Thursday, 28 February 2013
Beyond The Law No More
There have been a series of dramatic developments involving child abuse cases in Israel and in the Jewish community in the UK.
1. An unnamed Judge in Israel, who is alleged to have repeatedly beaten his children, has still not been interviewed by the police, even though the police requested this permission three years ago from Yehudah Weinstein, the Attorney General.
This has now provoked an outcry - due to the appearance that the Attorney General's office has been protecting the Judge from investigation.
Dr Yizhak Kadman, Director of the Israel Center for the Child, said on Army Radio that there is a double standard here. If there had been an allegation of bribery of a judge, the system would have quickly taken action to investigate. However, because it is "only" an allegation of child abuse, they have blocked the investigation.
Latest: The AG has now permitted the police access to interview the Judge.
2. In the Rav Moty Elon child sex abuse case, the prosecution has reduced the charge sheet, due to the unwillingness of one of the alleged victims to testify in court.
3. In the UK, Rabbi Chaim Halpern plus three unnamed men were arrested.
This follows months of allegations by up to 30 women/girls that they had been sexually abused by Rav Halpern during his 'counselling' sessions.
During the period between the allegations surfacing and the arrests, various rabbonim tried to 'deal with' the allegations, including establishing a board of enquiry.
Meanwhile, Rav Halpern tried to shut-up the blogs, by obtaining a court order that Google reveal the IP's and identities of the anonymous bloggers and commenters.
4. In a related story, Rav Halpern's Rosh Beit Din, Rav Padwa was featured in a documentary recently about child-abuse cover-ups in the orthodox community. He was covertly videoed telling a victim of child abuse not to report to the police.
Rumour has it that Rav Padwa will himself be called in to the British police to be investigated.
All these cases show a trend, that child protection has become a priority issue - and the idea that certain important individuals are beyond the law, is no longer being tolerated.