know, the one where she wrote how the Jews with offices in the World Trade Towers got advance warning of the terrorists attacks. Yeah, that one.
And from that "Get the Truth" article:
Truth may have been the casualty of war in former ages, but this war is different. While major media busy themselves waving flags, a global network of independent journalists, who have no interests to protect, no secrets to hide, are tracking and documenting its development on a daily basis.
Among the best: the Web site The Emperor's New Clothes (www.tenc.net) and Mike Ruppert, editor and publisher of From the Wilderness newsletter out of California (www.copvcia.com) .
Using and sharing only published and sourced news stories from world media, and official documents of various governments either leaked or available under freedom of information acts, these journalists have assembled a disturbing picture, which suggests CIA foreknowledge and complicity of highly placed officials in the U.S. government around the attacks on the World Trade Center Sept. 11.
Bottom line: That's the story of this election. It isn't any actual political issue like, say, free speech and expression, or whether or not we should legalize marijuana, but this--the candidates embarrassed and sometimes forced to resign for what look like past "indiscretions."
Google is the enemy. If you want a political career, don't blog or say or do anything that can be accessed somehow via a Google search.
Posted by P.M. Jaworski on September 25, 2008 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


26 septembre 2008

Stéphane Dion doit expliquer les divagations anti-Israël de l’extrémiste Lesley Hughes
Le Parti conservateur a réclamé aujourd'hui la démission de la candidate extrémiste de Stéphane Dion Lesley Hughes, qui a écrit un essai dans lequel elle accuse Israël et l’Amérique de complicité dans les attaques terroristes du 11 septembre 2001.
« Les Canadiens relèguent légitimement les conspirations théoriciennes sur les attentats du 11 septembre aux extrêmes idéologiques de notre société, a dit la candidate conservatrice Rochelle Wilner. Ils sont aussi dégoûtés par ceux qui ciblent la nation juive avec suspicion et dédain. Ce genre de divagations extrémistes n’a pas sa place au sein d’un parti politique qui se respecte, et si M. Dion était un vrai leader, il congédierait Lesley Hughes sans délai. »
À la suite des attaques terroristes du 11 septembre, la pseudo-journaliste Lesley Hughes a écrit un article incendiaire accusant les gouvernements des États-Unis et d’Israël d’avoir été prévenus, ou d’être complices, des attaques qui ont tué 3 000 innocents.
« Les entreprises israéliennes qui avaient des bureaux dans les Tours ont quitté les lieux une semaine avant les attaques, résiliant leur bail. Quelque 3 000 Américains n’ont pas eu cette chance », écrit Mme Hughes dans son essai. (http://members.shaw.ca/mclachla/page3.htm)
« Une image choquante, qui laisse croire que des personnes haut placées au gouvernement américain et à la CIA avaient été prévenues des attaques perpétrées contre le World Trade Center le 11 septembre. De nombreuses sources officielles disent avoir informé le Renseignement américain, qui dépense 30 milliards de dollars par année pour recueillir de l’information, des attaques des tours jumelles le jour même. Le Service de Renseignement allemand (BND) dit avoir prévenu les États-Unis en juin dernier, et le Mossad et les Russes en août », peut-on lire dans une autre partie de l’essai. (http://members.shaw.ca/mclachla/page3.htm)
L’essai de Mme Hughes n’est pas sa première liaison avec les extrémistes du soi-disant mouvement sur la « vérité sur le 11 septembre ». En fait, elle a déjà collaboré avec le théoricien bien connu Barry Zwicker. (http://canadawantsthetruth911.blogspot.com/2007/09/barrie-zwicker-and-lesley-hughes-to.html)
« Le Canada est un pays libre et Mme Hughes a certainement le droit à ses opinions, qu’elles soient illogiques, haineuses ou extrêmes, a conclu Mme Wilner. Les questions les plus graves se rapportent au jugement de M. Dion. Il doit immédiatement renvoyer Mme Hughes. Sinon, les Canadiens seront en droit de conclure que le fanatisme bizarre et incohérent du mouvement sur le 11 septembre a sa place au sein du Parti libéral du Canada. »


26 septembre 2008

Les adeptes des théories de complot extrémistes sur les événements du 11 septembre 2001 n'ont pas leur place dans la vie publique
En refusant de s'excuser pour ses lubies de conspiration extrémistes et anti-israélites sur les événements du 11 septembre 2001, la candidate libérale Lesley Hughes a montré qu'elle est inapte à occuper une charge publique et Stéphane Dion doit la destituer immédiatement, a déclaré aujourd’hui le candidat conservateur dans la circonscription de Thornhill, Peter Kent.
« Hier soir, Lesley Hughes a eu le culot de dire qu’elle était “personnellement insultée” du fait que les gens décrivent ses anciennes tentatives visant à diaboliser le seul État juif de la planète en le qualifiant de complice des attentats terroristes du 11 septembre 2001 », a déclaré M. Kent. « Les personnes qui devraient en fait être choquées, ce sont les membres de la communauté juive canadienne et tous ceux qui ont perdu des êtres chers lors de ces attentats terroristes, qui sont tous visés par le discours haineux d’une marginale idéologique discréditée. »
Après que les essais rédigés par Mme Hughes dans lesquels elle accuse le gouvernement d’Israël et les États-Unis de « connaissance anticipée et de complicité » relativement aux attentats terroristes du 11 septembre 2001 ont fait surface, cette dernière a eu la chance de présenter ses excuses en bonne et due forme pour ses opinions choquantes.
Toutefois, Mme Hughes a plutôt préféré s’en prendre à ses détracteurs et déclarer qu’elle était à la fois « bouleversée » et qu'elle était « personnellement insultée » que des essais qu'elle a rédigés par le passé soient exposés au grand jour. Outre n’avoir présenté que des excuses peu convaincantes sur la « perception » faite de ses propos, Mme Hugues a refusé de s’excuser pour les liens de longue date qu’elle entretient avec les partisans de la théorie du complot du soi-disant mouvement sur la « vérité sur le 11 septembre », qui sont reconnus pour entretenir des vues antisémites.
Lors d'une conférence de presse tenue aujourd’hui, Stéphane Dion a éludé les questions sur les commentaires passés de Mme Hugues, mais a refusé de la destituer alors que, bizarrement, il a demandé que des candidats d'autres partis le soient. Pendant la conférence de presse, des partisans libéraux ont tenté de huer les questions des médias sur les opinions « antisémites » qu'a exprimées Mme Hugues par le passé.
« Les Canadiens de la communauté juive, de même que tous les autres, ne permettront pas à Lesley Hughes de cacher les liens qu'elle a entretenus par le passé avec un des mouvements marginaux les plus haineux du Canada », a conclu M. Kent. « Stéphane Dion doit destituer Lesley Hughes une bonne fois pour toute. »


Stéphane Dion did the right thing: Now it’s your turn, Mr Layton
National Post Article
Barbara Kay
Posted: September 26, 2008, 1:02 PM by Jonathan Kay
Barbara Kay
Good for Stéphane Dion for stepping up to the plate and demanding the resignation of Lesley Hughes, Liberal candidate for Kildonan-St Paul. Hughes failed to renounce the anti-Semitic implications of her 9/11 conspiracy theories in suggesting that Israeli companies had vacated the World Trade Center before the attacks. The B’nai B’rith has issued a congratulatory statement: “Stéphane Dion has done the right thing by refusing to let Lesley Hughes, a candidate with a record of antisemitism, stand for the Liberal Party of Canada,” said Frank Dimant, Executive Vice President of B’nai Brith Canada.
I now eagerly await Jack Layton’s forthright renunciation of a similarly problematic NDP candidate, Samira Laouni, in the Montreal riding of Bourassa. Ms Laouni is a person of influence in the leadership of the Canadian Islamic Congress, Quebec region. She was a principal organizer for a CIC fundraising dinner in September, 2007, whose guest speaker, Yvonne Ridley is an impassioned anti-Zionist, but more importantly a terrorist apologist and proud friend of the Taliban and Hezbollah, an organization officially classified as terrorist by the federal government.
Present at that evening to bring NDP greetings, but not during Ridley’s speech, which finished shortly before their arrival, were Thomas Mulcair, MP for Outrement and former NDP leader Alexa McDonough. I spoke to Thomas Mulcair the following day and asked him how the NDP could associate itself with anyone representing such despicable, anti-Canadian views. Mr Mulcair swore up and down that he had no idea of who Yvonne Ridley was or what she was talking about, and that he was merely bringing greetings to a community group, the same as he would for any other. I told him in no uncertain terms who Yvonne Ridley was. So the NDP cannot claim to be ignorant of the CIC’s open admiration for her, and Ms Laouni’s role in bringing her to Canada. Mr Layton, take a leaf from Mr Dion’s book, and do the right thing.
WOW!!! What an attack piece on D R. Laouni!!! Wasn’t she the NDP candidate who was on the air with Marie-Claude Montpetit on CISM 89.3 FM with Benoit Perron? Hmmmm…… coincidence?
Do you think mtl911truth got their attention?


Get the Truth -by Lesley Hughes
Last week Canada revealed itself once again as a truly unique nation. In a world where dead warriors are commonplace and taken for granted, this country stopped, paid attention, lowered the flags and gave full military honours to four soldiers, who died inexplicably and tragically at the hands of our allies.
We all felt the shock and the sorrow. The corporate media, privately owned newspapers, television and radio chains lingered especially on the pain and dignity of their survivors.
This was hard to swallow, coming from the same media that, in a fit of Me-Too-ism, couldn't wait to send young Canadians into a war on terrorism, which they hardly bothered to investigate; the same media that show every willingness to sacrifice more lives and families without pausing to confront the most basic question Canadians want answered about Afghanistan. What, exactly, are we doing there?
Truth may have been the casualty of war in former ages, but this war is different. While major media busy themselves waving flags, a global network of independent journalists, who have no interests to protect, no secrets to hide, are tracking and documenting its development on a daily basis.
Among the best: the Web site The Emperor's New Clothes (www.tenc.net) and Mike Ruppert, editor and publisher of From the Wilderness newsletter out of California (www.copvcia.com) .
Using and sharing only published and sourced news stories from world media, and official documents of various governments either leaked or available under freedom of information acts, these journalists have assembled a disturbing picture, which suggests CIA foreknowledge and complicity of highly placed officials in the U.S. government around the attacks on the World Trade Center Sept. 11.
Many official sources are claiming to have warned the American intelligence community, which spends $30 billion a year gathering information, about the attacks on the twin towers on that heartbreaking day.
German Intelligence (BND) claims to have warned the U.S. last June, the Israeli Mossad and Russian Intelligence in August. Israeli businesses, which had offices in the Towers, vacated the premises a week before the attacks, breaking their lease to do it. About 3000 Americans working there were not so lucky.
Ironically, the stock market was also warning anyone who cared to notice that something peculiar was afoot: in the week prior to Sept. 11, unknown speculator(s) were suddenly betting that the stocks of United Airlines and American Airlines were going to fall in value; the trades were placed through Deutschebank/AB Brown, a firm formerly managed by Buzzy-Krongard, now executive director of the CIA.
So far, no one has been bold enough to claim $2.5 million in profits. No serious search for the speculator is under way.
More important to Canadians, the facts uncovered by Internet journalism suggest that the war in Afghanistan has little to do with the attacks of Sept.11; that it's the result of lengthy failed negotiations between American businessmen and the Taliban over access to drugs and oil.
Mike Ruppert, a former LAPD narcotics officer turned journalist, maintains that Wall Street, (from whom the CIA gets its strategists and directions) is heavily dependent on laundered drug money, which helps keep the Fortune 500 and the stock market afloat. The IMF recently estimated that about $1.5 trillion goes through the world's banks every year, at least $500 billion of it from drugs.
His documents show that in January, 2001, the Taliban destroyed their opium crops, which normally supply 70 per cent of the world's heroin. In May, the U.S. gave the Taliban $43 Million in mysterious aid. Sept. 11 was a turning point.
The U.S. bombed, invaded, captured the Taliban, and opium farms are now back in business. The Financial Times has reported that the next harvest will be a record breaking 4,500 tonnes, much of it headed to the U.S.A.
Ruppert and others have tracked the progress of an urgent pipeline, which American oilmen have been trying to build through Afghanistan since 1991. They stated publicly that they could not do it without a sympathetic Afghan government in place. Newly installed prime minister Hamid Karzai is a former employee of Unocal Oil.
Negotiations on the Central Asian pipeline resumed in October and an agreement to proceed with it was announced in February.
Ruppert also notes that Osama Bin Laden was treated for his chronic kidney disease at the American Hospital in Dubai last summer. Although wanted for the bombing of two U.S. embassies and eligible for execution by American agents, he flew away undisturbed. The sole coverage of these events in Canada has come from Barrie Zwicker, media critic at Vision TV.
If the work of Internet journalists is correct, then the war is neither a holy war, not a grand clash of civilizations between East and West, and our soldiers were lost to us and to their families to keep drugs and oil profits flowing in the U.S.
Until we know the truth, we should refuse to add one more Canadian body to the pile of dead in Afghanistan. Not one. Canada should get the truth or get out.
Lesley Hughes is a freelance writer and broadcaster in Winnipeg. Reprinted with permission. Since Lesley’s column on May 1, the mainstream media have at last also "discovered" elements of this deeper, more sinister, story.


