One of the two central witnesses in a case of alleged indecent assault against prominent
national-religious leader Rabbi Moti Elon gave testimony on Tuesday in the
Jerusalem District Court.
Elon, formerly the dean of the renowned
national-religious institute Yeshivat Hakotel in the Old City of Jerusalem, was
charged with five counts of indecent assault and indecent assault by force in
November 2012. He strenuously denies the charges.
The two witnesses,
known as Aleph and Bet, claim separately that Elon touched, kissed and stroked
them in an inappropriate manner in private meetings they held with the rabbi.
The incidents in question date back to 2003 and 2005.
Because of the
sensitive nature of the allegations the testimony of the two main witnesses is
being conducted behind closed doors without media access. Elon denies the
allegations against him and has said that nothing he did had any sexual
The rabbi’s supporters argue that he was
accustomed to giving warm hugs to many of his students and that the incidents in
the meetings with the two witnesses were misinterpreted.
associate of Elon’s previously told that anyone who knows him would recognize
that this is how the rabbi has acted with thousands of people who have sought
his advice and friendship.
“Everyone who knows Rabbi Elon and his body
language and reads the accusations thinks it’s ridiculous,” the aide said. “He
hugged me at my wedding under the huppa. He is very warm and this is how he
The rabbi’s associates claim that the allegations,
originally brought against Elon by the Takana Forum, are politically motivated
and stem from his opposition to positions held by other national-religious
rabbis on issues of national security, particularly the disengagement from Gaza
Elon was opposed to calls for national-religious soldiers
involved in the evacuation of settlements in the Strip to refuse
Takana was established by leading figures of the
national-religious community to combat harassment and initially brought the
allegations against the rabbi to light.