Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Horrible Crime, Lots of Repercussions:

As this posting is being composed, the big news story unfolding is the gruesome murder and dismemberment of Leiby Kletzky in Brooklyn as he was returning from day camp. There is a sufficient media feeding frenzy going on that there is no need to link to anything in this posting. Needless to say, the politicians are in on the feeding frenzy as well.

First and foremost, my condolences go out to Leiby's family. I cannot even imagine what they are going through.

In journalism school (not that I ever went to J-School), they teach that stories of a dog biting a man are not newsworthy, but when a man bites a dog, it's usually good for the front page. What is unusual about this story is that the suspect is from the same religious Jewish community as Leiby. Hey, when Gentiles kill one another, nobody makes a big deal about it (just ask the people of South Sudan or Rwanda or places like that), but when Jews kill one another it upsets the whole world!

My instincts tell me (and my friends and acquaintances in law enforcement seem to have similar gut hunches) that (A) Leiby and/or his family have/had some familiarity with the perp; and (B) the perp probably has some prior experience in this type of misdeed.


My observations:

1. In many insular Jewish circles, pains are taken to give the dead various honorifics in speech and writing. I myself, for example, will often (but not always) add a phrase such as "may they rest in peace" when speaking of my departed grandparents. But many blogs and newssites use the honorific "HY'D" which is the transliteration of the abbreviation for HaShem Yikom Damo, which is Hebrew for "May G-d avenge his blood." HY'D is commonly used in connection with those killed by Gentile enemies of the Jewish people (think victims of the Nazis). In the case of Leiby, it is now being used in connection with someone killed by a fellow Jew.


2. Everyone in Leiby's community seems to be trying to keep the true facts from the young children. Counseling experts are giving advice on how to break it to the children. Okay, I agree that there is a right way and a wrong way to break the news to the children, but keeping them in ignorance is the coward's way out. In such regard, when I was 5 years old, a 3-year-old playmate of mine was sexually molested and murdered, and her body stuffed in a cabinet in the basement of the teenage perp. I had just been over her house with my mom the week before. My dad was in the searching party, and my mom had gone to junior high with the assistant District Attorney on the case. My parents found a way to tell me that this young girl was killed, and though they didn't give all of the graphic details, neither did they deny that something terrible had happened to the playmate and that I would not be seeing her again. And they did it without having to engage the services of a counsellor or psychologist.

3. The Agudath Israel of America has released a public statement on Leiby's murder. It includes the sentence "We join the entire community in expressing our tremendous gratitude to the New York City Police Department, the FBI and local government officials for their round-the-clock efforts in leaving no stone unturned in their search; and we hope and trust that the perpetrator of this murder of an innocent boy will swiftly be brought to justice."

You will recall that the insular factions represented by Agudath Israel have, of late, been taking the attitude in deed if not in word that it is better to sweep child molestation under the rug and let the rabbis handle it, but one should not go report it to the authorities without sparingly-granted rabbinical permission. The irony of the Agudath Israel's statement about Leiby is not lost on many, including myself.


If it turns out that the perp had a record which was covered up by someone in the Agudath Israel constituency, then the Agudath Israel would have excellent reason to be concerned about its continued viability as an organization, what with its steadfast support of those who have covered up and continue to cover up the child molestation.

Methinks that the Agudath Israel's chickens may be coming home to roost!

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