Our only sin is that we’re old-fashioned, religious and anti-Zionist, which is why the state of Israel doesn’t like us, Lev Tahor group spokesman Uriel Goldman told N1 Monday, adding that he does not know when and whether members of this group will leave the Bosnian town of Istocno Sarajevo.
“I do not know why we chose Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are fleeing persecution. When we enter a country legally, false stories and false accusations begin. We try to be very honest, and we call on the authorities, who check and determine that everything is in order. But today we have social networks, and people who talk all the time, they are bad, bad, bad,” Goldman said.
When asked if the community has problems in BiH, the N1’s interlocutor answered briefly.
“I don't mean that, we don't mean that,” he said, adding: “Normally people are very kind at first, but when they hear accusations people get scared.”
Goldman denies allegations of kidnapping and exploitation of children, which appeared in public.
He said the authorities in Canada have been investigating the case for 18 months.
“After 18 months, they found nothing. It has been proven more than 100% that everything is a lie. All the stories you see are the same false accusations. All the stories about children have been verified, 18 months in Canada, and more than five years in Guatemala… We went to Guatemala when we realized it would never end,” said Uriel Goldman, adding that living under investigation is very difficult. Every day, he adds, social workers and psychologists came.
N1 did not receive a precise answer to the question of how long they will stay in Bosnia and whether they are planning the arrival of other members of this community.
N1 also contacted Israel Amir, a former member of this religious group, who believes his two-and-a-half-year-old son is still part of this community, but he has no information on his current whereabouts.
“I don't know where he is, but I hope he is alive and well,” Amir told N1, adding that the boy's mother was with him.
“I don’t know anything about them. I can't contact them. I hope they’re well and that they are together. It is a dangerous sect, kidnapping children and more. It is important that people are warned about the cult,” he said.
N1 crew asked about the boy in Istocno Sarajevo where one of the members of the community told us that he knows Israel Amir, but shyly claims that he does not know where his son and wife are.
In the nearby market, everyone knows about the mysterious guests who buy large quantities of grain and seeds.
“Once they came to me, they were looking for 200 pieces of this,” says one salesman, pointing to bags of cooking wheat, adding that he has been filling shelves with this product regularly ever since.
One of the employees in the market added that they also buy large quantities of seeds.
“We sell everything we have in stock, if we need a larger quantity, we order more,” said the interlocutor, adding that they never created the slightest problem.
Symbolically, on the fence in front of the houses where the members of Lev Tahor live, it says “greetings earthlings.” N1 has no information about when this message was written.