As some of my Israeli readers have castigated my allegedly too hasty embrace of the idea of Israeli president Katsav’s guilt, I thought it worthwhile to present a Ynetnews article that reveals for the first time some of the testimony by Katsav’s female victims. One Tikun Olam reader called the claims of rape little more than rumor and wrote adamantly that he didn’t rape anyone.
This seems a bit more than rumor to me:
One of the complainants said in her petition that a close friend of the president by the name of Uri Yoeli approached her in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem and asked here to trade places with another employee at the president’s office who received many benefits such as trips abroad and promotions in return for having out relations with the president.
“At the end of the conversation the petitioner asked Mr. Yoeli: ‘What do you want from me?’ Yoeli answered: ‘I want you to be the president’s lover. Once in a while let him kiss you, touch you, and things will progress on their own from there,'” the complainant’s petition read.
The president’s friends serve as his procurer??
This sounds an awful lot like rape to me:
According to the petitioner, “there were times when the president placed his hand on his penis while he was dressed and told the petitioner that she gave him an erection.”
“At one time when the petitioner entered the president’s office to return a book to the library, the president pushed himself against the petitioner from behind, tightly grasped her body from behind and held her hands and demanded she have sex with him. The president was simply in a craze. The petitioner began to cry and asked him stop.
“When the president released his grip for a moment the petitioner sat down on a nearby chair, terrified, and the president suddenly picked her up from the chair, opened his pants and penetrated her body without her consent. The petitioner felt paralyzed all over her body and feared for her life due to the abovementioned threat. At the end of the sexual contact, the president got dressed; the petitioner wiped the tears from her eyes, took her purse and left the president’s residence.”
What I regret is that no Israeli court will have an opportunity to weigh this evidence and hear Katsav’s own defense against the charges. Instead we have a backroom deal that attempts, unsuccessfully I might add, to protect the stature of the president’s office by letting off the holder of the office with a slap on the wrist. All this will do is diminish the stature of future holders of the office who will expect that any future behavior of theirs that is unseemly will be treated similarly lightly.
Let’s hope that the high court takes a dim view of the plea deal and throws it out.