Kadima MK calls for Peres to remove Katsav sculpture

MK Orit Zuaretz campaigns to remove bust of former president and convicted rapist Moshe Katsav from President’s Residence.

November 14, 2011 03:49
1 minute read.
Katsav in court, Thursday

Katsav in court for appeal 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner )

MK Orit Zuaretz (Kadima) has restarted the campaign to have the bust of former president and convicted rapist Moshe Katsav removed from the President’s Residence, writing a letter to Efrat Duvdevani, the director-general of the residence.

In a letter written on Thursday, the day Katsav’s appeal was rejected and the court upheld his sentence of seven years in prison, Zuaretz said she “demands once again to remove Katsav’s head from the sculptures of former presidents.”

“In the court’s decision, the judges made it clear that not only did he commit the most serious sexual offenses in the law books, Mr. Katsav is also someone who does not speak the truth, and shamelessly gave false testimony,” the Kadima MK wrote.

Zuaretz explained that throughout the year, the President’s Residence is used to host national ceremonies and foreign dignitaries, and is open to the citizens of Israel on holidays and during major events.

Therefore, she wrote, “it would be worthy if the President’s Residence did not present a sculpture and portrait of a man who was accused of such serious crimes.

“Continuing to present the bust of Mr. Katsav in the President’s Residence is embarrassing and will harm the house and the feelings of both male and female visitors.”

The President’s Residence spokesman responded with a statement that “President Shimon Peres’s stance is that we cannot rewrite history and ignore the fact that a former president was convicted of rape and is a sex offender.

“Whoever enters the gates of the President’s Residence must know, for better or for worse, that he was also president,” the statement reads.

In April, Zuaretz sent a letter to Duvdevani, asking that the bust of Katsav be removed before Yom Ha’atzma’ut activities took place in the President’s Residence.

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