Ben Gurion Airport – Hasidic Rabbi Extradited, Arrested Upon Arrival In Israel

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    Ultra orthoodx jewish men gather to pray during a demonstration in support of Rabbi Eliezer Berland before his arrival to the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, on July 19, 2016. Rabbi Berland left Israel to South Africa while he was suspected and under investigation for sexual assualt on women in his community. He was jailed in South Africa and is expected to be immediately arrested upon his arrival in Tel Aviv. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 *Ben Gurion Airport – Fugitive Rabbi Eliezer Berland was arrested on Tuesday morning by the Israel Police at Ben Gurion Airport on suspicion of sex offenses. The arrest was made possible after South African authorities approved an extradition request filed by Israel three years ago.

    “The completion of the extradition process this morning is a further expression of the work and professionalism of the Israeli police, prosecution, and law enforcement agencies around the world, which go beyond territorial frontiers,” said a spokesperson for the Israel Police after the arrest.

    Rabbi Berland, 80, fled Israel in February, 2013 seven months after the police began investigating allegations that he had sexually harassed and sexually assaulted several women.

    Members of Berland’s entourage were allowed to greet him at the airport and released a statement praising the police for their handling of the arrest.

    “The policemen behaved wonderfully and treated the rabbi with respect and care due to his medical situation and exhaustion from the flight,” the statement said. “Rabbi Berland is pleased to return to Israel and would like to thank the Israeli police for their sensitivity over the last 24 hours.”

    Rabbi Berland is affiliated with the Breslov Hasidic school of ultra-Orthodox Judaism and used to head the Shuvu Banim Yeshiva in Haifa. The allegations against him were made public in July, 2012, and the police began an investigation during which at least four women described how their spiritual leader had sexually harassed them.

    Since his escape from the country, the Israeli police and Foreign Ministry have continuously attempted to locate and extradite Rabbi Berland to Israel in order to press charges against him. Formal extradition requests were filed to the relevant authorities in the various countries he visited during his three years abroad.

    Following stints in the US, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and after being expelled from Morocco and Zimbabwe, Rabbi Berland settled in South Africa. He was arrested on June 30 by South African authorities who had acceded to Israel’s extradition request. He was flown back to Israel where he was arrested on Tuesday morning and taken for questioning.

    The investigation is being monitored by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office, and formal legal proceedings are expected to begin against Rabbi Berland shortly.
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    28 COMMENTS

    1. The criminal charges against him mean nothing, right? I mean, he’s chareidi, a talmud chochum and such a tzaddik…so we should demonstrate to support the predator, right?

      • Totally agree. This charlatan, who was seen going to court in tallit & Tefillin, is a first degree creep. What’s worse is he hides behind his cult status & uses his “chassidim” for his own ends. I wonder how many of them will frei out when they eventually realize this “talmud chacham & Tzaddik” is nothing but a fraud & a womanizer.

    2. You have no idea who this is. I have known him for more then 15 years I have never met a bigger tzadik. Because you dont know its better to keep quiet.Stop deciding what is a chilul Hashem. Hashem judges not people who have such limited understanding with whom we are dealing. I just humbled to know him.

    3. No need to defame him, he’s obviously a great and learned man, who didn’t stand up to his temptations, let’s hope that he learned his lesson now,and hopefully his punishment won’t be so harsh considering his age. And to all his fanatic members they are doing him more bad than good by creating all this publicity,

    4. Excuse me all but it is not right to judge someone before his trial. Who says the story is true? Lets see what his defense is. Maybe he is being set up by his enemies.

    5. How many countries did he flee to? Innocent yids don’t flee…..they hire the most expensive attorneys in the world and fight!!! The dozens of women and little kids must have all lied.

    6. Believing accusations against a Jew is a grave violation of kabalas loshan hora. Attempting to strengthen rumors that stigmatize a Jew if done repeatedly classifies the rumor spreader as a rosha. In this particular case, for the first 75 years or so of his life, there were no claims against him of abuse, suddenly at 75 years because of some rumors that some unknown women theoretically made some vague claims, people think it’s okay to uproot his cheskas kosherous, and believe rumors that sound preposterous???!!! Or because the Israeli police have issued a warrant for his arrest (to question him concerning the accusations) that legitimizes believing that the accusations must be true???!!! The media has presented no evidence, or even claims of evidence. The only basis of this mud slinging party is hatred of observant Jews. The people sponsoring the mud slinging are less human than sewage bacteria.

    7. He will be released even if guilty like all the paedophiles who fled to Israel after their cubes and are offered sanctuary there. Worst Chillul Hashem when a religion and country appears to condone paedophilia.

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