a different side of Israel


The old saying: “you can run but you can’t hide” caught up Thursday with Boaz Yona when he and his wife Tamar were apprehended in a hotel in the resort town of Castel Nuovo, east of the Italian capital of Milan. Yona had been on the lam for nearly two weeks following the disclosure that he had stole large sums of money from people who had purchased apartments from the Israeli construction company Heftsiba, of which Yona is the CEO.

This tangled web of intrigue included Yona’s wife telling local reporters just a couple of days ago that she had “no idea where her husband was”, and that she was “very concerned” about him. Well, her concern must have worked because, as the story goes, she just happened to be found with him and a few of his close associates , in a country that used to famous as a location that fugitives could go to in order to evade the law. This was especially true for Mafia kingpins who use to go to Sicily for special ‘Vaccaciones’.

That special vacation this time didn’t work for this ‘gentleman’ who has fleeced hundreds of people out of monies they paid him to build flats for them. Yona once boasted that his great grandfather walked all the way from his native Afghanistan to what was then Palestine with only a few personal possessions, including a “donkey and a camel”. Judging from what turned out from this illustrious beginning, it might have been better if the Yona family patriarch had remained there in a country that has now become famous for drug dealing, lawlessness and insurgency. Boaz Yona, at whose home the police found illegal substances and ‘smoking paraphernalia’ seems to have inherited this background as well.

The question now is whether Yona will put up a fight against his extradition, or will agree to come back and face the music. The “music” that both he and his wife will face will undoubtedly be the shouts and curses of scores of people who have unfinished apartments sitting forlornly in numerous locations all over Israel.

Stealing from the general public is about a low as a person can go. Ironically, a news program to be aired August 31 on Israel’s Channel 2 TV deals with Etti Ayalon, who stole more than 50 million dollars while working as a bank clerk in Tel Aviv. Although the motive for this action was to help her brother who had gotten himself into big time trouble with criminal elements due to gambling and other debts, Ms. Ayalon’s actions resulted in a number of people who had entrusted their life savings to her “care”, losing virtually everything. A few even committed suicide over this affair with Ayalon being sentenced to 17 years in prison. Virtually none of the stolen money has been recovered.

What Yona’s eventual justice will be has to be decided by a court of law. What will happen to all of the people who entrusted their money to this slime ball is also anybody’s guess, even though a large bank has agreed to stand behind the completion of at least some of the unfinished building projects.


  1. Too bad they can’t use Tony Soprano’s type of ‘justice’ for this guy – cement overcoat and all!

  2. Milan is not the Italian capital. Rome is!

  3. not on oj

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