An U​nsavory Bargain



One of the core missions of this newspaper's editorial policy is to support the people of Israel and their government. We believe that the country's democratically elected leaders have the right to carry out the will of their citizens, and that, at the very least, Diaspora kibbitzers from either the right or the left should show a little humility when second-guessing Israelis.

So it is always with great reluctance that we approach any subject in which it's necessary to chide Jerusalem's leadership. Still, there are times when it's necessary to do so.

One such instance is, unfortunately, the decision last week by Israel's attorney general to accept a plea bargain, with no prison time attached, from Israel's outgoing President Moshe Katzav. Katzav was charged with several counts of rape and sexual harassment by former employees. He was entitled to the presumption of innocence, but the plea bargain does justice neither to that presumption nor to the alleged victims. Instead, it has the stench of a dirty deal, in which either the disgraced president was either overcharged by a zealous prosecutor or let off the hook by the legal establishment.

Either way, respect for both women and civil conduct in Israeli society has been undermined. So, too, has the rule of law.

And that's bad news for Jews everywhere.



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