Home Breaking News ZAKA head forfeits position following sexual assault allegations

ZAKA head forfeits position following sexual assault allegations

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ZAKA head forfeits position following sexual assault allegations

ZAKA founder and Israel Prize laureate Yehuda Meshi-Zahav forfeited his position as ZAKA head as well to his Israel Prize on Friday, following the birth of an first fee police investigation into accusations that he had sexually assaulted girls and teens over a period of a long time, following an investigation and first-hand testimony from survivors. 

This follows calls by Labor Occasion leader Merav Michaeli to briefly halt granting the Israel Prize, Israel’s easiest civilian honor, to Meshi-Zahav in gentle of the allegations.

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“Israel Police replied rapid [to the allegations], which is allowed. Right here’s how they possess to level-headed react to every suspicion of sexual assault,” Michaeli acknowledged. She later added that “We mediate the victims who came forth with slightly a number of bravery to testify in opposition to Meshi-Zahav. He did the licensed thing when he forfeited the [Israel] Prize.”

A pair of of us all over assorted ages and including males, girls and teenage girls and boys came ahead to select out their abusive experiences with Meshi-Zahav over the years. In step with a picture first printed by Haaretz on Thursday, he modified into once investigated by police in 2011 on sexual assault accusations, but the investigation modified into once closed as a result of a shortage of evidence.

One lady recalled that Meshi-Zahav equipped her financial assistance to ameliorate her financial say, later forcing himself on her and threatening her life by asserting one in all his ZAKA trucks will traipse her over if she printed the assault.

Police allegedly approached the lady on the matter in 2013, but she refused to file a complaint in opposition to the ZAKA head.

The Haaretz investigation also printed that many folks from Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox communities had been aware of Meshi-Zahav’s actions, but never reported them to the police.

Additional testimonies printed that he allegedly boasted about his past sexual experiences over assorted a long time, it appears using his influential position to assault teenagers and younger teenagers over the direction of a few years.

Yet every other testimony equipped by a younger man, who modified into once allegedly sexually assaulted at age 16, described how the latter would take care of him care for a prostitute.

“There modified into once a storeroom at a college in the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood. I got a key from Yehuda [Meshi-Zahav] and watched tv there. Yehuda would attain and create with me as he overjoyed,” the younger man said.

“On occasion he took me to flats in Tel Aviv where we would meet with prostitutes. I modified into once with one while he modified into once with one other,” he added.

Describing the anguish he skilled in a Facebook Message to Meshi-Zahav, the younger man said that “Even this day, over 20 years later, I’m licking my wounds. You left me harm and bleeding, and you’re continuing along with your life as if nothing took space. Handiest now, after I’m the father of teenagers who are at the age at which you abused me, create I realize the significance.”

The message modified into once learn and it appears unnoticed by Meshi-Zahav.

Yet every other testimony by a 26-365 days-ancient man recalled how he would sexually assault him in a synagogue when he modified into once 5 years ancient.

Later on Friday, a girl who heard the reports on Meshi-Zahav made up our minds to step up and half her myth. In an interview with N12, she talked about the sexual messages that Meshi-Zahav would continuously ship her, knowing that she modified into once a married lady. 

Her first encounter with Meshi-Zahav took space in Bnei Brak. “I modified into once walking down the aspect motorway with a licensed buddy of mine … he stopped us and said, ‘whats up, I do know you’ and ‘don’t fright, I do know all the pieces about each person.'” 

After obtaining her phone number, Meshi-Zahav started texting her continuously. “I told him: ‘ I’m a married lady, licensed?’ and he said: ‘sure, but it shouldn’t be a say.’ He added: ‘For those who desire anything else, I in actual fact care for helping of us,'” the unnamed seek for told N12. 

The messages rapid took a perverted flip, per the hunt for. “He wrote: ‘how hot are you? can you create that with three of us? You is liable to be inviting and enticing.’ I got disturbed, his texts started being insanely sexual,” she said. 

ZAKA commented on Friday that it “pained” them to listen to the reports about Meshi-Zahav, and “we want for him that his innocence be proven.”

“Composed,” the organization added, “it’s a need to possess for us to abet the names and reputations of the hundreds of ZAKA volunteers away from this incident, and to provide an explanation for that they don’t possess anything else to create with it.”

A ZAKA spokesperson later added that “the organization’s management, members and volunteers had been disturbed when receiving the news and listening to the testimonies,” and that the organization had total belief in the authorities investigating the incident.

“ZAKA’s mission is bigger than any consideration or position, and the organization will continue to create its work with dedication,” the spokesperson added. 

Michaeli illustrious that she is now “calling on [Meshi-Zahav] to create the licensed thing and forfeit his position as head of ZAKA, which has hundreds of folks attached to it, who will now be tarnished by the allegations in opposition to him.”

Meshi-Zahav has misplaced his mother, father and brother to COVID-19, and is himself a survivor of the virus.

He replied to the allegations made in the Haaretz investigation by claiming he is being centered.

“Ever because it grew to become known that I had received the Israel Prize, I possess been the level of interest of diverse phone threats. After my oldsters passed away, some known as me to explicit pleasure at their deaths. Others spat at me as I walked down the aspect motorway. Unfortunately, right here is phase of the price I pay for the traipse I selected. Publishing the article is an try to ‘decide the rating’ with me,” he said.

“For as long as my energy permits me, I will continue to attend the of us of Israel and the Recount of Israel as I possess done all my life,” Meshi-Zahav added.

In a letter addressed to ZAKA volunteers and launched afterward Friday, Meshi-Zahav rejected the allegations establish forth in opposition to him and reiterated his claims, noting that “these reports are unsuitable, gossip and the settling of ratings in opposition to me.” 

He illustrious his scenario over the “smash which may per chance be precipitated consequently to this valuable organization, its actions and 4,000 dedicated volunteers,” and said that he modified into once relinquishing “the appreciate that has been bestowed upon me by the decision to award me the Israel Prize in a model of recognition for the actions of the organization and for the actions of every single volunteer.”

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ZAKA head forfeits position following sexual assault allegations