The head of the Zionist Federation of Australia has denounced the expected appointment of Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman to full health minister as “a slap in the face” to the Australian Jewish community, the Australian public, and the victims of alleged pedophile Malka Leifer. ZFA President Jeremy Leibler called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to promote Litzman and said that doing so would “send a terrible message to the Australian people.” He also pointed out the staunch support of the Australian government and the Australian Jewish community has demonstrated for Israel on numerous issues. In August this year, the police recommended Litzman be indicted on charges of witness tampering, fraud and breach of trust in connection with the Leifer case, who is wanted for sexual abuse and rape of pupils in the ultra-Orthodox school she taught at in Melbourne Australia.Litzman denies the charges and says he assisted Leifer as he has other members of the public who have turned to him for help. The lengthy delays and extended duration of the extradition proceedings against Leifer has generated anger in the Australian Jewish community and extreme disappointment from her alleged victims. “We are proud of the fact that Australian governments of all political persuasions have demonstrated moral leadership and defended and supported Israel on the international stage,” wrote Leibler in an open letter to Netanyahu, noting that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has recently spoken out against the International Criminal Court ’s decision to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes.He also noted Netanyahu’s comments when on a visit to Australia in 2017 that Israel has “no better friend than Australia.”“Recent reports that you intend to recommend to Cabinet that Yaakov Litzman be appointed as Health Minister are a slap in the face to the Australian Jewish Community, the Australian people, the community of Australian olim in Israel and most shockingly to the survivors of Malka Leifer’s alleged abuse,” continued Leibler. “Prime Minister, friendship must go both ways. The Australian Jewish Community is regarded as one of the strongest and most Zionist communities in the world. Israel is at the centre of our schools, synagogues, community centres and youth movements. Our aliya rate is amongst the highest in the western world and our community of olim living in Israel amongst the strongest supporters of the Zionist cause in Israel. Neither the Jewish community nor the Australian people, nor the community of Australian olim deserve to be treated this way.”Leibler said that Litzman was entitled to the presumption of innocence but that promoting him to full minister when he faces a severe indictment for undue interference in the Leifer case “sends a terrible message to the Australian people and most importantly to the survivors of Malka Leifer’s alleged abuse.”A spokesman for the prime minister did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Campaigners against sexual abuse in the Jewish community have also condemned the expected appointment. Meyer Seewald, head of the Jewish Community Watch organization, said making Litzman full minister would be “a slap in the face to every survivor of child sexual abuse,” and stated that someone of his [Litzman’s] character should be a pariah - not elevated to one of the most respected and influential positions in the Jewish State.”Head of the Kol V’Oz anti-abuse organizatio Manny Waks described Litzman’s pending appointment as “an affront to Leifer’s alleged victims & an affront to Australia,” adding “Political opportunism trumps human decency. Netanyahu and Israel should be ashamed.”Litzman, who is chairman of the United Torah Judaism party, was full health minister from 2015 to 2017, but resigned in protest at state-sanctioned infrastructure construction and maintenance on Shabbat. Netanyahu took on the title of health minister, while Litzman took back his old title of deputy minister, but remained in full charge of the ministry. Since Netanyahu himself has been indicted he is required to resign from his ministerial portfolios, including health minister.It is believed that Litzman will be appointed health minister on Sunday. Malka Leifer worked as a teacher and principal at the Adas Israel School in Melbourne, Australia from 2000 to 2008. She fled the country back to Israel in 2008 when allegations of sexual abuse came to light against her, and has claimed to be mentally unfit for trial ever since extradition proceedings were initiated against her in 2014. According to the police charges, Litzman allegedly threatened officials in his ministry, warning them that if they did not write psychiatric opinions demonstrating she was unfit for trial they would be fired.