The ban against the haredi news site Vos Iz Neias, first reported here, appears to be the work of cronies of Vito Lopez, the disgraced Brooklyn politician who worked closely with the Catholic Church, Satmar and Agudath Israel of America to block passage of the Child Victims Act, a bill that would have helped root out pedophiles in yeshivas, camps and religious schools.
The claim is that Shimon Weiser, a Satmar hasid connected to the Zalman Leib faction of Satmar, who is closely linked to Rabbi David Niederman, the powerful head of the Williamsburg-based UJO community organization, instigated the ban with Niedrman's backing as revenge against VIN, because VIN published New York Daily News articles that exposed Lopez corruption.
The backstory here is that the person who wrote that 5TJT story called me and asked me about my report – the first published report – that Weiser was behind the ban. He was driving in a car, had heard that I named the ban's instigator, and wanted to know details. He asked me to read the report to him. I did:
Shimon Weiser from Williamsburg is allegedly the man behind the ban. He allegedly works for the Zalman Leib faction of Satmar.
According to a source, Weiser is supposedly “obsessed with tznius [modesty issues], and is a known fanatic. He's always busy with such things as bans etc.”
Weiser’s brother is Moshe Weiser, an NYPD Liason, and former Williamsburg Shomrim member. He was kicked out of Shomrim for various unstated reasons.
Weiser also has another brother, Benjamin Weiser, the owner of Fidelity, the credit card processing company. Fidelity has advertised on VIN for years.
Then the 5TJT writer asked me about Lopez. I told him I had heard that Lopez-related revenge was behind the ban, but I could not prove it. So, even though I believed it to be true, I hadn't yet reported it.
The 5TJT writer took that information and wrote his story – all without citing me.
At any rate, the idea that Weiser instigated the ban as revenge for VIN's re-posting of stories done by mainstream media that exposed Lopez corruption appears to be true.
Niederman is close to Lopez and they did work closely together to block passage of the Child Victims Act, and weiser is said to be very close to Niederamn and close to Lopez, as well.
But VIN also does some re-posting of other's stories of sexual abuse in the haredi community, including Satmar. VIN often sanitizes those stories, removing names and key facts, but it posts them nonetheless. And it has done some reporting on its own related to this issue. All of this angers Niederman and Satmar leadership, hence the ban.
So far this week we've seen the ban against VIN, a prominent National Religious rabbi in Israel telling his followers not to read talkbacks and comments on Websites they visit, and a ban issued by leading haredi rabbis in Israel banning listening to any radio station, even stations that broadcast 'kosher' programming.
I think this means rabbis know they are losing control of their communities and are acting out of desperation to stop it.