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Ten weeks after arriving in Israel to avoid any legal problems which might arise in Miami, intending to become an Israeli citizen, Meyer Lansky tells his daughter ìdonít worry about me being here life is a risk where ever you areÿî
[Herzlia on Sea, Israel]: , October 8, 1970 Autograph Letter Signed ìDad,î one page, 8.5î x 10.75î. Herzlia, Israel, October 8, 1970. To Meyer Lanskyís daughter Sandra Lombardo, with original mailing envelope addressed by Lansky. On verso of Sharon Hotels stationery. Light offset of plastic tape from verso of envelope. Fine condition. In part, ìSaturday is Yom Kippur the only thing that will move the Birds. Everything will be closed. You do get room service which is good enough fopr me but I have made preporations [sic] long before I knew about room service. My Ulcers couldnít hold out that long ÿ All is well and donít worry about me being here life is a risk where ever you areÃ?î He adds ìP.S. Unless something g urgent donít bother sending Special deliveryî Robert Lacey in ìLittle Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Lifeî (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1991) writes, ìIn 1964, Meyerís old friend Doc Stacher had avoided the worst consequences of a conviction for tax evasion by consenting to deportation and going to Israel to live. In July 1970, Meyer Lansky decided not to wait for the conviction ñ or anything else Ã? Lansky landed in Israel on July 27, 1970 Ã? He wanted to stay in Israel ñ and he wanted to live there not as a visitor, but as an Israeli citizen.î On December 7, 1970, Lansky requested Israeli citizenship under Israelís Law of Return which gives any Jew the right to be granted Israeli citizenship. However, it denies citizenship to a Jew ìwith a criminal past, likely to endanger the public welfare.î In March 1971, Lansky was charged with being involved in a conspiracy to skim from the Flamingo Hotel, his old Las Vegas venture with Bugsy Siegel. In May, Lanskyís U.S. passport was revoked and in September, his application for Israeli citizenship was denied. ìMeyer Lansky v. the State of Israelî was heard before the Israeli Supreme Court and on September 11, 1972, the court ruled unanimously against Lansky. After trying to find refuge outside the United States, on November 7, 1972, Meyer Lansky returned to Miami and was promptly arrested by FBI agents aboard the plane. In a 1988 interview with Robert Lacey, Anna Strasberg revealed that Meyer Lansky had phoned her husband, Lee Strasberg who was nominated for the 1975 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role of Hyman Roth in ìThe Godfather, Part II.î With her husbandís knowledge, Anna listened in on the extension. Lansky said, ìYou did good.î Lee replied, ìThank you. I tried.î Lansky added, almost with a sense of humor according to Anna, ìNow, why couldnít you have made me more sympathetic? After all, I am a grandfather.î
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