Knesset vote 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Knesset members from the Committee for the Rights of the Child expressed
their outrage on Tuesday that a year-and- a-half after the largest
pedophilia case in Jerusalem was uncovered, many of the suspects were
still at large and coming into daily contact with their victims.
committee held a special discussion about the pedophilia case that
rocked a small, insular Jerusalem neighborhood this past year:
More than a dozen perpetrators abused at least 100 children, starting as
early as 2006.
Five men in their 40s and 50s were arrested in September, but police are still investigating additional claims of abuse.
“This scandal rocked our very foundations,” said MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism), who initiated the discussion.
of all, despite the fact that the affair was exposed a year-and-a-half
ago, some of the criminals are still at large and live next door to the
victims. Right next to the victims! The children have no way to
rehabilitate as long as fear is reigning in their lives,” he said during
The discussion, which was not open to the media,
included heartbreaking testimony from parents of the victims, according
to a statement released after the meeting by the committee.
a mother of eight – four of whom were abused – said that an
eight-year-old girl had testified that she was forced to watch the rape
of a two-yearold girl, and that the men told the children that they
would burn them alive if they ever spoke about what happened.
“A two-year-old girl used to scream ‘dog, dog!’ for an entire year,” she told the committee.
one could figure out why, until it turned out that one of the men used
to bring a dog that was larger than the children to the house and told
the children that the dog would kill them if they told anyone what
She added that two weeks after her son finished 12
hours of testimony for the investigators, she was walking with him to
the school bus when he suddenly stopped. “That’s the man,” he told her.
does he have to meet them? What can I answer him, after he’s already
given 12 hours of testimony to the investigators? Never before has there
been this level of cooperation between the police and the haredi
public, and yet the child continues to meet his abuser,” she told the
Police Chief Superintendent Shmuel Ben-Amos said that a special
investigative team was set up to investigate the widespread abuse, and
that police had taken action to prevent some of the suspects from coming
into contact with their abusers.
Five men were arrested in September, though some have been re-released
to house arrest. One of the men arrested in September had been
previously arrested for similar crimes and was released to house arrest
with an electronic bracelet, but he continued to abuse children while on
Additionally, police stepped up patrols in the neighborhood, said
Ben-mos. “We do not believe that this is organized crime,” Ben-Amos told
the committee. “There are a lot of victims but everyone seemed to be
MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi), the chairman of the committee,
instructed the police and the Jerusalem Municipality to report back in
one month to ensure action had been taken to separate the abusers from
their victims and the progress of the investigation to identify more