The most important Zionist Orthodox rabbi in Israel, Haim Druckman, has again defended sex abuser Rabbi Mordechai Elon. But this time Druckman – who has a history of defending and enabling pedophiles and harassing victims – did so only days after Elon was convicted of molesting a minor who came to him for help in a time of crisis.
Leading Zionist Orthodox Rabbi Says Conviction Of Sex Abuser Rabbi Mordechai Elon Was A “Mistake,” Says Elon Will Continue To Teach In Yeshiva, Despite Law Banning It
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The most important Zionist Orthodox rabbi in Israel, Haim Druckman, has again defended sex abuser Rabbi Mordechai Elon. But this time Druckman – who has a history of defending and enabling pedophiles and harassing victims – did so only days after Elon was convicted of molesting a minor who came to him for help in a time of crisis, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Thursday, just after Elon was sentenced to a long term of probation and community service rather than prison time, Member of Knesset Shelly Yacimovich of the Labor Party asked Minister of Education Rabbi Shai Piron and Minister of Internal Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch to uphold the law that bans people convicted of sexual crimes from working in a school or educational institution where minors are present and ban Elon ffrom teaching in most yeshivas.
Speaking with Arutz Sheva radio on Sunday, Druckman again attempted to minimize Elon’s behavior and said he intended to continue to allow Elon to teach in the yeshiva, Or Etzion, Druckman heads.
“[I]fully believed the rabbi. I don’t believe there is anything in his Torah lessons that is not kosher, there is no reason not to learn from him or listen to Torah lessons from him,” Druckman said, going on to accuse the court of erring in convicting his friend.
“At the end of the day, we’re talking about an incident in which two people were in the room, Rabbi Elon and the complainant. There was no one in the room apart from them. This person claims one thing, which the other denies. There’s no other testimony [on this incident]. Who says the claim is true? No one knows what happened in the room and no one can know. This is why I saw the ruling as a mistake. [Elon] is a warm person who hugs people and for sure people who have problems, he brings them close. Maybe people will say this is ok or not ok, but it is nothing more than this,” Druckman said.
Several years ago, the Zionist Orthodox Takana Forum knows about several victims of Elon and heard direct testimony from an undisclosed number of them. It found Elon was unsuitable to teach and forced Elon to accept a ban. But only a few months after quitting his job as rosh yeshiva (dean) of the Zionist Orthodox flagship yeshiva Yeshivat HaKotel and moving to a small town far from Jerusalem, Elon resumed teaching. That eventually led to the criminal charges against him.
There were originally two victims in this criminal case against Elon who claimed Elon had sexually abused them. But one of those victims dropped out after he and his family were harassed by powerful Elon supporters and police did nothing to protect them.
Additionally, a social worker identified only by the Hebrew initial “Mem” testified at trial that in 2002 s/he saw Elon fondle and kiss a minor male who was not part of the criminal case in his car. The judge found the social worker’s testimony believable and credible and was especially impressed with the contemporaneous notes she made about the incident at the time it took place.
Another witness, referred to by the Hebrew initial “Shin,” testified at trial that Elon had sexually abused him/her in a similar manner to how Elon abused the victim in the case. The judge also found Shin’s testimony believable and credible and found the victim’s testimony to believable and credible, as well, adding that “the possibility that three people created a criminal connection between themselves to falsely libel the accused is not in anyway believable.”
Along with all of that evidence, some members of the Takana Forum who heard evidence against Elon in a Takana Forum proceeding several years ago have said publicly that the evidence against him then was overwhelming and that Elon’s abuse went far past simple fondling and kissing.
Despite all this evidence and halakha’s (Jew law’s) own procedure that allows and even mandates a beit din (Jewish religious law court) to act with common sense, follow its gut instinct and imprison or take other measures to stop a criminal who hurts other people in what Druckman would call a “he said, she said” situation, Druckman – and Israel Prize winner – has continued to thumb his nose at the court, at Takana, and at Elon’s victims.
Before he was awarded the Israel prize, Druckman protected another pedophile, Rabbi Ze'ev Kopolovich, teaching at a school under Druckman’s control, failed to report that pedophile-rabbi to police, and harassed Kopolovich’s victims.
Police found out about the abuse another way and arrested Kopolovich, who was then put on trial, convicted and sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.
For years, Druckman refused to apologize for his role in covering up for Kopolovich and has never really admitted that he did anything wrong – although he did issue a very weak apology after it was announced that he would be given the Israel Prize but before the ceremony awarding it took place.