Escapee from anti-Zionist Jewish cult struggles to save son

i24NEWS

3 min read
Mountains overlooking the village of El Carrizal, in Guatemala's eastern state of Chiquimula, May 30, 2016.
AP Photo/Moises CastilloMountains overlooking the village of El Carrizal, in Guatemala's eastern state of Chiquimula, May 30, 2016.

Some describe Lev Tahor as the “Jewish Taliban” due to their strict rules of livelihood and extreme views

A 22-year-old escapee from an ultra-Orthodox, anti-Zionist cult in Guatemala is in the midst of a years-long struggle to retrieve his two-year-old son from the extremist group.

Israel Amir escaped the Lev Tahor cult in Guatemala two years ago, Channel 12 News reported.

Some describe Lev Tahor as the “Jewish Taliban” due to their strict rules of livelihood and extreme views. 

Founded in Jerusalem in the 1980s, the group fled to Canada and then to Guatemala in 2014 under intense scrutiny for alleged child abuse and child marriage.

Before leaving the cult, Amir filmed a video during which he described the brutality of the leaders, the lack of food, and extreme conditions. 

He sent the video to his cousins in Israel, who then flew to Guatemala to help him escape, according to Channel 12 News.

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1476971446060519427 ...

This post can't be displayed because social networks cookies have been deactivated. You can activate them by clicking .

A year ago, Amir returned to the Central American country to save his son who is still being held by Lev Tahor.

The Uvda investigative program of Channel 12 News followed Amir and aired a special report of the journey on Thursday.

After appealing to various Israeli officials with no luck, Amir recruited a former officer of Israel’s security service Shin Bet, Eshel Armoni, to help extract his son.

Armoni and his team of former colleagues made several attempts to gather intelligence on Lev Tahor, gain access to the compound in Guatemala, and retrieve the child. 

However, they were unsuccessful, and Amir eventually returned to Israel. 

“The battle is not over. In the end, the government will wake up and help bring the children home… It’ll happen in the end," Amir told Uvda.

"We will keep fighting in order for it to happen. I will not give up."