.הרב נפתלי מקלב מישיבת “באר התורה” בירושלים נאשם באונס אחייניותיו. צא”פ הוטל על זהותו
Another day, another gag–broken. This time, the accused is a prominent Israeli ultra-Orthodox Rabbi, Naftali Maklev, accused of raping three nieces, “hundreds of times” over the course of “many years.” One of the victims was 6 years-old when the alleged crimes began. This is according to a report published by Mako, the online news site of TV Channel 2. He is a well-known figure in the Haredi community, a rabbi at the Be’er HaTorah yeshiva. He serves, in what can only be seen as a dark irony, as a spiritual counselor at the school..
Maklev’s name is under the proverbial Israeli gag order, which prevents the Israeli public from knowing the identity of the accused and weighing the gravity and credibility of the charges against him. Pro-Israel commenters on last night’s post which brought news of a prominent judge accused of sexually abusing his daughter, claimed inexplicably that such gag order actually protected the privacy of the child. I find this argument not only utter nonsense, but a shameful breach of our obligation to the victims to ensure neither they nor others suffer such things again.
One of the methods he used to persuade his victims to permit his behavior were false halachic rulings which he invented to justify himself. He told his victims that not only were the sex acts not prohibited, but rather they were mitzvot (or acts approved by God). He further claimed the sex was a form of healing for various ailments which afflicted him and that not only his health, but his life were dependent on them.
This line of thinking is also common to another more prominent accused Israeli sexual predator, Daniel Taub, candidate for a plum foreign ministry assignment. He told investigators that the late night male visitors to his ambassadorial residence in London were “new age healers” meant to help him with various conditions from which he “suffered.”
Maklev allegedly gave the victim several hundred shekels each time he raped her. The money was meant to ease the family precarious financial condition. He reminded her regularly of the financial obligations of her father which he covered, in order to increase her dependence on, and servility to him. Maklev’s behavior continued even after the victim was married and became a mother.
The accused also raped this victim’s sister after the latter became married. He told the second victim that he intended to offer her correct “guidance” in sexual matters and that he did this with the approval of her husband. He told her that she suffered from a case of “nerves” and that his sexual “therapy” was designed to soothe her and improve her family relations. When she told him that she preferred a treatment that involved medication, he warned her she could become addicted, and that their contact was permissible since it happened “within the family.”
The charge sheet also accuses Maklev of exploiting his respected position in the community and his status as a Torah scholar to inveigle himself into the family of his victims. Further, he arranged financial support for the family, which left it vulnerable to his predatory behavior.
Unfortunately, this is behavior all too common in the Orthodox rabbinate. Examples abound of Orthodox rabbis who’ve exploited their respected role in the community to prey on their male and female disciples and followers.
The rabbi’s case, and Judge Becker’s, sound like the case of the Seattle police officer and child abuser who continued to abuse his daughters for three years after the authorities first began an investigation.
Or maybe this police sergeant is ‘innocent until proven guilty’, like Judge Becker.
And what’s the name of the suspected Seattle child abuser? Has the Seattle ‘gag order’ been broken? I think not.
This is a a shameful breach of our obligation to the victims to ensure neither they nor others suffer such things again.
And BTW. Sexual abuse of minors seems to be rampant in Seattle.
Richard Silverstein says
@ Abby: Hilarious. You think by finding sexual abuse supposedly rampant in Seattle that this will embarrass me or somehow make my arguments vis a vis Israel less potent? You will never find me defending the Seattle Police Department. I find it one of the most dangerous and ineffectual in my personal experience. So the fact that something like this happened within SPD…big deal.
BTW, a police officer is on a lower plane than a judge or rabbi. He has a certain stature for sure. But a judge’s stature and the standards for his behavior are much higher. For a rabbi, likewise.
OMG, you found one sex crime in Seattle. One pimp trafficking women here. Congratulations. Now what have you proven? Precisely nothing. Did I claim there is no sexual abuse in the U.S.? Why is that even relevant here? It isn’t. But you’ve exploited Hasbara Rule 1.00.1: when you have an unpleasant fact to deal with concerning Israeli society, distract by raising red herrings like the rate of sex crimes somewhere, anywhere else. Nuh-uh, not here you don’t. We’re on to you here.
And if you wish to compare the levels of sexual violence in Israel to the U.S. you will find proportionally higher levels of rape and other crimes in Israel. Not to mention a huge proportion of such crimes going unreported because of the hostility of the Israeli police toward victims.
Richard – What Abby is saying is – in your words – big deal!!
There are sex abusers everywhere. In many communities and societies. You make it sounds like it is more common here than anywhere else. No… actually you write it explicitly “And if you wish to compare the levels of sexual violence in Israel to the U.S. you will find proportionally higher levels of rape and other crimes in Israel” – PLEASE obbey by your own rules and provide any proof of that fact. Actually, in these cases usually official figures aren’t even relevant b/c in certain comminities people don’t come forward with their stories.
You enjoy bashing Israel – have fun. Just be aware that this is all it is!
Here’s proof that Richard is wrong.
Richard Silverstein says
@ Abby: Nope. First, I don’t know anything about this site. I don’t know where it’s statistics come from. So until you can show they are credible, the stats mean nothing. Second, the rate of report of rape is far lower in Israel because the status of Israeli women is comparatively lower in Israel than the U.S. There is much higher stigma attached with rape & reporting it than in the U.S. Further, Israeli police are terrible when it comes to investigating charging & prosecuting those charged with rape, as I’ve shown repeatedly in my reporting here.
