Sunday, May 13, 2012


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Update: Ami Editor Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter has kindly responded to my request and put their cover story of Yanky Ostreicher online. The link is here. Please read it and if you haven't signed the petition yet, please do.

A few weeks ago, Ami Magazine ran a cover story about a major injustice being done to an innocent man, in Bolivia. His name is Jacob (Yanky) Ostreicher. He is an Orthodox Jew, the only American and the only Jew in that prison. He was arrested for supposedly laundering drug money. But after a year in prison he has yet to be charged with the crime.

Former FBI agent Steve Moore has taken an interest in the case. After studying all aspects of it he has determined that an innocent man had been arrested for a crime he did not commit. Steve Moore is the man who did the same for Amanda Knox, who was arrested and convicted of murder in Italy. After studying her case he was convinced of her innocence too. Amanda Knox’s conviction was overturned and she was released – vindicating Mr. Moore’s view of her innocence.

Mr. Moore’s sense of justice has impelled him to work for Jacob’s release as well. So convinced is he of Jacob’s innocence that he is doing it for free. Surely he is one of the Chasidei Umos Ha’Olam – a righteous gentile.

While the US government has tried to do something about it their hands are somewhat tied - there is no American ambassador in Bolivia ever since its government was taken over by a socialist anti American President in the mold of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Nonetheless they can do more. We need to press the issue and there is something we can do along those lines. We can sign this White House petition. I did.

Recently The ABC News program Nightline did a feature story in Yanky. It can be viewed in its entirety above. Please watch it and sign the petition. It needs to get 25,000 signatures before June 2, 2012. This man did nothing wrong and is suffering greatly as is his wife, children, and grandchildren. I don’t know if signing the petition will help. But there is no reason not to sign it. If there was ever a case of Pidyon Shevuyim, this is it!

I think the Jewish community owes Ami a debt of gratitude for putting this story on its front pages and making many of us aware of this tragic situation. I would only ask the publisher to republish that story in full online so that everyone can read it.