January 5, 2007, - 4:24 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****
The Detroit Newsistan is shedding tears for “La Shish”, the restaurant chain still owned and open for business by indicted Hezbollah financier and federal fugitive Talal Chahine. (He’s also the father of Khalil Chahine, convicted honor-murderer of a Christian Arab who was engaged to a Muslim woman.)
Chahine allegedly gave Hezbollah and its “charities” $20 million in money he laundered and concealed–and “forgot” to pay federal income taxes on. Why is he a fugitive? Because U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy III a/k/a “Abu Porno” (a Bush federal judicial nominee) gave him all kinds of hints that he’d be indicted and then allowed him to flee the country.
Even though he funded “children of the martyrs,” The Detroit Newsistan is sad that La Shish is losing money and customers. The paper should be asking why the heck the restaurant is still open for business and its assets have NOT been frozen, including money which is still going to Chahine in Lebanon, to finance his luxe lifestyle. Ask Abu Porno, who was never serious about going after Chahine.
And the paper is upset for two men that bought La Shish franchises are losing money, too. Why be sad for them? Both are Muslims who knew–like the rest of us–the open secret that has been common knowledge for years: that Chahine was funding Hezbollah. And even if they were blind, deaf, and dumb to that and the other criminal activity (murder, drug-dealing) for which members of the Chahine family were convicted, I still can’t feel sorry for them.
One of the franchise owners is named Charlie Bazzi. But the Bazzi family are Lebanese Shi’ite Muslims who strongly support Hezbollah. Will Bazzi, who owns the Ann Arbor La Shish, publicly denounce Hezbollah by name? Doubtful.
Ditto for the other franchisee, Samir Saleh, who is changing the name of his West Bloomfield La Shish restaurant to Mezza Mediterranean Grill. He wanted to buy the entire La Shish chain from Chahine and was on the phone with the fugitive in Lebanon. Does it not bother him that he was trying to do a big business deal with a terrorist financier?
Of course, not. The only reason the deal didn’t go through is that the Feds won’t remove liens they’ve placed on the ongoing business.
My recommendation: Be happy La Shish is losing money and customers. But be sad that it’s still open for business, and that Abu Porno allowed Chahine to flee the country. Don’t eat there. And don’t eat at the franchises owned by those who seem all too sympathetic to him.
Hard to feel sympathy for them. Just outrage at their indifference.
**** UPDATE, 01/06/07, 6:23 p.m.: Many readers have asked me about which Middle Eastern restaurants or other Arab-owned establishments I recommend. It has long been my position that, given these are all-cash establishments, you should seek out Christian-owned Mid-East restaurants.
Although I can’t speak for other areas, for my Detroit-area readers I HIGHLY RECOMMEND “Kabobgy” restaurant in Southfield, which is owned by Edward Moussawer. Moussawer, a very patriotic American and Lebanese Maronite Christian, is a supporter of the Christian Lebanese Forces, headed by anti-Syrian Christian Lebanese hero Samir Geagea. It is unfortunate that, since this summer’s War with Hezbollah, many Jews who are ignorant and don’t know the difference have stopped patronizing Kabobgy.
Another restaurant featuring Middle Eastern food, also owned by Christans, is Southfield’s “Flaming Kabob” (two locations), which is owned by Chaldeans (Iraqi Catholics).
Tags: Ask Abu Porno, attorney, Charlie Bazzi, Christian Lebanese, Debbie Schlussel, Detroit, Edward Moussawer, financier, food, Hizballah, Imam Mohammed Ali Elahi, Khalil Chahine, La Shish, Lebanese Forces, Lebanon, restaurant chain, rt, Samir Geagea, Samir Saleh, Stephen Murphy III, Talal Chahine, USD, West Bloomfield La Shish restaurant, Will Bazzi