I was contacted by two distinguished Russian-Israelis last week, (Jan. 05). First, the respected journalist Effie Maideneck made a pitch to me to investigate the harassment of a “truthseeker like you,” Dr. Yuli Nudelman. Then I was honored with three e-mails from the revered former Prisoner of Zion, Ida Nudel. She also wrote, “Yuli needs help.” (Mrs. Nudel’s correspondence will follow this article).
Dr. Yuli Nudelman is the former chief surgeon of Rambam Hospital. In the 1960s he was a leader of the movement to allow Soviet Jews to emigrate to Israel. When the Soviets released him, he quickly made his mark in Israel as a major in the IDF, awarded for his battlefield surgery, then as a crusader against local medical corruption. He was a columnist for the left wing crusading newsmagazine HaOlam HaZeh and later the author of two powerful books exposing serious malpractice in the Israeli medical system.
In 1999 he released a book in Hebrew and Russian called, Sharansky Unmasked. Within, he claimed that Natan Sharansky, then Housing Minister, was a longtime KGB agent with deep ties to the worldwide Russian mafia. Soon after its release, Sharansky sued Dr. Nudelman for libel and the Jerusalem district court ruled that he had to pay Sharansky the unheard of compensation of nearly $200,000. This was widely acknowledged as a precedent aimed at restricting the most basic rights of freedom of expression. Dr. Nudelman’s brother Boris was also his partner in the Sharansky research project and he died, overcome by the injustice of the trial.
On Jan. 20, Dr. Nudelman met me at my home for an intense interview. He also gave me his book on Sharansky and a thick stack of evidence which left me convinced of the veracity of his claims. I warn my readers that you will find the following report discouraging. However, I have long warned that the leadership of the Jewish people has been thoroughly infiltrated by frauds and criminals claiming they are working on our behalf. That Sharansky is just another crook serving ugly interests should not come as that much of a surprise.
Before presenting the quite shocking evidence, we begin with my interview of Dr. Nudelman:
YN – In 1962, the KGB initiated a program of dissidence against the Soviet Union. By running the dissident groups, it could control the various factions which were dissatisfied with Soviet repression and later utilize the leaders as agents in the West. They were known as, spies of influence. By appearing to be anti-Soviet they were welcomed abroad and trusted. They could worm themselves into the top echelons of foreign governments. Sharansky was one of these agents, and possibly the most successful.
BC – But wasn’t he a Zionist leader in the Soviet Union? Didn’t he spend eight years in prison for his activities?
YN – He was never a leader. He was unknown to most of us until the Western media turned him into a hero. He supposedly spent seven years in jail and one year in a prison camp. No one saw him in jail except Mendelevich, and he claims he only saw his eyes through a peephole. Understand this, there is not one witness to him sitting in jail. He spent a year in a prison camp as a hut commander. That was the position given to KGB informers.
BC – But what about his wife Avital, who fought for his freedom in Israel?
YN – All a KGB show, like her supposed conversion to Judaism in 1974. She is from a family of spies. Her brother Michael was sent to Washington to infiltrate the CIA. He got into trouble there and fled to Israel. Not long after he arrived, he was poisoned to death at age 44.
BC – What was the point of this charade surrounding Sharansky?
YN – He infiltrated Israel as a worldwide hero. Remember, he got here through a spy exchange, not simply released from prison and allowed to leave like all the rest of us. Within a few years he was living in a $1.5 million dollar home. Where did he get that kind of money? Next, he was in the government cabinet. Now he’s really useful. When the powers that run America want Netanyahu to withdraw from Judea and Samaria, who do they send to the Wye plantation? Their agents Sharon and Sharansky. When the same powers seek a justification for attacking Afghanistan and Iraq, who do they turn to but the trusted Sharansky. Just last week Condoleeza Rice called Sharansky the father of the movement to turn the Middle East democratic. When Putin is condemned worldwide for the slaughter in Chechnya, who comes to his rescue but Sharansky. Incidentally, that turned out to be a big mistake for Sharansky.