Lay off Lesley Hughes! Jerks!
Posted By Patrick (mtl911truth.org)
If former Liberal candidate Lesley Hughes is an antisemite, then George Bush is Mahatma Gandhi, Stephen Harper is Mother Theresa and Stephane Dion is capable of leading Canada.
Of course, none of the above is true. In dumping Hughes, a well respected Winnipeg journalist and social activist, Dion has buckled under the pressure of the pro-Israel lobby and proven himself incapable of developing independent foreign policy for Canada. How else are we to judge a man who accepts the nonsense that any criticism of Israel, no matter how minor, is antisemitic?
The article that cut short Hughes brief career as a Liberal candidate, Get the Truth, raises a series of questions about the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The sad irony is that the article did not even criticize Israel. Here is what she had to say:
Many official sources are claiming to have warned the American intelligence community, which spends $30 billion a year gathering information, about the attacks on the twin towers on that heartbreaking day.
German Intelligence (BND) claims to have warned the U.S. last June, the Israeli Mossad and Russian Intelligence in August. Israeli businesses, which had offices in the Towers, vacated the premises a week before the attacks, breaking their lease to do it. About 3000 Americans working there were not so lucky.
If anything, Hughes credits Israeli inteligence with attempting to warn the Americans of an impending attack on the Twin Towers, one which they obviously ignored.
Dion’s spinelessness is not unique, unfortunately. It is difficult to find any political leader who is willing to be critical of Israeli policies. In this instance, though, his gutlessness was stupendous, because Hughes did not “blame the Jews” for anything. The point of her article was to raise questions about the genesis of 9-11 and the invasion of Afghanistan. As she put it:
If the work of Internet journalists is correct, then the war is neither a holy war, not a grand clash of civilizations between East and West, and our soldiers were lost to us and to their families to keep drugs and oil profits flowing in the U.S.
Until we know the truth, we should refuse to add one more Canadian body to the pile of dead in Afghanistan. Not one. Canada should get the truth or get out.
Hughes has been unfairly maligned. Fortunately, many Canadians, especially those who are familiar with her and her work refuse to join the witchhunt that has been mounted by right wing media, zionist apologists and barely literate bloggers.
In an online readers poll today, the Winnipeg Free Press asked: “Do you think Liberal leader Stephane Dion was right to turf Lesley Hughes over 9/11 conspiracy writings?” Of the 2,469 readers who have responded to date, 73 percent have said “No.”
Stephane Dione has not done his party any favours in Winnipeg. However, he may have done Lesley Hughes a big favour. Had she succeeded in her election bid, I doubt she would have been happy for long.
Full Blog Posting here/
Posted By Patrick

Posted By Patrick

Insults victim’s families!?!?!?!?!?! You guy are nuts! I want to yell at you, you are dispicable pathetic human beings. Shame on the Liberals! Spineless fascists you all are! I sincerely hope that little old Jack will show us that he has some courage, integrity and decency and stand up for his candidates and also take a stand for the truth. Take on the 9/11 issue Jack! We’ll be with you and helping you every step of the way. Come on Jack, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!
September 25, 2008
Bev Collins Views Insulting to Victims of 9-11
Jack Layton must be held to account for approving the candidacy of Bev Collins, a high profile conspiracy theorist and former Canadian Action Party (CAP) President and NDP candidate in Cariboo-Prince George.
Sadly, it appears that the NDP didn’t do any research when they recruited this controversial candidate, who even speaks at “9/11truth conferences.” When confronted with the possibility by the Vancouver Sun yesterday, NDP campaign manager Gerry Scott was quoted as saying “I’m sure she doesn’t believe that” (Vancouver Sun, 24 September 2008)
Here are the facts:
There are countless hours of video and audio that show exactly what Bev Collins really believes. (Links and transcripts attached) The local print media has also reported extensively on what Bev Collins believes. For example:
“With Rumsfeld, Rove, and now Gonzales out of the way, Bush is losing his support base faster than he can say Al-Qaida. Now officials are warning their fellow Americans and the world that Cheney and friends are planning to launch a 9/11-style attack on American soil within the coming months to bring about martial law and keep their hold on power. This could be ignored as a conspiracy, except for the high-calibre people who signed on to this public written warning including a former colonel and congresswoman.”
-Running for cover from all the conspiracy theories,” Prince George Citizen (31 August 2007)
“The CAP [Canadian Action Party, of which Collins was president] is launching an independent internal investigation,” she said. There’s so much complicity and questions surrounding that day. And now we’re being stripped of our rights and freedoms with anti-terrorism laws, rules and regulations
“Collins’ party happy with turnout North American union, potential war hot topics,” Cariboo Press (21 October 2007)
Was Jack Layton aware of Ms. Collins’ views prior to her becoming an NDP candidate?
If not, now that Jack Layton has this information, will he repudiate or endorse the extreme views of this candidate?


CBC: 9/11 Truth in the Elections

Prof. Anthony Hall - Hate Speech as Political Rhetoric: Stephen Harper and 911 in the Canadian Election of 2008

By Anthony J. Hall
Founding Coordinator and Professor of Globalization Studies
University of Lethbridge
Stephen Harper’s campaign has been so unrelenting in its undifferentiated smearing of the entire international movement seeking 911 Truth that it has extended the frontiers of hate speech as political rhetoric. So ruthless has the Harper Team been on this theme that it can henceforth be identified as one of the world’s foremost agencies in the ongoing 911 Cover Up.
Harper’s campaign applied a variation of the tactics employed during the Cold War by Joseph McCarthy’s infamous Congressional Committee on Un-American Activities. In late September the Harper Team’s news releases went ballistic in its McCarthyesque push to characterize as un-Canadian each and every citizen who calls attention to the simple fact that the Bush-led War on Terror rests on nothing but an unproven conspiracy theory.That untenable official conspiracy theory begins with the premise that 19 Saudi high jackers armed with nothing but box cutters, a smattering of flight training and jihadist zeal succeeded in executing the most devastating attack on the continental United States since the War of 1812.
Harper’s Team leaped to the head of the 911 Cover Up Movement when it attempted to exploit for political gain a factually incorrect point included in a paper written in 2002 by the former Liberal candidate in Winnipeg, Lesley Hughes. While Hughes was wrong in her details, she is far from alone in her more general position that many intelligence services had prior knowledge that something very drastic was about to happen in the days and weeks leading up to 911. One of those intelligence services was indeed that of Israel. The Israeli government’s understanding of the situation was almost certainly connected to the activities of an Israeli spy ring posing as art students especially in the Hollywood Florida region. If I’m inaccurate on the issues of Israeli spies inside the United States prior to 911, then so are the reports I have been reading about it in many mainstream media venues including those of Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, CounterPunch, Intelligence.online, BBC, Fox News, the Sunday Herald in Scotland and the Sunday Telegraph in Great Britain to mention only a few. Will the Harperites and their operates in the right-wing blogosphere insist I am un-Canadian and a bigot for reporting what I have seen in these mainstream media vehicles? Are the sources I have read to be scorched from the record in a book burning campaign of information cleansing?
The Harper team crossed the line into lunatic hate talk in its effort to stamp out a citizens’ campaign aimed at securing commitment from politicians that, if elected, they will push for a Canadian investigation into the Canadian angle on the events of 911, including the death of two dozen of our citizens in the Twin Towers. Rather than deal with the nuances and complexities of the 911 issues on their merit, the Harper Team went into high witch hunt mode. It acted more like the thuggish storm troopers of Crown thought police rather than the brain trust of a mainstream Canadian political party.
In the initial Conservative press release on 911 the Harper Team quoted Conservative candidate Peter Kent. Kent collectively slandered all those many individuals seeking 911 Truth as “one of Canada’s most notorious hate mongering fringe movements.” What a self-incriminating slur to fall from the lips of the Scud Stud’s news reading brother. The subsequent Conservative press releases continued to follow this hysterical line labeling all those seeking 911 truth as “fanatics,” “incoherent,” “hateful,” “discredited” “offensive” and “repugnant.” According to the would-be thought police of the 911 Cover Up Party, the movement composed of those seeking 911 truth “is notorious for holding anti-Semitic views.”
Excuse me! Who here is carrying the most heavy burden of the legacy of anti-Jewish barbarity? It needs to be remembered that the terrible genocide of the Holocaust was initiated on the political right, not the social democratic middle; that George Bush’s grandfather was far from alone among US and British investment bankers in siding with Hitler rather than Roosevelt. It need to be remembered that Harper’s right-wing heartland of Alberta was until fairly recently the home of some of the notorious anti-Semites in Canadian history.
Harper’s disinformation and smear campaign lies well outside the sphere of legitimate political debate at this election time. This hate-inspired, hate-generating language is directed not at an individual. Like a carpet bomb, rather, it is calculated to maim indiscriminately a whole group made up of many people of varying ages, backgrounds, abilities and ideologies. We 911 truthers disagree on many things except one. Almost all us who have decided to think independently rather than to accept at face value the public mythology of 911 agree on one thing. In all our diversity, with all our warts and halos, we basically agree on the necessity of a credible investigation conducted by a distinguished panel of disinterested jurists informed by the ideals of genuine third-party adjudication. Only in this way can we overcome the impediments to 911 Truth put in place by the likes of political appointee Philip Zelikow, the Executive Director and primary author of the discredited 9/11 Commission’s report. But don’t take my word for it. Break free from the information monopoly of the media conglomerates . Google the subject and explore the facts, arguments and opinions for yourself.
The Conservative Party hate speech was directed in the first instance at the Liberal Party, who gave in to the shameful rhetorical blackmail. Then the witch hunters turned their attention to the NDP. Although Jack Layton has yet to explain where he agrees or disagrees with his friend Barrie Zwicker, the NDP leader chose not to go along with the Inquisition by pulling the plug on Bev Collins.
While the Harper Team’s first target was the political parties, I believe the larger agenda is to prevent the Canadian public from listening to the growing chorus calling attention to the growing litany of lies and crimes embedded at the origins of George Bush’s phony War on Terror. The hate speech of the Harper Conservatives is constructed by design to harm the quality of relations between 911 truthers and their communities, associates and loved ones. The hate speech is so extreme that it effectively attacks the very life support systems of those who proudly proclaim the need for 911 truth. Isn’t the Prime Minister attempting to isolate and stigmatize the 911 truthers in the conduct of our relations with all kinds of authorities, from police officers, to teachers, to employers, to social service agencies. In this way the brutal hate language of the Conservative campaign resembles racist campaigns of other places and times. But instead of targeting the members of a race, Harper’s hate speech operatives target a vast array of ideas and information as if it is all unified by some racist content and inspiration. That is outrageous! The silence has been deafening as the chilling effect has set in.
Rather than ethnic cleansing, the Harper Conservatives have engaged in a concerted attempt of intellectual cleansing aimed at stopping the fast unraveling of the 911 Cover Up. A shared interest in maintaining the 911 Cover Up has long united Bush and Harper. If these like-minded lobbyists for the oil industry had nothing to hide, wouldn’t they be happy to encourage those of us seeking a real investigation into the many documented features of the 911 saga that do not conform with the interpretations we were given just as the Great Shock was beginning to sink in during September of 2001?
The editors of the annual publication listing the top censored stories of 2009 have just included in their most current list the failure of the North American media to report on the inroads of the 911 Truth Movement into the parliamentary proceedings of the Japanese government. Are the decisions of those editors and the viewpoints of Japanese 911 truthers like House of Councillors representative, Yukihisa Fujita, to be explained away by the likes of Stephen Harper as the demented hate mongering of crazed anti-Semites?
11:18 PM

