“They have nothing!” says Rabbi Berland
Eli Schlesinger, writing on the BEHADREI HAREDIM website this morning, wrote that “Rabbi Berland was released from custody under restrictive conditions.”
Immediately after Berland’s arrest on Wednesday, a prominent Israeli lawyer, Sharon Nahari, was sent by the Shuvu Bonim to Amsterdam where he recruited local Dutch lawyers, Louis de Leon and Herman Levenstein – the latter was deeply involved in preventing Holland’s parliament from outlawing shechita in 2012.
On Friday afternoon, a day after being arrested by Dutch police at the request of the Israeli police, Rabbi Eliezer Berland was released from arrest in Amsterdam. Talks are ongoing between Israel and the Netherlands to bring an extradition hearing, which Berland’s lawyers say could take as long as a year. His passport was retained but he has freedom of movement in Holland and the entire EU.
HOW WILL WE BE JUDGED?
A blog by Howard Feldman
His lawyers are presently trying to get permission for him to travel to Ukraine, not an EU country, to join tens of thousands of fellow Breslov followers who go on a “Rosh Hashanah Kibbutz: pilgrimage to Uman every year – the burial place of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
On Friday Rabbi Berland appeared before the court and denied the allegations against him. In a marathon eight-hour session which ended just before Shabbos, the Court denied the Israeli application as they were unable to produce an arrest warrant from Israel.
Israeli had no arrest warrant
The judge said the Israelis had not met their burden of proof denied the Israeli police’s request that Berland be released on house arrest, rather releasing him on bail and retaining his passport. Talks are ongoing between Israel and the Netherlands to extradite him to Israel – a process that his lawyers say may see him stuck in Europe for as long as a year the lawyers are reported to have told followers.
Jewish Report’s inside man, senior Shuvu Bonim follower *Yossi, said on Sunday that the followers were “feeling very upbeat.” Followers have been flocking to get tickets “to visit Rav Berland in Holland – which they can do openly for the first time in two years,” said Yossi.
He says that Israeli TV Channel 2 and Channel 10, which were the channels who started the rumours about R. Berland by airing interviews with his supposed victims (followers insist they were related to enemies of the Rav) are now broadcasting as if there was no possibility of the allegations being true, says Yossi.
In the meantime, Israeli police have been told, and that if they can come back at a later date and present an arrest warrant to the court another hearing will be set. to make a case to a court and get an arrest warrant issued in Israel which is no easy task.
“The truth of the matter,” Yossi told Jewish Report, “is that there was never was an Israeli arrest warrant.”
R. Berland speaks out to media
Asked after the court case why he was running away if he was innocent of the charges police want to question him about, Rav Berland is reported to have pointed out that he did not “run away” from Israel, he had left of his own free will and long before the police even wanted to question him.
“I’m done with Israel. It is the State of Hamas. It is not for the Jews. 500 missiles are fired at residents and they don’t look for anyone, but they look for me,” said the Shuvu Bonim leader. “They do not have anything, they have no clue.”
Berland said that his plane had hardly come to a halt at Schiphol Airport on Wednesday when, suddenly, “two police officers arrived and told me I was under arrest.”
Followers celebrate at Kotel
CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO
Speaking at an interview with Israel’s multimedia ynet and Channel 10 News on Friday, Berland said that the Israeli authorities “have nothing against me. I feel great with the police chases. I hope they will come after me until my last day. (Dutch) Police said all the complaints about me are ‘Bubba Maisas’, there is nothing there.”
“I’m done with Israel. They have nothing to do. Instead of looking for real criminals, real terrorists, they are looking for me. We will prove that they have nothing and have no clue. We have established 10 communities. Where I go and there are people – they repent and return to Judaism.”
English info-lines today, watch this space
The matter is top of Israeli news and the Shuvu Bonim Yeshiva was receiving so many calls for updates that they opened a special information phone line which is constantly updated and has interviews with the lawyers, etc,, but only in Hebrew.
SAJR Online users in Israel can call 058 328-7777 and from outside Israel it is +972 58 328-7777. This, says Yossi, is constantly being updated.