BC – Why?
YN – Because after my book was published, he called in his chips. He asked Putin to release his whole KGB file to him so no one could ever see it. Then he released on the Internet the parts of the file he thought would serve him best. He chose the wrong files to release because they revealed what we all knew. During his interrogation and trial in 1977-8, Sharansky gave the KGB a long list of Jewish activists. It was during his trial that the witch hunt against us began in earnest. Dozens of Jewish activists were arrested, some beaten severely. Sharansky was nothing but a dirty little snitch.
These are serious allegations. Now we look at the evidence, much of which comes from the protocols of Nudelman’s trial. What stands out is that a Who’s Who of former Soviet Jewish activists testified on Nudelman’s behalf, whereas not one witness except his wife, testified for Sharansky. He could find not even one witness who knew him from prison and who saw his bravery in action.
Deposition to Judge Zvi Segal, Jerusalem District Court from Ida Nudel
I testify, as a former citizen of the USSR, grown and educated under a totalitarian regime persecuting any dissent, that Mr. Sharansky’s behaviour during investigation resulted in the profound suffering of several people who were subjected to additional persecutions because the KGB’s attention to them had been drawn by Mr. Sharansky’s thirty-three page request to the chief investigator of his case, Col. V.I. Volodin…
An attentive reader, provided he is a former Soviet Citizen with an experience of conflict with the KGB, is struck by the difference between Sharansky”s description of his imprisonment in jails and camps on the one hand, and the personal experiences of many people, on the other hand…
Mr. Sharansky disregarded the ethical norms of the group with which he identified and based his defence on requesting the KGB investigators to interrogate activists and participants of the emigration movement…Upon completion of his case investigation, the KGB decided, on January 12 and 18, 1978 to open additional cases against 33 activists of the Jewish emigration movement. Six Jews from the list were arrested and sentenced to long prison terms: G. Goldshtein, L. Volvosky, B. Chernobylsky, V. Slepak, M. Slepak and I. Nudel.
Press Release from Vadim Rotenberg, Professor of Human Psychology, Tel Aviv University, 18/08/02
According to my personal experience, Mr. Sharansky has surrounded himself in Israel with cynical and dirty persons without moral values and mafia-like mentality and behaviour…
Some official documents presented to the court confirmed that Mr. Sharansky really collaborated with the KGB inquest and mentioned some names of refuseniks, afterward punished.
Letter Of Appeal submitted to Supreme Court Of Israel by attorney Yoram Mushkat
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Of Housing And Construction Natan Sharansky, had passed to the KGB interrogators the names of aliya activists and other Jews who tried to emigrate to Israel, and even requested the KGB interrogators to investigate them and study the files of tens of refuseniks all across the USSR who tried to emigrate to Israel at that time.
Contrary to his image as a prisoner of Zion who heroically struggled against the KGB, Sharansky betrayed his comrades, the aliyah activists and other Jews who tried to emigrate to Israel…
It was due to the exposure of Sharansky’s, “Request Of Solicitation,” that Prisoners of Zion, Ms. Ida Nudel, and Prof. Kislek (who was severely beaten after Sharansky requested he be investigated) understood why the KGB made hundreds of arrests of Jews after Sharansky’s arrest and trial. This also explains why later in prison camp, Sharansky was appointed a dnyevalny, a ward orderly – a job reserved for informers and collaborators…
Despite the public standing of Minister Sharansky, and the grim matters exposed in court, not a single person came to testify in his favor.
Appeal to Prof. Elyakim Rubinstein, Attorney General of the State of Israel.
We, the undersigned, former Prisoners Of Zion, aliyah activists, and refuseniks are appealing to you in regard to a situation compromising state security in light of facts brought out in the suit of Sharansky vs. Nudelman. We have arrived at the following conclusions:
Sharansky had created his famous image based on a false myth concerning both his activities in the USSR and his “prominent” role in the Zionist movement, and his “heroic” deeds in prison. Some details of his camp life as written in his book do not look like the real ones we actually encountered in the labor camps.
