24% per month
if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye?—Luke 6:34
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There is no need to imagine; those who like to portray themselves as "the only democracy in the Middle East" and are proud of having survived the recent economic crisis unscathed* provide daily examples of that. Grey market extortions plague the Zionist dream.
"It is your fault!"
Most people in Israel do not own their homes. They laboriously pay exploitative life-long mortgages to banks owned or controlled by the State. After they finish paying, the apartment does not belong to them. Most land is owned by the State and the State doesn't sell land, it just rents it for 99 years.**
Israeli banks are tightly controlled by the government, especially after the 1982 collapse.+ Credit cards issued by them are different from the American ones. Banks don't give credit but offer a sophisticated payment system based on the client's guarantees. The simplest credit is given against a proof of salary payment. The credit would be up to the amount of the salary. Since salaries in Israel are paid monthly, the bank has the absolute security that the client would have the money to pay the loan.
In other words, banks don't take any risks while demanding hefty fees, which sometimes depend on racial considerations.
The Conquest of the Living-Room
How much does a mortgage cost in Israel? There is no single way of conveying this information to an outsider. The best illustration of the horror is that—on a monthly expenses analysis—it is more expensive to pay a mortgage than to rent the same apartment.
Denizens facing unexpected expenses would often be denied a loan by their bank since their salaries are already serving as guarantees for their mortgage. In despair, many approach the grey market, move silently blessed by the State.
Grey market is a wide term, used for the trade of commodities through legal but unofficial distribution channels. These are often unauthorized or unintended by the manufacturer. In Israel, the term refers mainly to independent money-lenders unregulated by the State.
This means that they sign personal lending agreements with customers. This private arrangement allows them to request higher interests than banks can. In a case that recently reached court and is nicknamed the Mosli Gang, it was proven that customers were required to pay an interest on the loan of 24% per month. Unless the loan was spent on the successful finding of a gold mine, most clients would find impossible to pay the interest.
As long as the money-lender pays taxes to the State, the latter doesn't care about the deal.
The money-lenders are not innocent persons ignoring that the interest level they request is impossible to pay. Yet, since they are exposed to the State, they keep their actions clean, until the customer skips a payment. On that moment, they sell the debt to a third party which works under different rules. Customers failing to pay the interest get a phone call informing them that debt has a new owner.
The new owner cares very much about his money, and according to the disclosed in court is related to the Russian mobsters controlling much of Southern Tel Aviv. They are so nice that the client doesn't need to reach their offices. They collect the payments at the clients' homes. Those who fail to pay are thoroughly beaten. Even these are not enough to force the police to action.
The testimonies being disclosed in August 2013 in the Tel Aviv District Court are scary. One man who works only in temporary jobs took a significant loan to pay for medical treatments for his son. The lender deducted the first interest payment from the loan on the spot. When soon afterwards he failed to pay the interests, his loan was sold. The new owner told him that the interest payments will continue unless the original loan is paid at once. This is an odd arrangement to put it mildly.
The current trial is the result of a complaint made by a man known only as Amos. He was visited by mobsters who were searching his son. The latter was hiding within a closet in the house. The mobster didn't find him and left. "I will go down to them so they will beat me and the story will be over. I can't support this anymore," said the son after he left his hiding place. Amos complained for his harassment, and the police was forced to start the investigation that led to the current trial.
The testimonies exposed are harsh, including street and home violence, the breaking of entrance doors, and the "conquering" of the client's living room by groups of four or five men. The gang on trial used a uniform. They moved around with half-length trousers and large white skullcaps, clothes that the clients had learned to fear.
Since the thugs couldn't be accused of being "Palestinian terrorists" and turned into political profit, and taxes on the original loan had been paid, the State didn't care.
Is it terror legal? Under the oligarchy-favoring corrupt laws of the State of Israel, this criminal scheme is legal. Is it legitimate? No!
* This is not surprising considering that an AIG-Collapse player was appointed Bank of Israel Governor. Since the linked article was written, Frenkel renounced the appointment due to the disclosure of his personal corruption commented in the article. His successor and his deputy also have renounced. As of August 2, 2013, it is not clear who would be the next Governor.
** In the 19th Century, Zionist Jews started a coordinated effort to buy lands in the Holy Land. Two organizations are key for understanding the current situation. The Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemet LeYisrael, literally "Existing Fund for Israel") was founded in 1901 to buy land in Ottoman Palestine, and afterwards in the British Mandate for Palestine, Israel and the Palestinian territories. It still keeps buying land for Jewish settlements. In 2007, it owned 13% of the total land in Israel. Yet, it doesn't belong to the State; hence an additional body completes the picture.
+ Israel's largest bank, Bank HaPoalim, was owned by the Histadrut workers union until 1983, when it was nationalized following the Bank Stock Crisis. The bank was held by the Israeli government until 1996 when it was sold to a group of investors led by Ted Arison in a circular deal. He took a loan from Israel second largest bank, Leumi, which at the time was also owned by the State, and with this loan paid for the other bank. With the profits of Bank HaPoalim, he paid the loan. Shari Arison was born in New York to Ted Arison. She inherited from him the shares of Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank. These were practically given to her father for free by the State of Israel (see The Cross of Bethlehem). This gift wasn't the result of Ted’s pretty smile, but because of a lifetime collaboration with the Mossad.
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