by Scott Humor
from the diplomatic cables of the U.S. Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones
|FM LIVNI PROMOTES FINANCIAL PRESSURE STRATEGY AGAINST HAMAS|
2006 May 19,
Tziporah Malka “Tzipi” Livni – Foreign Minister of Israel. Wanted in Belgium, and previously in the UK, for war crimes. Has an outstanding arrest warrants on her in Europe. She is considered in Israel to be the most powerful since another terrorist, Golda Meir. However, unlike Meir, Livni still possesses both of her eyes.
MFA DG Ron Prosor – Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2011 to 2015
MOJ DG Aharon Abramowitz – Foreign Ministry Director General of israel
Ambassador Miriam Ziv – in her official capacity supported the color revolution attempt in Iran 2009.
“On October 27, the Canada-Israel Committee (CIC) held a conference titled “Democracy in Action: The Protests in Iran”  in Ottawa. The purpose, according to the CIC website, was to “mobilize political action against the human rights abuses of the Iranian regime and its nuclear agenda.” To meet this goal the conference showcased a lineup of Israeli and Zionist politicians, legal figures, advocates, and military
and diplomatic experts, including: Ambassador Miriam Ziv (former Israeli Vice-Consul in Toronto), Irwin Cotler (MP and lawyer), Kenneth Timmerman (published a thriller on Iran, radical Islam, and the bomb, called Honor Killing), Mark Dubowitz (leads the Iran Energy Project, an initiative focused on researching Iran’s energy vulnerabilities and formulating policies to prohibit sales of refined petroleum to Iran), Noam Katz (Israeli Minister for Public Diplomacy in Washington, D.C.), and the CEO of the Canada-Israel Committee, Shimon Fogel.”
IMPA Director Yehuda Shaffer – the Director and founder of IMPA – (Israel Money-laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority) the Israeli FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) in the. Ministry of Justice.
Treasury U/S Stuart Levey – the first Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the US Department of the Treasury, serving from July 2004 to February 2011 under Presidents Bush and Obama. In 2011 called by Politico “Treasury’s sanctions czar” and “The key architect of tough U.S. sanctions on Iran and North Korea.” After his retirement from the government jo0n in 2011, he was replaced by “David Cohen, Mr. Levey’s deputy at Treasury and longtime confidante.” Meet David S. Cohen of Treasury and Stuart Levey of HSBC – Or Is It the Other Way Around?
Stuart Alan Levey married Annette Cara Hamburger by Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia at the Historic Car Barn in Washington. Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt took part in the ceremony.
Senior Advisor Adam Szubin – an official who oversaw sanctions on Russia at the US Treasury and called President Putin “corrupt.” Adam Jacob Szubin, the son of Laurie S. Szubin and Rabbi Zvi H. Szubin of Teaneck, N.J. He is married to Miriam Shira Weiner, the daughter of Dr. Roslyn G. Weiner of Newton, Mass., and Stephen M. Weiner of Walpole, Mass., was a teacher of Jewish history and comparative religion at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Md. after graduating from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Her father is a partner in Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo, a Boston law firm.
Financial Analyst Matt Epstein – Matthew T. Epstein is CEO of The Camstoll Group, a strategic advisory firm focused on illicit finance, regulatory and national security issues. He previously served as the Treasury Department’s financial attach in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He was featured in How Former Treasury Officials and the UAE Are Manipulating American Journalists, after the United Arab Emirates have retained an American consulting firm, Camstoll Group, staffed by several former United States Treasury Department officials, to organize their media campaign against Qatar.
“Camstoll’s founder, CEO and sole owner, Matthew Epstein, was a Treasury Department official from 2003 through 2010, a run that included a position as the department’s Financial Attaché to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. A 2007 diplomatic cable leaked by Chelsea Manning and published by WikiLeaks details Epstein’s meetings with high-level Abu Dhabi representatives as they plotted to cut off Iran’s financial and banking transactions. Those cables reveal multiple high-level meetings between Epstein in his capacity as a Treasury official and high-level officials of the Emirates, officials who are now paying his company millions of dollars to act as its agent inside the U.S.”
Yehuda Yaakov – a Director of Non-Proliferation and Counterterrorism (CT) Department in the New England since 2014. Authored a curious paper titled “The Implementation of Coercive Diplomacy in the International Nuclear Crisis with Iran.”
Coercive diplomacy, similar to any used car salesman’s tactic, uses demands imposed on the opponent in a manner meant to create a sense of urgency, threats made, possible use of incentives, and the affinity between words and deeds. The coercive side should be uncompromising vis-à-vis the opponent, including by imposing sustained punishment (and even by using violence).
Yehuda Yaakov tried and fails to explain why this method fails in case of Iran.
