Finally, the first log has been dislodged in the logjam that constitutes the gag order preventing Israeli media from reporting that Yoav Even, Channel 2 news reporter, was accused of raping P. One Angry Feminist yesterday published the verbatim statement of P., the victim, to the police in Hebrew (I’d published it earlier in English translation). Today, the blog went one step farther and exposed the identity of Even for the first time in a Hebrew media site. I say, kol ha-kavod higiya z’man (“more power to you–it’s about time”).
The blog also published the gag order extension (page 1 and page 2) issued by Judge Beni Sagi on April 28th. I posted about the judge’s initial ruling approving the gag here. Among the other pearls of wisdom in the April 28th ruling is the following:
In weighing the balance between the good name of the suspect and the public interest in an open legal proceeding and the public’s right to know, I believe it is reasonable to extend the prohibition on the publication of the suspect’s name until an indictment is brought by the prosecution, if it is brought.
The charges against the suspect is rape. And the damage that would be done to his reputation should his name be published is of the gravest sort. After reviewing the evidence I do not see justification for causing such damage.
I suppose we should thank the judge for at least marginally recognizing one right that he’s prepared to trample upon–the public’s right to know. But who is missing from this passage? Bingo, the victim. Where is P.? Missing. Invisible. The closest he comes to considering her is saying that he’s examined the evidence and decided it isn’t of sufficient quality to justify removing the gag. Note also, he’s essentially telegraphed to the prosecution that he doesn’t believe the evidence rises to the level of being credible. No wonder the State dropped its case.
What can one say to such drivel, even when written by a judge? Does it deserve even the slightest consideration?
What’s especially interesting about the judge’s ruling, considering that there is still a gag in place after the charges have been dropped against Even, is that Judge Sagi says the gag should remain in place until the prosecution brings charges against the suspect. In other words, now that the prosecution has decided not to do so, there should no longer be any reason for the gag. Yet somehow, miraculously it remains in place. Isn’t that a wonder? And who does the extension of the gag protect? Yoav Even, of course.
The same Yoav Even who was feted by his Channel 2 colleagues at a Tel Aviv club just after the charges were dropped against him. He’s pictured partying in the Israeli tabloid gossip columns. The same gossip mongers reported today that Yoav, what a good boy he is, brought wine and cakes to his colleagues at Channel 2. How utterly charming. This is the same charm that persuaded P. to enter his lair in the first place. The article intimates in ever so subtle a way that Yoav’s return is just around the corner. I bet all Israel can’t wait.
In the meantime, for the rest of Israel that can’t stomach the idea that the man who P. alleges attacked and brutalized her in the transcript I published here should be rewarded with a return to the public airwaves, I invite you to write to Even’s editor, Guy Soudry, and to complain publicly to Channel 2 directly.
There are a few hilarious comments in the Talkbacks for the Maariv story I linked to just above (thanks for pointing that out, Shai). They’re too delicious to pass up. Inbal Barak writes with bitter irony:
How nice that everything’s turning out so well for Yoav Even. It’s really not true that he’s a rapist. Look, here’s proof of it that we see him on TV. He has famous friends and he’s very cool. How could you possibly call him a rapist? Actually, on second thought, you can’t call him a rapist. There’s a gag order that prohibits our saying this about him. And not a single one of his journalist friends lifted a finger to object to the gag. Strange. Interesting to wonder why. Surely because those who appear on TV are above the law.
So whether you’ll permit me to or not: Yoav Even is a brutal R-A-P-I-S-T and his place is not among us, but in jail.
Amos Bar adds:
Girls, don’t drink the wine.
To which Dani says:
I strongly recommend that all [Channel 2] staff keep a close eye on their drinks.
I note that the feminist section of Tapuz, an Israeli discussion forum which had featured links to my blog post and extensive discussion about the Even rape case took down all threads related to it. Even though Even’s name was never exposed. This is shameless. At least one can say about Rabbi Rotter, despite his poisonous political views and the fact that he harbors members who’ve leveled death threats against me, is that he is not cowed by such nonsense. Tapuz has fallen prey to the fear generated by an Israeli lawyer who with a straight face alleged that Israeli authorities could undertake a criminal prosecution against any blogger or online publication which linked to a foreign source which violated a gag order. This, of course, was meant as an implicit attack on any Israeli linking to my blog.
Demonstration: A group of Israeli feminists and their supporters will be demonstrating in Tel Aviv in a few days against the dropping of charges against Yoav Even. Currently the rally is scheduled for June 5th, but I’m told the date and time are likely to change. You can find out more from the Facebook group linked above. I hope you’ll turn out and show your support for P.