The assistance center 'Magen', which operates to prevent sexual harm within the Haredi community, today (Tuesday) addressed Minister Meir Porush with a demand to apologize for helping the sexual offender Eliezer Berland. This comes following the publication that towards Rosh Hashanah and the traditional pilgrimage to Uman, Minister Meir Porush approached the Ukrainian ambassador in Israel and requested the revocation of the ban imposed by the state on the entry of the sexual offender to its territory.
In a letter written by the assistance center to Minister Porush, they criticized him, stating: "We were appalled to discover through the media that while serving as a minister in the Israeli government, representing all Israeli citizens, you chose to invest resources and efforts in submitting formal requests on behalf of the State of Israel to assist the accused sexual offender Eliezer Berland in entering Ukraine for the Rosh Hashanah holiday. We condemn your reckless, irresponsible, and disgraceful use of the name of millions of citizens who are appalled by the serious actions of Berland. This certainly does not enhance the legacy of Israel and Jerusalem."
"As the assistance center for victims of sexual offenses in the ultra-Orthodox sector, accompanying hundreds of victims who are fighting with all their might against mechanisms of silencing and manipulation, we expect you to publicly apologize to the victims who were corrupted by Berland, whom you chose to help on behalf of the citizens of the State of Israel."
He sexually exploited Hasidic women and was involved in a murder case
"The Berland affair exploded a few years ago due to an article by Yehuda Shlezinger in Israel Hayom, following the publications that he had sexually exploited the women of the 'Shuvu Banim' Hasidic sect. Berland fled the country to South Africa and then to Morocco. Upon his return, he was arrested and sentenced to a relatively light prison term due to his medical condition. He would come to court on a stretcher. Upon his release, he was visited by the leaders of the ultra-Orthodox parties."
About two years ago, he was entangled in a double murder case within the Shuvu Banim Hasidic community from nearly 30 years ago. In this case as well, he managed to evade significant consequences, as the police failed to establish a solid case against him, despite substantial testimonies against him from former community members and even his own relatives.