Traders in Israel knew in advance about 7 October attack and made money off it

Trading on Terror?

67 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2023 Last revised: 5 Dec 2023
Robert J. Jackson, Jr.

New York University School of Law
Joshua Mitts

Columbia Law School

Date Written: December 4, 2023

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Recent scholarship shows that informed traders increasingly disguise trades in economically linked securities such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Linking that work to longstanding literature on financial markets’ reactions to military conflict, we document a significant spike in short selling in the principal Israeli-company ETF days before the October 7 Hamas attack. The short selling that day far exceeded the short selling that occurred during numerous other periods of crisis, including the recession following the financial crisis, the 2014 Israel-Gaza war, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, we identify increases in short selling before the attack in dozens of Israeli companies traded in Tel Aviv. For one Israeli company alone, 4.43 million new shares sold short over the September 14 to October 5 period yielded profits (or approximates avoided losses) of millions on that additional short selling for one out of hundreds of securities traded on the TASE. Although we see no aggregate increase in shorting of Israeli companies on U.S. exchanges, we do identify a sharp and unusual increase, just before the attacks, in trading in risky short-dated options on these companies expiring just after the attacks. We identify similar patterns in the Israeli ETF at times when it was reported that Hamas was planning to execute a similar attack as in October. Our findings suggest that traders informed about the coming attacks profited from these tragic events, and consistent with prior literature we show that trading of this kind occurs in gaps in U.S. and international enforcement of legal prohibitions on informed trading. We contribute to the growing literature on trading related to geopolitical events and offer suggestions for policymakers concerned about profitable trading on the basis of information about coming military conflict.

Texas judge probed for funneling $11M in taxpayer money to ally who has ties with prominent Dems –

Texas judge probed for funneling $11M in taxpayer money to ally who has ties with prominent Dems

A Texas judge is under investigation for allegedly rigging a pandemic outreach contract worth $11 million so it would be awarded to one of her political allies – who has ties with several prominent Democrats and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The Public Corruption Investigation Unit (PCIU) of the Texas Rangers announced on Nov. 9 that it obtained search warrants for documents, in relation to a probe by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office into County Judge Lina Hidalgo. The PCIU accused Hidalgo of witness tampering, intent to conceal evidence and the misuse of emergency authorization powers to bypass the county’s contract voting process. It also expressed plans to take the findings to a grand jury.

Based on the search warrants obtained by the Epoch Times, Hidalgo allegedly took advantage of her position as county judge to direct $11 million worth of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic outreach money to Elevate Strategies. The firm is owned by Hidalgo’s political ally Felicity Pereyra, who has been linked to various Democratic campaigns.

Pereyra served as the deputy data director for the Obama for America campaign in 2012. Four years later, she served as the analytics director for the Hillary for America campaign. Following that 2016 stint, Pereyra joined the DNC as its director of data between 2017 and 2018.

Moreover, the warrant stated that Hidalgo communicated with Pereyra about the contract’s availability before it was publicly announced. When she believed that the county commissioner might not approve the allocation of funds, Hidalgo used her emergency authorization powers to bypass the voting process and award it to Elevate Strategies.

The country judge had previously bragged about an influential list of Democrats who have backed her, including First Lady Jill Biden and liberal playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“Whether it’s the White House or the Harris County Judge’s Office, there appears to be an epidemic of corruption among high-level Democratic officials,” said Harris County Republican Party Chairwoman Cindy Siegel said in a statement.

Hidalgo claims to be a victim of “dirty politics”

Aside from Hidalgo herself, three of her staffers – former chief of staff Alex Triantaphyllis, policy director Wallis Nader and policy aide Aaron Dunn – are also under investigation. They were indicted on two felony counts in 2022 after being accused of helping the smaller firm get the contract. As per the new search warrants, the three members used their phones to discuss the contract with Pereyra and refused to disclose this fact to investigators.

Moreover, the PCIU accused Hidalgo of editing and/or erasing documents relative to the contract. They also accused her of failing to turn over correspondence she was initially asked for in the criminal investigation into her staffers. Hidalgo denied the claims that her office did not turn over information requested by authorities.

“Any documents that they requested, all of us would have done our very best to hand over,” she said. “If they asked for it, we would have sent it. If they asked for it and somebody didn’t send it, they made a mistake, it got buried in all of this stuff, they could reach out. Everybody knows that you don’t mess with these things. You give them whatever they want.”

On Nov. 10, the day after the search warrants were served, Hidalgo held a press conference to deny wrongdoing. She claimed to be a victim of “dirty politics” and accused Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg of abusing the power of her office for political reasons.

“She’s abused the power of her office the way a bully would abuse size on a playground,” Hidalgo said. “With her panicking about her March 5 primary and the fact that she’s behind, it’s pretty clear she wants to make a splash.”