Bernie Farber: The wilful blindness of Lesley Hughes and her beliefs
No one is laughing anymore. Here’s a recent hitpiece that I read in the National Post today. If you haven’t read the NP today, you should probably do so. Perhaps avoid paying for a copy, which does mean steal it. I meant go to the library or something. (Comment by Patrick)
Bernie M. Farber is CEO of Canadian Jewish Congress
“The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, the1903 antisemitic Czarist Russian forgery, is the cornerstone of the modern twist on the centuries-old calumny alleging a global Jewish power conspiracy. Through its wider distribution in the United States by Henry Ford and its resonance with the Nazi régime in Germany it became, in the words of historian Norman Cohn, a “warrant for genocide”. The Holocaust should have laid this longstanding canard to rest. But in fact, the message of the Protocols has endured through its regular exposure as historical truth in Arab media, and even through their wide availability for sale at the UN-sponsored World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa in early September 2001.
Barely a week after the Conference ended, radical Islamists attacked the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon on September 11th. Out of this tragedy emerged the twenty-first century incarnation of the Protocols and the Jewish/Zionist world conspiracy: Jews and Israelis were not only warned in advance and stayed home that day but were behind the attacks in the first place.
Aside from the obvious whitewashing of the actual perpetrators of 9/11, such accusations are the latest addition to the shameful continuum of antisemitic allegations of global dominance, rapacious control of the media and international financial institutions, and secret cabals manipulating world events for profit and monopoly. One supposes that fantasies will always be with us, but this one is distinct from, say, the alien abduction of Elvis, for one very important reason: it evokes the poisonous notion that Jews/Israelis/Zionists (usually interchangeable in this calculus) callously engineered the slaughter of thousands of innocent people, including two dozen Canadian victims, as part of a malevolent plan to rule the world.
It is for this reason that Canadian Jewish Congress so vigorously opposes the purveyors of such obscene allegations and challenges the veracity of the misinformation, innuendo and outright lies that purportedly underpins their “search for the truth,” It is why CJC sought, and still seeks, an apology from erstwhile Liberal candidate Lesley Hughes. Last week Hughes’ attempted apology was nothing more than a confused, defensive ramble, blaming readers of her post for concluding that her offensive, batty blog was, well, offensive and batty. No facts have ever been presented to verify the chilling accusations that Israel had foreknowledge of the September 11th terror attacks, and that an Israeli tenant vacated one of the Twin Towers a week before, “breaking their lease to do it.” Indeed, a simple Google search would have shown that no leases were ever “broken” by Israeli firms housed at the WTC. And the only former Israeli tenant, ZIM lines, had announced it would leave the WTC a full 6 months before the tragic attack by Al Qaeda terrorists. That is why we welcomed her dismissal, even if it meant the voters of Kildonan-St. Paul would have no Liberal candidate as an option.
Let’s be clear: CJC has never accused Ms. Hughes of being an antisemite. Nor is she the object of a witch hunt or the victim of thought police. She was damned by her own hand because of her unapologetic association with 9/11 Jewish conspiracy theories. If Ms. Hughes was, as she has suggested, simply “reporting” alternate theories to the generally “accepted” version of the events of September 11, she would have done well to clarify that those theories were antisemitic in nature because they represented a collective assault on the Jewish people and the essence of the community’s nature.
The reality is that people sometimes make unfortunate choices to support unsubstantiated theories. When these allegations create harm like this one does, though, those people must be held accountable. In a press conference held on Oct. 2, Ms. Hughes maintained her stubborn and seemingly purposeful wilful blindness on her wrong-headed embrace of this terrible slander. No one who subscribes to these hateful fantasies, and then refuses to recant when challenged, is fit to serve in the national legislature of a proudly pluralistic nation that counts respect for diversity among its core values.
The 9/11 Jewish conspiracy theories have no place in Canada. Repeated often enough they become the warrant for genocide for our time.
Full Article and comments here
article de Haaretz, quotidien israélien important:Odigo says workers were warned of attack
Odigo fait partie de la famille Comverse, tout comme Verint !

À ne pas manquer:
2009: Mossad Link Found to One of Key 9-11 Hijackers

mercredi 24 septembre 2008

Israël et la traite des Blanches

Traite des Blanches en Israël

Human Trafficking in Israel

Esclaves sexuelles d'Europe de l'est

Dieudonné, l'esclavage et les juifs [HD]

Entretien publié dans l'hebdomadaire Rivarol le 14 mars 2008, au moment de la parution d'une brochure de 32 pages intitulé Israël et la traite desBlanches. (par Hervé Ryssen) http://www.herveryssen.com/?page_id=113 (le site s'est fait bouffer par les rats dans la cave.)

Rivarol : Hervé Ryssen, bonjour. Vous venez de publier une brochure sur la "traite des Blanches". Dites-nous ce que l'Etat d'Israël vient faire dans cette histoire ?

HR : Bonjour. Je me suis d'abord basé sur un rapport très officiel d'Amnesty international du mois de mai 2000, qui établit que des milliers de jeunes femmes russes, ukrainiennes et moldaves sont aujourd'hui obligées de se prostituer dans des maisons de passe un peu partout en Israël. Leur malheur a été de répondre à une petite annonce alléchante qui leur promettait un emploi bien rémunéré à l'étranger, comme serveuse ou femme de chambre dans un hôtel. C'est seulement arrivées à Chypre ou en Israël qu'elles ont compris à qui elles avaient affaire. Depuis l'effondrement de l'URSS en 1991, ce sont ainsi des centaines de milliers de jeunes femmes d'Europe de l'Est qui ont été happées par des réseaux de prostitution. Israël n'est d'ailleurs pas la seule destination où sont envoyés ces esclaves sexuels, car on retrouvent les filles d'Europe de l'Est jusqu'en Thaïlande et au Japon. Mais les proxénètes internationaux, eux, appartiennent souvent à une petite communauté qui a beaucoup souffert, et l'Etat d'Israël est la plaque tournante de ce trafic.

Rivarol : Vous dites que ces jeunes femmes sont réduites à l'état d'esclavage. Mais dans un grand pays démocratique comme Israël, n'ont-elles pas la possibilité d'alerter la police, tout simplement ?

HR : Pas vraiment. Selon tous les témoignages que nous avons, les filles sont séquestrées dans des centaines d'appartements ou de maisons dont les fenêtres sont munies de barreaux. Elles sont sévèrement corrigées, battues, ou même torturées, si elles refusent de coopérer. Certaines d'entre elles ont évidemment été tuées. Leurs passeports sont systématiquement confisqués et les proxénètes les menacent de mort, elles et leur famille, si elles tentent de s'enfuir ou témoignent devant la justice. De surcroît, la plupart d'entre elles assurent que les policiers sont de mèches avec les proxénètes, d'abord comme clients, mais aussi comme collaborateurs. Les filles, elles, travaillent sans arrêt, sept jours sur sept, sans aucun jour de repos dans l'année, sauf à Yom Kippour.

Rivarol : Comment les filles qui ont témoigné ont-elle pu s'échapper ?

HR : Elles ont été libérées après une descente de la police, après quoi, elles ont été placées en détention pendant une brève période avant d'être expulsées du territoire comme migrantes en situation irrégulière. D'autres sont incarcérées plus longtemps, dans certains cas, sur la base d'un arrêté du ministère de la Justice qui les empêchent de quitter le pays avant d'avoir témoigné. Le rapport d'une commission d'enquête du Parlement israélien, datant du 23 mars 2005 pointe du doigt les faiblesses de la justice israélienne sur le sujet. On y apprend que les magistrats sont souvent eux-mêmes soudoyés par les proxénètes. Les procureurs généraux exigent des peines minimes et ne demandent même pas de dommages et intérêts pour les victimes. Les magistrats font aussi parfois bénéficier les proxénètes de l'immunité en les utilisant prétendument comme des indicateurs du monde du crime.

Rivarol : Pourquoi les médiats restent-ils muets sur cette question, d'après vous ?

HR : Les grands maîtres des médiats projettent toujours sur les autres ce dont ils se sentent eux-mêmes coupables. Ainsi, depuis les années 90, on a beaucoup entendu parler de cette terrible "mafia russe". Celle-ci n'a en réalité de russe que le nom, car les plus grandes figures du crime organisé issu de l'ex-URSS sont des juifs, possédant la plupart du temps un passeport israélien. Semion Mogilevich, l'un des principaux d'entre eux, a d'ailleurs été arrêté il y a quelques semaines à Moscou, le 25 janvier 2008. Il faisait travailler des centaines de jeunes femmes à Budapest, à Prague et en Israël. Il s'occupait aussi de racket, de trafic de drogue, de diamants, et était en outre un gros trafiquant d'armes international.
N'oubliez pas : c'est un "Russe"  

Les quatre ouvrages d'Hervé Ryssen - Les Espérances planétariennes (2005), Psychanalyse du judaïsme (2006), Le Fanatisme juif (2007), La mafia juive (2008) - sont vendus au prix de 26 ? l'unité et peuvent être commandés à l'adresse suivante :

Editions Baskerville, 14 rue Pierre Brossolette, 92300 Levallois. Chèque à l'ordre de Hervé François. Ajoutez 2 ? de frais de port pour la France et l'étranger. 8 ? pour les Dom-Tom. La brochure de 32 pages sur la traite des Blanches est au prix de 2 ?. Elle est vendue par correspondance à la même adresse, par 5 exemplaires au minimum ; 1 ? à partir de 50 exemplaires (+ les frais de port).

