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Apr 14, 2010

Shocked as Lapoliansky is arrested!

This is a total shock. To me at least.

Former Haredi mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lapoliansky, was arrested for his alleged part in the Holyland scandal. He is suspected of taking bribes of up to 3 million shekel.

It should be noted that his activities were as a member of the city council and as a member of the committee of development, and not from when he was mayor. I don't know that it makes any difference when it happened, but it seems like it should be pointed out.

It is a shock to me because Lapoliansky was always considered, and had the image of being, squeaky clean. he was a model for Haredi askanim, having been selfless in his founding of Yad Sarah and then helping everybody in his career in city council and as mayor. That he is involved in this is a total shock to me.

Recently, at a UTJ party meeting, party heads had said very proudly how no UTJ member had ever been arrested for financial problems (the way Shas members had been). I guess they were not as clean as he made them out to be, just they knew how to get away with it better...


  1. Perhaps the temptation was too great once one becomes a key player, especially given the middle eastern culture of bribery.

  2. You seem to believe it at face value. He is denying the charges. Perhaps you should say IF he is involved in this affair, it would come as a total shock to me.

  3. I wrote that he is SUSPECTED.

    Regardless of true or not, or maybe the sum amount might be less, or more, they clearly have good reason to suspect him, if it went all the way to an arrest rather than just being brought in for questioning. Even if his guilt is not at the magnitude being discussed right now, his involvement in this at any level is a shock to me.

    But yes, he is still onyl suspected.

  4. Garnel IronheartApril 14, 2010 9:00 PM

    > party heads had said very proudly how no UTJ member had ever been arrested for financial problems

    That's because they cancel the membership of anyone arrested retroactively to the day before!

  5. They said he took bribes through Yad Sarah. But Yad Sarah said they have been getting DONATIONS from these entities for 20 years. I also understand that he volunteered at Yad Sarah all these years. What money did he accept,how was it a bribe?

  6. party heads had said very proudly how no UTJ member had ever been arrested for financial problems

    they made an ayin hara for themselves, they shoudl have dontaed to kupat hair to protect themselves from the ayin hara.

  7. I'm guessing that his defense will be that he received no personal benefit from the Yad Sarah donations and that he has no official connection to that organization other than being its founder.

    It would be interesting to know if this kablan's Yad Sarah contributions have declined now that Lupianski is out of office.
    (No that this proves cause and effect.)

    I wonder as well whether the gov't will demand that Yad Sarah pay the money back.

  8. I saw this morning in the Rambam that he paskens that a bribe must be returned.

    Lupos claim is that:
    1) the money went to Yad Sarah, not him
    2) he never demanded money for YS in return for the project approvals.

    if the prosecution can prove #2, he's screwed.

  9. Ben - the halacha of returnign a bribe is brought in Shulchan Aruch in Choshen Mishpat, specifically regarding a bribe to a dayan.
    We were discussing this point last night in our Choshen Mishpat shiur wondering if it would apply to a non-dayan, non-mishpat situation as well.

    I dont see why ti would not, but it might not be so clear cut, especially when it was given in the form of tzedaka to an organization and nto to the individual - the bribery aspect might not be so clear and definite.

    Regarding the way you lay it out, I am not sure they need to prove #2. Just the fact that he wa son the building committee and he took such a large donation, whether solicited or not, might have mad eit a conflict of interest for him to decide this builders application. They might not need to prove he demanded the donation, just that he was influenced by it, or could have been. They would probably need ot look at the timing of the donation, and what Lupo's previous position had been on the building project prior to having received the donation.

    But I am not a lawyer

  10. The contribution to his son's kollel might be a bit more difficult to explain.


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