Lessons Learned at the Australian Royal Commission

This article regarding the Australian Royal Commission’s response to claims of sexual abuse within the Jewish community in Australia was published several months ago. Having been repeatedly asked to publish a retraction and apology to “former” Rabbi Yosef Feldman, we wanted to post it for an historical context.

Mr. Feldman, in a spate of lawsuits is trying to clear his name, which he says is for the benefit of his family members. In other words, in our opinion, he cares less about the children who have been abused than he does about what his family members think of him.

Our suggestion, Mr. Feldman, is perhaps if you blew wide open what is happening in your Jewish fiefdom your family members would have something about which to be proud. You would have helped the lives of generations of Jewish children.

WE ASK YOU MR. FELDMAN, how will you enjoy the money you are making in settling with Defendants who feel it is less costly in time and in effort to settle then it is to fight on? That is a poor excuse for a victory.

Perhaps you could donate all of that money to the families of victims, like that of Manny Waks and others? They are the ones who will live a lifetime with the horrors of sexual assault. You, sir are using a courtroom to change a narrative.

It is deplorable.

FRUM FOLLIES by Yerachmiel Lopin

by David L. Morris
Executive of the Magen Child Protection Agency in Bet Shemesh.
First appeared on his personal blog, Tzedek-Tzedek

David Morris 2The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was mandated in 2013 to investigate and draw up recommendations about child abuse cases and the handling of child abuse allegations, mainly in religious institutions and communities.

The Commission was initially specifically in response to reports of abuses in the Catholic Church, and the various child abuse scandals which came to light in Australia, and the systemic cover-up of offenders by the Church’s institutions.

David Cyprys David Cyprys

In the past two weeks, the Commissions has turned its attention to child abuse cases and the response to these allegations in Jewish institutions, primarily the Yeshiva Centers in Melbourne and in Sydney, both run by the Chabad movement.

The picture which has emerged has shocked not just the Jewish world, but has…

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9 thoughts on “Lessons Learned at the Australian Royal Commission

  1. @LM

    I tried posting on the story – the one with over 80 comments a huge chunk of them from Y Feldman and three repeated above. My comments did not go through.

    Here is my question:
    Y. Feldman repeatedly invokes the IBT ‘apology’ as proof that everyone is misconstruing his words and that he is being defamed. I read the ‘apology’ and it looks more like Australian legalese to me. Can you comment on that?

    Rather than a statement suggesting they are sorry for an actual mistake it is mainly “we did not intend”…and “One should not conclude”…this seems to be a response to Australian law that might consider publishing super obvious conclusions from statements people make to be defamation. To me the apology is saying: we reported the testimony and maybe (by law) should not have explained what those statements mean but PLEASE read the testimony for yourself and come to any conclusions you like and btw if those happen to be the same ones we came to then fine with us…just dont tell anyone you came to those conclusions before you read the testimony for yourselves because that could get us sued…
    LM – what do you think about the ‘apology’?

    • @wow, we are not sure why your comment did not go through. It may have but for some reason the order of those comments got fouled up. We will deal with this tomorrow. We believe that it was a settlement, without admitting wrongdoing. It was a well-crafted resolution to what they likely feared would be protracted litigation. This was in our view by no means a victory for Feldman. We will get to that after we have had time to review the papers that have been sent our way. There are a number of organizations which are fighting Feldman. Those organisations will be the game-changers, not the ones which decided settlement was the lesser weighing option.

    • and here is my other question:
      There were a number of threats by Y. Feldman to sue LM for defamation.

      Can someone blogging or commenting from the US (Im assuming for purposes of this question that indeed LM is in the US) be sued under Australia’s defamation laws? If so would the lawsuit have to be filed in a US Court or could it be filed in Australia? I was under the impression that a blogger would have to abide the local laws of the jurisdiction of the blog, not the defamation laws of the jurisdiction the person they are writing about but realize that I could be wrong. Im sure that I am not the only reader interested in this topic.

      • @wow, we are not at all worried and if he chooses to sue, first he has to determine the identity of those of us who are blogging. Because we are posting opinions, not based upon malice and based upon publicly available information, it is a hard one to prove. He would have to prove in the laws of the jurisdiction of the blogger (the defendant) and in most cases is the US, truth is a defense to defamation and libel and it has to be a truth that we elicited. He would then have to prove damages. There are no damages here. It would be a stupid (though potentially lucrative for us) endeavor. We have posted an opinion, using publicly available information, based upon a reasonable and reliable source. Were a judge to rule, in no uncertain terms, that all of the sources who have reported so far were wrong – which is unlikely given the RC’s position in all of this, that might change things, but unlikely. Finally, we have not accused him of anything but deplorable behavior, distorting language, making statements which are in our view representative of the kind of abject and amoral current of the community in which he lives. We would have the rights to thousands of documents and depositions of hundreds of people, including the victims he is claiming to help. Again, we have posted opinions. That he does not like the opinions is really not our problem. He can threaten all he wants. And, by the way, the bloggers on this subject cover 4 different jurisdictions, not all of which are US so that complicates matters for him further. Regardless, if a judge issued a ruling stating in no uncertain terms that the years worth of documents on this subject have been defamatory, we will accordingly follow a judge’s ruling. A settlement is not a ruling, it is a choice of one party to remove themselves from the discussion for whatever business reasons that decision was made. That does not case law make.

