Above: Rabbi Eliezer Berland in handcuffs in Zimbabwe in 2014
Report: Hasidic “Sex Fiend” Rabbi Hiding On Small Carribean Island, Hasidim Claim
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Rabbi Eliezer Berland, the head of the Shuvu Banim Breslov hasidic sect, is allegedly living on a remote island in the Caribbean, Behadrei Haredim reported today.
Berland jumped bail and likely fled Holland two weeks ago after exhausting all attempts to block his extradition to Israel, where he has been wanted for more than two years for allegedly sexually abusing several female followers, most of them young married women but at least one an underage teen girl.
Berland is supposedly now on Petit Tobacco Island, a small island in the Tobago Cays, which are in turn a part of the island chain that makes up the nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. St. Vincent and the Grenadines (also known simply as St. Vincent) is part of the Lesser Antilles Island arc of the southern portion of the Windward Islands located at the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea where it joins the Atlantic Ocean. Martinique lies to St. Vincent’s north, Grenada lies to its south. The Tobago Cays are not part of Trinidad and Tobago.
Berland is allegedly holed up on Petit Tobacco Island with a few close followers and his gabbaim (assistants).
According to Beharei Haredim, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has no extradition treaty with Israel and is known from granting asylum and citizenship to individuals if certain (unnamed) conditions are met.
There are no flights to any of the Tobago Cays, and it takes multiple flights to reach the capital of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. From there, Petit Tobacco Island is reachable – but only by boat. Nevertheless, hundreds of Breslov hasidim are now expected to pay almost $4,000 to travel there to live.
Berland and his top aides reportedly seem to believe Israel will now give up trying to return him to Israel for trial.
Berland expelled from several countries including Morocco and Zimbabwe, twice narrowly escaped arrest in South Africa, and spent almost a year on restrictive bail release after being arrested in Holland just before Rosh Hashana 2014. He has jumped bail, allegedly used false passports, and openly lied to a Dutch court when he falsely claimed to be a Holocaust survivor (he isn’t; Berland was born in Mandatory Palestine and spent the entire war there, not in Europe or any other area that was in Nazi control). The media in Zimbabwe and South Africa took to calling Berland the “sex pest” and the “sex fiend” rabbi, and headlines identifying him that way were published worldwide.
Despite all this, not one top haredi rabbi has spoken out against him.