The song between the lines
A common denominator between competitive sports and televised entertainment competitions is the large amount of money invested in results, and in betting on the results.
Police Commander Yoav Segalovitz, head of the investigations and intelligence division, does not like to give catchy code names to investigative cases. He prefers to use prosaic file numbers. Nonetheless, his investigators have coined a name fraught with significance, "between the lines," for the affair which on Monday brought about the submission of an indictment against popular singer Margolit Tzan'ani. The name conveys hints of threatening messages which were allegedly delivered in conversations involving Tzan'ani and criminals, and her manager who (in Tzan'ani's opinion ) refused to pay money he owed her; and the code name applies to the strange statement made by Tzan'ani, apparently at a criminal's behest, during one of the "Star is Born" broadcasts. Infiltrating between the lines, organized, violent crime encroached upon the artistic, cultural and entertainment spheres.
Crime gangs try to penetrate any profitable sphere. Since a shadow economy, one not beholden to the state taxation system, operates in Israel, there also operates a parallel system of law and order. This parallel system features arbitrators, collectors and repossession men (sometimes executioners ). The accommodating attitude displayed recently by businessmen and others toward the use of such criminal mediators is extremely worrisome; these mediators create fears of bodily assault or attacks on property, and their use is rationalized by appeals to the protracted nature of procedures in the judicial system. The most dangerous appearance of this criminal activity is in the spheres of entertainment and sport, where persons who are allegedly in contact with criminals quickly turn into gossip heroes in the print and electronic media. The conflict between athletes and singers and these criminals is not invisible because both sides appear to enjoy the contacts. Sometimes, when a famous figure is injured in a mysterious attack, or leaves the country on a strange exile, the tip of the iceberg is exposed.
A common denominator between competitive sports and televised entertainment competitions is the large amount of money invested in results, and in betting on the results. Within the events is considerable profit accrued by those who know how to corrupt the system; businessmen, competitors, judges and organizations that operate the events can be motivated by greed - or fear. Now that it is clear how easily their results can be tilted, it is wrong to let business entities responsible for the production and broadcast of these competitions regulate and monitor themselves. And it is wrong to ignore the seriousness of the problem, and to continue with the pursuit of profit as though nothing has happened.