Yesterday, the case of the Israeli men accused of raping a 19-year-old British tourist on Cyprus took an abrupt turn. As I reported earlier, police had accused 14 youth with either participating in, or watching the rape of a woman at a hotel. The authorities released a narrative summary of the incident and named the suspects, which I reported. Police reported that they had DNA evidence from the victim’s body which documented that at least six of the men had sexual relations with her. Those who were alleged to have watched and/or videotaped the incident were eventually returned to Israel without charges being filed against them.
But yesterday, stories originating with the suspects’ defense lawyer claimed the woman had fabricated the charges, that she would be arrested, and that all the remaining detainees would be freed. Since these Israeli media reports only offered the lawyer as a source, I discounted them as typical bluffing by defense attorneys the world over, to put forward the most positive view possible of their clients to the public.
But shortly after these stories were published in Israel, European news outlets offering anonymous Cypriot police sources confirmed many of these claims. It now appears that the purported victim has been arrested for filing a false police report. The suspects have been freed. And what we’re finding now is, as the British would say, a right mess.
None of this means that the suspects behaved decently or honorably. How many teenage boys do you know who would have group sex with a woman and film it on their smartphones? So though there will be celebrations in Israel on the release of “their boys,” they aren’t entirely in the clear:
Relatives of the Israelis celebrated their release, singing, “Our father in heaven, how good is God,” in footage broadcast on Israel’s Channel 12 news on Sunday afternoon.
They were essentially a male wolf pack in Cyprus on the prowl for their share of women’s bodies. They took what they could get and turned it into a humiliating spectacle. This is not the way any man should treat a woman. No, what they did didn’t fit the authorities’ definition of rape. But it was reprehensible nonetheless.
Not to mention the prospect that the woman may’ve been inebriated when she supposedly “consented” to having sex. It is very difficult to say a woman who is drunk can consent under such circumstances.
Right now, in Israel you can see the videos these scumbags recorded online of their sexual conquest in a Cyprus hotel room. By the way, all their apologists–circulating such a video without the consent of the victim is a criminal offense under Israeli law. Will the police investigate? Why should they? They’re “our boys” and we’re proud of ’em, right?
Returning to the dismissal of the charges, we don’t know what happened in the case of the woman whose story the police eventually discounted. What were the discrepancies that led them to change their minds about the incident? Did they feel merely they could not make the case against the Israelis? Or did they feel something more sinister was involved such as the woman attempting to get revenge on them for some unspecified reason? Was she troubled or mentally unwell?
I want to raise another possibility for which I currently have no supporting evidence. Israel and Cyprus have close relations. They are both developing oil and gas fields in the Mediterranean. There have been business deals between Israelis and Cypriots and government-to-government negotiations about how to proceed in developing these lucrative properties. Neither side would want an incident such as this to sour relations. Given Netanyahu’s proclivity to make under the table deals (many of them corrupt) with everyone and his brother, it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that such an arrangement was negotiated to resolve this case.
If you are a woman contemplating a Mediterranean vacation, be aware of such Israeli men on the prowl. Either avoid Cyprus entirely, or avoid such encounters with them while there.
Finally, the worst part of this case is the impact it will have on other women who are real victims of sexual violence. Now, all the Israeli men who flooded the comment threads here and my Twitter timeline can say regarding any rape claim: remember Cyprus? How can you trust she’s telling the truth? This is a terrible disservice to such women.
In the past, I’ve regularly reported on cases of women raped by Israeli men. I do this because sexual violence is but one of the many ills afflicting Israeli society. I have never had an incident in all my reporting in which the police investigated and discounted the victim’s account as false. There have been cases in which the police refused to prosecute for lack of enough evidence. This is a first and I hope not to see it happen again, not just for my sake as a journalist.
NOTE: While these two posts on this incident have generated lots of site traffic, many of those who are reading them are posting virtually the same comments excoriating me for supposedly destroying the men’s’ reputations and behaving in an atrocious fashion. I’ve also been accused of prowling the internet seeking “Zionist rapists.”
This is a warning that there are so many of these comments, and they’re virtually the same. I am only publishing comments of this sort if there is something particular in them I want to address. Otherwise, you can get a flavor of them by the ones I have published. There is no reason to publish 30 comments saying the same thing. So if you’re inclined to do so, know that it’s unlikely I will publish such comments. Anyone wishing to comment on this subject with some other point to make should feel free to do so.