In August 2020 in the name of ARZA Australia I lodged a formal complaint with the Office of the Australian Attorney General about the ongoing drawn out process to extradite Malka Leifer from Israel to Australia to face accusations of child abuse.

I also expressed concern about the recommendation to appoint Yaakov Litzman as the Minister for Health, given the accusation that as Assistant to the Israeli Minister for Health, it was claimed that he helped Malka Leifer evade justice.

I acknowledged that Israel, like Australia, is a democracy and recognises the presumption of innocence before the law, but also that no one person should be above the law. I also acknowledged that Australia should not be seen to be interfering in another country’s internal legal decisions.

I am pleased to say that the Australian Attorney General, Christian Porter sent me a statement informing me that he had met with the Israeli Minister for Justice reaffirming Australia’s interest in the extradition of Malka Leifer being resolved. He expressed the view that he was encouraged by the Israeli Minister’s clear resolve to see the matter through to its conclusion in accordance with Israeli law.

Today, January 26, 5 months after the ARZA Australia communication with the Australian Attorney General, a campaign lasting more than a decade and 74 court hearings in Israel, we learned that the accused sex predator was put on a plane from Israel to Melbourne to answer her alleged crimes in Australia.

The saga of this matter brought me great sadness, because as the Member for Caulfield I had a very warm relationship with the Adass Israel school and with the Adass Israel congregation. As part of my constituency, I visited and was made welcome at the school and to many events for this community. I have felt deep concern for the welfare of this woman’s alleged student victims and the effect on the Adass Israel and broader Jewish community.

ARZA President, Helen Shardey

Helen Shardey
ARZA Australia President
UPJ Vice President