Ultra-orthodox Jews Take to Facebook to Combat Sex Crimes
By Judy Maltz
April 23, 2016
Reporting sexual abuse is no longer as taboo as it once was, thanks in part to a group of young Haredi Israelis fed up with the silence about such crimes in their community.
The scene captured by the surveillance camera shows an ultra-Orthodox man trying to force himself on a young boy in the narrow entrance of an apartment building.
It happened last month, on Purim, in the Israeli town of Bnei Brak. Within a few hours, the footage was posted on Facebook. Almost immediately, the assailant was identified, and two days later, he was under arrest.
That would not have been the normal course of events 10 years ago, five years ago or even six months ago. But reporting sexual abuse is no longer as taboo as it once was in the ultra-Orthodox community, and among those who deserve credit for this change is a group of young Israeli crusaders fed up with the long-standing silence about such crimes in their midst.
Their newfound organization is aptly named Lo Tishtok (Thou Shalt Not Be Silent) — a reference to what they say is their unwritten 11th commandment. It was their organization that was first to receive the incriminating footage recorded on the surveillance camera, forwarded by an anonymous resident. “We immediately posted it on our Facebook group,” recounts Tzviki Fleishman, one of the founders of Lo Tishtok, “and asked that if anyone recognized the man in the picture to let us know. It didn’t take much time before someone identified him.”