This Haaretz story reports the Public Security ministry finds that 1 in 3 Israeli women are subject to sexual assault. This site dedicated to compiling statistics on sexual assault says that 1 in 6 U.S. women have been subjected to sexual assault (which they define as rape or attempted rape).
No system is perfect, nor am I claiming the U.S. system is. But Israel is far worse at prosecuting crimes against women including rape.
Richard – once again you compare oranges and apples. Two different studies that use different metrics can’t be just thrown together.
I like the way you ignore the big part of articles that Haaretz, a liberal newspaper, dedicated to the Muslim community. So to attach this article you your claims about a Haredi dude is counterproductive and does not support your claims.
Here are stats by the UN where USA IS WORSE BY 50%.
Richard Silverstein says
Since you don’t even attempt to rebut my argument about suppression of reporting by victims, I assume you acknowledge it to be true. I estimate that women in Israel refuse to report as much as 50% of acts of sexual violence against them. There is also underreporting in the U.S., but it is vastly better here.
You are done in this thread. Do not post here.
Gaby Miliki says
Ultra Orthodox Haredim might have Israeli citizenship, but their crimes are a reflection of their the sickness in their religion and do not malign the state. It’s as if you would try to malign Israel because of honor killings among Israeli Arabs. Crimes perpetrated by anti-zionists are not crimes that reflect on the state, but only on their own communities. As far as I’m concerned anti-Zionists have no place in the State of Israel and this sick rabbi should serve his time in Gaza among other enemies of Israel. Publicly shaming child abusers such as this Rabbi is great service to the world and to Judaism. Your only mistake is making it seem that it has something to do with Israel.
Richard Silverstein says
@ Gaby: No, Haredim are Israeli Jews. Their crimes are as reflective of Israeli society as any other citizens. But their devotion to Orthodox Judaism indicates a dysfunction at the heart of the Israeli state which upholds Orthodox Judaism as the religion of the state. If you wish to dissociate from Orthodox Judaism as state religion, be my guest. Until you do, you own the crimes of Haredim no less than the crimes of judges, police officers, or any other Jewish citizen.
Honor killings are entirely off topic. But if you wish to go there, if Israeli society encouraged full integration and equal rights for Palestinian citizens, then cultural assimilation would probably occur and the most insular social attitudes among certain segments of Israeli society would change. Until you permit full rights you can expect these negative behaviors to continue. Again, honor killings most certainly do reflect overall Israeli society & its exclusion & racism.
You are a fascist. You reject the legitimate political participation of well over 20% of the Israeli population who are not Zionist. That is anti-democratic.
As for the “sick” rabbi, Israel owns him, not Gaza. Israel created him, Israeli permitted him to pursue his predation for years. Israel did nothing to attempt to integrate Haredim into society.
Israel presents itself with unusual sanctimony in its propaganda. It is not sufficient that its army be “moral”, it is presented as the “most moral army in the world.” In its sanctimonious style, it touts its “respect for life” while it slaughters thousands, including over 500 children, in Gaza. It is not sufficient that Israel has some meaningless facade of “democracy” — it is the “only democracy in the ME” etc. etc. (Actually, it is a one party state like other sanctimonious states in history, e.g. Soviets, National Socialists, Chinese, etc. It is one party with party factions. The one party is the Zionist Party. )
It is worthwhile to burst these empty boasts from time to time. Israel’s orthodoxy is a problem of a self governing group without moral foundation, especially the “settler” orthodox groups. So, it’s good to see the seamy side of these people. Likewise, it is important to demonstrate that the “most moral” army is highly immoral, witness “confirm the kill.”
If you tell me that the US is just as bad, I would agree. Israel is just as bad as the US and all that this means. So, the sanctimonious hasbara is just nonsense, just like the US. That’s the point of these articles. “Bashing” Israel is a good and healthy thing as it has earned the bashing. So has the US. Personally, I too bash Israel because of its empty propaganda in reference to morality and purity. It is what it is: A racist armed state dedicated to destroying the native culture of the region it has expropriated illegally, a renegade violating international law and human decency in the name of a dated and stupid idea.
A mashgiach in a yeshiva is an educator-not a kashrut supervisor.
[Comment deleted: off topic & a flagrant example of hasbara mongering. If you really cared about Palestinian victims of sexual abuse instead of using them in a cynical propaganda war–it might be different. Don’t pull that again.]
And if any of your readers care deeply about sexually abused Palestinians kids they would be unable to help because you’ve shut down the discourse.
At the risk of being banned or moderated, I will reveal the name of the NGO that is helping the kids in Gaza. It is the Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR).
Hadassah Cohen says
What is shown here is not that there is sexual abuse, rape, trafficking etc. That is a known, and happens everywhere. Not condoning, simply recognizing reality. Now the US is known for tolerating all sorts of illegal behaviors, from the Fed. Gov’t down to a local Cop. But this cover up in Israel smacks far too much of the Vatican cover ups of their child molester and pedophile issues. And that begins in their seeing themselves as above other Human beings, and therefore being “allowed” to use them for whatever. And it is sick. The Israeli Rabbinate, which believes itself and portrays itself as the fount of all things Jewish has done a lot of stupid things in their power issues. From not accepting honest halachic Orthodox Jewish conversions, to now this. They make the whole Rabbinate look stupid, and reinforce the extraneous issue of their existence. They do not teach anything but intolerance and privilege by such actions and cover ups.