Voici les premières pages de notre chapitre consacré au rôle accablant de la mafia juive dans la traite des Blanches :

Depuis la chute du mur de Berlin, en 1989, des centaines de milliers de jeunes femmes d'Europe de l'Est avaient été happées par des réseaux de prostitution et emmenées vers des destinations lointaines. Les médiats restaient extrêmement discrets sur ce sujet. Au mois de mai 2000, pourtant, un rapport d'Amnesty International avait révélé l'ampleur du phénomène et pointé du doigt l'État d'Israël, la plaque tournante de ce trafic. (Les éditions francophones d'Amnesty International. http://efai.i-france.com. Human Rights Abuses of Women Trafficked from Countries of the Former Soviet Union into Israel's Sex Industry).
L'effondrement de l'URSS, en 1991, avait provoqué un appauvrissement considérable de la population. Pour tenter d'échapper à la misère et de subvenir aux besoins de leurs familles, de nombreuses jeunes filles russes, ukrainiennes ou moldaves, avaient alors répondu à certaines offres alléchantes publiées dans les journaux. Malheureusement pour elles, ces offres de travail à l'étranger s'avéraient souvent être des pièges posés par des proxénètes internationaux.
Le phénomène fut si important que le très cosmopolite New York Times du 11 janvier 1998 avait été obligé d'ouvrir le dossier, avec un article de Michael Specter sur les "naïves femmes slaves". Le journaliste relatait l'histoire poignante d'une jeune beauté ukrainienne de 21 ans qui, de son village, avait répondu à une annonce dans un journal local et s'était retrouvée en Israël, contrainte de se prostituer. Les filles, apprenait-on, étaient envoyées jusqu'au Japon et en Thaïlande par des réseaux tenus par les mafieux "russes" basés à Moscou. Rappelez-vous : à cette époque, tous les médiats parlaient de la terrible "mafia russe".
Le Jerusalem Post du 13 janvier 1998 avait repris ces informations. Ainsi, on apprenait qu'il y avait plus de 10 000 prostituées en Israël, presque toutes russes et ukrainiennes. Les femmes, achetées et vendues par les proxénètes étaient séquestrées dans des bars et des bordels, et rapportaient chacune à leur propriétaire entre 50 et 100 000 dollars par an.
Le premier rapport sur la traite des Blanches semble être celui publié le 8 avril 1997 par le CEDAW. (Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women). Ce rapport montrait que le trafic de femmes blanches séquestrées en Israël ne cessait de croître. A Tel-Aviv, des centaines de bars, de maisons closes et de boîtes de nuit animaient la vie nocturne. Le Tropicana était alors l'une des maisons de passe les plus en vue. Une vingtaine de femmes russes y travaillaient, huit en journée, et douze la nuit. Les clients étaient des soldats israéliens, des hommes d'affaires, des religieux, ou encore des travailleurs immigrés - ces derniers n'ayant pas le droit d'avoir des relations sexuelles avec les Israéliennes, sous peine d'expulsion immédiate. Le propriétaire des lieux déclarait : "Les Israéliens adorent les femmes russes. Elles sont blondes, bien fichues, et ont un air désespéré qui plaît beaucoup. Elles sont prêtes à faire n'importe quoi pour de l'argent." Les filles n'étaient pas payées, et ne gagnaient que les pourboires. Elles travaillaient sans arrêt, sept jours sur sept, sans aucun jour de repos dans l'année, sauf à Yom Kippour.
Le long rapport d'Amnesty International présentait les témoignages de plusieurs de ces jeunes femmes. Elles avaient été attirées ici sous de faux prétextes, puis livrées aux réseaux de prostitution, achetées et vendues au plus offrant, le plus souvent aux enchères, comme du bétail. Elles avaient ensuite été séquestrées par leurs "propriétaires" dans des maisons ou des appartements dont elles ne pouvaient sortir sans être accompagnées. Leurs passeports et autres documents de voyage avaient été confisqués par les proxénètes afin de les empêcher de quitter le pays. Elles étaient fréquemment frappées si elles refusaient d'avoir des relations sexuelles avec certains clients ou si elles tentaient de s'enfuir. De nombreuses informations faisaient aussi état d'actes de torture et de viol, ainsi que d'autres formes de sévices sexuels. Les trafiquants les menaçaient de mort, elles et les membres de leur famille, au cas où elles s'aviseraient de quitter Israël, de fournir des renseignements à la police ou encore de témoigner dans le cadre de procédures pénales, si bien qu'il était difficile de traduire en justice les "auteurs d'atteintes aux droits fondamentaux des victimes de la traite". (Le terme "droits fondamentaux" revient toutes les trois lignes dans le rapport).
Le gouvernement israélien n'avait d'ailleurs pris aucune mesure pour enquêter sur ces violences et engager des poursuites judiciaires. De plus, les femmes étaient généralement traitées comme des délinquantes plutôt que comme des victimes. Au regard de la législation israélienne, en effet, presque toutes ces filles étaient des migrantes en situation irrégulière, puisqu'elles séjournaient en Israël sans permis de travail ou avec de faux documents. Beaucoup d'entre elles étaient ainsi placées en détention à la suite de descentes de la police israélienne dans les maisons de prostitution ou les salons de massage. Certaines étaient détenues pendant de brèves périodes avant d'être expulsées du territoire, mais d'autres étaient incarcérées plus longtemps, dans certains cas, sur la base d'un arrêté du ministère de la Justice qui les empêchait de quitter le pays avant d'avoir témoigné devant la justice. Beaucoup de femmes emprisonnées avaient ainsi subi des traumatismes physiques et psychologiques considérables, et il n'existait aucun service d'aide psychologique qui fût en mesure de répondre à leurs besoins.
Au cours de leur visite en Israël en avril et en mai 1999, les délégués d'Amnesty International s'étaient rendus à la prison pour femmes de Neve Tirza afin de s'entretenir avec des jeunes femmes détenues en raison de leurs activités liées à la prostitution et en instance de rapatriement. Voici le témoignage d'Anna, 31 ans, originaire de Saint-Pétersbourg. Elle était professeur de physique en Russie, et avait été attirée en Israël par la promesse d'un emploi rémunéré 1000 dollars par mois, soit vingt fois le salaire qu'elle percevait alors en Russie. Le ressortissant israélien qui lui avait proposé cet emploi l'avait bien prévenue qu'il était lié à l'industrie du sexe, mais ce qu'il avait présenté n'avait évidemment rien à voir avec la réalité. Anna était ainsi arrivée en Israël en octobre 1998 avec un visa de tourisme. Attendue à l'aéroport, elle fut emmenée et enfermée dans un appartement avec six autres femmes originaires de l'ex-Union soviétique, et son passeport fut immédiatement confisqué. Anna avait ensuite été vendue aux enchères à deux reprises. La seconde fois, elle fut achetée 10 000 dollars et emmenée à Haïfa où elle fut séquestrée avec deux autres femmes. Les fenêtres de l'appartement étaient munies de barreaux et lorsqu'elles étaient autorisées à sortir, ce qui était rare, elles étaient de toute manière toujours accompagnées. Une bonne partie de l'argent qu'elles gagnaient leur était soustrait sous forme d'amendes extorquées par les proxénètes.
Anna avait été arrêtée en mars 1999, pour prostitution, après une descente de police dans l'appartement où elle était enfermée. Elle avait signé aux policiers des déclarations dans lesquelles elle reconnaissait se livrer à la prostitution, mais tous les documents étaient rédigés en hébreu, langue qu'elle ne savait ni lire ni écrire. Ce n'est que plus tard, à l'audience du tribunal, qu'elle apprit qu'elle était accusée de tenir une maison de prostitution. Elle ne fut jamais autorisée à s'entretenir avec le consul de Russie, et resta incarcérée pendant près d'un mois en attendant sa reconduite à la frontière.
Voici ce que déclarait Anna : "Je ne sais pas comment s'est terminé le procès. Je sais seulement qu'Abraham [le proxénète] est en liberté. Je lui ai parlé au téléphone. Quand les policiers nous ont arrêtées, ils ne nous ont pas laissé prendre nos affaires qui sont restées là-bas. Abraham [Les rédacteurs d'Amnesty International avaient choisi le prénom "Arthur", ndlr] connaît mon adresse à Saint-Pétersbourg et mon numéro de téléphone parce qu'il a gardé mon passeport. J'ai laissé ma fille de huit ans là-bas. Il m'a menacée de me retrouver en Russie, chez moi, si je ne faisais pas ce qu'il voulait."
Tatiana, originaire de Biélorussie, était arrivée en Israël en avril 1998 avec un visa de tourisme. On lui avait promis un emploi de femme de ménage dans un hôtel de la station balnéaire d'Eilat, en lui disant que son salaire lui permettrait de subvenir aux besoins de sa mère et de son fils de six ans. Tatiana fut accueillie à Eilat par un homme qui avait prétendu être envoyé par l'hôtel dans lequel elle devait travailler. Il l'emmena en fait dans un endroit où elle fut contrainte de se prostituer. Elle devait rembourser son "prix de vente" et le coût de son voyage, lui avait-on dit. Tatiana avait bien mis au point différents scénarios d'évasion, mais elle fut finalement libérée à l'issue d'une descente de police : l'une de ses amies avait pris contact avec le consulat de Biélorussie, lequel avait prévenu la police. Tatiana fut ensuite placée en détention comme migrante en situation irrégulière dans la prison de Neve Tirza en attendant son rapatriement. Trois jours après son arrestation, elle trouva sur son lit une lettre anonyme dans laquelle on menaçait de la tuer et de s'en prendre à sa famille si elle racontait ce qui lui était arrivé. Tatiana désirait témoigner mais craignait les représailles des trafiquants qui connaissaient tous les renseignements figurant sur son passeport ainsi que l'adresse de sa famille en Biélorussie. Une requête avait donc été adressée au directeur de la police pour lui expliquer qu'il serait beaucoup trop dangereux pour Tatiana de témoigner devant le tribunal si elle n'était pas protégée. Celui-ci répondit que la police israélienne ne pouvait garantir la sécurité d'aucun individu en dehors d'Israël. Tatiana avait néanmoins témoigné, en juin 1999, et fut rapatriée dans le courant du mois. Bien qu'elle eût demandé à être renvoyée en Pologne ou en Lituanie, d'où elle serait rentrée en Biélorussie en voiture, les autorités israéliennes l'avaient renvoyée directement en Biélorussie, où l'un de ses parents l'aurait emmenée vers une destination inconnue.
Voici maintenant le cas de Valentina, une psychologue ukrainienne de vingt-sept ans. Elle était arrivée en Israël en août 1998 pour y travailler, pensait-elle, comme représentante. Le ressortissant israélien qui lui avait proposé cet emploi s'était occupé du visa et avait organisé le voyage. Valentina, qui était attendue à l'aéroport, avait d'abord été emmenée dans un hôtel. Le lendemain, on lui confisqua son argent, son passeport et son billet de retour. Puis, elle fut emmenée dans un appartement où elle resta séquestrée pendant deux mois.
Valentina racontait son calvaire en Israël : "Les conditions de vie étaient terribles. Une fille a travaillé au sous-sol pendant huit mois, elle a attrapé la tuberculose à cause de l'humidité qui y régnait. La plupart des filles souffraient de diverses maladies vénériennes. Je ne souhaiterais même pas à mes ennemis de subir ce qui nous a été infligé? J'ai eu une dépression nerveuse, explique-t-elle. Je voulais m'enfuir mais il y avait des barreaux aux fenêtres et des gardiens étaient là tout le temps, jour et nuit. Un jour, j'ai demandé à un client de m'aider mais il faisait partie de leur groupe et les propriétaires m'ont battue. Je n'avais nulle part où aller?"
Valentina avait tout de même réussi à s'évader avec une autre femme en sautant du premier étage d'un immeuble. Quand elles retournèrent à la maison de prostitution pour aider une autre de leurs amies à s'enfuir, elles furent interpellées par la police qui opérait au même moment. Valentina avait été arrêtée en mars 1999 pour séjour irrégulier. Elle était heureuse de l'intervention de la police mais craignait de témoigner car les proxénètes connaissaient l'adresse de sa famille en Ukraine. Valentina ignorait combien de temps les autorités israéliennes allaient la maintenir en détention.
Nina était une jeune fille de dix-neuf ans originaire de Minsk, en Biélorussie. Elle était arrivée elle aussi en Israël à la fin de 1998 avec un visa de tourisme, sans savoir ce qui l'attendait. Elle fut séquestrée trois mois dans une maison de prostitution à Haïfa, puis fut enlevée sous la menace d'une arme, vendue pour 10 000 dollars, battue et violée. Après s'être enfuie, elle retourna dans la première maison de prostitution en espérant gagner suffisamment d'argent pour payer son billet de retour en Biélorussie. Nina fut ensuite arrêtée lors d'une descente de police dans un salon de massage de Tel-Aviv, en mars 1999, et incarcérée dans la prison de Neve Tirza pour être reconduite à la frontière. Le procureur du district de Haïfa lui avait interdit de quitter Israël, afin qu'elle témoignât contre les trois hommes qui l'avaient enlevée. "Je veux rentrer chez moi, déclara-t-elle, mais il est possible que le procès de Moïse [l'homme accusé de l'avoir violée] n'ait pas lieu avant six mois. Je veux aussi être sûre que Moïse ira en prison." [Le rapport donne simplement "X", ndlr] "C'est une délinquante, expliquait Moshe Nissan, porte-parole de la police de Haïfa. Elle a résidé en Israël sans permis de séjour. Il est évident qu'elle ne témoignerait pas si elle n'était pas en détention." Nina fut finalement rapatriée en juin 1999 après avoir été détenue plus de deux mois.
Amnesty International ne put obtenir des autorités israéliennes aucune statistique sur le nombre de procédures pénales engagées, ni de données sur les poursuites ou les condamnations prononcées dans ces affaires contre les proxénètes. Selon une enquête de 2001 du National Council of Jewish Women, sur 392 prostituées arrêtées et expulsées d'Israël en l'an 2000, 46 % étaient d'origine ukrainienne, 28 % étaient d'origine russe et 17 % venaient de Moldavie. Les 9 % restants étant originaires d'autres républiques de l'ancienne URSS.
Un autre témoignage similaire nous est laissé par un article du Jerusalem Post du 13 juillet 2000, qui relatait le procès de Boris Yasser, 18 ans.
Celui-ci était inculpé en Israël de kidnapping, menaces, contrefaçon de documents, coups et blessures, proxénétisme et viol. Boris Yasser était accusé d'avoir aidé son père à faire venir clandestinement quatre jeunes ukrainiennes et de les avoir forcées à se prostituer. Les jeunes femmes, âgées de 19 à 22 ans, arrêtées elles aussi pour être entrées illégalement sur le territoire national, expliquèrent qu'on leur avait proposé un travail de vendeuse. Une fois le travail accepté, elles avaient été conduites en Israël, via Chypre. Arrivées à Haïfa, on leur avait alors confisqué leurs passeports pour leur donner de fausses pièces d'identité israéliennes. Deux des filles avaient ensuite été vendues à un bordel de Tel-Aviv pour 3000 dollars chacune. Les deux autres avaient été séquestrées dans un appartement de Rishon Lezion et forcées de se prostituer. Boris Yasser conduisait les jeunes femmes aux clients, entre 15 et 20 par jour.
Les filles ne recevaient pas un centime. L'une d'elles avait été très sérieusement battue après avoir tenté de s'enfuir. Plus tard, elle avait réussi à téléphoner à ses parents en Ukraine pour appeler à l'aide, et ce sont ces derniers qui avaient contacté l'ambassade ukrainienne.
En 1998, le consul de Hongrie à Tel-Aviv, Andrea Horvath, s'était aussi plaint que quatre jeunes femmes hongroises qui avaient rencontré leur futur employeur dans une discothèque de Budapest, étaient visiblement détenues dans des maisons de Tel-Aviv et contraintes de se prostituer.
