Haaretz reported (in English) today that a senior member of the Israeli prime minister’s office (PMO) serving in a “sensitive” post, secretly received an “extended sentence” for serial sexual abuse of several women working with him. He was prosecuted, tried and imprisoned in secret. He is in prison under an assumed name. The report indicated the abuse occurred “years ago.”
Use of the term “sensitive” in an Israeli context usually indicates that the individual served in a high level intelligence or military role. If so, then this individual could have compromised Israeli security in the midst of his sexual improprieties.
Revealing his name is barred in Israel, though outside it. I urge any Israeli who knows more about this case to contact me.
The excuses offered for protecting the predator and his identity are ludicrous and typical for Israel’s male supremacist society:
- Secrecy will protect the women who were his victims
- The perpetrator might be killed in prison if his identity was known
It is nonsense to claim that female victims need protection in this manner. Most of all, they need justice. Only exposure and shaming of those who commit such crimes will deter other predators from following in their footsteps. Further, there are ways to protect the identity of victims while revealing the nature of the crime committed against them. Refusing to do so constitutes a cover-up in which the rights of women are subjugated to the alleged good of the country.
But clearly the police are far more interested in protecting the predator, as they note in claiming he might be killed. There are many Israeli men in prison for abusing women. Few are harmed, even fewer killed. There is little reason to believe this man would suffer such a fate.
It does suggest though that the Israeli prison service can’t protect its own inmates. Security in prisons is so poor that any old inmate harboring a grudge against any other could exact his pound of flesh at will. The prison service here exposes its own ineptitude.
The Haaretz article omits what is perhaps an even more important reason for secrecy: this is the second lurid sex scandal to beset the PMO in the past two years. Earlier, Netanyahu’s long-time buddy and chief of staff, Natan Eshel, engaged in a pathetic pattern of repeated abuse against a female staff member he supervised. This included taking pictures of her beneath her skirt, among others.
Now comes yet another example of sexual impropriety run rampant in the office of the leader of the nation. One wonders what it must be like to be a woman working for the prime minister. Many of them must feel like fish in a barrel.
As for the term “Prisoner X3,” many of you will remember that I reported the case of an Israeli who committed suicide in an Israeli prison cell. In an effort to throw me off the trail, an ex-Shabak agent serving as a source at the time told me he was an Iranian general. He was, in fact, Ben Zygier.
There is another secret prisoner serving a 14-year sentence in an Israeli prison (Prisoner X2). He too serves his sentence under an assumed name and his identity may not be revealed. Formerly, he was a Mossad agent who directed the agency’s Iran desk.
Today’s story makes it three, hence the moniker, Prisoner X3.
Israel is one of the few nations calling itself a western democracy which imprisons so many under such covert circumstances. Clearly, national security as defined by male State authorities trumps the rights of women to be safe in the workplace.
“Prime minister office” here is innuendo for something else (one of the organizations under the PM’s control) – this is well away from the Prime minister and his actual office, and the details here…. Are probably pretty lurid.
Colin Wright says
‘… In an effort to throw me off the trail, an ex-Shabak agent serving as a source at the time told me he was an Iranian general. He was, in fact, Ben Zygier…’
…speaking of which, any theories as to what Zygier actually did or was going to do, and do you believe he actually committed suicide?
I still wonder if he got the bright idea he’d go public with something he discovered and had some illusions concerning his personal invulnerability. However, any actual information is always appreciated.
Alternatively, maybe Zygier WAS an Iranian general. This opens up several novel lines of inquiry…
Colin Wright says
Actually, what’s of considerably more interest than the identity of prisoner X3 is what’s the story with prisoner X2?
Israel’s shortcomings in the field of sexual political correctness are of some interest — but not really why I do or don’t support Israel. Meh, as the saying goes. I mean, we can go there. By all means. However, why?
But the guy who was in charge of the Iran desk was put away? Now THAT piques my curiosity.
Hasbara attempts at redirection notwithstanding, screw (pun not intended) the cabinet rapist. What’s up with Iran desk dude?
This isn’t a ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ languishing 14 years at a ‘black site’.
Prisoner X2 bargained a reduced sentence with a promise of silence. Bargained an agreement.
Americans convicted of treason are handed much more severe sentences.
Richard Silverstein says
@ Frank: He didn’t “bargain.” You don’t bargain in such cases. The State tells you what it will offer and you either take it or stay in prison for the rest of your life. That’s no choice. He had a secret trial. His attorney couldn’t see much of the evidence against him. He had one hand tied behind his back. It’s a set-up. The system is fixed. Just as you like it. But don’t call this fair and don’t call it a bargain. If anything, it’s a devil’s bargain.
Americans are generally handed much less severe sentences. Pollard was the lone exception.
Colin Wright says
So, anyone have any information about prisoner X2?
Richard Silverstein says
Colin: Read the linked post. I also wrote a post about X2’s lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, who wrote a general denunciation of the double legal system which subverts the rights of national security suspects like X2.