Friday, May 06, 2005

Son, wife and daughter of Israeli Sephardic Chief Rabbi arrested over suspected kidnapping, abuse: son confesses


At 4:36 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...


May. 6, 2005
Chief Sephardi rabbi's son confesses to kidnapping

In the courtroom Meir Amar, 31, covers his sister Ayala Amar, 18, with his sweater to shield the embarrassed adolescent from cameras.

Ayala Amar, 18, allegedly met a Bnei Brak youth over the Internet and developed a relationship with him of which her family disapproved.

The wife, daughter and son of Chief Sephardic rabbi Shlomo Amar were arrested Thursday night by Tel Aviv police after they allegedly kidnapped a 17-year-old religious youth whom the rabbi's daughter was dating, it was released for publication Friday.

Ayala Amar, 18, the rabbi's daughter, met the 17-year-old boy from Bnei Brak over the Internet, police said. As the family was angered by the relationship between the youngsters, Ayala's 31-year-old brother Meir kidnapped and beat up the youth repeatedly, police believe.

Meir has confessed to his role in the kidnapping, and insists that it was done at his personal initiative without the influence of any family member.

However, police suspect that Meir masterminded the kidnapping after being ordered to do so by his mother, Mazal Amar, 58.

"The investigated material indicates the possibility that she [Mazal Amar] knew of the relationship between her daughter and the youth and was disturbed by it," Tel Aviv District Court Judge Mordechai Peled said at the hearing.

It was later revealed that Mazal was almost certainly aware of the kidnapping.

"We know certainly that she was in the apartment at the time that the youth was held there," head of Tel Aviv district investigations department Cmdr. Alon Grossman.

"Did she get involved in the beating or not? We are still looking into that," Grossman said.

Police related the sequence of events which occures started on April 26, when Meir and two accomplices, reportedly accompanied by Ayala, went to the youth's home where they threatened the minor, then forced him into their car at knife point and drove off.

Meir is said to no longer be religious, as at the age of 13 he left the family home and chose a secular path.

Apparently, the suspects then drove to the Arab village of Kalasanwa, where Abdallah and Ahmed Maslawah met up with the group and together with Meir beat the kidnapped youth, tied him up and warned him to stay away from Ayala. The assaulters cut off the boy's peyot and cut his kippah in half to humiliate him, police said.

In the morning the youth was taken to the Amar home in Jerusalem, were he was repeatedly beaten.

The youth was eventually released by his kidnappers and went to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah where he was treated for his injuries.

The hospital filed a complaint with the police, who initiated an investigation in the matter.

Both the mother Mazal and daughter Ayala were released to house arrest, but the court extended the remand by five days of Meir and of the brothers Abdallah and Ahmed Maslawah who were also arrested for their involvement in the kidnapping.

Rabbi Amar himself was not arrested. The chief rabbi is currently out of the country, traveling in Thailand, but he will be detained for questioning upon his return.

Grossman also said police have been provided with various conflicting versions from the suspects and are still sifting through them to discover Rabbi Amar's involvement in the affair.

"In all families, especially in such a respectable family, the family members always try to cover up for one another," Grossman said.

Due to the sensitivity of the case involving the highly respected family, police said they were running investigation with maximum sensitivity.

Top police brass all the way up to Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi are being kept updated on the details of the investigation.


Chief rabbi's son arrested for kidnapping

Son of chief Sephardic rabbi suspected of kidnapping sister's suitor, aided by two Israeli-Arabs
By Avi Cohen

TEL AVIV - The daughter, son and wife of Israel's Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar were arrested Thursday on suspicions of kidnapping a religious youth who had dated the rabbi's daughter.

A gag order previously placed on the affair was lifted on Friday afternoon.

Rabbi Amar, who is currently in Thailand, has not yet been questioned by the police and it is unclear whether he was directly involved in the incident. He is scheduled to return to Israel on Tuesday.

However, the rabbi can only be questioned with approval by Attorney General Menachem Mazuz.

Police suspect Amar's wife Mazal was also involved in the kidnapping.

Forbidden romance

The rabbi's 18-year-old daughter, Ayala, met the 17-year-old ultra-Orthodox youngster three months ago through an Internet chat.

However, the Amar family did not approve of the relationship.

The rabbi's son Meir Amar, who has been leading a secular life for the past 20 year's and has a criminal record, is the prime suspect in the investigation.

After failed attempts to convince the couple to end their relationship, Amar contacted two acquaintances, brothers Ahmed and Abdullah Sawalma from the Israeli Arab town of Kalansua, and together they planned the kidnapping.

'Like a 'Clockwork Orange' scene'

According to police officials, the rabbi’s daughter coaxed the youngster into meeting her at a street in the religious town of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, where he was pushed into a car and kidnapped at knifepoint by the rabbi’s son.

The officials said the youth was beaten and threatened during the drive to an apartment in Kalansua.

“When they took him up to the apartment I stayed in the car the whole time, and did not see what they were doing to him,” the rabbi’s daughter said during questioning.

Police suspect the youngster was beaten for four hours, as if from a “Clockwork Orange “ scene, unaware that his kidnapper was the brother of his girlfriend.

