Australian Jewish Group Calls to Oust Israeli Deputy Minister Accused of Aiding Suspected Sex Abuser

The Zionist Federation of Australia wants Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman fired, after police investigated him for aiding an Australian school principal suspected of child abuse avoid extradition

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
In this Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 file photo, Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Jerusalem. Israeli police say they are investigating a deputy minister for ethics violations. Israeli media reported that the inquiry involved suspicions that deputy health minister Litzman obstructed justice by attempting to prevent the extradition of a woman accused of sex crimes in Australia.
File Photo: Ultra-Orthodox MK Yaakov Litzman. Israeli police are allegedly investigating Litzman over obstruction of justice, September 7, 2016.Credit: Tsafrir Abayov,AP

The Zionist Federation of Australia called for the firing of an Israel deputy minister and for Israel to stop delaying the extradition of a woman accused of molesting several girls while the principal of a haredi Orthodox girls’ school in Australia.

Over the weekend, details emerged that police suspect Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, a Gur hassid and the head of the haredi Orthodox United Torah Judaism party, attempted to pressure the Jerusalem district psychiatrist into falsely stating that Malka Leifer is mentally unfit to be extradited to Australia to stand trial.

“Leifer’s extradition has been a frustratingly drawn out process which has inflicted further pain and suffering on her victims. Their suffering has undoubtedly been compounded by this most recent allegation,” the ZFA said in a statement Sunday.

>> In Israel, Australian sisters recount alleged sex abuse by ultra-Orthodox principal

Litzman’s meeting with the key witness in the extradition case could constitute obstruction of justice, according to reports. He also is accused of threatening other medical professionals at the ministry if they did not write reports in a way favorable to Leifer.

Malka Leifer in court, February 27, 2018.Credit: Mahmoud Illean / AP

Claims have been made throughout Litzman’s tenure that he has intervened on behalf of other haredim for earlier doctor’s appointments, better hospital rooms and other preferential treatment.

Leifer fled to Israel in 2008 amid allegations that she had sexually abused students at the Adass Yisroel school in Melbourne. She is wanted on 74 charges of child sexual abuse in that city.

She was arrested in Israel in 2014 and then released after being deemed mentally unfit for the legal proceedings. She was rearrested last year after an undercover investigation found that she lived a normal life and was mentally fit to face extradition proceedings.

A bail hearing is set for Leifer on Monday.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott