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Sep 14, 2014

Rabbi Berland captured, innocent or guilty

So, Rabbi Berland has finally been captured.

I don't know if he did what he was accused of or not. He will eventually stand trial, now that he has been caught, and his innocence or guilt will be determined.

Rabbi Berland's statement upon capture and release (on bail) does not move me. Rabbi Berland said that he has had enough of Israel hounding him and from his perspective, Israel is just like Hamas.

That does not move me. I am not outraged by this statement, nor am I taken in by it. The man has been chased down across continents for a crime he allegedly committed and must stand trial for. Of course he thinks badly of the country that has tracked him and chased him down and has made him live like a refugee or a runaway for so long, running from third world country to third world country to escape the long tentacles of Israeli and international justice. I have yet to hear a criminal, or an alleged criminal, speak highly of the system that is waiting to prosecute him.

What I will add is that his running away and living "on the lam" looks very bad to me, very incriminating. If he is as purely innocent as he claims to be, he would not be happy about having to stand trial and pay for lawyers and whatever it entails, but, in my eyes, he should not have run the way he did. The way he ran, hiding out in these countries, makes him look guilty. He has surely prejudiced most people against himself, not including his most ardent followers.

I am surprised the Europeans released him on bond. Even having taken his passport away - after all his running, after the way his hassidim helped smuggle him from place to place, I am surprised they considered him to not be a flight risk, even without his passport.

At least the saga seems to be over, and now he will stand trial. We can finally find out what he did and what he did not do.

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