WARNING : This site is not for you if you cannot see the otherness of other and sufferings of both sides of the party in the conflict. Security for Israel and Justice for the Palestinians are interdependent, one will not happen without the other. My view focuses on building cohesive societies where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. I hope and pray a sense of justice to prevail. Amen. Website www.IsraelPalestineDialogue.com | Also Check Israel Palestine Confederation a pragmatic solution

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Israel and the rule of law

Ex-Israeli President Katsav convicted of Rape. Prime Minister Netanyahu shared a thoughtful comment for a change. "This is a sad day for the State of Israel and its residents,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement after the verdict. "Today, the court conveyed two clear-cut messages -- that all are equal before the law and that every woman has exclusive rights to her body." 

Indeed, it is the rule of law that needs to be admired about the state of Israel.

However, I will go back to our own history when the founding fathers declared, “All men are created equal” but it’s emancipation took a century to treat “African Americans equal” and about 150 years to recognize that “women are equal members of the society” and finally the Civil rights acts legally gave the full meaning to the idea of “all men are equal”.

The State of Israel is where America was two centuries ago. The words by Prime Minister Netanyahu “that all are equal’ are without any depth to it.  The few right wingers that run the state are getting away with its apartheid policies towards Palestinians against the Jewish public wishes. A Martin Luther King Jr. is needed in Israel to bring fruition to the universal idea of “all are equal before the law” It will lift a huge spiritual burden off the conscience of the ordinary Israelis and the Jewish people around the world.

A few years ago, a Jewish educator friend had had cut off talking with me and retuning my emails. When I accidentally ran into him in a conference, all he had to say was, “ I have nothing to do with you” on my ‘why’ question,  he blurted,   “You have written about  that lousy Jimmy Carter and his book on your website who is anti-Israel, and that does not go well with me”. I know he was not speaking for the Jewish people. I do hope some one will wake up and address the anguish of the ordinary Jewish folks and ease the burden of mistreating Palestinians for their own peace of mind.

Things will not change, unless the silent majority of Jewish people speak up.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on Pluralism and Islam offering
pluralistic solutions to the media and public on issues of the day. His blogs and sites are listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

JTA News Alert
Dec. 30, 2010

Ex-Israeli president Katsav convicted of rape

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav was found guilty of rape and sexual assault, more than four years after he was first accused.
The unanimous verdict of the three-judge panel was announced in Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday.
Katsav, 65, was convicted of raping and sexually assaulting A., a former employee of the Tourism Ministry. He was also convicted of sexually harassing H. and of sexually abusing and harassing L., both employees of the President's Residence, and of obstruction of justice. The incidents occurred when Katsav was serving as Israel's president and tourism minister. The victims' names have been kept in confidence by the courts.
Katsav was accompanied to court by his lawyers but not by his wife, Gila, who previously had stood by his side throughout the proceedings. Katsav's attorneys said they would appeal the verdict to the Supreme Court.
The trial lasted for one year. Two years ago, Katsav declined what was seen as a lenient plea bargain -- one that dropped the rape charges for lesser charges and likely would have left him with a suspended sentence -- saying that he wanted to clear his name in court. Most of the trial was held behind closed doors to protect the identities of the accusers.
A sentencing date has not yet been set. A rape conviction carries a minimum prison sentence of four years and a maximum of 16 years.
Katsav, who immigranted to Israel from Iran in 1951, became president when the Knesset elected him in 2000, upsetting candidate Shimon Peres. Peres became president in 2007 after Katsav resigned in the wake of the allegations, shortly before the end of his term. 
"This is a sad day for the State of Israel and its residents," Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement after the verdict. "Today, the court conveyed two clear-cut messages -- that all are equal before the law and that every woman has exclusive rights to her body."
Check back at JTA for more details and updates on this story.
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