The county judge said she believes the investigation emerged following a poll showing Ogg was in a tight race against her primary challenger, former county prosecutor Sean Teare, in the 2024 elections. Despite being the incumbent, the poll released by the Teare campaign showed Ogg lagging behind the former prosecutor by four points. (Related: Thrive Time Show: Seth Keshel says CORRUPTION of U.S. election system has been ongoing since the 1990s – Brighteon.TV.)

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Biden’s Veterans Affairs helped process 161K medical and dental healthcare claims for ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS while denying care for veterans –

Biden’s Veterans Affairs helped process 161K medical and dental healthcare claims for ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS while denying care for veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of President Joe Biden, with the help of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) processed 161,000 medical and dental claims for illegal immigrants in 2022, a revelation that comes as the VA’s role in denying proper care to actual veterans comes under scrutiny.

This revelation comes from Darin Selnick, a senior policy advisor for the advocacy group Concerned Veterans for America, who urged the government to investigate this abuse and to protect and provide more care for the country’s veterans. (Related: Texas Rangers, Border Patrol reclaim Rio Grande island previously used as base of operations by Mexican drug cartels.)

When illegal immigrants held by ICE require healthcare, they are typically treated on-site by medical professionals. However, if a specialist or emergency care is required, the immigrants and ICE may appeal for them to be transported to independent private providers.

In such cases, ICE contracts with the VA’s Financial Service Center (VA-FSC) to process reimbursements to those providers – paid for by taxpayers.

According to a report from July, ICE has hundreds of letters of understanding in which its Health Service Corps will reimburse providers at Medicare rates. These billing processes use the VA-FSC’s Healthcare Claims Processing System, a portal that allows providers to submit and view claims and access resources supposedly intended for veterans.

VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes stressed in a statement to Fox News Digital that providing billing services is not the same as providing or funding the healthcare of migrants.

“VA does not provide or fund any healthcare services to individuals detained in [ICE] custody,” claimed Hayes. “At no time are any VA healthcare professionals or VA funds used for this purpose.”

Veterans “mad” about care resources being diverted to illegals

Selnick, an Air Force veteran, warned that he has spoken with many veterans about this clear case of government abuse, “and everyone I’ve talked to who is a veteran – it makes them mad.”

“The VA’s mission is to serve veterans. It’s not to help ICE and the Border Patrol. It’s not to help them go ahead and process medical claims and pay medical claims and make it easy for the unauthorized migrants to get healthcare and dental care,” said Selnick.

“The mission of the VA is to serve veterans, not to serve unauthorized migrants. Meanwhile, veterans are having a hard time getting healthcare. They’re literally dying because they can’t get mental health in a timely manner. They can’t get cancer treatment. Bills are being sent to them because they’re not paying the providers on time. So, it makes it hard for veterans.”

Selnick warned that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is planning to expand the migrant medical processing services outsourced to the VA at the expense of possible billing services that could serve veterans.

“It’s got to stop. Congress needs to investigate this. Last year, Mayorkas said in testimony that they were working with the VA to go ahead and expand this, possibly in medical centers. We don’t know exactly how deep this is. It’s got to be investigated,” said Selnick.

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Netanyahu’s CORRUPTION trial resumes amid conflict in the Gaza Strip –

The corruption trial involving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resumed on Dec. 4, amid the country’s almost two months of military offensives against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

According to France24, the trial was suspended after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas – formally the Islamic Resistance Movement – on southern Israel. The attack resulted in more than 1,200 fatalities and 240 individuals being abducted as per Israeli officials.

Netanyahu – the longest-serving Israeli premier and leader of the right-wing Likud party – is accused of bribery fraud and breach of trust, allegations which he has denied. His Likud allies have denounced the “politically motivated” accusations, claiming that these stemmed from a proposed judicial overhaul that would have curbed some powers held by the courts.

Lawmaker David Amsalem, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, dubbed the resumption of judicial proceedings amid the ongoing conflict a “disgrace.” He wrote on the X platform: “War? Captives? No, no. The most important thing now is to renew Netanyahu’s trial.” (Related: Netanyahu promises to turn Gaza into “rubble” following Hamas attack – they will pay “unprecedented price.”)

“The high-profile trial is expected to last several more months,” said the news channel owned by the French state. “An appeals process, if necessary, could take years.”

The trial against the Israeli leader touches on three cases. In one of them, prosecutors allege that Netanyahu and Shaul Elovitch – owner of the Israeli telecommunications firm Bezeq – conspired on a mutually beneficial deal. In exchange for positive coverage on Walla News, which is owned by Bezeq, Netanyahu will grant regulatory favors to the company.

Another case touches on Netanyahu’s relationship with Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and other wealthy personalities. The Israeli prime minister is suspected of promoting a tax project that would yield Milchan millions of dollars. However, the Israeli Ministry of Finance has since vetoed this proposal.

According to prosecutors, Netanyahu allegedly received gifts valued at 700,000 Israeli shekels ($195,000) between 2007 and 2016. These gifts from Milchan include boxes of cigars, bottles of champagne and jewelry – all in exchange for financial or personal favors.

