Rabbi Dov Lipman ousted from World Confederation of United Zionists

Amid accusations reported by the Haaretz newspaper, Rabbi Dov Lipman dropped as secretary-general of Zionist umbrella movement.

Ron Kampeas, JTA & Arutz Sheva ,

MK Dov Lipman (file)
MK Dov Lipman (file)

The World Confederation of United Zionists, one of several groupings within the World Zionist Organization, let go of its secretary-general, American-born Rabbi Dov Lipman, citing his dispute with two women who he is suing for libel.

Haaretz, which first broke the story of the women's harassment allegations, reported Monday that the confederation’s chairman, David Yaari, notified the World Zionist Organization of Lipman’s departure last month after the allegations were made public.

“Given the grave allegations against former MK Dov Lipman, it was decided to part ways in order to focus on CUZ’s vital work within the global Zionist forum,” Yarri told Haaretz in a statement.

Lipman, who is from the Washington, D.C., area, is a former Knesset member from the Yesh Atid party.

He denied to Haaretz that he had been fired, saying he had left of his own accord to devote more time to helping new immigrants to Israel settle and assimilate, the work he is best known for.

Lipman has denied the harassment allegations, which first arose on a private Facebook page. He has sued the two women making the accusations, and they have countersued.

The two women, like Lipman, are members of the Modern Orthodox community in Beit Shemesh, a city near Jerusalem. They said the harassment occurred when they and Lipman were part of a movement to push back against haredi Orthodox harassment of Modern Orthodox women and girls in the city over modesty and other perceived religious infractions.

“I have never harassed or assaulted anyone in my life", Rabbi Lipman told Arutz Sheva. "I filed a libel lawsuit against two women who wrote damaging falsehoods about me - one saying that she was involved in something that she alleges happened seven years ago and the other not claiming that anything happened to her involving me".

"They never made a police complaint, of course, but just posted on Facebook", rabbi Lipman added. "I sued them for libel and in response to my lawsuit against them the first woman counter sued me. I voluntarily took a polygraph about this and it showed that I speak “total truth.” I have since discovered that sadly this woman has experienced many assaults - according to her own Facebook post 7 different assaults in just the first half of her life".

"The truth will come to light from my lawsuit against them", he concluded, "As for my job with the confederation, it was a part time role which I could not continue because I am spending day and night guiding olim and their families who reach out to me for help entering Israel and for assistance in other areas".