Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has received severe criticism in the past few days after a post published on his Facebook page addressing a major rape case caused controversy. Netanyahu heavily chastised "the media and political system" for not condemning an incident in which two Palestinians allegedly raped a mentally challenged Jewish woman, while a third man documented the crime.
"This is a shocking crime that calls out for wall-to-wall condemnation," the Prime Minister wrote on Thursday, "but for some reason such condemnation hasn't been heard – not in the media and not across the political system. We can only imagine what would have happened in the reverse case. We will charge the highest price, and use the full extent of the law against all those involved in this cruel incident."
Netanyahu's remarks were made despite the fact that the Israel Police had chosen to avoid publicizing the case, which is still being investigated. The police usually informs crime reporters about cases of such severity, but did not do so in this instance.
On Friday, the PM published another post in which he acknowledged that the timing of his remarks had been inappropriate. "Regarding the post I published yesterday: The case, as reported, awakened deep pain and shock in me. Even so, it was not right for me to speak about it before the investigation was concluded, and I am sorry for that."
As the investigation has developed. it seems that the case is somewhat less straightforward than Netanyahu initially indicated, with reports of contradictory statements by the victim and doubts emerging regarding the belief that the crime was motivated by nationalistic animus. The man suspected of documenting the event, unlike the two rape suspects, has not yet been found by the police.
Following the publication of the posts, the Prime Minister was attacked by several female MKs from the opposition, including Zehava Galon, Michal Rozin, Shelly Yachimovich, Tzipi Livni, and Merav Michaeli, who accused him of cynically exploiting the case for political gain.