Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Ultra-jewish cult help accused child-molester escape justice

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-03-16

An ultra-ultra-orthodox Jewish school council in Melbourne has conspired to assist a probably child-molesting school principal escape justice.  Will those complicit be held to account in our courts, or will they be treated with kid gloves, not labelled "cult" the same way other ultra-looney Judaeo-Christian groups seem to escape the label and avoid prosecution?

The Adass community in Melbourne has many things in common with the Exclusive Brethren, who are getting away with mere electoral irregularities.  The group even shuns contact with normal orthodox jews, prevents girls from working or entering tertiary education until they are married, refuses to engage with the wider community, and has all the hallmarks of a dangerous cult.

For those outside Victoria who might have missed it, here’s a potted summary of what’s been happening…

  • For years it seems the female principal of the cult’s girls school has been molesting students.
  • In such a close community, it’s likely that the school board has been aware of it for some time.
  • When the principal was brought before the board a few days ago, she resigned, and fled for Israel, with the board paying for the plane ticket.
  • There are claims that Mrs Leifer left Australia with up to $100,000 borrowed from a family in the community two days before she flew to Israel
  • A police spokesperson said the force "was aware of the claims", but does not indicate whether they were informed by the school or community, or whether they learnt about it from journalists.
  • Addas community spokesmen said "appropriate bodies" were informed, but would not confirm that they had contacted police, suggesting that they are still trying to keep it in house.

If you or I knew of a child-molester, and helped them escape justice, what would happen to us?  This seems worse than driving the getaway car for a bank-robber who didn’t actually hurt anyone physically.

Will the police seek an extradition warrant from Israel, and how vigorously will they pursue it?  Will Interpol be involved as they are with other international child abusers?

Will action be taken to free children, especially girls, from an oppressive cult that forces them to marry young before they can pursue their education?

Will the tabloids smear the non-ultra-ultra-extremists of the Jewish community just like they do the Islamic community?

Now, I’m not for smearing non-extremists in any particular religion because of a minority of nutters, but this Addas community has gone too far.  They have all of the characteristics of a dangerous cult, including the oppression of young people, probably after life-long brainwashing.  Should we be rescuing these children, and unbrainwashing them?

This group wants nothing to do with either the Australian community at large, nor even with the general Jewish community.  Unfortunately, with only 150 families, it won’t be possible to get an undercover cop infiltrating the organization like there have been for mosques.

Thankfully, other conservative Jewish groups (some would say very conservative if not Zionist), have been reporting the outrages.  I never thought I’d be tipping my hat to Australian Jewish News, for instance!

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5 Responses to “Ultra-jewish cult help accused child-molester escape justice”

  1. A very disturbing case. Israel does have an extradition treaty with Australia, but doesn’t extradite its own citizens.

    It seems scandalous that this has been covered up, and it appears that the school paid the woman to flee the country after sacking her. I feel sorry for the poor girls who allegedly suffered at the hands of this woman. She should have been reported to the police, the allegations should have been properly investigated and she should face the proper operation of the law, like anyone else.

    That’s the problem with closed, small societies: they create the kind of environment where something like this can happen for years, and when it is uncovered, the society is more concerned to preserve its own cohesion and reputation than it is to help the victims. Doesn’t seem like a very holy kind of attitude to me.

  2. Incidentally, don’t conflate “Zionism” with “conservative Judaism”. The two are quite different. Zionist means a believer in the state of Israel, conservative Jewish means an observant follower of Judaic law. But the two do not necessarily go hand in hand. An orthodox Jew is not necessarily Zionist. And many non-observant Jews are very strong supporters of the State of Israel.

    Some ultra-Orthodox Jews are actually anti-Zionist. Satmar Hassidic Jews, for example, who would qualify as ultra-Orthodox, are anti-Zionist, and see the present troubles in the Middle East as evidence that the actions of the Zionists are not right. There’s another movement which I can’t recall, but its members have meetings with some extremist Arab groups who protest against the formation of Israel.

    Adassniks are not participants in mainstream Zionism, but I think they still support the State of Israel. Nevertheless, they do not contribute to the Jewish National Fund or anything of the sort because it would mean that they’d have to pitch in with the Reform Jews.

  3. Dave Bath said

    Your absolutely right. Its like trying to describe politics in terms of right and left wing – brevity and accuracy pull in opposite directions, and balance between the two is difficult. However, there is a correlation between the two, though of course there are exceptions (a bit like some who rightly consider themselves environmentalists are pro-nuclear power and/or believe big business has more hope of solving climate change issues than governments).

    The Jewish National Fund bit you mention is significant: from my reading it’s not so much the the idea of “pitching in” as “sitting down at the same table” with reformists that offends the Adassniks. This is another example of the characteristics of small closed societies, a class that worries both of us.

  4. […] Mind you, those groups that also only marry within their own clique across geographic boundaries, often by marriages that are at least semi-arranged for many decades if not centuries will look to SNP profiling as if they all came from the same street!  (This is when you think about groups like the ultra-orthodox Jewish group Addas, although in that case, any excuse to turf them all out of the country is a good one.) […]

  5. […] Malka Leifer and those that helped her escape justice been pursued by the authorities, even though the bulk of her wider Jewish community were […]

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