The extradition court decision to release Malka Leifer into house arrest under the custody of Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman, Chief Rabbi of Migdal Ha’emek is now moot. The offer was made by Rabbi Grossman on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, and accepted by the extradition judge, Ran Vinoger, on the spot. However, it was put on hold by Supreme Court Justice George Karas’ injunction, pending review. Now the offer is withdrawn, eliminating that possibility.
The court, will now continue the three-year-long process of deciding on the Australian extradition request based on charges of 74 counts of abusing girls at the Adaas Yisroel school in Melbourne. It will now return to addressing her mental fitness to participate in the process. For over three years, the court has accepted her attorney’s claim that she suffered from mental illness that made it impossible. However, that claim was demolished by investigations showing she was faking illness and was quite able and active. Hearings will resume later in the month.
Below is the statement issued yesterday night (3/11/18) by Rabbi Grossman withdrawing his offer to host her under house arrest.
Last night, I notified the courts that I am completely withdrawing my involvement in the case of Malka Leifer, and my recommendation that she be placed under house arrest with my supervision.
For more than fifty years I have devoted myself to helping thousands of children who have been abandoned, orphaned or abused as well as those living in the forgotten margins of Israeli society. In addition, I have gone into the prisons to help those who need to be reached out to. My focus and the focus of Migdal Ohr will always be to help and heal Israeli society.
At times, I have been called upon by the courts and the Government to act as impartial mediator when no other alternative exists. This was the case with this last request. In these difficult and highly charged situations, I have had to find a balance between my life’s goals for Migdal Ohr and the needs of Israeli society.
I am very sensitive to the pain and plight of children and adults who are abused, as I see it every day in my work at Migdal Ohr. It is regretful that the current turmoil has in any way called into question that mission and dedication.
Kudos to the activists, funders, and editorial writers who exerted the pressure on R. Grossman that got him to withdraw his offer, in spite of his past record of sheltering/defending other alleged or convicted sex abusers such as Rabbis Morcechai (Motti) Elon, Eliezer Berland, and Ben Zion Sobel.