Israel’s National Council for the Child asked Interior Minister Silvan Shalom to act to prevent dangerous convicted sex offenders from immigrating to Israel, something the government was supposed be doing anyway but frequently wasn't – especially when the molesters in question are haredim.
Above: Jason "Yona" Weinberg
National Council For The Child Asks Government To Bar Dangerous Child Molestors From Immigrating To Israel
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Israel’s National Council for the Child asked Interior Minister Silvan Shalom to act to prevent dangerous convicted sex offenders from immigrating to Israel, the Times of Israel reported based on a report in the Israeli daily paper Yedioth Ahronoth.
Yedioth Ahronoth reported late last week that a convicted Level 3 sex offender from the US, Jason “Yonah” Weinberg, who had made aliyah from Brooklyn to Israel last year with his family, was suing Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz for defamation after Horowitz notified residents of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof that Weinberg had been convicted of the molestation of two children and was wanted in the US for allegedly physically assaulting one of them after his release.
“This incident again raises our concerns (which we have already brought to the attention of your predecessor) regarding the question of pre-screening before awarding citizenship or residency status,” Kadman wrote to Shalom, noting that the Law of Return allows the Interior Ministry to block entry to anyone considered a danger to the public. “Israel cannot and must not be a safe haven for sex offenders,” Kadman said.
Israel does not have a public registry of sex offenders and takes few (if any) steps to warn the public when sex offenders who are at a high risk of re-offending move to a neighborhood or return home from prison.
Weinberg’s aliyah and efforts of a small number of Anglo haredim in the primarily haredi neighborhood of Har Nof to warn the public were first reported by FailedMessiah and anti-child-sex-abuse websites many months ago after Weinberg moved to Israel.
Nefesh B’Nefesh, the American-based heavily Orthodox Jewish organization that helps Jews immigrate to Israel helped Weinberg’s wife and children make aliyah – something FailedMessiah.com also reported at the time. Weinberg himself took a different flight to Israel and immediately rejoined his family there.
In response to the media coverage of the Weinberg lawsuit against Horowitz and Kadman’s letter to Interior Minister Shalom, the Interior Ministry reportedly confirmed Israel’s open-door immigration policy for Diaspora Jews does not include people deemed to be dangerous to the public. Each aliyah case involving convicted criminals would be looked at, the ministry said.
Israel has a long history of sheltering Orthodox and haredi sex offenders from abroad, from the notorious accused child rapist haredi Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz – who was repeatedly sheltered by Israeli governments and courts after fleeing to Israel in 1984 at the urging of haredi rabbis, allegedly including Chabad’s Shea Hecht, only hours before police swarmed his Brooklyn home in a failed bid to arrest him – to Yona Weinberg.
But recently, Israel has begun to occasionally extradite or deport offenders – like, for example, Rabbi Todros Grynhaus, who is now serving a long prison sentence in Great Britain for his crimes. (However, Grynhaus entered Israel on a false passport, which greatly contributed to his deportation.)
However, other better connected Diaspora alleged sex criminals still remain in Israel, including Malka Leifer, who is wanted in Australia for a string of rapes and molestations of young teen girls who were her students at the Adass Israel haredi girls school in Melbourne. Leifer was principal of the school until the school’s board helped her flee the country in 2008 when told of her alleged sex abuse of children.
Australia asked for Leifer's extradition several years later after victims willing to press charges came forward to police. Leifer is confined to modified house arrest in the haredi town of Immanuel as she continues to fight that requested extradition.