Dodgy Gaydamak backs Netanyahu

Should I be surprised that so many Israeli political figures seem to be criminals of one kind or another? I suppose not, the country has been at the center of many illicit trades for a while now (human trafficking, conflict diamonds, drugs, weapons), obviously with politicians/officials' support. And in any case, politicians worldwide seem to be increasingly corrupt. And this particular character (how can someone who holds Israeli, French, Russian and Angolan passports not be dodgy?) seems both unsavory and dangerous:

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Right-wing Israeli-Russian billionaire Arkady Gaydamak has said he planned to create a new political party to focus exclusively on socio-economic issues.

"I intend to create a new party within one month after having examined all the bureaucratic procedures," Gaydamak told AFP.

"The state of Israel is passing through a major crisis because it is being managed by some inefficient people."

"As an Israeli citizen I consider this my duty," he added. "I have certain experience in political, economic and social affairs."

Gaydamak, a long time ally of right-wing Likud party leader and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said his own polling showed he had broad support from Israel's large Russian minority and could count on between 25 and 30 percent support in a nationwide vote.
The AFP story doesn't say that Gaydamak is wanted in France and under investigation in Israel.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.