There are still many, many people who recall Sammy Flatto's murky past (the "Sharon" was added later).He is not French, but rather Polish. Our Sammy was born in Łódź, Poland in 1930. He arrived in Israel in 1975, when he was running away from the French authorities as he was wanted for embezzling $60 millions. Despite barely speaking Hebrew, in 1977 he formed a one-man party, also named Flatto-Sharon, to run in the Knesset elections that year, hoping to obtain parliamentary immunity to avoid extradition to France. Almost as soon as he had got his tuchas on his seat in the Knesset one of his first acts was to vote in favour of a law that prohibited the extradition of Israeli citizens. Quelle surprise!Our Sammy ran in the 1981 and 1984 elections, but did not pass the electoral threshold of 1% in either, and subsequently disappeared. He was never extradited to France to serve the five year sentence given to him in his absence, as the five year statute of limitations had expired.Flatto did not entirely manage to evade the courts however. In 1984 he was sentenced to three months of work for the community without any incarceration, which were performed in a state agency in Tel Aviv, for bribery during the 1977 election campaign, in which he had "bought votes in 1977 by promising apartments to young couples and homes to others at reduced prices". Additionally he was found guilty of paying voters (who were described as "campaign workers" and giving money to a local party in Dimona to be associated with his party.So the "generous donation" described in the story above takes on a slightly different dimension.Rafi need have no fear of publishing these remarks; everything is documented in the Jerusalem Post and the Ha'aretz archives, together with those of every other Israeli newspaper that was extant in the 1970s. Flatto-Sharon cannot deny a single syllable.
The funniest part was that he actually won two seats, but couldn't take the second, as he was a one man party. :-)