Menashe Levy, an Israeli businessman operating in Ethiopia, was imprisoned in the country, subjected to wretched conditions, and caught in a legal morass seemingly without end.

Caption: Menashe Levy (right) back home in Israel together with Danny Grossman (Left)
Caption: Menashe Levy (right) back home in Israel together with Danny Grossman (Left), a coordinator for the Aleph Institute organization which provides support and assistance to prisoners. . (photo credit: JEREMY SHARON)


Israeli businessman Menashe Levy, whose company had been working in Ethiopia for years, but who was arrested and had been held in wretched conditions since 2015 on questionable charges, was finally released last month and returned to Israel on July 4.

In 2015, Levy endured a Kafka-esque criminal process and was imprisoned in abject conditions in the east African country, while the assets of his company vanished without trace. He had been caught in a legal morass seemingly without end, until his liberation on June 22.

Levy suffered mistreatment and violent assault during his incarceration without ever being convicted, before he finally regained his freedom thanks to the efforts of Aleph, a Jewish activist organization that supports prisoners, assisted by attorney and author Alan Dershowitz and, eventually, the prime minister of Israel.

Levy began working in Ethiopia in 2009, building infrastructure and transport networks as he had previously done in Israel.

By 2015 his firm, Tidhar Excavation & Earth Moving Ltd., was employing some 6,500 workers in Ethiopia, building roads and other transport projects, with gross annual revenues in the millions of dollars.

One major project in which Levy’s company was involved was a road construction project in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, an undertaking begun in 2013 in collaboration with the China Communications Construction Company CCCC and the city’s Roads Authority.

Suddenly, however, the General Audit office under the authority of the Ethiopian government – akin to a state comptroller –announced an investigation into Levy and Tidhar.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post