President Shimon Peres
Photo: Oshri Cohen-Akko
Moshe Katsav
Photo: Reuters
Katsav's statue
Photo: Ronen Medzini

Peres: Remove Katsav's statue from President's Residence

Behind close doors Israel's president voices support to move former president's statue, photo from Jerusalem residence or at least add sign stating Katsav is a convicted rapist

President Shimon Peres believes the statue of former President and convicted rapist Moshe Katsav should be removed from the President's Residence in Jerusalem, or at the very least have a sign mentioning Israel's 8th president is a convicted sex offender placed nearby, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.


Peres, who has previously stated that history should not be rewritten, for better or worse, voiced his opinion behind closed doors this week.


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"I'm not judging but I cannot avoid telling the entire history," Peres said. "Either they remove the statue or write what he has done next to it."


In his opinion, leaving the statue and photograph of Katsav where they are now is problematic from an educational prospective, especially when students come to visit the President's Residence. However Peres added he does not wish to intervene, allowing the Ministerial Committee on Symbols and Ceremonies to determine what Katsav's conviction means as far as symbols and ceremonies are concerned.


Now the committee must decide what to do with the former president's statue and photo, as well as whether Katsav will be given a state funeral and be buried at a special plot intended for Israel's political leaders and their spouses, among others.


As for the possibility of a pardon, Peres remarked he's always belonged to the "school of Shammai" (supporting strict judgment) as far as violence against women and car accidents.


Katsav began to serve his seven-year prison sentence early December after being convicted of two counts of rape, sexual harassment, indecent acts and obstruction of justice. He is serving his time in the religious cell block at Maasiyahu Prison.




פרסום ראשון: 12.19.11, 13:49
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