Note two things:
2. The petition is in effect issued in opposition to a rabbinic inquiry done by Takana, the designated forum for such inquiries in the National Religious movement, which found Elon guilty, and disregards police and state's attorneys evidence against Elon.
Also note a problem with these rabbinic student's logic. Sexual predators do not sexually exploit every person they meet. They don't sexually exploit the majority, either. Sexual predators exploit a minority – often a small minority – of the people they come in contact with.
Imagine a rabbi who moonlights as a burglar. He steals from several households in a town of several thousand people. Eventually he is caught, but when he is hundreds of townspeople sign a petition saying that they had never seen the rabbi stealing.
What they've signed is true – they never saw the rabbi steal. But that truth does not mean the rabbi is not a thief. Why? Because the townspeople's truth is limited to what they personally have experienced. They have not seen the evidence or examined victims.
Using the logic of these rabbinic students, the rabbi-burglar would have to be innocent because the only truth is what they have seen with their own eyes.
But this is not how life – or halakha – works.
That these students will one day be rabbis, or may already be rabbis, is truly frightening.
Rabbi Elon students: We never encountered inappropriate behavior
Kobi Nahshoni • Ynet
Hundreds of Mordechai Elon's students signed a petition in which they reject allegations that the rabbi had sexually exploited his students, Ynet has learned.
"During all these years that we had the privilege of studying in the presence of Rabbi Elon we have never encountered any exploitive or inappropriate behavior on his part," the petition read.
Update 10:45 am CDT – Here's a longer version of the Ynet report that confirms my worst suspicions about these students. Note they are specifically rejecting the rabbinic findings against Elon, and are rejecting all related evidence as well, including evidence gathered by police, the state's prosecutor, and the media, and they are doing it with the false logic I outlined above:
Ex-students' petition backs Rabbi Elon
Rabbi accused of sexually abusing students receives support from 300 former underlings
Some 300 former students of Rabbi Mordechai Elon, who has been accused of sexually harassing his underlings, have signed a petition in his favor. The young men say they have never been abused or harassed by the rabbi.
Rabbi Elon is being charged with sexually abusing and committing indecent acts on underage students who sought his advice. The Takana forum, which has been accused of protecting Elon, announced recently that it would soon release the details of the allegations against him.
The forum says it has documents signed by the rabbi, in which he admits to the allegations and accepts sanctions imposed on him by the members – including a prohibition to meet with students.
But the petition, dubbed 'Overt Protest', stands by Elon. "We, who have known Rabbi Elon for many years, cannot be told tall tales," it says.
"We testify that for all these years in which we had the honor of teaching and being taught in Rabbi Elon's vicinity, never have we run into abusive behavior by the rabbi towards his students, neither by sight or sound or even a hint, nor by some complaint lodged by a student."
The petition claims that the main complainant in the affair is mentally unstable and therefore unreliable, especially when such positive testimonies by character witnesses are available.
Three hundred former students have already signed the petition, and its initiators say they will have a thousand signatures by Wednesday afternoon. Among the signatories are most of the rabbis who teach at Horev yeshiva, headed by Elon, and where the abuse allegedly took place.
One of those responsible for the petition is a central figure in religious-Zionism, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner. After advising the religious public to stay out of the affair recently, he told Ynet Wednesday that "any publication on the matter is not good for the people of Israel, and I myself feel that this only merits crying, as in times when a mother and father fight."
Aviner, despite refraining from expressing support for Elon in public, attended his son's wedding two weeks ago.
Update 10-21-10 9:25 am CDT – The Takana Forum has issued a statement that further shows why these rabbinical students should never be emplyed as rabbis:
Takana forum: Rabbi Elon admitted to sex abuse charges
Kobi Nahshoni • Ynet
The Takana forum published a statement Thursday describing the investigation against Rabbi Mordechai Elon, who is suspected of sexually abusing his male students.
The statement says that in July 2005 a married man complained that Elon had harassed him as well as others. The forum says Elon admitted to wrongdoing but claimed mental distress had caused him to perform the acts.