Selon le rapport du CEDAW d'avril 1997, il y avait une corrélation entre la prostitution et la consommation de drogue. Parmi les 200 jeunes femmes emprisonnées à la prison de Neve-Tirza, 70 % étaient devenues effectivement accrocs à l'héroïne, qui était la drogue la plus courante en Israël. Les jeunes femmes étaient en effet droguées, pour les rendre encore plus dépendantes des proxénètes. Au bout d'un certain temps, elles devenaient "accrocs" et se prostituaient simplement pour payer leurs doses d'héroïne.
Le filles ne pouvaient pas voir de docteur ; toute aide médicale leur était refusée. Si par malheur elles tombaient enceintes, les proxénètes ne dépensaient pas d'argent pour un avortement. Ils les forçaient à travailler encore cinq mois et les jetaient ensuite à la rue.
Dans le New York Times du 11 janvier 1998, Irina, qui avait connu l'expérience israélienne, se confiait au journaliste, les larmes aux yeux : "Je ne crois pas que l'homme qui a ruiné ma vie soit un jour puni, disait-elle doucement. Je suis stupide? Je suis une fille stupide venant de mon petit village? Parfois, je m'assois ici et me demande comment tout cela a pu arriver, si c'est réellement arrivé." Comme beaucoup d'autres, Irina avait été battue et violée après avoir refusé de se prostituer.
Le rapport du CEDAW indiquait encore que les publicités concernant l'industrie du sexe s'étaient multipliées dans la presse quotidienne, à tel point qu'un comité avait été créé pour interdire les publicités mentionnant explicitement l'âge des jeunes femmes de moins de 18 ans et pour modérer les photos qui accompagnaient ces annonces. Il y avait aussi en Israël, apprenait-on, un marché en pleine croissance de la pornographie infantile. [Sur ce sujet, voir les chapitres Psychopathologie du judaïsme, in Psychanalyse du judaïsme (2006) et Le Fanatisme juif (2007)]. Les filles d'Europe de l'Est de moins de 18 ans et se livrant à la prostitution étaient sans doute nombreuses en Israël, mais leur nombre restait inconnu.
Le magazine américain Moment - "le magazine de la culture juive" - avait publié en avril 1998 un article dans lequel on pouvait lire que les filles russes étaient très appréciées des clients israéliens. Il y avait parmi eux des hommes de lois, des policiers, mais surtout, une proportion importante de ces clients étaient des juifs ultra-orthodoxes qui venaient parce qu'ils ne pouvaient avoir de relations avec leurs femmes du fait des proscriptions religieuses. Le jeudi après-midi, des bus entiers les amenaient de Jérusalem à Tel-Aviv. [Sur les proscriptions religieuses, cf. Psychanalyse du judaïsme (2006), p. 360 ; et Le Fanatisme juif, (2007), p. 313].
Parmi les prostituées se trouvaient aussi des prostituées arabes, virtuellement réduites à l'état d'esclavage. Certains de leurs clients juifs venaient après un attentat palestinien pour se venger sur des prostituées palestiniennes.
Mais les proxénètes tiraient aussi bénéfice de la colère des Arabes, d'après ce qu'on peut lire dans le livre d'un Israélien intitulé La terre promise, pas encore, publié en 2002. Voici ce que l'auteur écrit au sujet de ces mafieux "russes" en Israël : "Les Russes, c'est des Africains blancs. Ils sautent sur tout ce qui brille. Ils sont prêts à tout pour réussir, les pires magouilles, les pires méfaits. J'ai lu dans le journal qu'un Russe faisait tapiner des filles habillées en soldat dans les Territoires. C'est pas con. A force de se faire bastonner par les militaires, ça doit leur donner des envies, aux Arabes !" (Michaël Sebban, La terre promise, pas encore, Ramsay, 2002, p. 99. Les juifs venant de Russie - plus d'un million depuis l'effondrement du communisme - étaient appelés "Russes" par les Israéliens).
Le magasine International Affairs du printemps 2000 parlait aussi du "Natasha trade". La traite des Blanches rapportait entre sept et douze millions de dollars chaque année et ne comportait que peu de risques, par rapport au trafic de drogue ou au trafic d'armes. Yitzhal Tyler, de la police de Haïfa, expliquait en 1998 à Michael Specter, du New York Times : "Avec une dizaine de filles, chacune s'occupant de 15 à 20 clients par jour. Multipliez par 200 shekels. Ça nous fait 30 000 shekels par jour, et au moins 750 000 par mois, soit 215 000 dollars. Un proxénète qui possède cinq maisons de prostitution, comme c'est souvent le cas, se fait un million de dollars par mois."
Le fait est qu'il n'y avait "pas de lois en Israël contre le trafic d'êtres humains ni contre la prostitution", pouvait-on lire dans le New York Times du 11 janvier 1998. Il n'y avait en effet aucune loi qui interdisait l'importation de jeunes femmes étrangères vers Israël à des fins de prostitution, confirmait le rapport de la CEDAW du 8 avril 1997. Linda Menuhin expliquait encore (Reuters, 23 août 1998) : "Le problème n'est pas de trouver le bon article dans le code criminel, mais plus de trouver une femme qui oserait aller devant la justice."
Le rapport publié par le Centre féministe d'Haïfa constituait une autre source d'informations. Il s'appuyait principalement sur les entretiens effectués auprès de 106 femmes victimes de la traite et interrogées entre 2001 et 2002 dans les prisons israéliennes et les différents refuges. Les auteurs indiquaient l'incapacité des différentes autorités à affronter les mafias et mettaient également en cause l'implication de certains policiers, comme clients des maisons de passe, mais aussi comme collaborateurs des proxénètes.
Les femmes interrogées avaient été vendues entre 5000 et 10 000 dollars. Elles avaient travaillé sans interruption, n'ayant jamais pu avoir de congés, même pendant les périodes de règles. Un tiers d'entre elles avaient été victimes de violences quotidiennes. Les clients et les proxénètes les considéraient comme des objets et les battaient sans relâche. Environ 10 % étaient à peine nourries. La moitié avait aussi avoué que beaucoup de policiers fréquentaient régulièrement ces maisons closes, et ceux-ci avaient non seulement des relations amicales avec les proxénètes, mais étaient souvent en affaire avec eux.
Cette industrie était toujours en plein essor en 2005, à en croire le rapport d'une commission d'enquête du Parlement israélien, révélé le 23 mars 2005 et rapporté par l'Agence France Presse. La traite des Blanches en Israël était une activité qui générait un chiffre d'affaires d'environ un milliard de dollars par an. Le rapport précisait que 3000 à 5000 femmes entraient chaque année clandestinement en Israël pour travailler dans la prostitution. Ces femmes étaient séquestrées dans environ 300 à 400 maisons closes dans différentes régions du pays. Elles étaient vendues pour une somme variant entre 8000 et 10 000 dollars et servaient ensuite d'esclaves sexuels 7 jours sur 7, à raison de 14 à 18 heures par jour. (Les femmes européennes en âge de procréer représentent aujourd'hui environ 2 % de l'humanité. C'est une "marchandise" rare, et recherchée par les proxénètes).
Elles ne percevaient que 20 shekels (4 dollars) sur les 120 payés en moyenne par chaque client. Le reste de la somme revenait au proxénète ; mais certaines ne recevaient absolument rien. L'étude menée à la demande de la commission avait aussi montré que le public israélien ne considérait pas la traite des Blanches comme une violation des Droits de l'Homme.
La commission pointait aussi du doigt les faiblesses de la justice israélienne sur le sujet. De fait, l'instruction des dossiers de plainte durait très longtemps, ce qui favorisait les menaces, voire les assassinats des plaignantes. On apprenait aussi à cette occasion que les magistrats étaient souvent eux-mêmes soudoyés par les proxénètes. Les procureurs généraux exigeaient des peines extrêmement minimes et ne demandaient même pas de dommages et intérêts pour les victimes. Les magistrats faisaient aussi bénéficier les proxénètes de l'immunité en les utilisant prétendument comme des indicateurs du monde du crime.
Certains juifs orthodoxes réagissaient cependant à l'envahissement des villes israéliennes par les proxénètes et les prostituées. Le 15 août 2000, l'agence Associated Press nous apprenait que quatre jeunes femmes étaient mortes dans un incendie criminel à Tel-Aviv ; quatre jeunes femmes russes qui n'avaient pu s'échapper, parce que la porte blindée étaient fermée à clef et que les fenêtres étaient munies de barreaux. Les quatres filles étaient séquestrées dans cet appartement situé derrière un bar, et qui servait de maison de rendez-vous. On apprit par la suite que c'était un juif religieux qui avait jeté une bombe incendiaire. Yariv Baruchim, 34 ans, expliqua à la police qu'il voulait purifier Tel-Aviv de tous ses bordels. Il avait déjà mis le feu à huit bordels ou sex shops. Cette fois-ci, il y eut des victimes : Ina Takorsky, Lila Zachs, Yelena Pomina étaient décédées. La quatrième fille n'avait pu être identifiée.
Quelques cinéastes israéliens - et c'est tout à leur honneur - s'étaient penchés sur le calvaire de ces jeunes femmes européennes. Le téléfilm d'Eyal Halfon intitulé Quel endroit merveilleux (2005) montre des femmes venues d'Ukraine qui débarquent en Israël où elles espèrent gagner un peu d'argent. Mais à la place de ce qui leur a été promis, elles se retrouvent réduites en esclavage, violées par leurs proxénètes et forcées de se prostituer. Le téléfilm montre aussi des ouvriers thaïlandais travaillant comme des forçats dans une exploitation agricole en Israël.
On pourra voir aussi sur ce sujet le film d'Amos Gitaï, Terre promise, sorti en 2005, qui montre le calvaire de jeunes femmes d'Europe de l'Est tombées dans un réseau de prostitution. Elles sont vendues aux enchères comme du bétail, en pleine nuit, dans le désert, puis elles échouent dans des bordels sur les bords de la mer Morte. Terre promise commence par une scène montrant la vente aux enchères de ces femmes, la nuit, dans le désert du Sinaï. "Quand j'ai commencé à m'intéresser aux réseaux du crime qui traversent les frontières du Moyen-Orient, témoignait Amos Gitaï, je me suis aperçu que le trafic de femmes, cette nouvelle forme d'esclavage, était en plein essor. Pour ces réseaux internationaux qui font de la traite des Blanches, expliquait-il, les femmes sont de simples marchandises. Elles sont transportées depuis leur pays d'origine, la plupart du temps l'Europe de l'Est, via le Sinaï en Égypte. Elles passent très facilement la frontière israélienne et sont ensuite réparties dans différentes villes israéliennes ou dans les territoires? Avant le tournage de Terre promise, j'ai passé beaucoup de temps à me documenter grâce aux rapports émanant d'ONG qui s'occupent en Israël et ailleurs de défense des droits de l'homme. Des centaines de pages de témoignages de victimes de la traite des Blanches montrent dans le détail comment ces réseaux internationaux opèrent? Certaines femmes croient qu'elles vont pouvoir échapper à la misère grâce à ce genre d'arrangements. Elles essaient de se persuader que c'est seulement pour un moment et qu'ensuite, elles auront un peu d'argent.
Elles sont abusées à tous les niveaux, sur le plan physique, sur le plan émotionnel, à un point inimaginable? On sait que les ventes aux enchères de femmes ont lieu dans toutes sortes d'endroits. J'ai choisi de filmer la vente aux enchères de nuit, dans le désert. Les femmes sont encerclées par un groupe de voitures, comme dans une arène, pour créer une sensation de claustrophobie? Le fil directeur de Terre promise, c'est le destin de ces femmes. Nous les suivons tout au long de cette route où elles sont transportées d'un endroit à l'autre. On change constamment de lieu dans Terre promise. De Tallin à Haïfa, du Caire à Ramallah en passant par Eilat, les femmes passent de main en main, du désert aux parkings, de l'immense aquarium construit sous l'eau dans la mer Rouge aux différents véhicules, aux camions, aux autoroutes, etc."
Bien entendu, Israël n'était pas la seule destination de ces filles de l'Est. La mafia juive en Russie avait des contacts avec la mafia juive partout dans le monde. Selon le ministère de l'Intérieur ukrainien, 400 000 jeunes femmes ukrainiennes de moins de trente ans avaient quitté le pays durant la décennie 90. Elles n'étaient sans doute pas toutes tombées dans des réseaux de prostitution, mais l'Organisation internationale des Migrations estimait à 500 000 le nombre de jeunes femmes de l'ancien bloc de l'Est tombées dans les réseaux dans le monde entier. L'article du 11 janvier 1998 du New York Times indiquait que les femmes slaves étaient envoyées en Turquie, et jusqu'au Japon et en Thaïlande.
De nombreuses filles de l'Est étaient aussi arrivées en ex-Yougoslavie. Un article d'Oksanna Havrylenko, une ukrainienne, nous renseignait sur le calvaire qu'elle avait elle-même connu. Nous le traduisons de l'anglais : les proxénètes recrutaient principalement par petites annonces dans les journaux, offrant un travail bien payé à l'étranger, comme serveuse, danseuse ou femme de chambre en Italie, mais ils expliquaient ensuite qu'il n'était pas possible d'obtenir de visa pour l'Italie et qu'ils devraient passer à travers le territoire de l'ex-Yougoslavie pour y prendre un ferry et traverser la mer adriatique. En Bosnie-Herzégovine, où il n'y avait aucun consulat ukrainien, les filles comprenaient alors le sort qui leur était réservé. Une fille qui avait catégoriquement refusé de se prostituer fut battue, torturée et tuée devant les autres filles, dans un champ. Les proxénètes lui avaient finalement tranché la gorge. Les filles trop difficiles étaient aussi revendues dans la zone musulmane. Les proxénètes disaient qu'aucune ne leur avait jamais échappé.
Les autorités italiennes chiffraient à 30 000 le nombre de jeunes femmes ukrainiennes employées illégalement dans le pays. L'article du New York Times sur les "Naïves femmes slaves" livrait le témoignage d'une autre jeune Ukrainienne. A Milan, en Italie, une semaine avant Noël, une opération de police avait perturbé une vente aux enchères. Les filles étaient présentées sur des caisses, à moitié dévêtues, et vendues comme des têtes de bétail, pour une moyenne de 1000 dollars. Michael Platzer, des Nations Unies, expliquait que la prostitution ne présentait que peu de risques, étant à moitié légale dans bien des pays. De surcroît, en Israël, il n'y avait aucune loi réprimant la vente d'êtres humains. Mais il faut aussi préciser ici que, selon le Talmud, les non-juifs sont considérés comme des animaux.
Le site internet américain Jew Watch, une sorte d'Observatoire du judaïsme, relevait ces informations concernant un réseau de proxénétisme de jeunes femmes russes en Floride : en 1996, un certain Serguey Skobeltsyn y avait acheté deux boîtes de nuit, le Pure Platinum et le Solid Gold, pour huit millions de dollars. Tout comme Ludwig Fainberg, qui lui, avait acheté le Porkys, il était impliqué dans un réseau de prostitution et "importait" des femmes russes.
Dans le Jerusalem Post du 31 janvier 2000, on apprenait que le chef spirituel de la communauté juive de Chicago, Joel Gordon, 51 ans, ancien "cantor" de la Congregation Shirat Emet, avait été arrêté avec sa femme, Alison Ginsberg, 23 ans, pour avoir ouvert des maisons de prostitution.
Le 15 septembre 1997, le New York Post accrochait déjà un certain Roman Israilov, de Brooklyn, qui avait séquestré et violé une jeune immigrante russe de vingt ans, qu'il avait ensuite essayé de vendre. La police avait été prévenue par un voisin.
Cette tragédie ne trouve que peu d'écho dans les médiats occidentaux, et l'on n'entend jamais les politiciens et les célébrités du show business protester contre cet ignoble trafic. Imaginons maintenant ce qu'il en serait si des Européens avaient réduit en esclavage des milliers de jeunes femmes juives et les avaient soumises à toutes sortes de sévices. Mais le silence médiatique sur ce sujet est finalement bien compréhensible si l'on observe les liens qui unissent les mafieux aux responsables de la petite "communauté médiatique internationale".
Toute l'histoire de la Traite des Blanches, depuis l'Antiquité, dans La Mafia juive (2008).
Brochure - Israël et la traite des blanches (archive.org)


