Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thoughts About The Katzav Sentencing

Former president Katzav has been sentenced to seven years in prison. Minutes later the newspapers were already filled with Knesset members, Women groups etc, all celebrating the sentencing as a great day for Israeli democracy. I pointed out a few weeks ago, that finding the man guilty was not a great day for democracy - and anyone claiming it was, has proven a lack of confidence in the courts. What would have happened if Katzav had been found innocent? would it then have been a tragic day for democracy? the belief that a certain position showed that all citizens are equal is an oxymoron.

The sentence was harsh by Israeli standards, but not really a surprise. From the second Katzav was found guilty there could be little doubt that as a public figure his sentence would be harsh. Reports indicate that Katzav did not take his sentence in a stoic fashion, but instead called out during the reading, and finally burst in tears. It is hard not to feel some sympathy for a man who's position in history has so dramatically altered. However it is important to remember that he is not the victim but rather the convicted rapist.

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