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Please Stop Moskowitz

by Arthur Shalom Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2004 at 9:50 AM

Dear Friends, Your fax could not only kill two birds of injustice with one stone, it could birth two birds of justice in one nest: It could assist and empower exploited low-income neighborhoods in California.

It could also significantly reduce the funding to

ultra-right-wing, intensely inflammatory Israeli settlements

in Palestinian areas.

Irving Moskowitz is a Miami resident who makes millions of

dollars off the poor in California by running "non-profit"

bingo parlors in low-income neighborhoods. His money is used

to support the most extremist right-wing elements in Israel -

settler homes in Silwan, the Old City, Ras al-Ammud, and other

Palestinian communities.

Gila Svirsky of Bat Shalom in Jerusalem writes, for example,

that she has been at many actions trying to prevent these

settlements from being constructed, and once was arrested

trying to prevent Moskowitz himself from driving up to survey

his new property.

Right now there is a singular opportunity to cut off

Moskowitz's corrupt gambling operations in California. A

flood of faxes can influence the regulatory agency not to

renew Moskowitz's gambling license, and thereby cut off this

major flow of money into the settlements.

Please print out and fax the sample letter below. It is

written to address the concerns of the Gambling Commission -

the rampant corruption accompanying these casinos and the

neglect of the local community, on which the license is premised.

This campaign is being organized by a group led by Rabbi Haim

Dov Beliak and Jan Hunter, so contact them if you have

questions (

As Gila writes, "It's good to work together from Israel & the

U.S., each in our own way, on this."

I want to add - how often do we get a chance to "pursue

justice, justice" as Torah teaches by opposing a practice that

carries out "injustice, injustice" -- that does injustice in

America in order to wreak injustice in Israel, using unjust

means to create an unjust result?

Shalom, Arthur




Dear Friends,

On August 19th California's Gambling Control Commission will

vote on the casino license application of Irving Moskowitz,

the leading funder of militant Israeli settlers. This is a

critical moment in our Coalition's six-year campaign to stop

Moskowitz and we are appealing to you to take a moment to

write to the Commissioners.

We, along with other opponents of the license, have given the

Commission extensive written and oral testimony - a wealth of

reasons for denying the license. But the commission has never

denied a casino license application. So your letters, emails

and faxes encouraging the Commissioners to "do the right

thing" can make a huge difference.

We have included in this message a model letter that you can

email, fax or "snail mail" as is, or edit to express your own

comments. We've followed that with the Commissioners' contact

information in easy to click or paste formats. The Background

column on the right contains links to detailed information

about Moskowitz's support for violence-prone settler causes

and the damage he has done to Hawaiian Gardens, where he

operates both a bingo and the casino for which he seeks a


Note: Because of the way the gambling code is written, the

Commissioners are likely to give more weight to Moskowitz's

behavior in Hawaiian Gardens than in the Middle East, so our

model letter begins with Hawaiian Gardens, then proceeds to

Moskowitz's use of gambling profits from Hawaiian Gardens to

fight Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Please copy the following text and paste it into your outgoing

email or your letterhead, modify it if you'd like, and sign

your name. Addressing information follows the model letter


Model Text for Fax

Dear Commissioner,

I respectfully urge you to vote NO on Irving Moskowitz's

application for a permanent license to operate the Hawaiian

Gardens Casino. Moskowitz's actions both in Hawaiian Gardens

and the Middle East provide numerous justifications to deny

him the privilege of a gambling license.

Moskowitz employed street-gang "muscle" to win the referendum

authorizing casino gambling in Hawaiian Gardens. Then he

spent hundreds of thousands of dollars recalling City

Councilmembers who opposed his casino-and his use of millions

of dollars of Hawaiian Gardens' public funds to develop it.

Moskowitz controls the predominantly Latino city so

completely that no one filed to run against his hand-picked

City Council in the last election.

Moskowitz's political and economic control of Hawaiian

Gardens, which is supposed to regulate his gambling

businesses, is precisely the "corruptive influence" that the

gambling code rules out for a license applicant. Moreover, a

drive through Hawaiian Gardens shows that Moskowitz and the

government he controls have done nothing to alleviate the

blight and poverty of the City, one of Los Angeles County's


In the Middle East, Moskowitz has gone far beyond exercising

his freedoms of speech and association. He has funded settler

activities that, predictably, resulted in violence. Even

though these deeds occur half a world away, I urge you to

take note of them because they show that Moskowitz does not

have the good character that the gambling code requires for

the privilege of a license.

In 1996 riots sparked by the opening of a Moskowitz-sponsored

tunnel near Jerusalem's Temple Mount took over 70 Israeli and

Palestinian lives. Moskowitz has given millions of dollars

from his Hawaiian Gardens bingo to the militant settler group

Ateret Cohanim which is preparing for the rebuilding of the

ancient Jewish temple on the Temple Mount in the place of two

revered mosques.

In a deliberate effort to thwart peace, Moskowitz has

purchased Palestinian properties in areas of Jerusalem

designated for Palestinian sovereignty. Violence has often

accompanied his colonizing of these properties with settlers.

He is a leading funder of the settlers in Hebron, who are

notorious for their vigilante-style attacks on that city's

Palestinian majority. Even as the vote on his license

application approaches, Moskowitz is generously funding the

settlers resisting Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, according

to an Israeli newspaper.

I hope that, after considering all of the above, you will

agree that Moskowitz should not be rewarded with the

privilege of a gambling license and that you will use the

power the legislature gave you in the Gambling Control Act to

vote against granting the license.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Sincerely yours,

Commissioners' Contact Information

Fax Numbers:

You can fax to each of the commissioners at the Gambling

Control Commission at


Email Addresses:

Chairman Dean Shelton

Commissioner Michael Palmer

Commissioner J.K. Sasaki

Commissioner Arlo Smith

Postal Addresses

Chairman Dean Shelton

Calif. Gambling Control Commission

P.O. Box 526013

Sacramento, CA 95852

Michael Palmer

Calif. Gambling Control Commission

P.O. Box 526013

Sacramento, CA 95852

J.K. Sasaki

Calif. Gambling Control Commission

P.O. Box 526013

Sacramento, CA 95852

Arlo Smith

Calif. Gambling Control Commission

P.O. Box 526013

Sacramento, CA 95852

Thank you very much for taking the time for this important

correspondence. We hope you will take another moment to

forward this email to friends who will want to take this quick

action on behalf of Israel-Palestinian peace and the people

of Hawaiian Gardens, who deserve to get back control of their


Lastly, we invite you to visit our website,> , and,

while there, please make a tax-deductible donation to support

our work. There's a secure online donation form in the left

margin. Or, if you prefer, please send a tax-deductible check

to the Coalition for Justice at the address below.

We appreciate your support and continuing interest.

Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak


Jane Hunter


Coalition for Justice

in Hawaiian Gardens and Jerusalem

P.O. Box 67903

Los Angeles CA 90067





PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL - your response will not be read.

Instead, please direct correspondence to


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and enter the email address you are subscribed under:

This thought-letter flows from the work of The Shalom Center, a North

American network committed to draw on Jewish wisdom, old and new, and to

learn from other wisdom traditions and communities, in order to pursue

peace, justice, and the healing of the earth. For more information

about The Shalom Center, go to:

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