Sex abuse allegations pile up against Israeli rescue chief

JERUSALEM (AP) — Yehuda Meshi-Zahav has for decades been one of Israel’s most recognizable faces. He was widely respected for founding an ultra-Orthodox rescue service that cared for victims of Palestinian attacks and bridged the divide between religious and secular Israelis. But in recent days, Meshi-Zahav has faced a growing list of accusers who say he committed horrendous acts of sexual abuse on men, women and children. The scandal has all but destroyed the reputation of a man who just weeks ago received the Israel Prize, the country’s highest civilian honor. It also has shined a light on the scourge of sexual abuse in the insular world of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community.