Ambassador Richard H. Jones
Policy Advisor Kristen Hecht – currently Senior Vice President-Regional Sanctions, Asia–Pacific, Financial Crimes Compliance at HSBC (Singapore). She used to be Policy Advisor & Liaison to AFRICOM, Office of Terrorist Financing and. Financial Crimes, US Department of the Treasury. Up to Trump’s election she served as a part of U/S Levey’s team included NEA/IR Deputy Director Henry Wooster, Treasury Policy Advisor for Terrorist Finance and Financial Crime Kristen Hecht and Financial Analyst Matthew Epstein. The “TEAM” was the force behind relentless attacks on Iran’s economy and banking. Using Iran as scarecrow, the essentially attacked the European banks and companies and kept Turkey under their thumb. For their blackmailing techniques see the diplomatic dispatched from Consul General Deborah K. Jones in Istanbul.
Regional Treasury Attach Brian Grant – Managing Director, Global Head of Sanctions Compliance – MUFG Led Treasury Department national security policy office comprised of 21 staff, including managers, policy advisors, and support personnel (with additional management responsibility for 16 attachés in 12 countries.) MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group) is one of the world’s leading financial groups.
Ambassador Richard H. Jones – 1. (S) In separate meetings with Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) officials on May 2, the GOI requested that the Treasury Department warn the Misr Bank in Cairo against making electronic fund transfers (EFT) to individual Palestinian accounts at the Bank of Palestine in Gaza. Foreign Minister (FM) Livni proposed a strategy of pressuring Hamas with a financial siege for three to four months to see how Hamas would respond. She asked Treasury Under Secretary (U/S) for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey for USG assistance in preventing Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) from international banks into Palestinian accounts. Livni also sought USG agreement to impose new conditions on international donations through UNRWA, similar to those already in place for Palestinian assistance provided through USAID. End summary.
MFA RELAYS EUROPEAN FEARS ON IRAN SANCTION
- (S) At the Tel Aviv offices of the MFA, U/S Levey met briefly with members of the MFA’s Strategic Affairs Bureau. Non-Proliferation and Counterterrorism (CT) Department Director Yehuda Yaakov related details from his recent discussions with European diplomats on the situation with Iran. Yaakov said that the Europeans had confided to him that their elected officials are reluctant to publicly support sanctions against Iran, because the European public is fearful that sanctions are merely precursors to war. He remarked that a UN Security Council Resolution, even a “toothless” one, would nonetheless be a positive step against Iran.
GOI OPPOSED TO BRITISH PROPOSAL
- (S) Project Manager for Economic and Humanitarian Aid to the PA Eli Avidar took issue with a British proposal to create a mechanism for the international community to donate to the Palestinian people. According to Avidar, the GOI agrees in principle to the establishment of an internationally monitored fund or NGO to channel donations to Palestinians not involved with Hamas. He stressed that the GOI would not support any plan, including the current British proposal, to pay Palestinian salaries with such a fund. He reported that British diplomats had recently told him that a British delegation would soon travel to Washington to brief the USG on their proposal.
MISR BANK COMPLETED TEST RUN TO GAZA ACCOUNTS?
- (S) Avidar reported that on May 1, Misr Bank in Cairo attempted a few electronic fund transfers (EFT) into individual Palestinian accounts at the Bank of Palestine in Gaza. He characterized this action as a “test run” to gauge GOI and international reactions before conducting large scale EFT into individual accounts. Avidar asked U/S Levey to warn Misr Bank against such activity by declaring that they are not operating according to FATF regulations. U/S Levey advised that it was not such a simple matter, and that Hamas was not a designated terrorist organization in most parts of the world. U/S Levey asked MFA officials what they envisioned as the strategic &end-game,8 but did not receive a specific answer. (Comment. On May 17, NSC Counter Terrorism Finance Director Udi Levi told Econoff that Misr Bank had not/not attempted the “test run” EFT that Avidar described above. Levi said that the GOI was closely observing Misr Bank and that he would have been the first person in the GOI to be notified if, in fact, such an attempt had occurred. End Comment.)
LIVNI CONCERNED ABOUT RUSSIAN STANCE ON IRAN
- (S) In a free-flowing discussion that at times resembled a brainstorming session, FM Tzipi Livni, flanked by the Directors General of the Foreign and Justice Ministries, met with the Treasury delegation in her Tel Aviv office.