Israel Sex Slavery Thrives
Jerusalem, ISRAEL NEWS AGENCY - May 31, 2006
They Say That The World's Oldest Profession is Prostitution
One person in Israel has taken up the challenge of confronting the sex slave trade in Israel. She does so at great risk. If you want to talk to Nomi Levenkron, be prepared to endanger her life. More than likely she'll be on the road when you call, pressing her cell phone to her ear as she speeds towards a women's lock-up in Haifa, or to a Knesset hearing in Jerusalem, or to the trial of a sex trafficker in Eilat.

She'll tell you she's happy to talk but is in a rush. Could you call again in a few hours? As legal director for the Migrant Worker's Hotline-an organization that battles the scourge of trafficking in women for prostitution-Nomi's workday often starts at 5 A.M. 

She carries two cell phones on her at all times. And she talks fast. Her fluent English outpaces most native speakers. When she switches to Hebrew, she seems to forgo drawing breath. Nomi's days are spent crisscrossing the country, encouraging victims to take the stand against their traffickers, lobbying the authorities to take more action, and suing dangerous men for compensation on behalf of the women they brutalized. Once, after she filed suit in the case of a young Moldovan who had passed through the hands of six violent sex traffickers, friends came to Nomi's home to say goodbye, assuming it was the last time they would see her.

During her first six months on the job, Nomi worked full time without salary. She admits it's an addiction. "You don't really choose this kind of work," she says. "It's like heroin." Perhaps only an addict could spend 18 hours a day pursuing brutal criminals through the courts, have government officials call her a traitor for exposing Israel's dark side, and still not be discouraged when thousands more women are sold into sex slavery in her country every year. When she finally pulls up to the Hotline's offices in Downtown Tel Aviv, it's already ten at night. Nomi releases her seatbelt buckle and the belt slides up across her bulging belly. She is five months pregnant. 

One of Tel Aviv's red light district is only a short walk from Nomi's office on Rehov Ha Hashmal. In all the Tel Aviv area has three red light areas - the old central bus station, the office skycraper section of Ramat Gan and the beaches of nearby Tel Baruch.

Most of the brothel-lined streets by the old central bus station are filthy, the buildings run-down. Trails of red arrows painted on the walls lead customers to sex "health clubs" and "massage parlors," all marked out by twinkling strips of colored lights that flash their patterns like cuttlefish enticing their prey. The billboard for "5 Star Peep Show" on Neve Sha'anan street features the silhouette of a naked woman balanced precariously on the end of a dollar sign. She sits astride the bottom curve of the "S," straddling its final phallus-shaped curl.

The Israel sex silhouettes are everywhere. On Rehov Fin-better known as "Rehov Pin" or "Penis" -a reclining nude beckons clients into "Club Viagra." On Rehov Yesod Ha Ma'ale the floating nude in one "Health Club" window tilts her head back as though in the throes of ecstasy, her feet pointed in the direction of a neighboring falafel stand. The real women don't seem quite so eager. Through open doorways one can spot them glumly applying make-up or styling their hair.

