Lev Leviev, Israel's richest man, and a major funder of the illegal Israeli settlements scattered across Palestinian land, has bought himself a $70 million bulletproof mansion in the suburbs of London. Leviev built his fortune by buying up diamond mines in apartheid South Africa, and has also engaged in gentrification in New York City's real estate market. He is currently the single largest investor in Israeli settlement activity, which has been condemned by the United Nations and is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
His new neighborhood in Hampstead is home to a number of wealthy Israelis like himself, who were drawn to live there due to British law, which does not require foreigners to pay taxes on income earned abroad. Among them are Zvi Meitar, the founder of one of Israel's biggest law firms; Benny Steinmitz, a diamond dealer and property tycoon; Yigal Zilka, head of Queenco Leisure International; and the real estate developer, Sammy Shimon.
The mansion is London is just the latest in a number of purchases made by Leviev in his latest worldwide shopping spree. He also opened a new jewelry store on Madison Ave. in New York, which was immediately beset by angry protests. No similar protests have taken place in London, however. But that may be because the neighborhood is under tight security and surveillance to prevent any would-be protesters from getting anywhere near the tycoon.