Monday, July 15, 2019

The Epstein Scandal Goes Abroad

The Jeffrey Epstein child trafficking scandal just became the major flashpoint in Israel's elections this week as Benjamin Netanyahu, still facing a massive fraud indictment himself, is now demanding government investigations into political opponent Ehud Barak's ties to Epstein's businesses.

Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest is reverberating in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party are calling for a criminal probe into former prime minister Ehud Barak’s personal and business ties with the accused sex trafficker, Israeli media is reporting.

Barak, 77, served as prime minister from 1999 to 2001. This month he formed a new party to run for prime minister against Netanyahu, who called for new elections in September. Once political allies, Barak and Netanyahu have been sparring on social media, with Netanyahu producing a video raising Barak’s relationship to the multimillionaire New York financier, and Ohio billionaire Les Wexner, who has given money to Barak, the Times of Israel reported.

Barak was a close friend and business partner with Epstein for years. Now some of those business partnerships are being scrutinized amid questions about Barak’s own source of wealth. The Times reported Saturday that Barak is exploring whether to sever business ties with Epstein, 66, who was charged last week with sex trafficking underage girls.

In 2015, Barak formed a limited partnership company in Israel to invest in a high-tech startup called Reporty, now named Carbyne., which develops video streaming and geolocation software for emergency services, the Times reported. A large part of the investment money was supplied by Epstein.

Barak also received $2.5 million from the Wexner Foundation in 2004 for research, which has never been fully explained, Haaretz reported. Epstein was a member of that foundation.

Speaking on Israel TV’s “Meet the Press,” Saturday, Barak stated he had no idea that Epstein’s charges related to molesting underage girls and defended his business relationship with Epstein.

“He’d served his sentence for soliciting prostitution — the indictment didn’t say she was a minor,” Barak said, adding that he wasn’t the only person who kept his friendship with Epstein after his arrest. Epstein’s circle of associates included the presidents of leading U.S. universities, philanthropists, Nobel-prize-winning scientists and politicians from both American political parties, Barak said.

“The American system itself did not label him as a persona non grata…the secretary who just resigned in the Trump administration was the prosecutor and he said he’d been negligent — so you expect me to have noticed [anything wrong]?” Barak said on the program.

"Everyone was doing it, man!" is one hell of an escuse, no matter what country or party you're in.  I hate to say it, but it's hard to judge who's more corrupt at this point, Barak, or Bibi.

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