13 female MKs ask Peres not to pardon Katsav

Lawmakers from six parties sign letter to the president, titled "strong and intense opposition to pardoning Katsav"

November 17, 2011 19:15
1 minute read.
Former president Moshe Katsav

katsav appeal 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) asked President Shimon Peres on Thursday not to pardon former president Moshe Katsav, who lost an appeal against his rape conviction last week.

Over a dozen female MKs from six different parties signed Hotovely’s letter to the president, titled: “Strong and intense opposition to pardoning former president Moshe Katsav.” The letter explains that in the days following Katsav’s appeal, in which his sentence of seven years in prison was finalized, Katsav has been “running a media campaign that seems to be an attempt at creating a public atmosphere that would lead to a pardon, and exempt him from being punished. We are protesting this shameful campaign,” the letter reads.

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“Pardoning a president that took advantage of his power and raped will be a mark of disgrace for Israeli society and its treatment of women, and will reverse the awareness raised following his verdict.”

According to Hotovely’s letter, the district court ruling on Katsav’s case and its reinforcement in the Supreme Court are important turning points toward ending discrimination against women.

“If, God forbid, Katsav is pardoned… if a president convicted of two counts of rape does not sit in jail for his deeds, this will be a black chapter in the history of the rule of law in Israel, and will bring further harm to his victims and women who seek autonomy over their own bodies,” the letter reads.

Hotovely, Agriculture Minister Orit Noked, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich, Independence faction chairwoman Einat Wilf, as well as MKs Orit Zuaretz (Kadima), Nino Abesadze (Kadima), Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich (Kadima), Zehava Gal-On (Meretz), Marina Solodkin (Kadima), Haneen Zoabi (Balad), Rachel Adatto (Kadima) and Ronit Tirosh (Kadima) all signed the letter, telling Peres: “Don’t have mercy on someone who was cruel.”

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni told Hotovely that she supports the letter, but does not sign petitions.

Israel Beiteinu MKs Anastasia Michaeli and Orly Levi-Abecasis refused to sign the letter.

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