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Israel calls on SA for R. Berland’s arrest & return

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After being bounced from the SAPS’ pillar to the Hawks’ post earlier this week, SAJR was able to establish that the Hawks are, officially, “working with the Israeli Government.” R. Berland, says Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko, “is a wanted person in Israel. An international warrant of arrest has been issued against him, and his name has been red flagged,” he confirmed. A police task force had attempted to arrest the head of the Shubu Banim Breslov sect, during a wedding ceremony on Sunday. The Hawks, however, got the decoy and not Berland...
by ANT KATZ | Aug 13, 2014

R. Berland now a fugitive

Israeli daily ARUTZ SHEVA published a story on Monday headlined: “Fugitive Rabbi Nearly Nabbed at Johannesburg Wedding.” The story carried the strapline: “Shuvu Banim leader Rabbi Eliezer Berland in hiding after plainclothes police infiltrate wedding party; followers lament 'discrimination'.”

702 - Robbie“Shuvu Banim Hassidic leader and Rabbi-on-the-run Rabbi Eliezer Berland narrowly escaped capture by the Johannesburg police on Sunday, as he was preparing a wedding for one of his followers,” said the newspaper.


RIGHT: Rabbi
Eliezer Berland


“Plainclothes police hid among attendees before the wedding ceremony, the Hassidim stated, and attempted to apprehend Berland and put him into a waiting police vehicle near the event.

“Local Hassidim managed to hide the Rabbi just in time, a source close to the sect told Arutz Sheva, and police chased after a different Hassid before realising they were duped.”

The marriage, according to an SAJR source in the organisation, was between a follower of Rabbi Berland and a local girl.

The word locally was that a well-armed task team had invaded the venue. An account that would make more sense than plainclothes police managing to get away with “hiding among attendees.”

Full statement from Hawks

702 Biased“We do confirm that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (also known as the Hawks) is working with the Israeli government to track Rabbi (Berland),” Captain Paul Ramaloko, National Spokesperson for the Hawks, told Jewish Report on Wednesday.

“He is a wanted person in Israel. An international warrant of arrest has been issued against him, and his name has been red flagged,” confirmed the Hawks’ spokesman.

Speaking from Israel, Yossi* - a senior member of the sect – told Jewish Report that “at the wedding people were shocked. A couple of weeks ago [Rabbi Berland] was given an extension of his visa. Since then he has been coming to pray with his followers almost every day.”

This was, said Yossi, the first the Shubu Banim had heard that there was an International arrest warrant out for R. Berland. “We suspect that a lot of people in Johannesburg are becoming jealous as more and more Jews are choosing to study with Rabbi Berland,” said Yossi.

 

Yossi* - Members of the sect go by first names only

 

Follow the story on Jewish Report Online

5 Comments

  1. 5 bernadine stein 13 Aug
    He should be sent back where he cane from and face all charges  he certinaly not welcome her are his followers  so sad too send helpless children to beg  very sad   !!:.
  2. 4 Atty. David Cohen 14 Aug
    There is no precedent that the Interpol will seek to arrest a person on the type of offenses attributed to Rabbi Berland, especially since he was not convicted of anything but only wanted for questioning.

    There are lots of convicted fugitive criminals and murderers in South Africa, living there for years, and nobody is looking for them. This indicates that Rabbi Berland is marked due to some objective and goal for which a complete system is in operation to chase him all over the world as we have already seen (and this can be done by people with lots of money and power), and therefore it is clear that even if he will come for investigation he will not be given a fair trial.
  3. 3 david 17 Aug
    I would imagine that Israel's request to S A , to extradite Rabbi Berland , is the surest way to guarantee that he will not be sent back. With the current vitriol by the ANC  against Israel, they will certainly never accede to any request , legal or otherwise. I would imagine that the S A government will grudgingly accept him as an unwelcome visitor, which he already is, to many of the Jewish community. 
  4. 2 Sam 22 Aug
    Does South Africa have an extradition agreement with Israel? Not sure about that. Maybe the South African government should arrange one with their friends in Gaza - the Palestinians and their brothers that represent Hamas since those are their claimed and arm in arm ally's from the middle east and not the Israelis.  My guess is that our corrupt Government should give Rabbi Berland asylum, and with it a suitable house in Waterkloof with all the trimmings and bags of cash - as they do with other known and wanted 'bad elements' from all over the world. Perhaps hide him at Nkandla????
  5. 1 Samuel Shalom 26 Aug
    @bernadine stein 13 Aug said: He should be sent back where he cane from and face all charges  he certinaly not welcome her are his followers  so sad too send helpless children to beg  very sad!!"

    Bernadine if you would know something about the history of Jewish migration to South Africa from the earliest days whether from Western or Eastern Europe you would know that there were so many proud crooks, skilled horse-thiefs, admitted army deserters, uncaring bigamists, frauds galore that if each and every one of them would have been sent back to the European "police" that was hunting them, then thousands of people would have been rounded up and put on boats heading straight for the Gulags.

    Think of Australia that started out as an official British penal colony where criminals and gangsters were sent away, and South Africa, while not a penal colony, nevertheless was home to any rogues that could get here by hook or by crook and go deep enough into the country not to be caught because they tried to make something of themselves. There are books that mention many of these kinds of characters and their stories.

    In those olden days Jews welcomed Jewish strangers into their midst and did not hand them over to the police which was a worse fate than community shunning which could be done if need be.

    Since when is Israel the paragon of moral justice where presidents are forced to resign in disgrace and serve jail terms? Corruption is everywhere. While Rabbi Berland may not be a saint by a long shot, he is no worse than some other rabbi sex offenders friends of the Chief Rabbi who are not excoriated and hunted the way Berland is. What the Chief Rabbi is afraid of, as his supporters admit, is that the "homeostasis" in the community will be "disturbed" but what they really mean to say is that it is a direct challenge to the Chief Rabbi's ability to be the "numero uno" & "chief honcho" in SA Judaism because Berland is without a doubt a very famous (notorious?) rabbi than the Chief Rabbi. In other words what they call a "true rival" and as such must be confronted, captured, eliminated and sent away!

    This is about power and not much else. So far it is a stalemate between Berland and the Chief Rabbi but SA Jewry should not stand aside and cluck cluck about "poor" Jewish children begging but should do something proactive, positive and helpful about it. Give the adults jobs! Practice charity and loving-kindness to fellow-Jews. Don't judge them. You are not God! Don't let them sit outside in the cold or heat or rain. Even prisoners have human rights. Certainly the Breslovers and their children deserve fair treatment and Jewish charity in the spirit of the way Abraham our forefather welcomed strangers even if he knew they were idol-worshipers and pagans he saw it as his duty to help them and raise them and in turn create a bond with God between all of them.

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