Israeli President Escapes Jail Time for Rape Charges
Women's rights activists in Israel are expressing outrage at a plea bargain that will exempt President Moshe Katsav from going to prison for sexual harassment and rape. In January, Attorney General Manchem Mazuz announced plans to indict Katsav after ten women complained that he sexually harassed them, and one accused him of raping her repeatedly over several months. Katsav has agreed to plead guilty only to committing indecent sexual acts. He will resign next month with a suspended sentence, but serve no jail time, Reuters reports.
Members of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Tel Aviv protested the plea bargain in Rabin Square on Saturday, under the slogan "we will not abandon the victims." Activists still hope that Mazuz will overturn the plea agreement, which Talia Livni, head of leading women's rights organization Na-amat, described as "spitting in the face of women," according to Haaretz, an English-language newspaper reporting on Israel and the Middle East.
Media Resources: Haaretz 6/28/07, 6/29/07; Reuters 6/28/07