In the initial stage of the hearings, Sharansky testified that he had never mentioned any names of people involved in Zionist activities while interrogated by the KGB. However, after being shown in the courtroom the KGB archive documents, he changed his testimony, claiming that while he had indeed given the names of aliyah activists, he did so, “to assure that the names should remain in the KGB archives for future use by historians.”
We believe that Sharansky is not the person he is trying to picture and will pay for him to undergo a lie detector test to establish the facts.
Citizens of the State of Israel:
Michael Babel, Ilya Voitovestsky, Arye Vudka, Yigael Yehudi, Dr. Felix Kochubievsky, Eduard Kuznetsov, Silva Zalmanson, Ephraim Melamed, Yehudit Yehudi-Nepomniaschchi, Meir Nepomniaschi, advocate Jacov Maniovich, Ida Nudel, Dr. Victor Ben Zvi (Polsky), Prof. Vadim Rotenberg, Jakov Segal.
Appeal To The Attorney General, Babel et al:
In the courtroom Sharansky categorically denied receiving $100,000 from Grigory Luchansky, while the latter confirmed under oath to giving Sharansky the money and gave the bank account number Sharansky asked the money be transferred to.
Affidavit of Grigori Luchansky, Presented To Jerusalem District Court
I have met Israeli Minister Natan Sharansky about five times in Israel and abroad. Mr. Sharansky asked me for a contribution and I agreed to contribute the sum to an association whose account was in Bank Hapoalim.
Haaretz, Akiva Eldar, 14/3/02
Kutzenov added that Luchansky complained to him that, “Sharansky promised to help get him a passport, got money, but did nothing. Later in 1996, I asked Sharansky why he didn’t help Luchansky. Sharansky said he can’t help him since Luchansky appears in first place on a CIA list of members of the Russian mafia.”
Either Luchansky signed a false affidavit or Sharansky committed perjury.
Gavriella’s car was discovered after he went to Grigori Lerner’s office where he met with Sofa Landver, formerly a Labor Party member of the Knesset. Lerner was convicted on three attempts to bribe elected officials…His arrest in 1997 dragged a parade of politicians to the National Unit For Serious And International Crime Investigations including Natan Sharansky, who received a $100,000 contribution from Lerner, and Labour MK Shimon Peres, who had promoted the career of Sofa Landver from being his Russian teacher to being a Knesset member…
From, How The Russian Mob Has Invaded America, Robert I. Friedman, Liberty Books
One politician already ensnared in the web of organized crime is Russian-born Natan Sharansky…Sharansky has publicly admitted that his party has accepted contributions from NORDEX president Grigori Luchansky. Officials from the US Congress, the State Department, and the CIA pleaded with Sharansky to sever his ties to Luchansky. Says Winer, “We told him about Luchansky’s MO: bribery, influence peddling and that he was a bridge between governments and organized crime.”
Sharansky simply refused.
In March, 2004, Sharansky took personal responsibility for securing the release of Jonathan Pollard, and wangled a law giving him 4.5 million shekels a year until Pollard’s release. Pollard was not amused. On March 11.04 Pollard wrote Sharansky:
I am stunned that you have authored a bill that legislates political lassitude and financial corruption. As head of the committee to secure my release, it was your job to know about this law and do exactly that – secure my release – not provide additional funds for your office.
Jerusalem Post 12/5/04 – Zelda Harris
I was in Moscow in 1977 when Sharansky was arrested and was partly responsible for bringing out legal documents to be used in his campaign for freedom. Now I feel it is time to say it like it is: I do not believe Sharansky was a sincere human rights activist. He used the platform to gain stardom at a time when Western eyes were focused on the Soviet Union. Once he got here, his lack of support from olim who had been his former compatriots showed what he really was: a self-seeker.
