Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Zionist Plexus Based in America -2

The following article is by Jim Lobe that has been published in Daily Star.

The United States has banned several Islamic charities and calls on Arab countries to do the same, saying they are wiring money to extremist groups. But, when it comes to Zionist groups and individuals that are funneling money into activities against Muslims including those in the Occupied Palestine, U.S. officials keep mum and turn a blind eye. It shows that the Zionist lobby in America is very active in supporting those who somehow help Zionist extremists across the planet.

A small group of Californians is trying hard to contribute to President George W. Bush’s “war on terrorism” by shutting down an important source of financing for Jewish extremism in the Occupied Territories. The source is a gambling casino located in Hawaiian Gardens in greater Los Angeles. 75-year-old businessman Irving Moskowitz is the owner of the casino. According to his tax records Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation has funneled tens of millions of dollars into various charities and foundations that support the most extreme elements of the Jewish settlement movement in Israel and the territories. The foundation also provided hundreds of thousands of dollars between 1987 and 2001 to right-wing US Zionist groups, particularly the Zionist Organization of America as well as neo-conservative think tanks among them the Center for Security Policy, and the American Enterprise Institute whose leaders were at the forefront of the drive to war in Iraq.

What Moskowitz does with the profits he makes from the casino, which grosses about 180 million dollars a year, is unknown. As the owner of a private enterprise, his tax records are not publicly available. Most observers believe he has been providing millions of dollars to militant extremist groups, such as the Aterit Cohanim, which occupies houses in the Arab quarter of East Beit-ol-Moqaddas in order to consolidate Jewish control of the entire city. While the casino has apparently been a cash cow for Moskowitz since it began operating several years ago, in order to continue operations he must obtain a license. The denial of his license application is the goal of a coalition, which consists of community groups, former municipal officials as well as Latino and Muslim activist groups. In addition, a Joint Legislative Audit Committee charged three years ago that Moskowitz and the city government worked together to illegally divert city redevelopment money to build the casino. Activists believe the application should be denied for the same reasons that the Bush administration has pressed Arab governments to shut down charities.

There are several Moskowitz-funded initiatives in the occupied lands and the West Bank, the most deadly of which is the excavation and the 1996 opening of a tunnel near Muslim holy places in East Beitol-maqaddas which sparked three days of rioting that killed more than 70 people, most of them Palestinian. Since the 1967 war, Moskowitz and foundations controlled by him have secretly purchased homes in and around East Beit-ol-Moqaddas with the apparent intent of eventually moving in the most militant factions of the settlement movement. He has often arranged to move in settlers or begin construction on his properties at sensitive moments in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, to stir up tensions in the area. His foundation poured some 4 million dollars between 1993 and 2001 for such purchases to the Miami-based American Friends of Everest Foundation, which is controlled by Moskowitz and his family. The foundation’s support for the settler movement in the West Bank and the Golan Heights has been continuous. Between 1995 and 2001, it provided nearly 750,000 dollars to a number of charities, which have supported Beit Hadassah, a settlement located in the heart of the West Bank city for about 500 settlers who have repeatedly clashed with Palestinian residents. Beit Hadassah is closely linked to a much larger settlement on the outskirts of al-Khalil the home of Baruch Goldstein, the US-born settler who massacred 29 Palestinian worshipers at a city mosque in 1994. Moskowitz is not supporting the people who sit and study; he funds those that are ideologically mobilized, whose students are prepared at any moment to take part in protests and demonstrations, and who think it is their right to uproot olive trees on Arab land, overturn vegetable stands in Arab markets, and wreak havoc. According to the Coalition’s records, Moskowitz’s foundation has also helped Christian Zionist groups that have in turn supported the settlement movement. It also aided US policy groups that identify with extreme Israeli nationalists, including about 500,000 dollars to Americans for a Safe Israel.