Culture, Justice, Religion, Sex & Gender

Gary Gets It Right

Kol hakavod to Gary Rosenblatt for exhibiting true menschlekeit:

My role is journalist, not judge. But in hindsight, I think I should have written at the time that I found the women far more credible than Gafni.
In the wake of Gafni’s apparent downfall, I spoke about the case to several colleagues who practice and teach journalism. One thinks I should have acted on my instincts and been tougher on Gafni, even though I had no first-hand accounts on the record. Another said I was right to have held out for on-the-record attribution.
Several of Gafni’s most fervent defenders in the community now acknowledge that they were taken in by his protestations of victimization. Each seemed to rely on the other as the source of proof of Gafni’s innocence, underscoring the lack of serious and professional investigations into such murky matters. At least one rabbinic defender was so upset at the time with the tone and tenor of Gafni’s critics, particularly on blogs and Web sites, that he seemed to conflate their stridency with Gafni’s claims of innocence.
But just because critics can be zealous and over the top at times doesn’t mean the source of their ire is blameless.

A hat tip to you sir. But you’re not off the hook so easy.

3 thoughts on “Gary Gets It Right

  1. Rosenblatt’s work inspires me. What a human being. I think he might be an excellent candidate to lead us in finding a way to handle sexual abuse cases in our community.
    His pieces in the Jewish week (esp the 2004 Gafni article) illustrate for me the value of transparency. He provided enough information that we were all able to make our own (vastly divergent) decisions – I felt informed enough to know how I felt about attending events Gafni was at, after reading the 2004 article. For me, hearing the women’s stories and all the specific detail that sounded entirely plausible to me, and hearing the Gafni defenders talk in vague terms (an investigation with no details!!) or about how long ago these things happened was more than enough for me personally to make my decisions. Without the free press, and editors like Rosenblatt, these types of stories may have only been told in “confidential” settings, and thus someone else’s judgment and conclusions would have been substituted for my own.

  2. I forgot to add that Rosenblatt’s 2004 piece also made public Gafni’s own statements, which were also essential to my understanding of the situation. If those comments had not been made public, a vast disservice would have been done.

  3. I have several friends whose fathers did the nasty to them. They were victims, and are survivors of sexual abuse. Using those words in the context of consensual adult relationship, dishonors my friends, the millions of women like them and the incredible work they’ve done in order to live and not curl up & die. We can have compassion for the aggrieved parties of any relationship where one of the partners lied or cheated.
    Speaking of lying: it seems to me the relationships were indeed clearly defined, “eternal secrecy” does not in any way indicate marriage & family.

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