US casino funds Israeli settlements

Gambling with peace: how US bingo dollars are funding Israeli settlements — The Guardian

Revealing how money raised from a casino frequented mostly by Latinos in California is funding Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank and Jerusalem:

Over the past 20 years, the bingo hall has funnelled tens of millions of dollars in to what its opponents — including rabbis serving the Hawaiian Gardens area — describe as an ideologically-driven strategy to grab land for Israel, as well as contributing to influential American groups and thinktanks backing Israel’s more hawkish governments.

But the bingo operation, owned by an American Jewish doctor and millionaire, Irving Moskowitz, has taken on added significance in recent weeks as President Barack Obama has laid down a marker to Israel in demanding an end to settlement construction, which the White House regards as a major obstacle to peace. “Moskowitz is taking millions from the poorest town in California and sending it to the settlements,” said Haim Dov Beliak, a rabbi serving Hawaiian Gardens and one of the Jewish religious leaders in California who have campaigned to block the flow of funds to the settlers.

“The money Moskowitz puts in to the settlements has changed the game. Moskowitz has helped build a hardcore of the settler movement that may number 50-70,000.

Moskowitz is on record as defending Baruch Goldstein, the perpetrator of the 1994 Hebron mosque massacre, calling him “a lone Jewish man, overwhelmed by his grief over Arab terrorism”; some of his grants went to that settlement, which is notorious for violent attacks on local Palestinians, thousands of whom have been moved out by the Israeli army, ostensibly for their own safety.

Local rabbis in California are among the opponents of Moskowitz’s bingo-for-Israel racket, pointing out that Muslims have been jailed for directing charitable donations to welfare projects in Gaza that “indirectly helps Hamas”, while ignoring obvious donations which clearly go to violent settlers.

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