Ruben Ezra Beraja

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Ruben Ezra Beraja was an influential Argentinian Zionist leader during the second half of the 20th century. During his time, he effectively enabled himself as the main funder of Zionist causes in Argentina. Beraja’s notorious network extends from money laundering to drugs and weapons bargaining.1
As Beraja laddered to the top of Cooperativa Mayo, he ingratiated himself with the Zionist lobby through contacts within a Sephardi Jewish indoctrination network. Beraja gave Zionism the opportunity to dominate not only the Casa Rosada – the official Presidential workplace in Buenos Aires – but also Argentina’s entire political scene. Beraja’s growing political leverage paved the way for economic corruption which resulted in the collapse of the country’s financial system. Thanks to the Zionist network’s prevalence, he dodged efficient legal condemnation for his dealings. Beraja spared no mischief-making to ensure the prolonged influence of his Zionist cabal.
However, and beginning by the end of Argentinian President Carlos Menem’s tenure in 1999, the right-wing faction of Argentine’s Zionist lobby undermined Beraja’s situation to take revenge on him for what they called “turning people against Jews” and also for alleged “passivity” in the AMIA 1994 bombing incident.

Contribution to Palestinian Displacement

Having graduated as a lawyer from the University of Buenos Aires, Beraja was interestingly given a position in the mysterious Cooperativa Mayo construction firm. Starting as the firm’s youngest board member, Beraja was subsequently appointed as the company´s leader. The firm used to back the infamous Sephardi Jewish school network. The Sephardi movement has been obsessed with setting up sporadic illegal Sephardi settlements in Palestine.2

The more Beraja funneled resources to the Argentina’s Sephardi community, the more influence he would gain in the country´s Zionist movement. Consequently, Beraja was known as one of the Zionist Sephardic movement’s notable leaders as early as the late 1960s.3

Establishing Zionist Discourse Under Menem

In 1992 and during the presidency of Carlos Saúl Menem – the President of Argentina from 1989 until 1999 – Beraja exploited his position as the chief of Delegation of Israelite Associations of Argentina (DAIA) , to successfully bring up two old “Holocaust”-related cases. The symbolic effect of these initiatives were considerable, establishing the dominance of Zionist discourse in the Argentinian political atmosphere.
A) The Swiss “Extortion” Case
In May 1996, Swiss banking officials and prominent Zionists arranged to establish the “Volcker Commission” – also known as the “Independent Committee of Eminent Persons(ICEP). The Zionists indicted Switzerland for having many dormant bank accounts that pertained to Jews who died between the years 1933 and 1945. The group cited excerpts which claimed that “Swiss officials cooperated the Nazi regime by closing the country’s borders to thousands of Jewish refugees, effectively pushing them back to near certain death,” adding that “not only Switzerland enriched itself from the Shoah (Holocaust) sacrifices, but also its banks was the cherished haven for Nazi deposits, which often contained Jews stolen assets”.4 One of the three Jewish representatives in the commission was Ruben Beraja, representing the Latin American Jewish Congress presidency.
After winning the case, Beraja filed a multimillion-dollar claim against his own country, Argentina, for accepting gold from Germany – supposedly from funds seized from Jews.5

B) Condemning Argentina’s Past
In December 1996, Beraja contributed to the opening of the U.S. National archives released by the World Jewish Congress , for the first time. The archives sought to prove that in the aftermath of World War II and during Argentinian President Juan Peron’s tenure, there was an immigration of so-called “Nazi criminals” to Argentina. This initiative is also seen as a symbolic revision of Argentina’s pre-war history according to Zionist narratives.

Blatant Financial Fraud

From 1978 onward, the Beraja-led Cooperativa Mayo´s activities were conducted under the guise of “Banco Mayo” until its bankruptcy in 1998. In 1998, the uncovering of a $300 million financial fraud case was a nail in the coffin of Banco Mayo.
Despite all odds, Banco Mayo’s assets appear to have been peculiarly protected from any fallouts from the case. According to reports, Jewish community members withdrew their savings from the bank prior to its bankruptcy. Additionally, while Mayo was facing fraud charges, the Newbridge Latin America Fund remarkably stepped-in to buy a minority share in the company for $131.82 million. The fund money was spent on purchasing branches of the Argentinian Patricios Bank. Mayo’s capital, along with the newly acquired Patricios branches, were transferred to Citibank – the primary U.S. banking subsidiary of Citigroup6, managing to save much of the bank’s assets from further litigation.
It is worth mentioning, Newbridge Latin America is a shareholder fund run by TPG, owned by former-Uber manager David Bonderman, an American Jewish billionaire merchant.7
Under Beraja´s leadership, Banco Mayo effectively pulled off one of Argentina’s most blatant fraud cases. Interestingly, Mayo Banco’s bankruptcy was preceded by the suspension of the aforementioned “Patricios Bank” and succeeded by the bankruptcy of the Israeli-Argentinian Bank of Córdoba in February 1999.

