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Police Reject Bima Rape Allegations: Calls for Manny Waks to Make a Statement

March 2, 2014 – 12:14 pm49 Comments

From the editor:

yeshiva2The Age reported on Friday afternoon that police have dropped all charges against Rabbi Glick related to the bima rape case. Addendum/correction: no charges were ever actually laid. The police have simply decided that there is no case to investigate.

A Facebook post by Rabbi Glick’s niece, Chevi Levin, is quoted: “This is NOT a case of no evidence or stale evidence. Rather, police have rejected the allegations, which were vexatious and wholly without substance. Police have further denied the accuser avenues of furthering his fictitious claim to the DPP.

“Unfortunately, there is little which can be done to prevent false accusers from making claims against ANYONE (a scary thought indeed!) Yet today, justice has triumphed. Today, Hashem’s help and guidance has set an innocent man free. Today, community support has warmed our hearts. And today- well, today is the day that Rabbi Glick gets his life back.”

In response, a number of people have called for Manny Waks to make a statement regarding the dropped charges.

Mr. Waks is currently in Israel, which may explain a delay in releasing a statement, if he is required to consult with board members before commenting on a case that is the subject of ongoing legal action. In December last year, Rabbi Glick began defamation action against Mr. Waks over Mr Waks’s role in publicising the bima rape accusations.

Because Mr Waks was so vocal when the allegations first came to light – indeed, he offered me (Alex Fein) an interview with the person making the accusation, which I turned down for ethical reasons – there is a widespread feeling within the religious community that an apology should be forthcoming.

Many Orthodox Jews – both on the left and right – felt that Mr Waks’s response to Bima rape case was injudicious and was characteristic of his hostility to the Orthodox community, unfairly tarnishing all religious Jews, even though many were initially  very supportive of Mr. Waks and his campaign to expose cover ups of abuse at Yeshivah College.

Indeed, there is a degree of anger at the media portrayal of Mr. Waks and his father, Zephania. Many Orthodox Jews feel that disingenuous statements had been made and remained unquestioned by journalists. There is particular concern about an upcoming ABC documentary, The Whistleblowers, in which Manny Waks’s parents, Zephania and Chaya, allege they have been forced to leave Melbourne due to their campaign against abuse. This claim has been strongly refuted by their son, Avi Yemini, in an extremely raw and emotional Facebook post in which he excoriated his father for what he believed was gross hypocrisy.

There is currently a petition circulating in the community that expresses disquiet with the manner in which the Whistleblowers was filmed. It states, “Our children were videoed and photographed without knowledge or consent of parents for a documentary called “The Whistleblowers” to be aired on the ABC’s Compass program. Film crew were stationed directly near the entrance and exit of our school during morning drop off and afternoon pick up times. The school was not informed, parents were not given a chance to opt out of the filming and the film crew would not leave when requested and police had to be called. ABC should not be allowed to use footage of parents or children without their consent and we are petitioning to exercise our rights to opt out of appearing in this documentary.”

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