Dan Gertler, the criminal billionaire from Israel who has looted Africa of several billion dollars, is too corrupt even for the Trump administration — but not for publicity hound, pro-Israel lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who has just registered to lobby the U.S. government on Gertler’s behalf.
Dershowitz and Louis Freeh, the former FBI director who also registered to lobby for Gertler, are apparently arguing for the removal of Treasury Department sanctions that prevent Gertler from doing business in the U.S. In 2017, Treasury explained why it was punishing the Israeli under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, as a “malign” actor who has committed human rights abuses.
Gertler is an international businessman and billionaire who has amassed his fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) . . . As a result, between 2010 and 2012 alone, the DRC reportedly lost over $1.36 billion in revenues from the underpricing of mining assets. . .
Dan Gertler should be sent to prison for a long time. His looting would be criminal anywhere, but the DR Congo is one of the poorest nations on earth, torn by the greatest humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II. Several billion dollars that could have been used to fight malnutrition, and to promote education and health (including combatting another outbreak of ebola), has instead ended up in Gertler’s secret bank accounts.
Gertler’s crimes do not matter to Dershowitz. Last year, he told the New York Times that the Israeli “businessman” was “a very good person.”
Israel’s government is also complicit. Gertler’s crimes have been well-publicized for years. He apparently flies from Central Africa to his home in Tel Aviv regularly. But so far Israel has taken no action against him, and he is basically unknown there, instead of the national shame that he should be.
Mainstream media reports on corruption in the Global South nearly always focus on the often grotesque African and Latin American rulers who receive the payments. But you can’t have brib-ees without brib-ers. And if you are a briber and can afford a celebrity lawyer like Dershowitz to represent you, so much the better.