Wednesday, December 18, 2002

I loved The Head Heeb's post about the working peace among Israeli and Palestinian criminals. Jonathan's mention of the late Jonny Attias amused me. Years ago, when I first came to work for my current employer, one of my first bosses was a cousin of the late Jonny Attias. Luckily for me, La Cousina, who, unlike her relative, was a law-abiding citizen, took a shine to little old Fresh Meat here (as I was then) and took me under her wing, thus protecting me from being devoured by the workplace pack. I rather suspect that otherwise she would have been first in for the kill. Years later, she reaped the benefit of this, when having ventured out into the far greater jungle of the world outside government salaries and job permanence, Bish threw a few tasty morsels of prey her way.

The very fruitful and widespread cooperation between Jewish and Arab criminals in Israel is truly a rare example of successful coexistence in Israeli society. It can be demonstrated nicely with the story of the Turk family of Yaffo. I think they are distant cousins of Rifat "Jimmy" Turk, once a famous Israeli soccer player, now a member of the Tel Aviv city council. (I must point out that these are Israeli Arabs and not Palestinians from the territories). At one point, the illegitimate son of one of the brothers was wanted by the police for his complicity in a big burglary of safe deposit boxes in a bank in Holon. Under his mug shot, the police poster gave his name as "Amir Cohen, son of Muhammad". He was never found, by the way, because, according to one of his uncles, his other uncles murdered him, as a “reward” for cooperating with the police.

Jonathan talks of Israeli (Jewish) car thieves supplying stolen cars to Palestinian car dealers and what's known here as car slaughterhouses, in the territories. Contrary to Jonathan’s claim, this successful business cooperation has been badly hampered by the Terror War (also known as the Intifada), much to the relief of car owners and insurance companies. In fact, I understand that car thefts have dropped so drastically, that the police have begun liquidating their special unit for investigating these car thefts, because it is no longer needed. Unfortunately, we have seen that this cooperation between Jewish and Arab criminals extends to a lively trade in weapons, as well, which Israelis (mainly Arab, but Jewish too) supply to the Palestinians in large amounts.

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