The problems with the Lubavitch

New York Post Editorial agrees with me on Dov Hikind
November 17, 2008, 7:00 pm
Filed under: crime, politics | Tags: ,

Posted: 3:35 am
November 16, 2008

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind is waging a campaign to counter what he believes is an epidemic of sexual abuse of children – often involving prominent rabbinic leaders – within the Orthodox Jewish community.

That’s commendable, especially given the widely acknowledged cultural taboos, including intimidating social pressure, against exposing such heinous behavior.

But he’s proceeding in the wrong way.

Hikind has been subpoenaed by attorney Michael Dowd, who represents former students of a Brooklyn yeshiva who say they were molested by a teacher who recently copped to a misdemeanor count of child endangerment – but got only three months’ probation.

Dowd wants Hikind to turn over the dossiers he says he’s collected on more than 1,000 incidents involving 60 sexual predators.

But the Brooklyn Democrat refuses, vowing to “go to jail for 10 years” before he identifies any of his informants, whom he says agreed to talk only under promise of complete anonymity.

Dowd insists he’ll see to it that no names become public. But he says he needs the information to prove his contention that sexual abuse not only was commonplace in yeshivas, but also was routinely covered up.

We’re sympathetic to Hikind’s concerns; obviously, there’s a real reluctance on the part of victims and their families to cooperate with officials or do anything that would embarrass their community.

But that same community cannot police itself by some vague mechanism that protects predators from exposure and prosecution if they agree to undergo therapy.

And an elected public official has a responsibility to the community at large.

If a Catholic politician was found to be covering for priests who abused altar boys and the higher-ups who knew about it, there would be a massive public outcry – and rightly so.

This case is not much different.


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