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July 26, 2016 12:48 pm

The Times of Israel Goes on a Crusade Against Israeli Binary-Option Peddlers

avatar by Steven Plaut

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People being phoned by Israelis selling binary  options could just hang up, says the author. Photo: Wikipedia.

People being phoned by Israelis selling binary options could just hang up, says the author. Photo: Wikipedia.

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu:

I am writing to convey my frustration at the fact that you are not tackling the most serious problem facing Israel. I base this criticism on having read the Times of Israel electronic magazine, edited by David Horovitz, former editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post.

It seems, Mr. Prime Minister, you have not realized that the number one problem facing Israel is the need to suppress the agencies operating out of Israel that phone people up in Europe and try to sell them “binary options.” Instead you are wasting your time attempting to resolve other challenges facing the country, such as the arming of Iran, genocidal Islamofascism, radicalization of Israeli Arabs, global antisemitism, housing inflation, inequality and left-wing fascism at home.

As you will know if you have been reading the Times of Israel, none of those things matter. The real national crisis is that involving agencies paying Israeli youths minimum wage to place phone calls to Europe and to solicit the Europeans to invest in “binary options.” These are risky financial derivatives that let the investor bet on the direction of price trends, such as exchange rates, betting either they go up or down. If you bet wrong, you lose your bet, like with all options. Horovitz, who never took a course in financial derivatives, would not know that.

Instead, the ToI has for months run article after article about how awful the option-peddling by these folks is, because – well – the peddlers lie. They tell their phone clients the options are a good investment, but they are actually risky. ToI editors have never heard that salesmen often stretch the truth, and I have a used car that is perfect I am willing to sell them, a 1980 Subaru third-hand with a squirrel in the engine block. It has never occurred to ToI editors that the French and Belgian farmers getting the phone calls from Israeli options salesmen can just say no or hang up. Israelis get junk phone calls every day from salesmen, charlatan kabbalists, and phony charities, yet manage to survive and even hang up.

Not true, say the ToI “journalists.” The Israel-based peddlers of options are thieves who steal money from Eurodunces too dumb to hang up on them. They know this because they found some people who lost their savings playing this market. And this massive “theft” and “fraud” is the source of new worldwide antisemitism.

Internet poker and casinos, some of which were also set up by Israelis, do not seem to bother them. Nor does sports betting. “Binaries” are actually benign in comparison to some other investments being legally peddled, like “day trading” platforms. Binary options are legal in most places, although when selling in Israel to Israelis, the seller needs a broker license. By lying to the Eurodunces in places where no license is needed, according to the ToI, they are making the world hate Israel.

Horovitz and his gang also oppose ads for the binaries and demand that Bibi ban them at once. That would leave only ads for Tel Aviv escort services. After that, they will demand that Bibi take action against Nigerian princes with an inheritance they want you to hold for them, and email messages that begin, “Dearest One.”

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