The youth was taken to Jerusalem the following morning where his kidnappers continued to beat him in the rabbi’s home.

Police are investigating whether the rabbi and his wife, who were sleeping at the time, were aware of the abuse.

Wife, daughter under house arrest

The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court extended the remand of Meir Amar Friday by five days after he admitted to the kidnapping.

He claimed he wanted to “reeducate” his sister and her suitor, as the ultra-Orthodox are not permitted to meet prior to their wedding.

In addition, the court ordered the rabbi’s wife and daughter be placed under house arrest for five days.

Tel Aviv Chief Superintendent Alon Grossman told Ynet his department received a message from the hospital that a youngster had been

kidnapped and badly beaten.

"We began a secret investigation, gathered testimony from the plaintiff and his father......and we are continuing to investigate," he said. "At this stage we are examining where each member of the (rabbi's) family were during the time he was abused in the Jerusalem apartment, and what each of their roles were, if any, in the affair."

'He is considrered a step-son'

However, Mazal Amar's lawyer Benny Katz, claimed the rabbi’s wife has no connection to the incident, and if proven otherwise he said, her connection is marginal.

In addition, Katz said the rabbi’s son has not belonged to the family for years.

“The man chose his own direction in life,” he said. “He doesn’t meet with the family and can even be considered a step-son…he did these actions on his own, one must not connect them to the family.”

Meanwhile, Ayala Amar’s lawyer Sharon Keinan said she was forced to take part in the incident.

“We are talking about an 18-year-old girl that has never been tied to criminal acts and did not understand what was happening," he said. "Therefore there is no reason for her to be detained.”

- Ilan Marciano contributed to the report

First Published: 05.06.05, 17:24
Latest Update: 05.06.05, 19:11


Sat., May 07, 2005 Nisan 28, 5765

Amar's son, top left, and other suspects appearing Friday in Tel Aviv court. (Motti Kimche)

Last update - 02:16 07/05/2005

Son of chief rabbi arrested over suspected kidnapping, abuse

By Roni Singer, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service

Police arrested Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar's son, wife, and daughter Thursday in connection with the alleged kidnapping and beating of an ultra-Orthodox youth.

The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on Friday morning extended the remand of Amar's son, Meir, and released the rabbi's wife and daughter to house arrest.

According to the accusations, ten days ago the three family members, likely in cooperation with Palestinians from the territories, kidnapped and imprisoned the youth for two days.


Police believe the motive in the kidnapping was the family's disapproval of the friendship between the rabbi's 18-year-old daughter Ayala and the 17-year-old Bnei Brak youth. The two met in an internet chat room.

After his release, the youth filed a complaint with police, who opened an investigation into the affair.

Shlomo Amar was not questioned by police and is not a suspect in the case, but police will take his testimony when he returns from a visit abroad.

Meretz MK Avshalom Vilan called on Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Friday to investigate Amar, Army Radio reported.

The prime suspect, Meir Amar, has been leading a secular life away from his parents' home for the last 20 years, and living at different addresses.

In his complaint, the Haredi youth claimed Ayala Amar convinced him to meet her in a Bnei Brak street, where he got into a car driven by her brother, Meir. He was then taken from Bnei Brak to the Israeli Arab town of Kalansua, where he was imprisoned in a room in a house owned by Meir Amar's two friends, also suspected of involvement in the affair.

Police believe the youth was beaten throughout the night in front of Ayala Amar. He was seriously wounded by the beating, Israel Radio reported.

Meir Amar is then believed to have taken the youth to the chief rabbi's house, where he continued to abuse him, including when the rabbi was home.

Police suspect that the rabbi's wife, Mazal Amar, was the one who asked Meir Amar to intervene and terminate the relationship between the two youths. Police decided to arrest Ayala Amar for allegedly not trying to stop the beating.

Meir Amar confessed to the accusations against him, but denies that his mother was involved.

"This affair sounds like a Clockwork Orange scene," one of the police investigators said. "The brother, together with the two village residents, badly beat the complainant. They cut his prayer locks, tore up his skullcap, threatened him with knives and abused him for long hours, until the morning."

Another of Rabbi Amar's sons who is not a suspect, Eliyahu Amar, accompanied his family on Friday to court in Tel Aviv. "My brother does not live with the family," he told Haaretz. "My parents mourn the fact that he adapted a mentality that is not at all connected to our home. If it becomes clear that this is true, this is not connected to the education we received in our home. In our home, no one even touches a fly."

Eliyahu Amar also said the family knew about the relationship between Ayala and the young man. "We spoke with them in a pleasant manner in an effort to end the relationship," he said. "In our society, a friendly relationship like this between a young man and woman it is not acceptable. For me, today, I feel the same thing I felt when I mourned for my wife [who was killed] in a car accident."

The suspects' lawyer, Benny Katz, said that family had no knowledge of the incident. Nevertheless, he said the family considered the contact between Ayala Amar and the young man "an immoral relationship" because they were not married.

Katz emphasized said Rabbi Amar and his wife had no knowledge of the incident. However, he admitted that Ayala Amar was present at the time of the incident but did not participate in the abuse of the young man.

He also claimed police were attempting to blur the case's evidence.

The court lifted a media ban regarding the case Friday afternoon.


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