Witnesses testify against Netanyahu

In June, Milchan virtually took the stand and testified via video link from the United Kingdom where he is based. He recounted how his gift-giving to the Netanyahus became routine – with the producer, the prime minister and the first lady developing codes to refer to the different types of gifts. Milchan also mentioned giving his personal assistant “carte blanche” to fulfill any request the Netanyahu couple might make.”

The producer later recounted that the gifts didn’t affect his friendship with the Netanyahus until a police investigation was opened. It was then that he realized the gifts were “excessive,” with Milchan lamenting to police how he was uncomfortable with his gifts not being reciprocated.

In September, former Walla News editor Avi Alkalay took the stand concerning the case involving Elovitch. He told prosecutors of the relentless pressure on the site’s editorial staff to slant its coverage in Netanyahu’s favor from 2015 to 2016.

According to Alkalay, the staffers at Walla News had undergone “very aggressive mental coercion regarding the content relating to the Netanyahu family.” He continued: “The pressure was there all the time and the intervention was in all areas.”

The former editor also recounted that interventions on behalf of Elovitch sought to portray the Netanyahus as “always good and in the right, both on political matters and on personal issues.” He told prosecutors: “They commonly asked to contradict or change an opinion expressed by a reporter or the significance … of a story.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu – also the country’s first incumbent prime minister to stand trial – denied all the allegations. He claimed that he merely accepted gifts from friends without him asking. The prime minister’s lawyers said in October 2019 that, according to an expert legal opinion, he had a right to accept gifts from close friends.

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DELIBERATE RUSE? Israel surprises Hamas with incursion in southern Gaza despite “strong opposition” from the U.S. – or maybe it has America’s blessing all along –

DELIBERATE RUSE? Israel surprises Hamas with incursion in southern Gaza despite “strong opposition” from the U.S. – or maybe it has America’s blessing all along

In a strategic and surprising turn of events, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) embarked on a 48-hour assault deep into southern Gaza, catching Hamas off guard. The attack happened despite America’s “strong opposition” to an Israeli invasion of the southern Gaza Strip.

The unexpected southern push by Israel has been a point of contention, raising questions about whether Israel defied U.S. advice or if there was a deliberate ruse.

Hamas did not anticipate this move, revealing a breakdown in their intelligence assessment. The surprise southern offensive, marked by attacks in the Khan Yunis region, where Hamas leadership is believed to have sought refuge, underscores Israel’s commitment to disrupting the organization’s command structure.

The city of Khan Yunis has become a focal point of the conflict. With many Israeli hostages possibly held there, Israel’s focus has shifted from negotiating their release to considering the possibility of a forceful intervention. (Related: Gaza Strip could prove to be a DEATH TRAP for assaulting Israeli forces.)

Reports suggest that the IDF has penetrated the southern Gaza Strip, advancing from the east toward the Mediterranean coast, effectively dividing Gaza into three sections: north, central and south.

Initial reports from Israeli army radio confirmed the launch of a ground operation by Israel to the north of Khan Younis.

The BBC subsequently verified images of an Israeli tank in operation near the city.

Confirming the ground incursion’s expansion across all of Gaza, an IDF spokesman noted troops engaging in face-to-face battles with terrorists.

Since the expiration of a week-long ceasefire on Friday, Dec. 1, Israel has intensified its large-scale bombing campaign on Gaza, described by Khan Younis residents as the heaviest wave of attacks thus far.

The prior seven-day truce had witnessed a complex exchange: Hamas released 110 hostages from Gaza, reciprocated by Israel releasing 240 Palestinians from its prisons.

Israel has turned southern Gaza hospital into a war zone

In response to heightened hostilities, the Israeli army issued evacuation orders on Sunday, Dec. 3, for several districts in Khan Younis, urging residents to leave immediately.

Israeli authorities believe the city is being used by members of the Hamas leadership as a hideout where hundreds of thousands of people have been sheltering after fleeing the fighting in the north in the early stages of the war.

James Elder, a United Nations official, has described a “degree of panic” he has not seen before in a Gaza hospital after the Israeli military shifted the focus of its offensive to the south. He described Nasser Medical Hospital in Khan Younis as a “war zone.”

Simultaneously, Israel announced the elimination of Haitham Khuwajari, a senior Hamas commander allegedly involved in the October 7 terror attack on Israel.

The IDF and Israel Security Agency (ISA) released footage of the airstrike that targeted and killed him. In response, Hamas launched dozens of rockets at various targets across Israel. However, speculation is mounting that Hamas might be emptying its arsenals to prevent the IDF from seizing rockets as they advance further.

Social media reports also suggest that morale among the Palestinian population is beginning to collapse due to the intensifying conflict and Israel’s strategic advancements.

In a notable shift, Israel is exploring the possibility of appealing directly to the residents of Gaza, urging them to rise against the Hamas leadership that governs the territory. This tactic could exploit internal dissent within Gaza, potentially undermining Hamas’ control.

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