Elana Sztokman's JewFem blog

Elana Maryles Sztokman, PhD, writer, researcher, educator and activist, writing on issues pertaining to gender and Jewish life in Israel and around the world.

Is the Katzav rape trial good or bad for women?

As I watched the incredible courage and grace of “Aleph”, the rape accuser of former president Moshe Katzav, at her press conference, one of the questions that kept flying through my mind was, Is this whole affair good or bad for women?

Last week in Israel was a zinger for women. The appeal of Katzav’s plea bargain was alternating in the media with excerpts of the women’s stories. Meanwhile, Haim Ramon, the first convicted sex offender to be brought into the government was appointed vice premier – the same job that Ehud Olmert took shortly before then PM Ariel Sharon went into a coma, a position like that of US Vice President that seems powerless until something unexpected happens, like sudden death or a stroke. I’m torn between an intense desire to see Olmert go home for his corruption and incompetence, and a newfound terror that if he steps down, we will have a convicted sex abuser for Prime Minister. Not a good turn of events for women in this country.

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