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Two Rabbis Arrested in Israel in ‘yossele’ Case; Parents Hide Youth

On suspicion that they had been involved in the hiding of 10 year old Yossele Schumacher from his parents, two young rabbis were arrested by police yesterday in Bnai Brak, a town near Tel Aviv, known for its Yeshivot and ultra-Orthodoxy.

Haim Weisner, 23, one of the rabbis arrested, is the son of the dean of the Hachmey Lublin Yeshiva, and a son-in-law of the late Rabbi Meislich of Jerusalem, whose name had earlier been connected with the abduction of Yossele Schumacher, The second rabbi arrested, Rabbi Maklef, is also 23.

Yossele remained hidden today by his parents in a resting place “somewhere in Israel.” He was scheduled to appear today in the Jerusalem District Court in a case involving his abduction, but was excused at least for the time being. He had been subpoeaned at the request of attorneys for Zalman and Rifka Kutt, an Orthodox couple involved in his case. But the attorney for the Schumacher family got the court to excuse the boy on the grounds that a Government psychiatrist opposed the court appearance at this time as possibly harmful to the child.

The security chief, meeting today with editors of Israeli daily newspapers, said that the abductors of Yossele had considered having a plastic operation performed on the boy, to prevent his identification. The suggestion that the plastic operation had already been performed was used by his abductors in an attempt to blackmail certain religious personalities in Israel into continuing to work against the boy’s return, the security chief declared.

According to the head of the security service, the abductors had not intended at any time to return the boy to Israel, as their main objective was a “holy war” against the State. The ultra-Orthodox groups involved in the Schumacher case, who were said to have headquarters in New York, Jerusalem, London and Switzerland, were alleged to be engaged in a wide anti-Israeli plot and to have acted against the incorporation of Jerusalem in the Jewish State.

Yossele was hidden by his grandfather, Nachman Starkes, nearly three years ago, when the elder man feared that the boy’s parents, Alter and Ida Schumacher, would not give him a sufficiently Orthodox education. The boy was later spirited out of Israel by unknown persons, and was found living in Brooklyn last week. He has now been reunited with his parents in Holon, a suburb of Tel Aviv.

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