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Jerusalem - Report: Charedi News Site Extortion Plot To Be One Of The Biggest Scandals In The History Of Israel

Published on: April 1, 2012 11:02 PM
By:  Haaretz
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Jerusalem - “This is going to be one of the biggest extortion scandals in the history of Israel,” a senior ultra-Orthodox figure told Haaretz Sunday, following the arrest of four directors of the popular Haredi website Behadrey Haredim.

As reported earlier on VIN News, Police placed a gag order forbidding publication of any details of the affair, but revealed that more arrests are expected.

Some of the website’s employees told Haaretz they were completely taken by surprise by the arrests, but rumors circulating in Haredi circles for the past year describe a system of extortion by the website’s directors against dozens of Haredi figures, some of whom are very well known. According to the rumors, the directors would approach well-known figures and demand a sum - anywhere from several thousand dollars to NIS 100,000 - in return for withholding publication of potentially damaging information. On Sunday, the police interviewed dozens of people who revealed various details about the website in past few years.

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Rabbinical opposition

Behadrey Haredim, established in 2000 - and especially the public forums associated with it - is the leading Internet site among the ultra-Orthodox, with as many as 5,000 users making the forums a center of Haredi Internet activity, despite the opposition of senior rabbis. The opposition reached its peak in 2009, when 20 leading rabbis published an excommunication of Haredi Internet sites.

The two founding directors of the site, David Rottenberg and Dov Fobarski, then retired from the website, which continued to function since it was owned by Guy Cohen, a secular businessman and CEO of Global Networks, who acquired the site before it was excommunicated.

In October 2010, the rabbis orally rehabilitated the site, and Rottenberg and Fobarski returned to their posts - saying they did so with the approval of the rabbis who originally issued the excommunication.

The two directors claimed that the problem with the site was the forums - which were also the main reason for the excommunication, as they were fertile ground for various serious sins, beginning, according to Fobarski with “lashon hara” (slander ) - spreading vicious rumors about people, and leading to a general rebellious spirit toward the Haredi way of life, and worse - toward the rabbis as well.

“This was the first website to bring sensationalism to the Haredi world,” a senior media expert in the ultra-Orthodox community told Haaretz on Sunday. “The forums suddenly enabled people to express themselves naturally. The more Haredim used the Internet - nowadays around 30 percent of Haredim do - the easier it was to spread sensationalist stories. The Haredi community is naturally a closed community and everyone knows everyone, so naturally the forums gained a lot of power, especially since information of that sort was new to them. Rumors could easily ruin families,” he added.


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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 01, 2012 at 11:09 PM Insider Says:

Bad news does not exist to some. All they want is the publicity and that their name is spelled correctly. If someone demanded money from me and threathened that, if I don't pay up, they would broadcast something nasty about me, I'd ask how much would they want to really do a job on me. I'd offer double what they ask for.

2

 Apr 01, 2012 at 11:09 PM ab1234 Says:

any one knows any details?????????????

3

 Apr 02, 2012 at 01:13 AM DrDavid Says:

Stay tuned!

4

 Apr 02, 2012 at 12:48 AM The Details Says:

Reply to #2  
ab1234 Says:

any one knows any details?????????????

The reason for the Gag Order (although the USA is not affected by their "orders") is because it was extortion to protect very prominent Pedophiles.

Israel is very secretive to protect the identity of these Pedophiles until a full (and untainted) investigation can be completed.

If these prominent pedophiles are exposed in the media before the investigation is completed, it can taint the investigation because Media Reports exposure of details and too many people talking "plants ideas" in children's minds and then it's very difficult to separate fact from "planted ideas" in children's minds.

This premature publicity, greatly damaged the Nahalot Pedophile investigation and they don't want to repeat that again here now, with all the VERY prominent people whom Bechadrey Charedim, had asked to pay, so that the TRUTH about the prominet figures, will be protected and to not be exposed.

5

 Apr 02, 2012 at 04:50 AM Shlomo Says:

Reply to #4  
The Details Says:

The reason for the Gag Order (although the USA is not affected by their "orders") is because it was extortion to protect very prominent Pedophiles.

Israel is very secretive to protect the identity of these Pedophiles until a full (and untainted) investigation can be completed.

If these prominent pedophiles are exposed in the media before the investigation is completed, it can taint the investigation because Media Reports exposure of details and too many people talking "plants ideas" in children's minds and then it's very difficult to separate fact from "planted ideas" in children's minds.

This premature publicity, greatly damaged the Nahalot Pedophile investigation and they don't want to repeat that again here now, with all the VERY prominent people whom Bechadrey Charedim, had asked to pay, so that the TRUTH about the prominet figures, will be protected and to not be exposed.

Are you sure about this? It doesn't seem to make sense.
They were arrested for extorting people to not publish information which is not to be published? If Israel is "secretive" about these investigations, is it a violation to publish details? If premature publicity can damage the investigation, then in an odd way it is to the benefit of the suspect to get publicity: better a derailed investigation in public than a successful prosecution.

6

 Apr 02, 2012 at 09:27 AM shredready Says:

Reply to #5  
Shlomo Says:

Are you sure about this? It doesn't seem to make sense.
They were arrested for extorting people to not publish information which is not to be published? If Israel is "secretive" about these investigations, is it a violation to publish details? If premature publicity can damage the investigation, then in an odd way it is to the benefit of the suspect to get publicity: better a derailed investigation in public than a successful prosecution.

however that is only if there is a on ongoing investigation.

My guess is, if that assumption is true that it is about Pedophiles, it is incidents that have not made it to the authorities yet.

7

 Apr 02, 2012 at 10:33 AM answer to # 4 Says:

Reply to #5  
Shlomo Says:

Are you sure about this? It doesn't seem to make sense.
They were arrested for extorting people to not publish information which is not to be published? If Israel is "secretive" about these investigations, is it a violation to publish details? If premature publicity can damage the investigation, then in an odd way it is to the benefit of the suspect to get publicity: better a derailed investigation in public than a successful prosecution.

# 6 is right

The only time the media is obligated to "not publish" any potential allegations about a Pedophile, is only after it gets to the first stage of an Arrest and a Judge issuing a Gag Order.

However the way the typical extortion works (and it happens in NYC too - pedophiles protected in excvhange of the pedophile making a payo-off to the people who have the evidence against them) is that "the people in the know", who have potential damaging facts against a potential Pedophile, will approach the Pedophile and PROVE to him that they do in fact have the evidence against him and then "make a deal" with the Pedophile, that they will not publish it and not bring it to public attention, so as not top shame them and so as to avoid even stage_1 of it ever getting to Police, never mind avoiding stage_2 of it ever getting to court, never mind Stage_3 of any gag order.

8

 Apr 02, 2012 at 01:16 PM SherryTheNoahide Says:

Gee, I thought only the Liberal media were the ones who were corrupt!

*sigh* How much dirt has to come out about RIGHT-wing media, before the doting sheeple will accept their propaganda has been nothing more than lies & distortion??

9

 Apr 02, 2012 at 01:40 PM bubbe maisses Says:

im sure its greatly exaggerated!!! [as usual, wh en its about "ulra orthodox"

10

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