A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
June 28, 2007 Katzav Agrees to Plea Agreement
The news from Israel was on one subject... the plea agreement between
the state and President Katzav. The agreement eliminated the charges
of rape from the indictment. President agreed to plead guilty instead
to charges of sexual harassment. President Katzav agreed to resign
two weeks early. The government, in turn, recommended a suspended
sentence of one year. To say that the agreement was met with
astonishment in Israel is an understatement. The level of astonishment
grew greater when one of Katzav's accusers (refered to as "A"), whose
charge was dropped from the indictment, held a press conference. Over
course of a full hour, she described her story, on live television,
including a graphic description of the rape.
What most outraged observers is how can it possible that a few weeks
ago the Attorney General stated the evidence seemed to show that the
President is guilty of rape, and now suddenly agrees to offer a plea
agreement. Either the Attorney General had no right to make the
earlier statement or he had no right now to offer a plea. Beni Mazuz
should resign. He has no right to continue being Attorney General.
Each and every Law Professor or legal observer believes that Mazuz's
decision to offer Katzav a plea will further undermine the rule of law
in Israel. 68% of Israelis oppose the agreement according to an overnite poll.
Meanwhile, Tonight in Tel Aviv has been declared "The White Night"Ð
celebrating Tel Aviv's designation as the historic "white city".
Races took place around the city, and museums, including Ben Gurion
house, are open until dawn,beaches are full of people and the Restaurants are not closing till dawn... and New York
considers itself "the city that never sleeps..."