Jerusalem – Mr. Moshe Talansky, an American businessman, was cross-examined on Thursday by the Israeli Prime Minister Olmert’s defense team.

Seven weeks ago, Mr. Talansky provided testimony that incriminated Israel’s Prime Minister for alleged fraud and breach of trust as well as tax offenses.

At that time, Mr. Talansky stated he had provided about $150,000 in cash for Mr. Olmert between 1992 and 2005, when he was Mayor of Jerusalem and later when he was senior Israeli cabinet minister.

It was reported that Mr. Olmert did not deny having personally received those envelopes, including during times when he was not involved in an election campaign, and other times when he was, and used the money for his campaign.

Some of the money allegedly included loans that were never repaid, while other funds were said to have paid for Mr. Olmert’s expenses incurred when he went overseas and paid for his private vacation in Italy.

Mr. Talansky said he never received receipts for the cash he allegedly transferred.

It is alleged that Mr. Olmert did indeed help Mr. Talansky in his mini-bar business by, among other ways, talking to customers on his client’s behalf.

It was further alleged that Mr. Olmert never repaid Mr. Talansky $300,000 that was used as security for debts incurred by the nonprofit organization that helped Mr. Olmert win his races for mayor of Jerusalem in 1993 and 1998.

Mr. Olmert’s lawyers asked many questions of Mr. Talansky, to try to undermine Mr. Talansky’s credibility. Mr Olmert’s lawyers repeated one question, over and over: Did he know that what he was doing was illegal?

The answer that Mr. Talansky gave was a simple “No.”

At no time in the cross examination did Mr. Olmert’s lawyers question the fact that this American businessman provided large amounts of cash to Mr. Olmert, in envelopes, with no record of the transaction recorded in any legal way.

Mr. Talansky’s testimony is said to represent the straw that has broken the proverbial camel’s back after a series of allegations of corruption charges against Mr. Olmert.

He now faces what many are saying will be a tough primary election in his Kadima political party in September. Many say he is not expected to win.

David Bedein can be reached at His Web site is www.

©The Bulletin 2008


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.