Friday, February 22, 2013
Haredi Sexual Abusers Can't Hide
The police action almost certainly came after a tip-off from the Haredi community, which marks a distinct betrayal of the ultra-Orthodox to not be a mosser – one who gives a fellow Jew up to the authorities. But any so-called mossers could in turn say that it was Halpern who went to the authorities first.
A few weeks ago, Halpern persuaded the High Court to issue an order against Google, ordering the search-engine behemoth to release the names of those who had commented publicly against him on a blog.
It is much too early for predictions about how big this case will get. But one thing is clear: The days of solving sexual abuse or other problems within the confines of the community, without the need for police or other professional intervention, are over. British police are not always eager to involve themselves in the matters of tightknit religious communities, and in a number of recent cases they have gotten flak for acting too slow when it comes to sexual abuse among ethnic minorities.
The Haredi community in Britain, as well as in Israel and the United States, is becoming more transparent by the day, despite the rabbis' efforts to contain it. Anyone who believed that a special beit din could have cleared up the issue before the police came calling was obviously deluding himself.