        • Thank you. It would be quite interesting to see those thousands of documents an depositions. One almost wishes he would sue (except the part about figuring out whom to sue – everyone is better off if noone knows who is behind this).

  2. Again re dishonest LM

    He posted the above notwithstanding that I already posted and emailed (with him responding…) this…

    Firstly it is pro bono and if I lose I don’t owe them anything but if I win then obviously they’d want and Id want to pay them for their costs…

    Re leniency, again if you’d read the evidence you’d know. There were 3 perpetrators. One was in my charge thst before he left I didn’t know that there was sexual abuse. The other one who was a friend of mine in my younger years but didn’t have real remorse is in jail. The third one (Gug) who had remorse and paid his victims is, who I argued, should have leniency and the judge actually showed him leniency and gave him a suspended sentence.

    Did you know that there are different sort of abusers. There are some who act out of a natural tendency for sexual relations with little children and don’t control themselves. There are some with sexual attraction for young adults who don’t control themselves and there are some who abuse because they were abused. And in each group there are all sorts. Some can certainly and have been rehabilitated and the one who I called for leniency was from the category which I saw the report that he was rehabilitated with very little or no risk of reoffending…

    I am not looking for words of praise from yourself or from anyone else (besides from my parents and wife…) and even from my recipients! I do what I do as it’s the right thing. As I said in Sydney it is well known and even the paper reported how I help people and victims. The outrageous defamation against me was generated by the anti Chabad forces and so be it.

    As you may know all Chabad institutions here are working hard to rectify any mistakes made in the past and even M Waks met with the Groners to make peace as it was reported. Any mistakes were made -not because of not caring for the victims. But because of not realising the serious effect on the victims and how best to deal with it at the time. This is not the case now in Australia or in any Chabad institution in the world that I know of at present. Everyone is trying their best. Otherwise the reporting negatively is just Loshon Horo and hoitsoas Shel Ru as you see how you got it all wrong in my case. You attacked Chabad for supporting me in my cases. WRONG YOU SHOULD RETRACT AND APOLOGISE FORTHAT. You attacked myself for saying that I held that touching genitals sexually isn’t a crime. WRONG AND YOU SHOULD APOLOGISE FOR THAT.

    So instead of being a publicly false holier than thou person with me, do the right thing and make an article of retracting and apologising FOR ABUSING MYSELF IF YOU REALLY GENUINLY, SINCERELY AND HONESTLY care about abuse. Let’s see you have the courage not to do the easy thing by being a hero for all those Orthodox Jew haters but by showing you’re a person of integrity that when you make a mistake in a abusing someone you retract and apologise. If you don’t all you are is the Orthodox Jew basher protector and not an abuse protector…

    Btw a settlement may be to negate further costs but not an apology. Please read the apology. IBT understood they did the wrong thing an apologised because they don’t have the Jew bashing agenda. Let’s see if you can be as proper as these Goyim or you’re just a real continuation of Shmarya who ultimately no one of substance took seriously because it was clearly seen that he had an agenda and acted improperly accordingly and those loser Jew bashers couldn’t even support him because he was just catering to the low class substandard humans who couldn’t make a living. Is that the direction you want to go?

    I’m awaiting to see whether you’ll do the right thing resgarding your abuse of myself and Chabad or if you’re just a reincarnate Shmarya to end up like him. It’s your choice…

  3. What I just emailed to dishonest LM

    I already told you that republication is also defamation when you have been told.

    Why aren’t you publishing my explanation on the touching of genitals?

    It seems that you are just as dishonest as Shmarya and maybe worse.

    Waiting for you to let me know who you are…

    • Part of what I already posted re financial benefit and re evidence of touching genitals…

      …I have financially helped many victims in the past. My main reason for suing is to get them to retract and apologise. The financial aspect is secondary and not that profitable as the lawyers need to get paid and certainly not assured…
      With regard to yourself Im seriously waiting for you to retract.
      Just briefly to explain it further to you, I NEVER said that I didn’t know it was a crime to sexually touch genitals. It’s in fact legally allowed to
      touch genitals for many reasons including a Bris. She was trying to lead me on with the question as though I knew at the time that there was sexual abuse that I didn’t which is why I answered it literally. Look at comments on reddit (who don’t have an agenda…) who recognised this. Many times in the evidence I clearly mentioned that to sexually touch is a crime. Please read my evidence and submission. All of this is coming out in court which is why IBT settled. If you’re an honest person, which it seems from your writing -a little different than Shmarya- that you may be, please retract everything you wrote and apologise.

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