Layers upon layers of dirt have already accumulated on Israel’s society, its image, and its elected officials. Many bad things have already emerged in this country and tainted its name. Yet this country has never had a president who is also a rapist – that is, until Thursday of last week.
The ruling in the Moshe Katsav trial – which also attests to Israel’s strength and its rule of law – is a black page in the state’s history. A bitter moment that will not be forgotten, just like the assassination of a prime minister (despite the obvious differences) that leaves an indelible mark of Cain in the annals of this people and nation.
Beyond the revulsion and fury provoked by the despicable crimes committed by Katsav the person, our civilian soul is having trouble sustaining the sense of betrayal and humiliation caused by the number one citizen. While not all of us had been sexually assaulted, but rather, a few exploited, miserable women, every Israeli man and woman will from now on feel as though the president has forced an indecent act upon them as well.
This type of rift had never before emerged between the citizens of Israel and their leadership (and here we are talking about our representative, apolitical leadership.) Moshe Katsav managed to taint forever the noble institution he was leading, and on top of it, managed to do something that we did not think could be done: Further taint what was left of our innocence.
Had all the complaints brought forward by all the complainants against Katsav throughout the years been included in the trial, the picture would have been even far worse. Yet even with the partial picture that had been exposed, an Israel that chose such man as its president will look absolutely dreadful in the eyes of the world.
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