A Jewish pedophile pediatrician who was convicted of possessing and distributing some 190,000 child pornography videos and images can serve as a medical supervisor at the Health Ministry’s student health services department, an Israeli court ruled last week:
Avraham Barkai will be able to pay visits to schools but not treat children in his new position, which a panel of judges at the Nazareth Regional Labor Court determined that he should be allowed to fill, going against the recommendation of the Civil Service Commission.
Barkai was convicted in 2011 of being part of an international child pornography distribution ring and later sentenced to 18 months behind bars. However, the punishment was reduced on appeal to six months of community service, a nine-month suspended sentence and a NIS 20,000 ($5,690) fine.
For over a year up to his conviction, but after he had already been charged, Barkai continued to practice at a Haifa clinic of the Meuhedet HMO after a Health Ministry disciplinary committee ruled that he could continue to see children as long as a parent or nurse was in the room.
The disciplinary committee went on to rule that despite the charges, Barkai did not pose a danger to children as he had not been accused of physical acts against minors. As a result, it ruled that the pediatrician’s license should only be stripped for two years, and by July 2013 Barkai got his license back….
However, senior officials in the Health Ministry have come to Barkai’s defense. In 2014, the Health Ministry’s senior vice president of Administration and Human Resources, Dov Passat, submitted a letter to the disciplinary committee asserting that there should be nothing preventing Barkai from applying for tenders for positions as a pediatrician.