It’s interesting to hear all the crowing about how Israel has the greatest judiciary system in the world because it was capable of convicting former Pres. Moshe Katzav of rape and sexual harrassment.
In fact, Israel has one of the most disgraceful rape laws in the free world. Just a few months ago, an Arab man was convicted of rape and sentenced to 18 months, because he did not tell the Israeli woman he consensually slept with that he was not Jewish but an Arab.
In Israel, apparently, rape can be defined that loosely. Rape is consensual sex that is defined by Israel’s legal system as rape if, weeks later, the woman regrets nothing except her lover’s ethnicity. That’s not rape, that’s racism.
So when I first heard that Katzav — an Iranian-born Jew — was charged with rape, I wondered if he really raped a woman or if he was simply guilty of a similar "Alice in Wonderland" senario, where the Queen of Hearts screams, "’Off with his head,’ without even looking round."
I wondered, knowing about the Arab’s sentencing, what other surreal definitions of rape are we dealing with here?
The more you care about the horrors and severity of rape, the more you should care that rape be better defined than it is in Israel.
If you tell me someone in America is a rapist I instantly know that such a person is despicable. If you tell me someone in Israel is a rapist, I instantly ask, how does that highly political court define rape? That’s the result of an Israeli legal system that no one should be bragging about.
That being said, and Katzav being guilty, what’s the difference between the former Israeli president and former American President Clinton? If Katzav was smart enough to accept the plea bargain offered him, the rape charges would have been dropped altogether, just as rape charges against Clinton never reached the point of a rape trial.
If Israel’s legal system is so terrific, and Katzav’s rapes were so hideous, why was Katzav offered a deal that would have dismissed every rape charge? That Katzav didn’t take the deal was because of his own hubris, demanding a trial.
If Katzav is indeed a rapist, why was he given a chance to walk but an Arab who did not rape anyone is serving 18 months?
It’s strange that some of the same people crowing about how great it is that Katzav is being sent to jail are the same people who were saying about Clinton that Americans should not care so much, if at all, bout a president’s sexual bullying, that we should be more like the Europeans and not be bothered by such things. Some of the same Jews who said Clinton should have remained as president despite his obstruction of justice and charges of sexual assault are now the same Jews insisting that it was right that Katzav resigned and that he go to jail.
What is the difference between the charges brought against Katzav that will send him to jail and the charges against Clinton by Kathleen Willey or Juanita Broaddrick or Paula Jones? (The affairs with Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky were consensual, not criminal, other than involving abuse of power, with jobs offered in exchange for sexual favors, and a court finding Clinton guilty of contempt for obstruction of justiice). Instead of going to jail, Clinton paid off Jones with $850,000. Now Clinton’s in the clear.
If Katzav did that, would everything then be OK? If Katzav was rich enough to offer that kind of bribe, and his accuser was poor and desperate enough to take $850,000 in return for dropping the case, would it be all right?
Katazv is the unpopular kid in high school who dared to get physical with a cheerleader, while Clinton is one of the good looking cool kids, the high school quarterback who is expected to get physical with a cheerleader. Even if quarterback leaves the cheerleader in tears, well, we need the quarterback, morality be damned.
In the end, there is only one difference between Katzav and Clinton. There were political interests — Jews included — that need and needed Clinton and therefore protected him and continue to protect him, while no one needs Katzav.
The only innocent man in this whole story is that Arab non-rapist who’s serving 18 months. That’s nothing to brag about.