Yakov Horowitz (Times of Israel)
November 26, 2015
Don’t worry about me . . . worry about your kids.
Yona Weinberg, is a convicted, registered, New York State Level 3 Sex Offender who served 13 months in an American jail for seven counts of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice website describes a Level 3 registered sex offender, their highest level, as one who has a “high risk of repeat offense and a threat to public safety exists.”
In the United States, registered sex offenders are carefully monitored and are not permitted to live near schools. In fact, it is common practice for American School Districts to issue email warnings when a registered sex offender relocates within the boundaries of their District.
In Israel, American sex offenders like Yona Weinberg are welcomed with open arms; rewarded with Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return and given new immigrant status, which affords them a wide range of benefits.
Oh; we forgot to mention an additional perk.
They get to file (you can’t make this up) defamation lawsuits against child safety advocates who warn Israeli parents about the danger posed to their children, as was recently reported in Yediyot Achronot. (Click here and scroll down for the Yediyot article and its English translation)
Here is Weinberg’s story in a nutshell:
As reported earlier this year in the NY Daily News and UK Daily Mail, Weinberg allegedly assaulted an 11-year old boy after being released from jail for sexually assaulting two (other) boys. Knowing he was about to be arrested, Weinberg fled the USA to Israel.
His wife and children followed him, and they settled in Har Nof as Israeli citizens. Israel’s Ivrit YNet ran a story about the concerns of Har Nof residents (English translation here) and their fruitless efforts to have Weinberg’s citizenship revoked.
I utilized Twitter as a means of warning the residents of Har Nof that Mr. Weinberg presents a clear and continuing danger to their children.
In June 2015, I was served with papers at my home in New York, informing me that a summary judgement was issued against me in an Israeli court, obligating me to pay Mr. Weinberg 200,000 shekel (about $55,000) for slandering him.
My Israeli attorney had that judgement set aside, but Weinberg’s frivolous and disgraceful defamation lawsuit was permitted to proceed, despite the fact that we submitted to the Israeli court clear evidence of his American conviction and registered sex-offender status.
To add insult to injury, my attorney was notified that if we did not pay 1,500 shekel in court costs to Weinberg, the illustrious judge would reinstate the 200,000 shekel judgement against me.
Since I will be in Jerusalem next week presenting at the Tahel Child Safety Conference and launching the Hebrew version of our child safety/abuse prevention book; Mah She’batuach – Batuach! (scroll down for information about the book, and for a wide range of free child safety/abuse prevention resources), and cannot afford the possibility of being detained in Israel as a result of a possible judgement, I was basically forced to make that outrageous payment.
These lines were written, not to present my case, but to present the sorry state of affairs in the Israeli courts and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption as it relates to the safety of your children.
Worded differently, don’t worry about me; worry about your kids.
The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES will not be deterred or intimidated. We will continue to advocate for the safety of our children, and vigorously defend the right to warn parents about the presence of registered sex offenders in their neighborhoods and the danger they pose to their children.
We do, however, have deep concerns about the safety of children in Israel so long as convicted, registered Level-3 sex offenders are embraced by the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and are permitted to manipulate Israeli courts to intimidate and silence child safety advocates.