Friday, May 16, 2008
ISRAEL PM WAS ON A 'CASH DIET'
Interesting how a case which was supposed to be so up front and clear is suddenly muddled. All the billionaires are scattering like so many rats from a stinking sinking ship.
So, what were the bribes for, Mr. Olmert?
If you were taking bribes from American Billionaires, what were you taking from Lebonese ministers, Saudi princes, Jordanian kings, or Palestinian leaders?
If it is so easy to sell your allegiance for minibars and casinos, how much easier to sell out for some real important issues--like Gush Katif, Judaea, Samaria, and the Golan?
It doesn't matter to you, does it Ehud? After all, your family is safely ensconced in the lap of luxury in France--much as Arafat's family was. Are they friends, Mr. Olmert?
After all, your family and the Arafat family have a lot in common--both had patriarchs who were traitors to your own people.
'BAGMAN': BRIBES HIDDEN IN SLIM-FAST
By ANDY SOLTIS
May 16, 2008 --
A former New York limo driver says he's the bagman who delivered suspected bribes to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Manhattan and Jerusalem - including cash hidden in cases of Slim-Fast given to him by the founder of the diet-food empire.
Avi Sherman came forward to make the claims on Israeli TV last night, after billionaire S. Daniel Abraham, the former Slim-Fast owner, blasted earlier reports of his story as "absurd" and said he was "hallucinating."
Israeli police questioned Abraham Tuesday in their expanding probe of allegations that Olmert received $480,000 in bribes from a Long Island businessman, Morris Talansky, and others over a period of several years.
Sherman told Israeli Channel 2 last night that he passed cash from both Talansky and "the man who denies knowing me" - meaning Abraham - during the '90s when Olmert was mayor of Jerusalem.
He said that before emigrating from the United States to Israel several years ago, he visited Jerusalem on a regular basis.
Each time, he brought with him "packages of cash" from Abraham that he hid in a case of Slim-Fast packaged meals and snacks. He said he delivered each case to Olmert.
Sherman also claimed that on Olmert's periodic visits to New York, he served as his limo driver, by arrangement with Shula Zaken, a longtime Olmert aide who also is a target of the probe.
Sherman said he would pick up a cash-stuffed envelope from Talansky's secretary at a Midtown office.
"And then I would go to the Regency Hotel and deliver the envelope to Ehud personally, into his hand," he said.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said police sources have doubts about Sherman's credibility and may not be able to use his account in court.
Olmert has denied doing anything illegal and Talansky said he thought he was making legal donations to Olmert's campaign.
Abraham, one of several prominent Jewish American businessmen celebrating Israel's 60th anniversary this week, was outraged by the charges.
"Of course I never gave any money to Ehud Olmert. The very question is insulting to me," he told Israeli Army Radio yesterday. "This is my reputation at stake, and I have no reason to risk it."
Abraham, who sold Slim-Fast in 2000, said detectives confronted him with Sherman at a police station Tuesday.
"The first thing he said to me was 'Are you Dan Abraham?' This shows he doesn't know me," he said. "I have pity for him. He seems like he's hallucinating."
"I don't know the man and have never seen him in my life," he said.
Also yesterday, Olmert filed a motion to prevent prosecutors from taking dramatic videotaped testimony from Talansky later this month.
Talansky has made it known he's eager to return to his Woodmere, LI, home. Earlier this week, a state prosecutor told the Jerusalem District Court that Talansky informed one of the cops of his "fear that Olmert would send someone to harm him."