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November 18, 2005

Omri Sharon Pleads Guilty

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon’s son, Omri, pleaded guilty in a Likud Party funding scandal.

The younger Sharon could face imprisonment as part of the plea bargain reached Tuesday. He accepted reduced felony charges of perjury and fraud in connection with allegedly illicit foreign financing for his father’s 1999 run for the Likud leadership. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz decided against also indicting the prime minister in the case, citing lack of evidence. According to Israeli media reports, Mazuz is expected to seek several months’ jail time for Omri Sharon and to demand that he retire from politics.

Shoah Denier Deported

The United States deported Germar Rudolph to Germany to be imprisoned as a Holocaust denier. The deportation came Tuesday, after the U.S. Supreme Court last week rejected an appeal by Rudolph, also known as Germar Scheerer, who published a study that he said proved the Nazis did not gas Jews at Auschwitz. In 1995, he was sentenced in Germany to 14 months in prison for Holocaust denial, but fled to the United States.

Saudi Teacher Sentenced

A Saudi court sentenced a teacher to 40 months in jail and 750 lashes for praising Jews, a Saudi newspaper reported. Al-Madina newspaper reported that Mohammad Al-Harbi would receive the punishment for “dubious ideology, mocking religion, saying the Jews were right, discussing the Gospel and preventing students from leaving class to wash for prayer.” Al-Harbi is expected to appeal.

Violinist’s Son Fired

The son of famous Jewish violinist Yehudi Menuhin lost his job in Germany over extremist statements. The board of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation fired Gerard Menuhin as president after it learned of his anti-Jewish statements in far-right German publications. Menuhin, 57, reportedly referred to “an international lobby of influential people and associations that put Germans under pressure for their own purposes.” He said that Germans are under “endless blackmail” because of the Holocaust, and that “a people that allows itself to be intimidated 60 years after the end of the war with the events of that time is not healthy.”

Quayle Buys Israeli Stake

A company headed by former vice president Dan Quayle, Gabriel Capital and Cerberus Capital Management, bought part of Israel’s second-largest bank, Bank Leumi.

The company for which Quayle serves as chairman paid more than $500 million for 9.99% of Bank Leumi, which was recently privatized.

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