Goel Ratzon makes headlines worldwide
Photo: Ofer Amram

'Israeli Fritzl' makes headlines worldwide

Media outlets across the world cover arrest of 'harem messiah' Goel Ratzon, detained Thursday

The arrest of Goel Ratzon, leader of a polygamist cult reported to have 89 children from 32 women and suspected of rape and enslavement, is making waves not only in Israel, but throughout the world.


The affair, which Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen said was "grave" and unprecedented in Israel, was widely reported by global media outlets Friday.


"Goel Ratzon, Israeli 'harem messiah', arrested in Tel Aviv" was the headline of a British TimesOnlne report, which also featured a picture of the suspect with the text: "Mr. Ratzon declared: 'I'm perfect...I have all the qualities a woman wants'."


The article, which unravels the details of the complex affair, calls Ratzon "Israel's Josef Fritzl", comparing him to the Austrian man who kept his daughter imprisoned for 24 years, raped her repeatedly and fathered her children.


American network Fox News quoted the Times, and used the same headline.


The Irish Times also reported the affair, using a more informative and moderate tone: "Israeli police have arrested a Tel Aviv man who is believed to have fathered 89 children from 32 women on suspicion of enslavement and rape," the article read.


The report noted that Ratzon's misdeeds were known to authorities as far back as nine years ago, but police lacked any concrete evidence against what the paper called the "guru."


Arab media outlets also showed an interest in the affair, with the Palestinian al-Quds newspaper reporting that "The Israel Police arrested a 60-year-old man suspected of incest and abuse of dozens of women and children, who he kept as slaves in several houses across Tel Aviv."


The paper described Ratzon's wives saying, "They would dress in long clothing, similar to the clothing warn by haredi Jewish women during pregnancy. Ratzon's face, as well as his beard and glasses, were tattooed on their bodies. The names of all his children were derived from his name, which means - 'the savior'."


פרסום ראשון: 01.15.10, 15:56
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