Rabbi Eliezer Berland, the 77-year-old head of Beslov’s Shuvu Banim sect who has been on an almost two-year flight from justice, says there is no way he could have raped and sexually abused several female followers in Jerusalem because he’s been impotent for 27 years.
Above: Rabbi Eliezer Berland under arrest in Zimbabwe earlier this year
I Couldn’t Have Raped Those Women, I’m Impotent! Breslov Hasidic Sect Leader Claims
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Rabbi Eliezer Berland, the 77-year-old head of Beslov’s Shuvu Banim sect who has been on an almost two-year flight from justice, says there is no way he could have raped and sexually abused several female followers in Jerusalem.
Because, Berland claims, he’s been impotent for 27 years since he was 50-years-old.
Berland, whose alleged sexual molestations of female followers allegedly included a 15-year-old victim, also claims he isn’t on a two-year flight from justice. Instead, Berland says that he simply chose not to show up at police headquarters for questioning.
Berland made these claims in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 News set to air tonight.
Berland also said he was shocked when he was arrested in the Netherlands last week on an international arrest warrant.
"I came off the plane, and five policemen took me and they told me I was under arrest,” Berland said, comparing the experience to Alice in Wonderland – even though he had previously been forced out of Morocco, deported from Zimbabwe after being arrested there, and twice evading arrest in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he remained in hiding before flying to Amsterdam.
Berland also scoffed at the sex abuse complaints against him.
“I want to have more complaints. I’m sorry there are so few,” Berland said.
"No woman comes to me without a father, without a mother or…without three gabaim [attendants],” Berland added. "There is no such thing as I get a [access to a] woman [alone] like that. I raped? I was in bed with her? All a lie. I have no potency at all, from the age of 50 I have not had sexual relations with my wife and not even with a stranger. Now delusional people come and say I raped a woman? Where is this woman?,” Berland – who has often been accused of being delusional and mentally ill, continued.
As for why he fled from country to country to country for almost two years, Berland insisted it had nothing to do with fleeing justice. Instead, it was all about combatting assimilation and raising up fallen holy sparks.
"I have a mission in the world to stop assimilation. Scandinavia has a 70% assimilation, here [in Amsterdam] it is 50%,” Berland said.
Berlan’s right-hand man, Yoram Yamini, claimed Israeli police have no evidence against Berland and the sect and Berland’s Israeli attorney, who is now with Berland in the Netherlands, championed his release on bail by a Dutch court Friday as proof of that.
Israel’s Ministry of Justice says it is in the process of filing a formal extradition request for Berland with the Netherlands – which is said to mean the prosecution has enough evidence to file charges against Berland on his return to Israel.
[Hat Tip: Joel Katz.]