LISTEN Pedophiles and Politics: Why Is an Alleged Child Rapist Still in Israel?

Israel’s failure to treat allegations of sexual child abuse seriously is taking a heavy toll on relations with Australia’s Jewish community and bilateral relations with Canberra. LISTEN FREE

Malka Leifer, center, is brought to a courtroom in Jerusalem.
AP / Mahmoud Illean

On today's show:

Pedophiles and politics: Why is an alleged child rapist still in Israel?Ep. 53

Israel’s failure to treat allegations of sexual child abuse seriously – exemplified by its handling of the Malka Leifer case – is taking a heavy toll on relations with Australia’s Jewish community and bilateral relations with Canberra.

Five years after she was arrested in the West Bank, and 11 years after she fled to Israel, the former principal of a prestigious ultra-Orthodox school for girls in Melbourne is still fighting her extradition back to Australia, where she faces 74 charges of sexually assaulting students during her time at the Adass Israel school.

Her argument that she is psychologically unfit to stand trial has been helped – allegedly – by interference from Israel’s deputy health minister, who is now facing corruption charges, and the country’s shambolic court system.

Joining host Simon Spungin are Dina Kraft, who has been following the Leifer case for Haaretz, and Noa Landau, on the diplomatic ramifications of Israel’s apparent foot-dragging.

Recommended related reading:

Leifer Extradition Snafu Is Gut Punch for Israel-adoring Australian Jews – Chemi Shalev

Another Shameful Israeli Act in Malka Leifer Case Furthers Australian Distrust – Noa Landau

How the Malka Leifer Case Finally Forced Australian Jews to Speak Out Against Israel – Dina Kraft

Israel Is Not a City of Refuge – Haaretz Editorial

Australia Snubs Israeli Project on Child Sex Abuse Over Malka Leifer Extradition – Noa Landau