Socialites partner with Israeli billionaire, shunned by charities for rights violations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY – New York human rights advocates protested this evening at the Madison Avenue jewelry store of Israeli billionaire and settlement mogul Lev Leviev where the elite, on-line social group “A Small World” held a cocktail party to "Buck the Recession with Champagne & Diamonds." Ten protesters chanted and banged drums on the street in front of the store despite the rain and cold, and despite an aggressive, but failed attempt by the NYPD to move them down the street from the store.
The protesters seemed only slightly outnumbered by the attendees inside the store. Media reports in advance of the party had questioned holding such an ostentatious event during a severe economic crisis. A Small World describes itself as "an exclusive network of like-minded individuals with an appreciation for quality in life." They partnered with Leviev despite Oxfam and UNICEF’s renunciation of Leviev for his companies’ construction of Israeli settlements in violation of international law and rights abuses in the diamond industry in Angola and Namibia. The father of Eric Wachtmeister, who is A Small World’s Chairman and Founder, served as the personal assistant to UN Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dag Hammarskjöld from 1958-61.
Alexis Stern of Adalah-NY commented, "Leviev is a member of a truly elite community of spurned global human rights abusers. We hope that the leaders of A Small World don't consider him as among their "like-minded individuals." During the evening, I was able to give flyers to and talk with some event attendees. A number expressed interest in why we were protesting. Some said they agreed with us, and others told me they wouldn’t have come had they known about Leviev’s record of rights abuses.”