On The Special Importance Of Rachel Ehrenfeld: An Appreciation
By The Jewish Press Magazine | by Louis Rene Beres
Friday, July 13th, 2001 @ 8:31PM
For many years I have followed closely the remarkable work of a singularly dedicated scholar, Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld. Director of the Center for International Integrity, her two major books – EVIL MONEY and NARCO-TERRORISM – are established classics in the field. Now working on another important book, THE FINE ART OF STEALING DEMOCRACY: THE ROAD TO KLEPTOCRACY, Dr. Ehrenfeld continues her rare fusion of high-level intellectual analysis with timely and urgent calls for reform.
During the past several months, she has focused her uniquely informed energies on bringing Yasir Arafat to justice for his assorted and sordid crimes of corruption, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of Rachel Ehrenfeld’s work is the industrious and meticulous way in which it is fashioned. Never content with hearsay or innuendo, all of her investigations and allegations are backed up by carefully-gathered and verifiable facts. Moreover, her refined familiarity with pertinent rules of national and international law is so far-reaching that she is routinely able to construct her critical fight against Arafat/PLO corruption upon sound jurisprudential foundations.
Dr. Ehrenfeld’s academic credentials are extraordinary by any measure. Following graduate studies in Biology of Behavior and Neurophysiology at the Technion (Haifa) and in Criminology at Tel Aviv University, she completed her Ph.D. in Criminology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dr. Ehrenfeld began studying narco-terrorism, money laundering and related issues during a fellowship at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She organized the International Drug Money Laundering and U.S. Foreign Policy panels at the White House Conference on Drugs in 1988. A frequent organizer of major international meetings, Dr. Ehrenfeld brings a broad range of erudition to what would otherwise be narrowly technical. In this connection, she uses English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian and Hebrew in her research.
Dr. Ehrenfeld, who was a Research Scholar at New York University School of Law and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University’s Institute of War and Peace Studies, is best-known as a commentator and consultant on political corruption, international money laundering, transnational organized crime, international terrorism and drug trafficking. Not surprisingly, government, law enforcement, academic and banking communities draw regularly upon her work. She has contributed to THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, NATIONAL REVIEW, THE NEW REPUBLIC and many other journals, and has appeared on national and international radio and television. All of her efforts coalesce around her New York City- based Center for International Integrity. And today this Center is busily exposing Arafat’s corruption, an exposure begun in the early nineties by Dr.Ehrenfeld in her books NARCO-TERRORISM and EVIL MONEY. Rachel Ehrenfeld’s Center (ACD) was established to promote standards of national and international integrity. It conducts a comprehensive evaluation of corruption practices for the development of an International Integrity Standard. This unique standard provides an independent benchmark of basic anti-corruption measures. The idea is that each country can be examined systematically for its extent of adherence to counter-corruption laws and regulations.
The ACD also provides training in sophisticated methods of opposing corruption for government officials, corporate executives, and the media. Focus here is on the construction and development of institutions that can counter corruption on an effective and sustained basis. Such institutions could be extremely helpful in the fight against Yasir Arafat and the PLO. Corruption undermines democratic institutions and can even destroy the free-market system. Recognizing this, Dr. Ehrenfeld has created, with a most distinguished pool of anti-corruption specialists, an independent Center that can codify, measure and explore the most prevalent forms of corruption in the public and private sectors, nationally and internationally. On May 28th, President Bush wrote to the Global Forum on Fighting Corruption at The Hague: “…increasing accountability and trans- parency in governance around the world is an important foreign policy objective for the United States.” At the same meeting, U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft issued an authoritative call “to develop a meaningful instrument against corruption.” Through her tireless efforts to develop an International Integrity Standard (IIS), Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld has already answered this call with imagination, zeal and understanding. Her work for a decent and just world order, especially her courageous and documented exposure of Arafat/PLO corruption, is of the highest importance.
More information about Dr. Ehrenfeld’s Center and its International Integrity initiative can be found at the following website: http://www.acdemocracy.org