THE DETROIT JEW'IC! , NEWS
I(. - Where Fit is Foremost . '
Friday, April 27, 1984
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fraud, extortion, narcotics trafficking,
illegal immigration and homicide.
"Although not all of these activi-
ties have surfaced yet in the New York
area," the report said, it has been
documented that these Israelis are
heavily involved in the importation
and distribution of narcotics, specifi-
cally cocaine and heroin through the
use of a highly sophisticated syndi-
A major investigation in New
York revealed that Israeli emigre
merchants have been "actively in-
volved in the counterfeiting of credit
cards, fraudulent purchases and false
billing. These crimes have cost several
major New York banks an estimated
multi-million dollar loss."
In addition, it said, --'`violence, in
the form of homicides and kidnap-
pings, has been utilized by this group."
It cited the case of a young Israeli
mother, her son and nephew, mur-
dered "execution style" in the New
York area. "Her husband, at the time
of the homicides, was in custody, rela-
tive to a credit card indictment."
The Soviet Jewish organized
crime network, the report said, has
been less sophisticated. "Information
and intelligence on this group also
indicates that they are responsible for
a series of crimes including murder,
robbery, burglary, extortion and
gambling in Brighton Beach, Brook-
lyn during 1975-1979," it said.
The first indication of this net- •
work, it said, was in 1975 when the
so-called "potato bag gang" committed
a series of con games across the United
States. This group of Soviet immig-
rants was from the Odessa region.
They posed as merchant seamen
whose ships were docked in the area.
They would offer for sale what ap-
peared to be gold Russian coins to
other Soviet immigrant 'marks,' but
would switch packages before delivery
and the buyer would wind up with
nothing more than a bag of potatoes."
The report noted that the basic
life style in the Soviet Union is one
which portrays an extremely
authority-conscious and wary society
which is riddled with corruption.
Many Soviets are involved in the busi-
ness of black market trade out of
necessity due to the unavailability of
basic consumer products.
"The individuals who were in-
volved in the black-market activities
in the Soviet Union find the United
States laws too soft and their propen-
sity toward criminal activity inevita-
bly becomes convenient and oppor-
tune. The United States is a haven for
them and ripe for the picking."
The spectrum of activities in
which Soviet criminal cartels are in-
volved, according to the study, include
protection rackets, gambling, confi-
dence schemes, counterfeiting,
forgery, sales of licenses and travel
documents, smuggling, burglary,
armed robbery, drug and weapon sales
t.; The report makes clear that those
Israeli and Soviet Jewish immigrants
involved in organized crime represent
but a tiny fraction of the honest and
hardworking Israeli and Soviet
Jewish communities in the United
lieve this kind of peace is
possible. I know that my se-
The letter (April 13 curity is linked inescapably
Jewish News) by represen- to the Israelis', but their se-
tatives of the Metro Detroit curity can be no more at the
Zionist Organization of expense of the Palestinians'
America (ZOA) regarding security than ours can be at
the Arab-Israeli Dialogue their expense."
held April 2 is remarkable
The ZOA representatives
in its callous disregard of are also misleading in their
comments regarding the Is-
As the local Jewish par- raeli Supreme Court's reac-
ticipant on the panel that tion to the expulsion order
night, I too have a great of Mayor Milhem. What
many problems with Mayor they failed to note was that
Milhem's perspectives on the Israeli Supreme Court
the Arab-Israeli conflict. took the unusual step of
However, to distort his specifically recommending
views to imply that they are to the government that that
wholly negative serves no order be reconsidered, a
recommendation which was
Most fundamentally, ignored by the Herut-led
their statement that he un- government.
reservedly supports "liq-
What the ZOA fails to
uidating the state of Israel" grasp is that peace is made
is just false. On the con- not between friends, but be-
trary, Milhem has specifi- tween former enemies.
cally come out in writing for Whether the/_or I like it or
"mutual and simultaneous not, Mayor Milhem was an
recognition of both nation's elected representative of his
right to self-determination, people. It is precisely such
security and peace." He has representatives who have
come out explicitly for a
"I espouse peace and se- political solution which
curity for all nations in the would include Arab and
area, including Israel. I be- Palestinian recognition of
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Mayor • Milhem
Of Harvard Row
Judaism and Yiddishkeit
have now really fallen on
hard times. Assimilation,
Semitism, Israel and the
low Jewish birth rate have
been problems with us for a
very long time.
But now there is a new
tzores — we are obviously
getting low on character
models for our children to
follow. Einstein has now
been dead for several years;
and more recently, two
famous rabbis and teachers
have died within one year.
The generation that was
to take their places strayed
from the path of righteous-
ness and ran of to the uni-
versities to chase after
Nobel Prizes. We don't even
have a half-decent Jewish
football or baseball player.
But The Jewish News,
aware of the great need and
Continued on next page
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A Vanished World
Israel that offers some hope
that the Jewish state will
some day be able to live in
peace with its neighbors.
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