(New York Jewish Week) — Former New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi, grandson of a chief rabbi of Budapest and a leader in the fight to recover assets of Holocaust survivors before corruption charges ended his political career, died Thursday in an assisted living home on Long Island. He was 83.
The nearly lifelong resident of Forest Hills represented the Queens, New York community in the state Assembly for more than 20 years before being elected city comptroller in 1993. Using the gears of government, in 1997 he barred the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) from leading a $1.3 billion letter of credit deal with the city, punishing the bank for failing to cooperate fully in helping Holocaust victims recover lost assets.
The next year he outlined sanctions on Swiss banks in an effort to force them to continue negotiations on lost and stolen assets in their coffers. He also pressured Deutsche Bank, which was seeking to buy New York-based Bankers Trust Corp., to contribute to a slave-labor reparations fund.
“I believe that if international institutions want to participate in the global economy they have to accept global values, and providing restitution for Holocaust survivors is part of that,” Hevesi told the N.Y. Daily News in 1998.
He was elected state comptroller in 2002 after losing the Democratic primary for mayor the previous year.
He resigned from office in 2006, after winning a second term, in a plea bargain with the Albany District Attorney in which he admitted using state employees and vehicles to chauffeur his ailing wife, Carol. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to a second-degree corruption charge, acknowledging he accepted $1 million in gifts from a friend and political backer. For that charge he served 20 months in prison.
“I want them to see [the mistake] in the context of a 35-year career in public service,” he told the Forward in 2006, referring to his former supporters. “I wrote the nursing home reform law. I wrote the law saying there will be no medical experiments on human beings — based on the Nuremberg [Code]. I think there’s been a rush to judgment.”
Hevesi, who was born in Manhattan, was the son of Jewish immigrants who left Hungary in 1938 to escape the Nazis. His paternal grandfather, Simon Hevesi, was rabbi of Budapest’s famed Dohány Street synagogue, and served as the chief rabbi of Hungary from 1927 until his death in 1943. Of the relatives who remained in Hungary, 55 were murdered in concentration camps.
Hevesi’s father, Eugene, was an official with the American Jewish Committee. His mother, Alicia, was a music publisher. Alan Hevesi was president of the Bnai Zion fraternal organization in the early part of the 2000s and often attended meetings of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. As comptroller he made investment in Israel a priority, including $100 million in biotech and other industries there, arguing that they not only helped the Jewish state but would bring solid returns for New York’s pension-holders.
Carol, his wife, died in 2015. Survivors include Andrew Hevesi, an Assembly member from Queens; Daniel Hevesi, a former State Senator; a daughter, Laura Hevesi, and three grandchildren.
The post Alan Hevesi, tarnished NYC pol who championed Holocaust restitution, dies at 83 appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta
i24 News – A protester was in critical condition on Friday after setting themself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. authorities said. A security guard who tried to intervene was also wounded.
A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. He added that investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.
JUST IN: A pro-Palestine protester is in critical condition after they set themselves on fire in “political protest” outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Atlanta.
The protester was reportedly draped in a Palestine flag.
The protester has severe burns and unfortunately, a… pic.twitter.com/B8nUQAj2nU
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 1, 2023
“We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.” Everyone inside the consulate building was said to be safe.
Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the southeastern U.S., said: “We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way.”
“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act. We are grateful to the city of Atlanta’s law enforcement and first responders for all they do to ensure safety.”
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Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed
Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.
Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel‘s defense headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.
“I came to thank you because without you I wouldn’t be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now.”
Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.
A seven-day truce, during which Hamas had released more than 100 hostages, collapsed on Friday after Hamas breached the ceasefire.
Israel said on Saturday it had recalled a Mossad intelligence agency team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal that would have freed all children and women held hostage.
More than 240 people – Israelis and foreign nationals – were abducted to Gaza on Oct 7. by Hamas terrorists who burst through the border with Israel and killed 1,200 people.
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IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist
i24 News – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported thwarting a stabbing attack on Saturday afternoon against reserve Battalion 7037 at the X junction near Nablus in the West Bank.
According to the IDF spokesperson, the event unfolded when the forces at the roadblock became suspicious of an individual approaching the barricade.
During the questioning process, the suspect suddenly drew a knife and advanced towards the IDF personnel.
ניסיון פיגוע דקירה אירע לפני זמן קצר לעבר כוח צה”ל במילואים מגדוד 7037 שפעל בחסם בצומת האיקס סמוך לעיר שכם שבמרחב חטיבת שומרון.
הכוח חשד במחבל שהגיע לחסם והחל לתחקר אותו, המחבל שלף סכין והחל להתקדם לעבר הכוח.
הלוחמים חתרו למגע והגיבו בירי לעבר המחבל שחוסל. אין נפגעים לכוחותינו. pic.twitter.com/mEaJs58hpE
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) December 2, 2023
The soldiers, faced with the threat, engaged in contact procedures and ultimately responded by opening fire on the assailant. The spokesperson confirmed that the attacker was neutralized due to the IDF’s action.
It was also noted that there were no casualties among the IDF forces involved in the incident. According to the spokesperson, the situation at the X junction has stabilized, and IDF continues to maintain vigilance in the area to prevent further attacks.
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