Wayne Madsen Report
Middle East sources have confirmed to WMR a story that has been floating around Israel during the eight years that the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was in a coma. Sharon was kept on life support for the eight-years because his two sons, Gilad and Omri Sharon, wanted to pocket their father’s three pensions. They were earned from Sharon’s time in the Israeli Defense Force, his term as a Member of the Knesset, and his time as prime minister.
Gilad, his father, and Israeli businessman David Appel were involved in an alleged 1999 bribery scandal involving a planned casino and resort complex on the Greek island of Patroklos. Gilad Sharon was investigated by the Israeli Attorney General’s department for being paid $20,000 a month as a consultant for Appel in order to secure his father’s help in the Greek real estate deal. Ariel Sharon was serving as foreign minister in the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The investigation of the Gilad Sharon was later dropped by Israel’s Attorney General.
In 2008, Omri Sharon, a former Member of the Knesset, was convicted of perjury, campaign finance law violations, and falsifying documents in his father’s 1999 primary campaign. Omri Sharon received a seven-month prison sentence but served only five months.
Topping off these scandals was the Oasis Casino scandal involving the Sharons and a planned casino for the town of Jericho in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
On January 12, 2006, WMR reported on the Oasis scandal.
“The [Oasis] casino, which began operations in 1998, was partly-owned by CAP, a company registered in Liechtenstein in which the Palestinian Authority under Yasir Arafat was a 23 percent shareholder. Another owner was a Vienna, Austria-based casino company, Casinos Austria International, in which Martin Schlaff, a close friend of [Ariel] Sharon, was a major investor. Schlaff’s brother, James, is also under investigation. Last week, Israeli police seized computers, cell phones, documents, and a PDA from the home of Schlaff’s parents in Israel while he was visiting from Austria. Police also investigated money transfers to Gilad Sharon, Ariel Sharon’s son, from South African businessman Cyril Kern and other transfers via BAWAG Bank in Austria. Sharon’s other son, Omri, was also financially involved in the Oasis casino.”
As the media reports on messages of condolences from world leaders, including President Barack Obama, on the death of the comatose Sharon, they conveniently omit any mention of the Sharon family’s ties to criminal adventures. Ariel Sharon’s history as a war criminal in the 1967 War in the Sinai and the 1982 massacre of Palestinian civilians at the Sabra and Shatila camps in Lebanon has also received scant attention from a media that appear to take its orders from the public relations department of the Israeli government. Sharon’s role in leveling many Palestinian homes and villages in the West Bank earned him the nickname of “bulldozer.” Others called Sharon a “butcher.”
Much of the Israeli media has been incensed over the world leader “list” of those who attended Sharon’s funeral in Jerusalem. Not one serving head of state was in attendance. Only one head of government, Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok of the Czech Republic, a nation whose foreign affairs have been in the clutch of Israeli interlocutors since the end of Czechoslovakia, attended the funeral. The world’s greatest apologist for Israel, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, heaped praise on Sharon at the funeral. Blair referred to the man many see as a war criminal as “warmhearted, humorous, charming and passionate.”
Vice President Joe Biden, at least, referred to Sharon’s jaded past in stating the former prime minister’s “actions earned him controversy and even condemnation.” Biden headed a U.S. delegation that also included former U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer, current U.S. ambassador Daniel Shapiro, Democratic National Committee chairwoman and Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and New York Democratic Representative Eliot Engel.
Although no country sent a current head of state to Sharon’s funeral, a number of foreign ministers who toe the Israeli line flew to Jerusalem for the funeral. They include Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. However, many countries were represented by mid-level government officials with non-household names: Canadian Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli, French Minister Delegate for French Nationals Abroad Helene Conway-Mouret, Russian State Duma Chairman Sergey Naryshkin, Singaporean Second Foreign Minister Grace Fu, British former Undersecretary of State Alistair Burt, Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay; Romanian Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea; Greek Defense Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos; and Spanish Home Affairs Minister Jorge Fernandez Díaz.
Many nations were no shows. China, India, South Africa, Japan, Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan did not send any delegations to Sharon’s funeral. Obviously many nations viewed Sharon for what he was, a war criminal who flouted international law and enriched himself with illegal scams and schemes.