Sometimes these Israel sex prostitutes can be seen in brothel windows, chatting to each other and looking out onto the street as they smoke a cigarette. Most of the windows have bars on them. "In the majority of the brothels in Tel Aviv," says Meir Cohen, Head of Investigations for the Israeli National Police, "there is no question that most of the women there are trafficked."

The vast majority of women trafficked to Israel for sex come from Romania and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Seduced by agents of organized crime, they agree to be smuggled into Israel, hoping to make good money. The women are usually young girls, like "Anna" (her real name has been suppressed) a 23-year-old Romanian who testified about her experience to an Israeli court in 2002.

Anna says that in 2001 she was approached in her hometown by an Israel girl named Shula, who promised to get her work caring for the elderly in Tel Aviv. Shula booked Anna on a plane leaving from Bucharest, but Anna had no idea where it would land. When it touched down in Cairo, she thought she was in Israel. Collected by a liaison, she and a group of other women were driven across the desert in an open car, escorted by masked Bedouin armed with automatic weapons. 

At two in the morning, they left the cars and walked for several hours, then crawled on their stomachs under a chain-link fence. Often, it is the Bedouin who are the first to tell victims of sex trafficking they will be working as prostitutes, as justification for sexually assaulting them.
"As early as Egypt I found out that I was going to engage in prostitution in Eilat," one woman told the Hotline. "I tried to run away but a Bedouin got hold of me and beat me. In the evening, four Bedouin raped me, one after the other....I was bleeding and I couldn't walk, it hurt me so much between my legs....I wanted to die." Since Anna was "lucky" enough not to be raped in transit, she still had no idea what awaited her. After crossing the border she was picked up by a man identified in court records as George Ben-Abraham Yosef, who drove her to Tel Aviv.

There, Yosef took Anna to a hotel, and ordered her to strip in front of a roomful of men. The ordeal is known as an "auction." Like traders in a cattle market, the traffickers inspect the "goods" and bid for the women they want to buy. "[The woman] is made to stand naked in the middle of a room," a female trafficker told Maariv. "[The traffickers] touch her breast, her ass....They check her tongue, her teeth, to see if she's healthy. They touch her private parts....They tell her, 'walk forward, backwards, strike poses like a model, wiggle it honey, bend over. Lower. Let's see what you're worth.'" Traffickers are not necessarily picky about the venue of an auction. In one case a woman was stripped, inspected, and sold for $6,000 in the men's room of a McDonald's.

When the Hotline first contacted Nomi five years ago to ask for her help, trafficking in women was not even a crime under Israeli law. Nomi, then in law school, wasn't interested. She had studied criminology and was more intrigued by criminals than victims. But she had one skill that was crucial to the Hotline-she spoke Romanian. "Although I had a very hard childhood [in Romania], I'm very grateful for it now," says Nomi. Without Romanian, she would never have gotten involved. 

The Hotline convinced her to volunteer for just a few hours, speaking to detained women in prison. What Nomi heard from them-the brutality they suffered from both criminals and police-shocked her into a new consciousness: "I started to say to myself, 'something is really wrong with this country on this issue.'" Two hours of volunteering a week became two hours a day, then 18 hours a day, until finally Nomi was getting only four hours of sleep. When she slept, she dreamt about work. The plight of the Moldovan sold to six different traffickers proved a watershed for Nomi. The woman wanted to testify but the police wouldn't listen. At the time, women who had been trafficked weren't considered victims.

"A prostitute was considered as a partner in crime," says Meir Cohen, the police investigator. Instead of testifying, victims were simply arrested and deported. Police were instructed not to intervene in brothels. The authorities preferred to use pimps as intelligence sources for other underworld investigations. The police in Beersheba told Nomi that her client was lying, that it wasn't important. So she sued the traffickers in civil court. She sued the police for not investigating. She even sued the ministry of interior for not issuing the woman a visa.

Suddenly, the police in Israel began to pay attention. More than 50 men were arrested almost immediately. "It was funny," says Nomi. "There were almost no men left in Beersheba." In May of 2000, Amnesty International had published an embarrassing report that condemned Israel for its cavalier attitude towards sex slavery. The resulting public clamor forced the Knesset to make trafficking in women an explicit crime with a maximum penalty of 16 years in prison. 

Enforcing the new law was another matter. "No one wanted to deal with the problem," says Member of Knesset Marina Solodkin, who sits on the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on Female Trafficking. "It was easier to just pretend that these women were new immigrants from the FSU and were not being trafficked into Israel."

But efforts by Nomi and other activists to publicize the issue finally paid off when, in 2001, the U.S. State Department placed Israel on a "blacklist," among countries that were failing to combat trafficking in women. The State Department's report was not simply a stain on Israel's reputation. United States law forbids the government from providing non-humanitarian aid to countries put on the blacklist. Washington had jerked back the economic reins. The Israeli government was forced to do a complete about-face. A national police unit was established to investigate the sex trade. And officials insist their entire approach has changed. "Today, one of the central elements of the war against organized crime is trafficking in women," says Cohen.

The challenge is daunting. Demand for prostitution in Israel is enormous, with an estimated one million visits to sex brothels every month. Human rights organizations estimate that 3,000 women are brought into the country as sex slaves every year. The women come primarily from Russia, Moldova, and the Ukraine, where the collapse of social safety nets in post-communist economies has created a ready supply of destitute women. In a Hotline survey of trafficked women conducted at Neve Tirza women's prison, one third said that they, like Anna, had no idea they would be engaging in prostitution when they came to Israel. Others knew they would be prostitutes, but were promised good conditions by the traffickers. They were told they would have to take only a limited number of customers each day and that they would earn a thousand dollars a month (a massive sum in most Eastern European countries).

Eventually, the traffickers said, they would be able to leave the brothels. In the parlor, laughter is forbidden. Girls must always smile and sit straight. "I would sit there wearing thin pantyhose and freezing in the air conditioning," "Natasha," a Russian victim of trafficking told the Hotline. "Laughing was not allowed because the client might think he was being made fun of and leave."
When Anna was first taken to a sex brothel, she didn't know what it was. Yosef had put her in the hands of a man identified in court records as Yuri Ben-Michael Gur. "Yuri told me that he had bought me for a lot of money and I had to do what he said-to do prostitution," Anna testified. "That's how I realized that I had been sold like an animal." Anna was given tight, see-through clothes and told to put them on. Then she was ordered into a room with a man identified in court records as Menasha Ben-Avraham Faraj. Another girl had already told Anna that this was the man who visited the brothel whenever a new girl arrived.

As the other men stood outside and laughed, Faraj raped and performed oral sex on her. The "right" to have sex, including by force and without a condom, with an acquired woman, is taken for granted by most traffickers. After her horrific initiation, Anna was forced to take clients whenever they selected her.

Customers paid 150 shekels (40 USD), which Anna had to give to Gur's underlings. For each client they would give her back only 20 shekels, with which she had to pay for food and contraceptives. In the end she was always left with nothing. According to other women interviewed by the Hotline, brothel owners made them work seven days a week and an average of 13 hours a day. They had to work during their periods, using diaphragms to prevent blood from leaking.

"The meetings with the clients were short-just 15 minutes," according to Natasha. After the client finished, she would rush to the tepid showers, then back down to the freezing lobby. The customers who frequent these brothels are regular Israelis. Soldiers in uniform get discounts. Orthodox Jews stuff their skullcaps into their pockets when they enter, then replace them when they leave. 

If a customer is dissatisfied, the girl is beaten. But as one 18-year-old victim told Hotline volunteers, "they beat you so as not to leave any marks, because clients don't like to see a woman with bruises."

If a woman gets ill or pregnant, she is taken to a veterinarian or a back-alley abortionist. About half the women interviewed by Hotline volunteers said they had been incarcerated in locked brothels. "Try and escape," one of Gur's employees told Anna, "and I'll crush your head in the door." 

In one notorious case, two women were tied up in a cage on Tel Aviv's Rehov Pin and forced to provide sexual services. But even if the doors aren't locked, the women are always prisoners. Their traffickers confiscate their passports and threaten their loved ones. "The Russian mob knows exactly how to get to their families," says Nomi. "It is enough for them to say to the prostitutes, 'if you don't want to see your grandmother's house burned down or your 12-year old sister taken as a prostitute, you better do what we tell you.'"

At a conference on prostitution in August 2002, Israel Police Major General Moshe Mizrahi stepped to the podium and stated the obvious: "Trafficking in women here is run by organized crime." Though his announcement was no revelation, Mizrahi's willingness to make it was unusual. For years, Israeli officials have consistently denied or downplayed the existence of organized crime groups within Israel's borders. But faced with a multi-billion-dollar sex-slaving trade and its serious political implications, the elephant in the room has become too dangerous to ignore. 

According to a report by Nomi and her staff, trafficking in Israel is made possible by "an international network of criminal organizations, most of whose members are from the countries of the former Soviet Union." Almost 80 percent of the women Nomi interviewed said their traffickers were Israelis whose origins are in Russia or other FSU countries. Their language skills and local connections give such traffickers a professional advantage.

"The Russians do quality work in crime....That's Russian education for you," says Police Superintendent and Spokesperson Gil Kleiman. Kleiman believes the trafficking networks are so successful because they are made up of individuals who grew up and served in prison together. Their connections and experience allow them to coordinate the complex arrangement of recruiters, bribes, intermediaries, and buyers that an international smuggling operation requires.
"It's always a 'Sasha,'" says Nomi. "One 'Sasha' recruits them in Moldova, another 'Sasha' is waiting for them in Egypt, another meets them when they arrive in Israel....it's organized perfectly." Once the women get to the brothels, traffickers use intimidation and violence to keep them enslaved, and to ensure that those who escape do not testify.

One former prostitute in Israel recounted how her trafficker drove her to a beach and threatened to drown her if she caused any trouble. When Anna refused to work and stayed in her room to pray, her pimp beat her with her own bible, screaming "this is not a church."

Traffickers prefer not to murder their prostitutes, since killing them would mean a loss of "merchandise." But sometimes examples are made of woman who break "house rules." In June 2002, police found the body of a woman dressed in revealing clothes, who had been strangled and dumped in the street of Eilat's red light district. In October of that year, 42-year-old prostitute Svetlana Lukatzky was bound, beaten, and stabbed to death. Trafficked woman also find themselves the victims of turf battles between organized crime groups. To assert dominance, traffickers will abduct women from their competitors, as in the case of one call girl who was ordered to a customer's hotel room only to be thrown in the trunk of a car and driven to her new owner.

In other cases, brothels have been firebombed as part of gangland feuds, leaving women burned and maimed. Fear and corruption outside the brothel combine to keep victims of trafficking enslaved. "People are scared," says Nomi. "When we try to convince them to go to the police to complain about the brothels operating in their neighborhood, they say, 'What are you joking? The traffickers will kill me.' There is a lot of fear in Israel of the Russian mob." If citizens do screw up the courage to complain to the police, they are quite likely to be met with indifference. "In Tel Aviv [the police] understand what is going on," says Nomi. But in most places "it's a different story. They couldn't care less and they don't see [trafficking] as a serious crime....they think these women really enjoy what they're doing."

Nomi acknowledges that the police today do listen much more. "In the beginning we had to sue for every victim. It was hard. But after two or three cases, they learned-don't mess with them." Nomi says enforcement has been improving since the state department's report. But she blames the police for creating the crisis by ignoring trafficking in the nineties. For her, the new efforts are far too little and much too late.

Even in Tel Aviv, Meir Cohen admits, most brothels operate freely. He says the law does not allow police to shut them down without proof that the women have been trafficked and kept there against their will. Since most women are too terrified to complain, the system favors the traffickers. But fear of reprisals is not the only reason prostitutes do not go to the police.

