~ Richard Silverstein
The pro-Israel lawfare NGO, Shurat HaDin (SH), founded with funding provided by the Mossad, is being hoisted by its own petard.
SH’s modus operandi is to research funding for terror attacks against Israeli and American Jews and prosecute the financial institutions which allegedly funneled money to the terrorists. As a corollary, it also prosecute Arab governments which purportedly support the terror groups. In her own words, the NGO’s mission is “to protect IDF soldiers and fight terror.” I’m not sure what protecting Israeli soldiers has to do with her agenda since all her clients are Israeli civilians. But it does exemplify what a creature of the Israeli security state she is.
They’ve won judgments of hundreds of millions against these banks and countries over the years. Often, as in the case against Iran, the countries don’t fight the case as they refuse to recognize the jurisdiction of the court. As far as I know, very little, if any of the money has actually been recovered for any clients.
This matters little to SH’s founder, Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, an Israeli-Iranian attorney and graduate of the religious-nationalist Bar Ilan University. She doesn’t function as an attorney in her capacity with SH. She’s an indefatigable battler for her ideological agenda. She’s as much marketer as ideologue. She also travels around the world persuading terror victims and their families to agree to become complainants in her cases. She’s an anti-terror ambulance chaser.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Israeli intelligence pursues its own agenda using the smokescreen of so-called civil rights or anti-terror NGOs. Intelligence agencies have been co-opting civil society organizations for decades (remember when the CIA funded U.S. student groups in the 1950s, including the Paris Review?). The difference between what Israel is doing and what other western intelligence agencies do is that the westerners feel some level of constraint. They understand that there is a price to be paid if they or the co-opted NGO is exposed. This limits their activities to an extent. But not Israel. It’s damn the torpedoes and full-speed ahead.
But there is one case that hasn’t gone as Darshan-Leitner expected. In fact, instead of collaborating with her Israeli intelligence colleagues, she’s now fighting them tooth and nail. The case involves the murder of Daniel Wultz, an American Jew killed in a 2006 terror attack in Tel Aviv. [A lawsuit in U.S. Court] targets the Bank of China and accuses it of transferring funds to the terror organizations that allegedly carried out the attack that killed the Florida teenager.
Part of the “package” which SH serves up to the court involves testimony by former or current Israeli intelligence agents. In this case, that would be Uzi Shaya. He tracked the purported financing for the attack and warned Bank of China officials that they were financing Mideast terrorism. The State offered Shaya as an expert witness to corroborate the charges brought.
But a fly got into the ointment. Two flies, actually. The first was a major State visit Bibi Netanyahu planned to China. No Israeli prime minister had ever visited the country. The amount of global cache this visit offered both to Bibi and Israel itself was enormous. Even more important was the prospect of China’s enormous appetite for precisely the sort of products Israeli exports, including the most sophisticated military hardware and cyber-tools. As China dangled the enormous carrot in front of Bibi, it drew it back precisely as the Israeli leader reached for it. There was just one small catch: the Bank of China trial. China’s leaders, no doubt at the behest of the country’s leading bank, told him to stop cooperating with the case or the trip was off.
This might’ve been enough to torpedo the case on its own, but China had another card up its sleeve, and this one was the trump card: Sheldon Adelson’s Macau casino interests are largely financed by a credit line extended by the Bank of China. Ben Caspit wrote in the Jerusalem Post:
“Bank of China is…the main bank working with Jewish-American tycoon Sheldon Adelson’s gambling business in Macau. In 2011, the bank managed the flotation of a large bond package in which $3.7 billion was raised for Sands China, a company owned by Adelson.”
Public documents show that the Bank of China is listed as a “permanent adviser” to Sands China and that it is the “administrative agent” of two companies owned by Adelson that lent money to the firm.
The article has, for reasons that will seem obvious to anyone who knows how the oligarchal elite operates in Israel, disappeared from the Post website. Given that an article in Haaretz that detailed Netanyahu’s lobbying on Adelson’s behalf with the Japanese government was “disappeared” from that company’s website, such phenomena will not seem unusual.
Bibi’s buddies, when queried by Caspit, claim he didn’t know anything about the connection between Bank of China and Adelson. But to quote Mandy Rice-Davies: “he would say that, wouldn’t he?”
What’s extraordinary about this new development in the case is that Netanyahu, when offered an opportunity to realize his own ideological agenda in fighting anti-Israel terror, declines to take it. Instead, he opts to pay obeisance to the financial Godfather, without whom he could never have achieved political power. Fealty to Sheldon Adelson trumps loyalty to his own principles.