Today in a unanimous verdict, a three-judge panel convicted former president Moshe Katzav of two counts of rape, one count of an indecent act, sexual harassment of three women and an attempt to obstruct justice. The only charge he was not convicted on was one of harassing a witness. While one of the attacks occurred while he was transportation minister the other assaults were carried out from inside the President's Residence--what a desecration!
For Israel this sends out the message that with all of our flaws, we have a democratic system and the law works. For Moshe Katzav it should be a time of reflection and regret, but he remains obstinate accusing everybody but himself of wrong doing. Indeed many residents of his home town still stand behind him. One has to wonder if it is because they really believe in his innocence or if it is the voice of the "old guard" speaking using that old knee-jerk reaction that it must be the fault of the woman...
The judges declared that:
* Katzav's testimony had been "replete with lies,"
* While he accused the media of "trying him publicly," he himself "used the media to his advantage whenever he could"; and
* he should have accepted the plea bargain that was offered him
***It Should be Noted:
The State Prosecutor in Israel is facing criticism for having even offered a moderate plea bargain in the--case and well he should!
Born in Iran, Katzav immigrated to Israel with his parents in 1951. He was able to make a career in public service serving in many positions prior to being appointed president. Although the role of president in Israel is symbolic, when the person in this position abuses his position to take advantage of those working for him it brings shame on the entire country. More so for all the thousands of Jews who have made aliyah through the years this man denigrates the hard work and dedication of the those who have worked and sacrificed to help our little country blossom.
The minimum sentence for these charges is four years in jail. It has been announced that his passport was taken away, but so far he is not held in custody. I would hope he gets a strong sentence and be made to undergo rehabilitation for sexual predators. His crimes are bad enough, but as someone who was in the position of representing our country, Israel, in front of the world his crimes are just plain evil. It will be interesting to see what the courts decide.
This person brings shame and a disgrace to the citizens and the country he represented, and to all men in general. He came from a country where women are treated as chattel and Jews are persecuted. He achieved a career, a wife, family, and a position of honour in our country. He used that position to abuse others in a most disgusting way--in truth, there are no words. His picture should never be shown next to the flag of Israel.