Many Jews who are accused of being paedophiles in the US are fleeing to Israel in order to escape criminal prosecution, CBS News investigation published on Wednesday revealed.
Findings from the report, which cited research by Jewish Community Watch (JCW), a US-based organisation that tracks accused paedophiles, also revealed that pursuing perpetrators of child sexual exploitation can be difficult due to Jewish men and women using the Law of Return.
The Law of Return grants any person with a Jewish grandparent the right to obtain Israeli citizenship automatically.
Having started tracking accused paedophiles in 2014, JCW says it has identified more than 60 accused paedophiles who have fled from the US to Israel in that time and that the actual number is likely much larger, CBS reported.
“The same thing that is going on in the Catholic Church right now around the world, the exact same thing is happening in our community,” JCW founder Meyer Seewald told CBS News. “The cover-ups are the same, the stigma, the shame.”
Shana Aaronson, JCW’s chief operating officer, said the blame starts with Jewish communities in the US and the American government for not seeking extraditions, but that Israeli law enforcement has come up short in prioritising the search for suspects.
Israel Police commented that they take the cases seriously and coordinate with the Justice Ministry and police worldwide, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The report explored the case of Jimmy Julius Karow, who fled the US in 2000 to remain in Israel, where he allegedly moved between different Jewish communities to avoid being exposed after being accused of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl in Oregon.
JCW says Karow and other wanted men and women have been able to exploit the Law of Return, and go on to abuse children in Israel as well.