According to a Hotline survey, 40 percent of the ex-prostitutes interviewed said policemen were clients at their brothels. And some reported seeing money change hands between pimps and police officers. In one case, a woman said the police tipped her pimp off about an impending raid. And in another a woman claimed the police dragged an escaped prostitute back to their brothel. Police officials angrily dismiss such claims. "These allegations are bullshit!" fumes Police Superintendent Gil Kleiman.

But they are not without proven precedent. In one noted case, a police officer named Oskar Siss was not only a customer but cooperated with traffickers to buy and sell women and coerce them into prostitution. "Without a doubt, there exists collaboration between the police and the pimps," says MK Solodkin. Though seeking the help of the police might seem risky to many women trapped in prostitution, their only other hope for freedom- buying it back-is a chimera. When a woman is trafficked to Israel, she is charged both for the cost of being smuggled and, paradoxically, for the price of being acquired. But while the traffickers make back the purchase price on a woman they buy in a matter of weeks through the money clients pay for her services, the woman herself is paid almost nothing. And her debt is compounded both by exponential rates of interest and numerous fines for invented "infractions," from refusing a client to chewing gum. The debt, of course, is never meant to end.

Being sold to another trafficker generates a new debt, and if a woman ever comes close to repaying it she is sold once again. "They are traded and sold from one trafficker to another like a piece of merchandise," says Cohen. And so the victim remains in bondage.

Anna was lucky. Shortly after Yosef picked her up, when she still thought she was being taken to her job as an elder-care worker, they stopped at Ben-Gurion airport on the way to Tel Aviv. Yosef briefly left her alone in the car to run an errand. As she sat in the passenger seat smoking a cigarette, a security guard approached her and asked her to move the car. "She spoke no Hebrew at all," says Nomi. "So she said to him in Romanian, 'Leave me alone.' And he replied in Romanian so they started talking. He made her take his cell phone number because he thought something was wrong. She said that everything was okay." After three weeks in the brothel, Anna happened to get a Romanian client. She asked him where exactly she was, then sneaked a call to the security guard on one of the employees' unattended cell phones. The security guard received the message and went to see her, posing as a customer. He then went straight to Tel Aviv's main police station and insisted on seeing the head of the vice unit.

Within 48 hours, the police stormed the brothel and arrested Yosef and Gur. Most victims of sex slave trafficking don't get the chance to orchestrate a police raid from within a brothel. A few pluck up the courage to flee (Nomi notes that most of those who do come to the Hotline, not the police). Others are arrested in chance raids. Either way, the women are detained as illegal immigrants and scheduled for deportation. Nomi is a regular at the detention centers, informing the women of their rights and urging them to testify against the men who trafficked them.

Convincing a former prostitute to take the stand after all she's experienced is a tough sell. But "big court cases" aren't always so crucial. "If you told her a joke and made her smile, that's enough for me," says Nomi. "Just make those women laugh. It's just as important." Those who do decide to testify are put up by the police in unguarded hostels. Galit Saporta, who works with the Hotline, regularly takes a team of volunteers to one such hostel in Tel Aviv (to ensure the women's safety, Nomi and Galit insisted its location not be published). "There are approximately 40 women staying in the hotel waiting to testify," says Galit, who despite being eight months pregnant still visits the hostel each week. She makes sure the women are aware of their rights and are receiving the medical care and 150 shekels a week in pocket money (spent entirely on cigarettes) they are entitled to.

Galit's visits have another, unspoken purpose. Women in line to testify against traffickers have a habit of "disappearing" from the hostels. If Galit can account for all the girls she knows are among the hostel's guests, she can ensure they're safe. Still, women can wait up to a year to testify, giving the traffickers plenty of time to find out where they're staying. One day in the hostel, Anna's roommate handed her a cell phone. On the other end was a man who spoke Romanian. He said Gur and Yosef had paid him to hurt her family. If she didn't withdraw the complaint, he'd set her parents on fire. 

In April 2002, Anna took the stand and testified against Gur, Yosef, and Faraj. Gur and Yosef were both found guilty of trafficking in women and were each sentenced to eight years in prison. Faraj received a two-and-a-half year term for rape.

The convictions are one more sign that Nomi's hard work is paying off. Since the beginning of 2002, Tel Aviv police have busted five major prostitution networks, culminating in the arrest and conviction of Mark Gaman, who police believe is the country's leading sex racketeer. Gaman - the owner of several massage parlors and gambling clubs - survived a car bombing in 1996 that left numerous shrapnel scars on his body.

Those distinctive mob markings allowed many of his victims to identify him to the police. Gaman was convicted and sentenced to ten years hard labor. Whenever they lecture, the prosecutors say 'look at Mark Gaman,'" says Nomi. She is standing by the bulletin board in her little office on the Hotline's floor, staring at a picture of the victim with whom she grew closest. She was forty years old with a child waiting back home and the main witness against Gaman. Six months after the trial she committed suicide. "Very few people know about it," says Nomi.

Other stories have happier endings. Nomi often gets invited to weddings of former sex workers who married Israelis. She points to a picture of another woman on the bulletin board. "The one in white is already a mother," says Nomi. "She was told by a gynecologist that she would never be able to have a child. But now she has a son." Further along is a small wedding photo, a happy couple. The woman is Anna, smiling in her wedding gown. After testifying, she and the security guard who rescued her fell in love. "It was worth everything just to meet him," she told Nomi. "Divine intervention, of course," Nomi comments dryly. Nomi and her boyfriend recently got married themselves. But when people say "Mazel Tov" on hearing the news, she waves off their congratulations. "Ach," says Nomi. "We only did it so that my parents wouldn't say they had a prostitute in the family."

Some women, who are not forced into slavery, enjoy being in the sex trade. Many are young students who work at "Peep Shows" in Israel. They do not want nor do they perfrom sexual intercourse, rather they perform a strip tease followed by hand jobs. One girl stated: "I have nothing to fear, no diseases, good money and sometimes I actually get as excited as the client does."
And the Israel government, as many others for thousands of years, encourages the use of sex for national security.

Mossad Agent Cindy, the Mata Hari who seduced Mordechai Vanunu and was drugged, kidnapped, smuggled back to Israel and jailed for espionage. The Mossad, Israel's feared secret service, whose mission was to bring him back to Israel from Europe. Their honeytrap was Cheryl Hanin, codenamed Cindy, who then was an attractive, apparently open and, to Vanunu at least, very friendly 26-year-old. Gordon Thomas, author of Gideon's Spies, the Secret History of Mossad, wrote: "She was sent on practice missions, breaking into an occupied hotel room, stealing documents from an office. "She was roused from her bed in the dead of night and dispatched on more exercises: picking up a tourist in a nightclub, then disengaging herself outside his hotel. 

Every move she made was observed by her tutors." After her training, Hanin joined the Mossad unit that worked with Israeli embassies, where she apparently posed as the wife or girlfriend of other agents. Her final mission began when she engineered a meeting with Vanunu in Leicester Square and suggested a coffee, saying she was a beautician on holiday. The next day they met in the Tate Gallery and began to see more of each other. Peter Hounam, the Sunday Times journalist who had debriefed Vanunu, warned him that she could be a Mossad agent, but Vanunu insisted: "She is just a tourist who is critical of Israel. I think you would like her." There were plans for Vanunu to bring his new girlfriend to Hounam's house but he cancelled because he "going out of the city". "Going out of the city" meant Vanunu had fallen for the Mossad trap - Cindy had lured him into going to Rome, where it would be easier to stage a kidnapping. Vanunu was then tried secretly on an espionage charge and began his 18-year sentence, much of which was spent in solitary confinement. Hanin went to Israel in triumph but when the Sunday Times discovered her living quietly in the northern Israeli town of Netanya in 1988, she left for her native United States.

Since then, Israel's largest circulating newspaper, Yedhiot Arhronot, says she and her family have been living a prosperous life. The newspaper reported that she had "a red Cutlass convertible" and estimated that her house in Florida is worth more than R3-million. She and her husband refuse to talk about her past. "For me this is a black story and I just want to erase it and forget it," Yedhiot quotes Hanin telling a friend in Israel. 

But unlike "Cindy", many prostitutes are forced to perform sexual acts in Israel. Between 3,000 and 5,000 women have been smuggled into Israel over the past four years in this burgeoning, illegal sex industry, according to an Israel parliamentary committee report issued last March.
Zehava Galon, who heads the Committee Against Trade in Women, said the four-year inquiry showed how women are smuggled across the Egyptian border into Israel and "along the way, raped, beaten and then sold in public auctions."

Most of the women are from the former Soviet Union, she said. Galon, from the opposition Yahad Party, presented the report on Wednesday to the speaker of the parliament, Reuven Rivlin. The panel faulted judges for light sentences, sometimes only community service, for men running the prostitution rings. The report called for minimum jail terms of 16 years instead. The report said women are sold to pimps for as much as $10,000 each, work 14-18 hours a day, charge about $30 a client but receive only a small fraction of the money for themselves.

Galon said the biggest challenge in addressing the plight of foreign sex slavery in Israel was to change the attitudes of the public, and especially the police. When the committee met with the law enforcement agencies, she said, "the prevailing attitude was to treat the women as illegal residents." Since then the police have slowly begun to see the women as victims of crime, she said.

Israel is not unique in its apparent inability to protect women who have been trafficked for the purpose of prostitution. The AI report mirrors situations in many countries worldwide. As the sex trade grows at an alarming rate, governments are finding that they are unable to address the situation.

According to the UN Development Fund for Women, trafficking in women for prostitution is one of the fastest-growing organised criminal activities in the world, and follows, in frequency, only the trade in narcotics and weapons. The sex trade brings in $7-12 billion annually.

The United States State Department has estimated that over one million women are trafficked every year, primarily from economically unstable nations. Many women are abducted, but others are lured by offers of good working conditions and high salaries in the sex industry, or by false offers of employment entirely unrelated to prostitution. Travel documents are confiscated so as to ensure they are unable to escape. The women frequently endure torture and imprisonment. Psychological trauma, disease and denial of health services are commonplace. 

The UN has suggested that there is police complicity with traffickers in many nations, so women who report crimes are often returned to their abusers. Modern technology allows for captors to trace victims who flee, as some organised crime rings scan and electronically distribute photos of women who 'belong' to their syndicates.

Other countries have begun to take innovative steps in efforts to eliminate sex trafficking of women, and to implement protective programmes for those who have become victims of the sex trade. Italy has recently established a witness protection programme to help trafficked women denounce their exploiters, and has increased accessibility of work permits which would allow women to legally stay in the country. India has begun to repatriate individuals from Bangladesh who have been trafficked from the country. In Nepal, a programme assisted by the International Labour Organisation has former victims of the sex trade monitoring border crossings, watching for signs of trafficking. 

The United States Senate has recently passed a bill which proposes to increase penalties to traffickers, and give immigration relief for up to three years to allow sex victims to stay in the country and bring charges against their abusers. A conference in Istanbul last year on trafficking of women concluded that international actions are needed to protect and repatriate or resettle victims. The recommendations made by AI to Israel include the need to review government procedures concerning trafficking, and to enhance existing legislation to punish traffickers and abusers. 

Perhaps most importantly, the country is advised to take action to protect women who have been sex victims of these human rights violations, and to avoid exacerbation of trauma through detention and ill protection. If all nations were to review and ensure compliance with such recommendations, women everywhere could begin to hope for an end to the horror of the sex trade. 

With Hasdai Westbrook and Victoria Blint
ISRAEL NEWS AGENCY http://www.israelnewsagency.com

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