Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


‘Not Your Grandfather’s Mob’

U.S. diplomats were concerned about Israeli crime’s potency

Print Email
The scene of mob boss Yaacov Alperon’s 2008 assassination in Tel Aviv.(Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

WikiLeaks, a.k.a. the gift that keeps on giving, treats us to this 2009 dispatch from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv immortally entitled, “Israel: A Promised Land for Organized Crime?” As indeed it is, if you recall Douglas Century’s Tablet Magazine series from two years ago, published only a few months after this cable, and laying out in long, stark detail exactly how out of hand things have gotten in the Israeli underworld.

While the cable devotes much time to that as well, its prime concern is the potential for Israeli crime to seep into the United States. Since it was sent, Israel’s Abergil brothers, who are accused of working with the San Fernando Valley’s Vineland Boyz to smuggle hundreds of thousands of ecstasy pills into the United States (occasionally via stuffed toy tigers), were extradited here. One brother copped a plea, admitting to extortion, and returned to Israel only last week; the other, whose alleged crimes include the murder of an Israeli drug dealer in Los Angeles, remains locked up stateside. One wonders if the cable, sent only a few months before the Abergils’ arrest in Israel, may have played any role in that affair (the brothers are mentioned). If journalism is the first draft of history, does that make WikiLeaks history’s director’s cut?

Israel: A Promised Land for Organized Crime? [WikiLeaks]
Alleged TA Crime Figure Meir Abergil Returns Home [JPost]
Related: Holy Land Gangland [Tablet Magazine]
Earlier: Israeli Brothers to Face Federal Music

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Bill Pearlman says:

These guys aren’t running numbers in Brownsville 1932. They are a bunch of scumbags who should be hunted down.

How-do-you-do, just required you to know I have added your internet site to my Google bookmarks because of your extraordinary blog layout. But seriously, I feel your site has one of the freshest theme I’ve came across. It really helps make reading your blog a whole lot easier.

Hello there, simply become aware of your weblog via Google, and located that it is really informative. I am going to be careful for brussels. I will appreciate in case you proceed this in future. A lot of people shall be benefited from your writing. Cheers!


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

‘Not Your Grandfather’s Mob’

U.S. diplomats were concerned about Israeli crime’s potency

More on Tablet:

Obama: Denying Israel’s Right to Exist as a Jewish Homeland is Anti-Semitic

By Yair Rosenberg — The president draws a line in the sand in his latest interview