-- November 10, 2011-Katzav Conviction Upheld

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Israel Update
A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

November 10, 2011-Katzav Conviction Upheld

The news in Israel was dominated today by the Supreme Court's decision affirming the rape conviction of former President Katzav. The court also affirmed Katzav's sentence of seven years. Katzav had walked away, at the last moment, from a plea agreement in which he would agree to have committed sexual harassment.

Katzav has continually claimed his innocence, despite a large number of former employees who came forward to accuse him. I was in a large office when the news was announced. It was interesting to watch the exchanges that took place. One, a women in the office (a Russian) bemoaning how terrible it was, questioning how could they send the former President to jail. She then went on to say that the women were probably "asking for it". Another woman, a little younger and a native of Tel Aviv, was very upset at the first person, confused as to how a woman could say such a thing. The second women added that in her opninion Katzav was getting what he deserves.

Meanwhile, the world continued to react to the IAEA report on Iran. The responses were more or less as expected, with the Western Europeans coming out strongest against Iran. It is important to note that most of Western Europe would be within missile range of the Iranians. There is also renewed concern in the Sunni Arab world that the Iranians were looking to use these weapons against them-- with additional discussion of the Shite theology of the coming of the missing Mehdi and the subsequent wiping out of the Sunnis. However, the largest stumbling block to additional sanctions against Iran is the continued opposition of Russia and China. Russia has made it clear that it opposes any increase in sanctions.

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