Evading Justice

Enjoying a relationship with the close circle of then-president Carlos Menem’s, Beraja was able to escape justice despite blatant economic fraud.
During preventive custody awaiting his trail, Beraja sought to defame then-president of the Argentinian Central Bank – Pedro Pou – as “pro-discrimination and anti-Semitism”, merely for saying “Jews should not run banks”.8
Despite a very long legal procedure spanning two decades, Beraja and his accomplices were eventually acquitted of all charges on November 23, 2023.

The formation of the Beraja Mafia under Menem

By stepping into Casa Rosada in 1989, then-President Carlos Menem did not follow Peron’s nationalist socialist footsteps. Menem appointed many Zionists to office, visited Israel several times, and offered to “reconcile” Israeli-Arab relations.9 Beraja was at the center of the Menem government’s growing ties with Zionist deal breakers. Consequently, Beraja also enjoyed the height of his power within the Zionist lobby during Menem’s tenure.
Gaining enough votes in 1991, Beraja was elected as chairman of DAIA, the country’s leading Zionist lobby related to the international B’nai B’rith lobby. In terms of importance, DAIA can be described as the Argentinian equivalent of the infamous US-based AIPAC lobby. Being re-elected twice in 1993 and 1996, Beraja became the de-facto figurehead of Argentinian Zionist Jewry. After leaving DAIA, he maintained other positions of influence such as spokesman for the World Jewish Congress.
Meanwhile, Beraja consolidated his network with close ties with Ytzjak Aviran – who arrived in Argentina in 1993 as the Israeli ambassador for seven years. Simultaneously, Beraja – in cooperation with Sergio Szpolsky – started financial schemes in the banking sector, and both engaged in flattering relationships with the government of Menem.10 Szpolsky is an Argentinian businessman, the executive vice president of Grupo 23 – publishing the magazine 23 and the newspapers El Argentino, Tiempo Argentino, the owner of portal InfoNews , and CN23 digital and cable television. As a tactical ally of the Israeli Labor Party (Avodá) – which politically dominated the AMIA – Szpolsky was elevated as the director of Banco Patricios until its bankruptcy. Remarkably, the investigation of Szpolsky’s case for evasion of pension contributions reopened recently, being only one of 30 cases raised against him.11
In 1997, Beraja placed Claudio Avruj – one of his confidant advisors – as the executive direction of DAIA, whose authority lasted one decade.12 Berja also placed lawyer Rogelio Cichowolsky as his successor in 1998, after stepping down as the president of DAIA after seven years. As the head of DAIA since January 1999, Cichowolsky has expand DAIA’s influence across the country e and to force a law to silence anti-Zionist voices.13

Beraja (Right) had very close relations with Carlos Menem (Center Left).
Magazine of “Veinti Uno” titled “Exclusive Documents; The Scam of Banco Mayo”
Magazine of “Veinti Uno” titled: “The proof; Beraja was the head of the Bank of Bahamas who diverted lenders’ money”

The Legacy of Beraja

Resulting from his deep influence within Argentina’s political and economic elite, Beraja has also gained fame in international Jewish Zionist organizations such as: vice presidency of the World Jewish Congress, presidency of the Latin American Jewish Congress, the Fedración Sefaradí Latinoamericana (FESELA).
In spite of being a major Zionist sponsor, financer and de-facto politician, Beraja has been sidelined by a rival, right-wing faction of the Zionist lobby in Argentina in the past two decades since the end of Menem’s pro-Beraja government. These right-wing groups have sought to hold Beraja responsible for what they see as Beraja’s role in bankrupting Banco Mayo and his weak conduct in bringing perpetrators of the 1992 and 1994 AMIA bombings to justice.
The bankruptcy of Banco Mayo, along with rampant economic decline at the end of Menem’s office is seen by many as a legacy of Beraja’s fraudulent activities within Menem’s close circle of contacts.15
Moreover, Memoria Activa – a so-called “association for truth and justice in the AMIA cause” associated with rival Zionist groups – have blamed Beraja for “passivity” in the AMIA incident. Diego Melamed, an Argentinian writer and journalist, in his book – “Judios y el Menemismo” – refers to AMIA as the main reason which led to Beraja’s downfall.
















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