Members of Chassidic Sect Arrested on Suspicion of Arms Sales to Iran


ira3Two chassidim affiliated with the Permishlan (פרמישלאן) Chassidus are unfortunately making the news in a negative way. They have been arrested on suspicion of selling weapons to Iran.

Avichai Weinstein and Eli Cohen are suspected of selling Phantom aircraft parts to Israel’s arch enemy. The two are weapons dealers and they are now being interrogated by police, the ISA (Israel Security Agency – Shin Bet) and Defense Ministry officials.

Earlier this week, the Greek media reported that Israeli arms traders had tried to smuggle to Iran spare parts for F-4 Phantom jets through Greece in violation of the arms embargo against Iran.

Reports from numerous media sources add the two have been connected with attempted arms sales to Iran in the past, when they tried to market spare parts for APCs (armored personnel carriers) and Phantoms along with advanced guidance systems. In the past they worked indirectly via America, Thailand, Portugal, Germany and other countries.

Globes reports that Cohen had been under house arrest in the US, and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, but the Israeli authorities were unable to prove that Iran was the final destination of the shipments, and he was repeatedly released and his arms trading license was restored. The investigation into his affairs is continuing.

iraAccording to the Greek media report, US Homeland Security Investigations agents and Greek financial crimes investigators discovered the latest shipment of Phantom spare parts in two containers. Phantoms, procured during the era of the Shah, are still the mainstay of the Iranian Air Force.

The Greek media says that the investigation occurred in two stages, one in December 2012 and the second in April 2013. In both cases, agents found containers in Greece filled with Phantom spare parts. The containers’ origin was Binyamina and Givat Ada with the name of an Athens-based straw company Tasus Karas. The phone number of company’s contact person belongs to a British citizen who resides in Thessaloniki, whom the Greek authorities could not locate.

On the basis of the investigation, a Greek court stopped the shipments and ordered them delivered to the US government.

If the report is true, the case involves a serious infringement of the international arms embargo against Iran and a major embarrassment for Israel.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. DrYidd:

    You seem like your going through something strange. Maybe it would be a good idea for you to visit a local clinic & celebrate overthere in some cage by yourself.

  2. If this proves to be true I suggest forcibly dropping them from a plane (with a parachute, of course) over Iran. Let them live “ad meah v’esrim shono” with the people they aided.

  3. can someone explain this to me, i understand they are anti the medina and zionism. but does their Torah tell them to kill Jews? im really cuirous about this. Who exactly will these weapons CV be used against. funny thing is… THEM… cuz ahmadinijad aint gonna knit pick and say CV level meah shearim but skip that guy’s house!!

  4. Weapons dealer is not a proper job for a nice Jewish boy. Maybe doctor, lawyer, accountant, but not weapons dealer.

    Seriously, don’t these guys have a Rabbi who could tell them that this is not a good way to make a parnossa?

  5. so here we have 2 yidden who have allegedly tried to sell weapons to a regime which is an avowed enemy of Israel. It really does not matter what someone in Israel’s political views are -if those planes R”L were to come flying into Israel the pilots will not be looking into that before they attack. The secular legal term for this is treason, and I believe (b’michlas kvoidcha #2) that there is also a halachic term for people who would sell arms to an enemy who would like to come and shoot at yidden. Certainly as I have friends and family living in Israel, I cannot help but celebrate the foiling of this plot, and I do not understand anyone who cannot se chasdei Hashem in the fact that this was prevented. At the same time we should all examine how it can be that 2 yidden would do such a thing- is money so important??? Is this what we have come to? Oy lanu.

  6. Well the goyim always said they wanted hareidim to get jobs and not be relying on welfare. So they went into the import-export business, and found a marketplace for antique aircraft parts (to get some idea of its age, if you remember the Edsel and Roger Maris – you remember when the Phantom was consider hot stuff). While selling weapons raised all sorts of moral issues (people generally by guns for the purpose of killing other people), it is a legitimate line of work.

    Given that the biggest threat to Jews today comes from the Israelis rather the Iranians, it might not be such a bad idea to keep channels of contact with anyone who will listen.

  7. @8 Phantoms are still very much in use all over the world, parts that are in Israel are upgraded with Israel’s technology, which is a 10 year leap for the Iranians. To sell guns to your enemy for money, validates every non jews complaint about jews and money…nice kiddush hashem.

    As for your second comment, well…just keep trollen…

  8. reply to @ concernedbh says……
    So here we have a website full of yidden that have completely forgotten what it means to be Dan Lkaf Zechus.
    “MEDIA” is known very much to blow stories out of proportion and to go so far as to make things up. Innocent until proven guilty I guess is a concept of the past. I am not saying that they are innocent but hey I did not say they are guilty, you are judging and finding them guilty with having no more background other then a paragraph from YWN. this is for all commentors too

  9. #9 and #10 – The situation is somewhat ironic given that the zionist line is that hareidi Jews never have jobs. If you find hareidim involved in business, then the zionists must be lying about hareidim being lazy unemployed bums.

    Given the nature of the business, they probably didn’t know who wanted the parts for the Phantom – no arms dealer deals directly with anyone – they and their Israeli supplier are probably both surprised where they ended up. Since the Phantom is hopelessly obsolete as a combat plane, and has been out of production for over 30 years, the handful of countries still operating them and getting spare part largely involve canibalizing the remaining ones still in existence, mean the part are inevitably part of a grey market.

    And truthfully, compared to Bennett and Lapid,the Iranians are a mild threat. We’ve survived the Romans and the Nazis. Modern day Iran is nothing compared others we’ve been through. Nothing short of physcially demolishing the earth can threaten us – other than giving up Torah and Mitsvos.

  10. I didn’t know that there was a premishlan chasidus. I heard of the holy rabbi meir but he lived a couple of hundred years ago. I guess you learn something new all the time.

  11. I’m not so socked about it at all.
    all the people that hang around there are completely weird.
    I used to go there a lot and never found a normal person there, all of them are either sfaradim, Ba’alei tshuvah or bochurim that were drop outs from other yeshivos that landed up there

  12. #14 – No I learned that this world isn’t what really matters, and that regardless of what you plan on doing, HaShem implements without any regard of your efforts. You may give up learning and invest in interceptor missles, but if HaShem wants you out let the missles through they’ll get through, and if HaSHem wants you to survive, you’ll survive.

  13. Wow Akuperma! I used to think you were just a Neturei Karta Apikores with twisted “haskafas” (if you can even call them that), but today I realize you’re actually in need of serious professional help… If I were the FBI, I would put you under surveillance right about now. Amazing how you always stick up to defend or excuse even the most heinous and demented acts if it could somehow in any way potentially harm (non-Neturei Karta) Jews living in Israel. You and your kind sicken me. There is no chelek le’olam haba for people like you.

  14. Yasher koach akuperma for providing keen insight while using ironic humor to get your point across.

    Too bad these leftist lack of a sense of humor leads them to taking everything seriously rather than pick up the points of irony made with humor.