Gila Katsav: victim or enabler?
I have my own Moshe Katsav story. When Katsav, then Israel's president, visited Australia in March 2005, and I was working at JNF in the Israeli-professional hub of Beth Weizmann, I was asked to join the president's local support staff for those few days. At the time it was a big thrill, and of course all of Jewish Australia was abuzz over the impending Israeli presidential visit Down Under.
Well, I had an even greater thrill when one of Katsav's senior staffers came into the back room and said, "The President would like a massage. Does anyone know a good massage therapist?" Well, I knew one! My husband, Jacob, was working as a massage therapist - and was a die-hard Zionist who would undoubtedly jump at the opportunity to serve the State of Israel in whatever manner happened to be available.
The massage required some logistical maneuvers: Katsav was staying in the city and was giving his big speech to the community on Saturday night (a speech which turned out to be a dud - he was thereafter noted for being an exceptionally boring orator, and that was before the three-hour flop we witnessed last week). So anyway, Jacob had to rush to the city as soon as Shabbat was over in order to get the president's massage in before the Big Speech. Jacob prepared his stuff on Friday, and the second Shabbat was out, he grabbed his table and jumped into the car. Within five minutes, however, the call came. "Forget the massage," the senior staffer said. "The President does not get massages from men. Only from women."
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