In the weeks since President Moshe Katsav was accused of committing a series of criminal offences, including the rape of a former employee, one voice has been noticeably absent from amidst the countless other voices clambering over each other to voice their two-cents worth on the matter.
But that silence was broken on Friday when President Katsav's wife Gila granted her first interview since news of the scandalous allegations became public. Published in Yedioth Ahronoth's weekend edition Gila Katsav expressed her complete confidence in and devotion to the president, as well as some harsh words for the people she says condemned an innocent man.
"I believe in warmth, devotion, love, family. I believe family members should look out for each other I believe that tradition unites us, religion is very important to us. Moshe prays every morning in the synagogue he established in the presidential residence," she said.
"So it astounds me that certain women, whose world is so different from ours, would give me advise on how to live my life and manage my family life. It astounds me that certain Knesset members demand he resign now. It would be better for them to wait and see him acquitted," she added.
Katsav reiterated that she has every confidence in her husband. "I repeat, and this is something I want to make clear, I believe him and trust in him. I have no doubt that he never did any of the things attributed to him. It's just absurd to attribute something like rape to Moshe."
"I want to tell the public: don't judge the man before the general attorney's decision and before the courts' ruling. We’ve seen the courts rule against the general attorney's decision in the past and we've also seen the general attorney decide against the police's recommendation. Please, I beg of you, wait for the verdict," she stated.
Katsav divulged that the family is "in the most difficult crisis we've ever faced," yet she remains hopeful they emerge unharmed by it. "Even now I feel much stronger. I used to be the quiet woman behind my husband, today I'm strong like a lioness, I feel like I'm facing the ultimate mission – proving my husband's innocence."
'Not the type of person who would rape someone'
Katsav also doubts the veracity of the testimonies given by the complainants against her husband. "I believe him," she said, "I have no doubts regarding his innocence. I also know the conditions in his office (where the offences allegedly occurred), if the complainant would have raised her voice even a little she would have immediately have been heard."
"There is a secretary sitting outside," she continued, "a bodyguard and numerous employees. The children and I would always walk in freely, anyone can go in. It's impossible for him to rape someone there. But the important thing is that Moshe is not the type of person who would rape someone. He's warm, caring, very paternal, and even a little shy. If a girl feel's she's in trouble she can come and speak with him, that's how it was. "
Katsav also addressed the public comments made by MK Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) shortly after the accusations were first publicized: "I was very upset when MK Yacimovich decided that all the allegations were true the day she heard this girl. She talked to her – and decided he was guilty. She didn't bother hearing his side – she just decided that he was guilty."
"She talked to the girl, ruled he was guilty and sentenced him – all in her one-woman court. But I'm not going to say anything about her, even if I do expect a little more fairness from a Knesset member; I also expect her and the other MK's to wait till the end," she concluded.