U/S Levey briefed the Foreign Minister on the Treasury Department’s plan to include private financial institutions in a diplomatic campaign to financially isolate the government of Iran, starting with targeted financial measures aimed at individuals or entities supporting terrorism and proliferation. Levey said that the USG intended to highlight Iranian regime &bad conduct8 to governments and financial institutions and underscore the risk to their professional reputation from doing business with Iran, particularly given the Government of Iran,s history of cloaking its activities behind front-companies. FM Livni asked if the Treasury efforts would occur in parallel to the U.S.-led action against Iran at the UN or separately. She suggested that Treasury’s offensive could be a trial balloon for political action at the UN, or a fallback tactic should the UNSC not adopt a resolution against Iran. Livni said that she was “not optimistic about the international community” and was “very concerned” about the Russians’ behavior regarding Iran‘s nuclear threat. She revealed that the Russian Foreign Minister had told her last week that the GOR would not allow the UNSC to give the U.S. permission to go to war against Iran.
LIVNI PROPOSES PRESSURE STRATEGY AGAINST HAMAS
- (S) FM Livni expressed her fear that Hamas will gain legitimacy as both a channel for international funding to the Palestinians and as a political partner for future negotiations with the GOI. To counter the legitimization of Hamas, she proposed a pressure strategy for the next three to four months, during which time the USG and GOI should “draw a very hard line” against foreign funding of Palestinian activities.
U/S Levey asked what is our end game? To put a noose around Hamas, neck?
Livni claimed that it would take two to three months before any humanitarian crisis would emerge, and that the best policy for now was to apply pressure and “wait and see” how Hamas responds.
Concerned, U/S Levey asked, &where will we be three months from now? Will there be violence and chaos or are we going to figure out a way to avert a humanitarian crisis?
MOJ Director General Abramovich suggested an international funding mechanism to be vetted by the international community to ensure that funds go to the Palestinian people and not to the Hamas-led PA. (The Israeli officials noted that they would not encourage international donors to donate even food to the PA because food is as fungible as money, and might also create the perception that Palestinians are starving.)
FM Livni admitted that the plan is ambitious and noted there is international consensus that funds need to go to the Palestinian people, and encouraged continued dialogue to find an internationally acceptable solution.
Continuing the brainstorming session, FM Livni mentioned that the PA medical and education systems are extremely problematic and wished that the international community,s resources could replace these PA systems. She expressed her disdain for the Palestinian education system, and alluded to the sharp increase in religious extremist ideology in the curriculum. Moreover, she added that she did not want to keep the Palestinian system going, but that basic services were needed to support the population, &it is not good to chose between bad options.
Finally, she suggested that the future be divided into phases of action, and that the next three months should be used to create pressure on the Hamas-led PA before coming up with a longer-term plan — Let’s keep the money out.
LIVNI ON MAY 9 QUARTET MEETING AND UNRWA
- (S) FM Livni remarked that the May 9 meeting of the Quartet will likely include a discussion of using the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to transfer funds to the Palestinians. Since the UN does not consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization, she insisted that money donated through UNRWA must have new conditions placed upon it, such as those that apply to assistance provided through USAID. She said that she will attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting at Sharm el Sheikh on May 20-22, and had heard that Treasury Secretary Snow will also attend. She suggested that the WEF meeting might be an opportunity for further discussion of international donations to the Palestinians. The Ambassador remarked that PM Olmert was also scheduled to be in Washington on May 23.
- (S) Israel Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prohibition Authority (IMPA) Director Yehuda Shaffer then explained that small banks and money-changers in the Palestinian territories do not deal with U.S. banks and would not be affected by U.S. Treasury Department actions. He felt that an international financial intelligence unit (FIU) must monitor those banks.
MOJ DG Abramowitz suggested that the USG could help the GOI by setting up an FIU in the PA that would be monitored by an international body.
U/S Levey responded that he was very wary of setting up such an FIU that Hamas could use as an example of its compliance with international demands.
- (S) Attendees at the first meeting with MFA officials included:
Strategic Affairs Bureau Director Ambassador Miriam Ziv
Nonproliferation and CT Department Director Yehuda Yaakov
Nonproliferation and CT Department member Avivit Bar-Ilan
North America Desk Director Dan Arbell
PA Economic/Humanitarian Affairs Project Manager Eli Avidar
reasury U/S Stuart Levey Senior Advisor Adam Szubin
Policy Advisor Kristen Hecht Financial Analyst Matt Epstein
Regional Treasury Attach Brian Grant
Econ Counselor and Econoff.
The following Israeli and American officials attended the second meeting in the Foreign Minister’s office: FM Tzipi Livni
MFA DG Ron Prosor
MOJ DG Aharon Abramowitz
Ambassador Miriam Ziv
IMPA Director Yehuda Shaffer
Treasury U/S Stuart Levey
Ambassador Richard H. Jones
Senior Advisor Adam Szubin
Policy Advisor Kristen Hecht
Financial Analyst Matt Epstein
Regional Treasury Attach Brian Grant
Econ Counselor and Econoff.
- This cable was cleared by Under Secretary of the Treasury Stuart Levey.
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv’s Classified Website: http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv You can also access this site through the State Department’s Classified SIPRNET website. ********************************************* ********************
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