“We are planning on accommodating the English speakers by putting up interviews in English. G-d willing, later today we will have an interview with the Rabbi’s lawyer,” Yossi told Jewish Report this afternoon.
It was interesting to note, says Yossi, that there must have been inside information (in SA). There is no arrest warrant on Israel. Thank G-d it has come out. People do have personal agendas against Rav Berland.
Follow the story on Jewish Report Online:
- 15 SEP: HOW WILL WE BE JUDGED? Blogs Howard Feldman
- 15 SEP: “THEY HAVE NOTHING!” R. Berland speaks to the media
- 14 SEP: FOLLOWERS CELEBRATE AT KOTEL – Video
- 14 SEP: STOP PRESS: R. BERLAND A FREE MAN IN AMSTERDAM
- 14 SEP:PROOF POURING IN – RABBI BERLAND FREED BY DUTCH COURT
- 11 SEP: R BERLAND HELD IN HOLLAND, NEXT STOP: ISRAEL?
- 11 SEP: RABBI BERLAND’S LEFT SA? & THE STAR STORY
- 10 SEP: COPS BOTCH R. BERLAND ARREST ONCE AGAIN
- 09 SEP: BERLAND TAKES ILL AS FOLLOWERS POUR IN
- 13 AUG:Israel calls on SA for R. Berland’s arrest & return
- 28 JULY:See Breslov R. Berland speak live on TV tonight
- 23 JULY: PDF: prayer for israel in Rabbi Berland’s own hand
- 23 JULY: PDF in Hebrew: Rabbi Berland’s prayer for israel printed
- 23 JULY: In Hebrew: podcast on israeli radio
- 23 JULY: BERLAND: Bibi Quit! You’re not doing anything!
- 18 JUNE: Followers forced to sleep in park
- 18 JUNE: Cold comfort as Rabbi Berland’s flock freeze – Reader
- 2 JUNE: All the latest on the Breslovs in South Africa
- 2 JUNE: Who is Reb Nachman Breslover from Uman
- 2 JUNE: Who is Rabbi Eliezer Berland?
- 21 MAY: Berland may be off in three weeks’ time
- 14 MAY: The Rabbi who keeps being mis-identified as R. Berlov
- 14 MAY: Berlands to settle& build new Yeshiva in Zim?
- 13 MAY: Berland’s Zim funder, JR EXCLUSIVE: Who is Yaron Yamin?
- 11 MAY: What it took to accuse Rabbi of harassment – Reader Comment
- 08 MAY: Chareidi world divided over Berland – Reader Comment
- 06 MAY: Rebbetzen Tahila Berland flies into Joburg
- 05 MAY: See Rav. Berland’s FACEBOOK PAGE and ENGLISH WEBSITE
- 04 MAY: First video of Yaron & Berland leaving Zim
- 30 April: First video of Rabbi Berland in Joburg -Reader
- 30 April: Minutes before the Hawks came calling
- 30 April: The Big Breslev Brouhaha Continues
- 29 April: “The day I was called a Nazi” -Reader
- 28 April: Breslev: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – TOP READ
- 27 April: 8-Page feature article in MISHSHPACHA – PDF
- 25 April: Uproar in Joburg Jewry: by Ant Katz & Robyn Sassen
- 24 April: Religious leaders must be consistent -Reader
- 24 April: Breslov ‘shopper’ says thanks to SA Jewry
- 24 April: Sackstein roasts Sevitz over Breslovs & Pesach
- 23 April: Fugitive Rabbi, followers, cause uproar
- 23 April: Did you hear the one about…?
- 23 April: Vid of R. Berland & Co’s Purim bash
- 23 April: Secrecy & silence leave community confused
- 23 April: Ant’s speculative Op-ed and what to expect
- 23 April: “Chasidic kids need stable environment” -Reader
- 23 April: “Kids need stable environment” -Reader
- 19 April: “Some One” posts dissenting view
- 14 April: Chief Rabbi: Don’t shelter Berland
- 14 April: Goldstein call