Barak’s ties to the disgraced pedophile financier stretched back at least 15 years. Protesters demand an investigation into possible wrongdoing by the former PM.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
About 30 protesters gathered in front of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s Tel Aviv residence on Monday evening, holding signs and speaking with neighbors about his ties to late billionaire financier and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
World Israel News spoke with the protesters, who expressed frustration with what they see as the Israeli media’s refusal to properly investigate accusations against Barak from an alleged Epstein victim.
The protesters’ signs read “Lolita Minister” and “Black Flag protests – financed by money from the sex trafficking of minors,” a reference to the anti-government Black Flag protests Barak openly supports.
“We’re not here to make any problems,” said Elad, a protester. “We’re here to display our signs, get the message out, and give information. Even some of the neighbors have come down and spoken with us, and learned things they weren’t aware of before.”
“Barak’s connection to Epstein is being downplayed by the Israeli media,” he said. “It’s the elephant in the room. The press is unwilling to have a discussion [about the allegations]. He is still being invited to Meet the Press, he’s still sitting on panels, and nobody is asking anything.”
Barak’s ties to Epstein stretched back at least 15 years. Starting in 2004, he received over $3 million in funding from various Epstein-related institutions, including the Wexner Foundation.
Virginia Roberts Guiffre, who was allegedly trafficked as a minor by Epstein, said in a 2016 deposition that she was sexually abused by Barak when she was a teen. The deposition was unsealed in June 2020.
Representatives for Barak responded in a statement to Israel Hayom that he “does not comment on imaginary rumors or false affidavits.”
Many of the protesters said they believe Guiffre’s allegation warrants a proper investigation, by both the Israeli police and the media, and are disturbed by governmental silence on the matter.
“I’m a single mother of four children and I don’t live in Tel Aviv. I paid for a babysitter so that I could be here today,” said Ayelet, another protester. “That’s how important this is to me.”
“I’m very concerned that child traffickers will begin operating in Israel,” she said, adding that she fears traffickers will become emboldened by the lack of police investigation.
She said she feels the media, “especially left-wing Channel 12 and Channel 13,” aren’t investigating Barak because it’s politically inconvenient.
In July 2019, The Daily Mail published photos taken in 2016 of Barak on the doorstep of Epstein’s New York mansion. The visit occurred years after Epstein’s 2008 conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution and 13 month prison term.
In the photos, Barak approaches Epstein’s home with a scarf covering his face, as though he is attempting to hide his identity.
Barak told The Daily Beast that he covered his face because of the chilly New York weather, saying, “It was so cold the Middle Easterner had to put on a hat.”
He claimed the photos were leaked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to The Daily Mail as part of a smear campaign during the run-up to the March 2020 Israeli elections.
He admitted to visiting Epstein’s homes and his private Caribbean island, but told The Daily Mail he “never met Epstein in the company of women or young girls.”