Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A call to arms

Last May, Meir Dascalowitz was arrested and charged with ten counts of child molestation. Dascalowitz is a Pupa Chasid who enjoys the friendship and support of many people who think child molesters should not be turned over to the police. Some of his supporters have appeared at his pretrial hearings where they harrassed his victim. Others have launched a slander campaign against the victim's family and arranged to have them tossed out of their shul. Many observers expect that Dascalowitz supporters will fill the court room when the trial begins, and inundate his judge with letters attesting to Dascalowitz's excellent character and fine personality. This is how they play in Puppa and other Hasidic communities. Its happened before and there's no reason to think it won't happen again.

On his blog, Yanky Horowitz is asking people to sign a letter supporting the victims. This is admirable, and will probably invite retribution from sickos and lunatics. If that happens, I hope RYH names them on his blog.

Though I respect what RYH is doing, I don't think its enough. Not nearly. We need to name the thugs who are harassing victims and describe their activities.We need to post their photos on our blogs. We have to find out what community leaders and local Hasidic big shots are behind the harassment campaigns, and put their names and photos on our blogs, too. We need to organize counter protests at the trial, and fill the court room in support of the victim. Our so-called Gedolim need to go on the record about this, and if they won't speak, we have a right to find out why. Every Admar has to be pressured, as well. Similar questions can - and must - be asked of the Avi Shafrins and Yaakov Menkens and Aryeh Ginsburgs of the world. Why in the name of heaven do Avi and the boys show no fear of going on the record about M.O. foibles or nasty blogging, but keep a respectful silence when Hasidic thugs are acting  like barbarians in the name of injustice?

Supporting the victims is one thing, but I want to go to war against the perpetrators, and their enablers and supporters.  Who is with me, and, more importantly, how do we do it?

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