Former President Katsav
Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yeshuv

Petition: Katsav fans encourage abuse

Initiators of Internet petition refer to letter supporting former president convicted of rape as 'educational failure'. Goal: 5,000 signatories

An Internet petition was launched over the weekend against a letter in support of former President Moshe Katsav, which was signed by dozens of rabbis and yeshiva heads.


"The attempt to undermine the legal system's authority has the potential of threatening the possibility of living this country," the petition states.


"We usually sit on the fence and complain," the petition's initiators explain, "but it seems that this time things have gone too far… This petition is aimed at voicing the public's opinion and expressing reservations over the letter and its content.


"We are witnessing an educational failure on the part of those heading our public's educational institutions. Moreover, and even more serious, is the fact that this is a defamation of God and, we believe, a distortion of the Torah's way."


The initiators' goal is to get 5,000 signatories.


'Show of contempt towards victims'

The petition says that in times when the Israeli society in general, and the religious society in particular, are dealing with repeated sexual harassment cases, supporting Katsav is a like a slap in the face of the struggle against such phenomena and the desire to encourage the victims to speak out.


"Expressions of support for a person convicted of some of the most serious offenses against other human beings have the potential of hurting the victims and encouraging the criminals," the petition says. "It is a show of contempt towards those who had the courage to complain, if only to prevent similar incidents."


According to the petition's authors, the seriousness of the issue is increased by the fact the former president is being supported by rabbis and heads of educational institutions.


"The Torah orders us to defend and help the weak," the petition says. "Those voicing support for a person who misused his power and authority to hurt a subordinate encourage abuse, tyranny and a situation in which a person can view his fellowman as an object."


The petition ends by calling on the rabbis who signed the controversial letter to reconsider it.



פרסום ראשון: 03.02.11, 07:48
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