The former Jewish activists of the Soviet Union fought to live in a Jewish democracy. Today, too many realize they traded one dictatorship for another, more subtle one. The following letter from former Prisoner Of Zion, Ida Nudel, expresses this frustration and disappointment.
Dear Mr. Chamish,
First of all, let me thank you for permitting to use your Internet address.
I admire the courage of your challenging the political monopoly in our country and unveiling their secrets, deals and misdeeds.
Your project Very Uncivil Obedience has raised my reminiscences of not-so-old personal experience of civil disobedience that was practiced by Soviet Jewish and other citizens in the 1970s.
I would be most grateful if you could devote a bit of your time to my thoughts about your protest.
Having lived in Israel for 17 years, I cannot imagine people that might come forward and start the action at the level being proposed by you. You are actually appealing to intellectuals and businessmen the category of population that is most conservative when a risk is involved of loosing their social privileges.
Something would probably become known on the fate of 34 officers who signed a protest letter. I very much fear that most of them will be morally broken and humiliated in a most primitive manner, and their dignity will be wrecked. Those who would prove stauncher if any will also pay for that wonderful day when they behaved like free citizens.
I’ve come to Israel from a totalitarian country but with an experience of a citizen perceiving my personal responsibility to the society in which I live. I cannot help but to compare the moral and social environment and the unwritten laws of my both societies the past and the present.
I’m sorry to say that the moral spirit and the cynical bureaucratic attitude towards the population in the Jewish land have little difference from the Bolshevik regime.
The fact that anybody can freely leave Israel makes it possible for the bureaucracy to conceal its Bolshevik character. Instead of being put in prisons and psychiatric hospitals as it was done in the USSR, the dissidents just leave the society and the country in the care of their more passive compatriots.
The people are living in a fear of the omnipotent bureaucracy and realizing their complete helplessness against it. When talking to simple people, I hear it far too often: Whatever I could do I’ve done: my children live in America!
With regard to demonstrations, I share your doubts as to the sincerity of the settlement leaders beyond the “green line”. They’re civil servants and encounter serious personal problems when challenging their employer the state.
On the other hand, the youth participation in the demonstrations contributes to the development of their self-consciousness and of their perception of themselves as something more than merely toy soldiers.
The passive and voiceless intellectuals are clones of their Soviet counterparts.
I am heading a small voluntary organization that works for the prevention of asocial behavior among new immigrant schoolchildren in the “developing towns” of the Negev region, and have gained an experience of dealing with the local municipal establishment. It is clear to me beyond any doubt how far is our society from a real democracy. It may rather be described as a two-faced creature whose outside-looking face is that of Western-style diplomats and scientists, while the inside looking one has all the features of a lazy and corrupt Turkish colonial official…
Should your idea of disobedience be first implemented outside Israel, than some Israeli version might probably emerge.
But who would help your great idea to materialize? Maybe Christian Zionists? The idea of a Jewish state isn’t too popular with the free world’s Jews, it causes them such a headache.
With sincere wishes for your success and good health,
RE: My last piece on Stanley Fischer. He arrived in Israel last week and two days later, the Bronfmans of the CFR announced their acquisition of majority shares in the country’s third largest bank, Israel Discount (IDB), The financial takeover of the CFR is in full swing.
I have an idea and I appeal for your cooperation. While Israel crumbles, the facts just aren’t getting out.
I will match your donation to help change things a bit. If you send me the regular $25 price for my new book Shabtai Tzvi, Labor Zionism And The Holocaust, I will donate two other books, Who Murdered Yitzhak Rabin and The Last Days Of Israel to the public, church, synagogue or school library of your choice. Just send me the mailing address of the library, I’ll send out the books with your name inscribed within as the donor. If we work together on this idea, we can expand the readership for the truth manifold and maybe, help preserve the honor and viability of Israel.