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A Suggestion for Michael Freund

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

A Degel Menashe Editorial

“I urge you to contact the relevant authorities so that they will investigate the matter thoroughly,” Michael Freund writes to Sarah Baite in his letter to her, parts of which are quoted from in today’s Newsletter. Is this his idea of black humor? Even as Shavei Israel’s chairman urges Sarah Baite to press for legal justice, Shavei Israel’s Manipur administrator Sehjalal Kipgen gets thugs to threaten her that she had better do no such thing. And what has Michael Freund done about it? As far as can be determined, nothing at all.

Freund writes Baite: “If you require any assistance, legal or otherwise, we would be willing to help you.” Degel Menashe cannot answer Freund’s letter for Baite, who cannot answer for herself right now because she has gone into hiding due to the threats she has received. When she feels it is safe to emerge, she will have to decide what if any “assistance” she wishes to ask for. Meanwhile, however, we do have a suggestion. If Michael Freund wishes to show that he’s serious – and frankly, it’s hard to believe that he is – he can start immediately by doing one thing.

It’s a simple one, Michael: get rid of Sehjalal Kipgen. Demand his resignation -- dismiss him – fire him – tell him to make himself scarce: you can call it what you want. Whatever you call it, it is obscene for you to be offering Sarah Baite aid and sympathy when a high official in the organization that you head, the man in charge of its activities in the state of Manipur in which Baite lives, is doing everything he can to scare her back into the silence she has had the courage to cast aside. As long as you let this man remain in office, you make a mockery of every supposedly concerned word that you write to her or about her.

So how about it? It wouldn’t take much: just a little announcement that from this moment on, Sehjalal Kipgen’s employment at Shavei Israel is terminated. Doing this will not give Shavei Israel a clean bill of health. Far from it. But in cleaning anything up, it’s best to begin by removing the darkest stain.



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