Recently here, I wrote a post about three top Israeli hardliners who face serious charges of ethical misconduct and who are likely to lose their jobs. Well, Haim Ramon is the first of the lot to take the hit. He will resign Sunday:
Justice Minister Haim Ramon announced on Friday to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz that he waives his parliamentary immunity…and plans to resign from his post on Sunday.
This announcement follows Mazuz’s decision on Thursday to charge Ramon with indecent assault for allegedly having forcibly kissed an 18-year-old female soldier in a government office.
…Ramon said that he is certain that he would be successful in court, and that he would prove that a kiss of two, three seconds, based on the complainant’s version, cannot be considered an act with criminal intent.
In his interrogation, Ramon said that the accuser was the one who initiated the kiss, which took place July 12, at a social event held at the defense ministry complex in Tel Aviv. He also maintained that the woman had given him her phone number following the kiss.
If you consider that Ramon’s first response to the report of the incident was outright denial, then I suppose acknowledging it did happen is an “improvement.” But saying a kiss of two seconds cannot constitute “criminal intent” is a novel legal theory. Is he saying that if the kiss had lasted 60 or 90 seconds it would’ve made a legal difference?? And of course, Ramon denies ‘criminal intent’ because sexual harassers never acknowledge that their transgressions are wrong or have bad intent. How about that ‘defense’ he offers that the victim offered him the kiss first and then provided her phone number. That’s what I call the “it was just a little kiss and she wanted it so bad” defense. Another legal theory rather beloved in modern courtrooms.
Ramon better have a damn good lawyer because the whole thing appears to stink to high heaven. Unfortunately, unlike the accusations against President Moshe Katsav, where the first complainant was corroborated by other victims stepping forward, none have come forward to complain about Ramon. So it’s essentially the word of a powerful male politician against that of an 18 year old IDF soldier. In a patriarchal country like Israel, who do you think they’re more likely to believe?