“The reputations of the Israeli justice system and the executive arm of government have been sullied”

January 1, 2020 by J-Wire News Service
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The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has written to Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu appealing to him to reconsider the appointment of Rabbi Yaakov Litzman as Minister of Health who is under investigation for blocking the extradition of alleged child sexual abuser Malka Leifer.

Rabbi Yaakov Litzman

The letter to Benjamin Netanyahu was signed by EACJ president Jillian Segal and co-CEOs Peter Wertheim and Alex Ryvchin.

The letter reads: “We write to express our deep concern about the approval by the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday, 29 December of the appointment of Yaakov Litzman to the position of Minister for Health.

As you are aware, Mr Litzman is currently under investigation for unlawfully seeking to block the extradition to Australia of Malka Leifer, a former principal of a Jewish girls school in Melbourne. Ms Leifer is facing 74 counts of child sexual abuse while serving in that position.

The allegations made against Mr Litzman include fraud and breach of trust and the Israeli police have recommended that Mr Litzman be indicted. The allegations of executive interference in the judicial process by Mr Litzman in support of Ms Leifer unavoidably raise grave questions about the integrity of the handling of her case in Israel while Mr Litzman remains in any government position.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, as the elected, peak representative body of the Australian Jewish community, with some 200 major Jewish organisations under its umbrella, has raised the issue of Malka Leifer’s extradition with the Ambassador of Israel to Australia, with the Foreign Ministry, and with members of the Israeli Parliament, at every opportunity.

Malka Leifer, a former school principal, who is wanted on 74 charges of sexual abuse in Melbourne, Australia, is led out of the Jerusalem District Court. Jerusalem, Jun 14, 2018. Photo by Hillel Maeir/TPS

We have done this because of the profound wrongs that have been involved in Ms Leifer’s evasion of justice in Australia thus far, and the unbearable impact that her alleged crimes have had on girls in her care. Justice demands that Malka Leifer be extradited to face her accusers in open court. Basic decency dictates that the psychological torment inflicted on these girls should be a paramount consideration for ministers of the State of Israel when evaluating whether Mr Litzman is fit to join them in the Cabinet.

In promoting Mr Litzman while he remains under investigation and the case of Malka Leifer remains unresolved, the trauma of the victims has been compounded and the reputations of the Israeli justice system and the executive arm of government have been sullied.

We need not point out the strength of the bond between the Australian Jewish community and the State of Israel. This will have been evident to you from your visit to Australia in 2017. However, the deplorable manner in which the case of Malka Leifer has been handled, the denial of justice to her victims and the incomprehensible lengths to which members of the Israeli Government have apparently gone in aid of a woman who is alleged to have devastated the lives of her fellow Jews, have without question, caused immense distress among Jewish Australians and Israel’s many friends in the wider Australian community who expect better given Israel’s reputation as a country which respects the rule of domestic and international law.

We urge the Israeli Government to reconsider the appointment of Mr Litzman.”


One Response to ““The reputations of the Israeli justice system and the executive arm of government have been sullied””
  1. ben kurzer says:

    In view of the great injustice done to the victims in the case of Malka LEIFER by prolonging the
    blocking of her extradition to Australia to face justice we feel that the only way to force the Israeli government to take action after so many years
    of inaction would be to withhold money usually sent to Israel until such time as justice is done.
    This is a drastic step as much as we do not like it, but seems to be in our opinion the only way to get any action in the matter.

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