עמוס דב סילבר
Telegrass founder Amos Dov Silver in court
Photo: Yariv Katz
Telegrass founder Amos Dov Silver in court

Telegrass founder runs for Knesset

Wife says he will promote liberal economic agendas such as open market and competition despite drug trafficking charges; 'if Netanyahu can, so can we'

Amir Alon, Attila Somfalvi, Alexandra Lukash |
Published: 01.14.20 , 18:50
The founder and head of the online drug-dealing network Telegrass will run for the 23rd Knesset after his New Economic Dawn party was registered at the Central Elections Committee on Tuesday.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter
  • Silver, who was placed second on the party's list for Knesset, is currently being held at Nitzan Prison in Ramla after he was indicted on charges of trafficking dangerous drugs and running a criminal organization.
    עמוס דב סילברעמוס דב סילבר
    Telegrass founder Amos Dov Silver in court
    (Photo: Yariv Katz)
    Silver's wife, Gali Silver, said her husband has been long interested in politics and that he will promote liberal economic agendas.
    "Amos was always into politics, changing the law and adjusting it according to the will of the public," Silver told Ynet in an interview. "It was also Telegrass's goal. He wants change and now he wants to expand to other issues besides legalization and cannabis."
    "Amos was always in favor of an open market, it's one of the things he always valued. He shares the same opinions with the party, as they all believe in an open and competitive market. The more competition - the lower the prices drop and the easier it will become for everyone."
    When asked about Amos's drug trafficking charges, Silver said that the charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was indicted in three corruption cases with bribe, fraud and breach of trust charges, are much more serious than her husband's.
    "The charges against Netanyahu are much more serious," said Silver. "If Netanyahu can [run for Knesset], so can we."
    אשתו של מייסד ה טלגראס ר עמוס סילבר גלי עומר ב אולפן ynetאשתו של מייסד ה טלגראס ר עמוס סילבר גלי עומר ב אולפן ynet
    Gali Silver
    (Photo: Eli Segal)
    New Economic Dawn party founder, economist Gilad Alper, said that the link-up between Silver and the liberal party came naturally.
    "I appreciate what he [Silver] managed to do with Telegrass," said Alper. "He contacted us, we spoke about joining forces and it seemed right to me – also because of our shared ideology over the legalization of cannabis and also because he literally saved thousands of Israelis who needed medical cannabis and didn't get it from the state."
    To this day, thousands of Israelis turn to Telegrass when in need of medical cannabis. It is an illegal organization because the state doesn't sell them the product and whatever it does sell is of such poor quality that it is completely useless."
    Our agenda is very liberal – reducing the cost of living, freedom of trade, freedom of religion, civil marriage, opening businesses on the Sabbath, canceling the Chief Rabbinate's monopoly on kosher food and legalization of cannabis, of course."
    Silver was arrested in Uman, Ukraine in March of last year following a large-scale undercover investigation by Israeli police.
    Silver was later extradited to Israel in August after a legal battle with Ukrainian authorities in an effort to appeal his extradition.
    Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit police officers also raided the homes of 42 suspects alleged to have a connection with the online drug-dealing network, which operated as a channel on instant messaging app Telegram.
    Potential buyers could contact individual sellers through a private chat facilitated by the channel and arrange their own drug purchases.
    One month later, the State Prosecutor's Office Cybercrime Unit indicted 27 people in the case.
    The indictment attributes suspects to allegations of brokering and trafficking of dangerous drugs, drug offenses involving the corruption of minors, money laundering and more.
    Despite the police crackdown, Telegrass is still going strong on Telegram and alternative platforms keep emerging.
    Talkbacks for this article 0