At a stormy, nationally televised speech at his official residence Wednesday night, [Israeli President Moshe] Katsav professed his innocence and accused the police and media of working together to bring him down, using terms like “witch hunt” and “McCarthyism.” He angrily pounded the podium and his voice cracked during a rambling diatribe that lasted nearly an hour.
“Don’t believe the libel, the defamation, the lies. There is only one truth … I am the target of one of the worst attacks in the history of the state of Israel,” Katsav said, gesturing with a pointed finger, pounding on the podium and shouting at a reporter. He pledged to “fight to my last breath, even if it means a world war, to clear my name.”
He refused to answer questions from reporters in his first appearance before them since the scandal broke six months ago.
After reading that framing of Katsav’s speech, I have to wonder if he’s telling the truth. That story reads like a press resentful of being called out on their shit. Check Katsav out yo:
In Israel 2007, it seems there is no need in this for proofs or for evidence; it’s enough just to hear one side; my fate was decreed even before I could say one word. Not one of you [reporters] has seen one shred of evidence against me. There is no evidence against me.
But you in the press did not allow the facts to bother you. You did not stop for a second to ask yourselves if maybe the accusations are not true. Not one of you asked questions; not one of you – not one radio or TV or newspaper – did an investigative piece to see if it’s true. You transgressed all journalist ethics!
I know what bothered you – that six years ago I was elected President [defeating Shimon Peres]. You wrote at the time that it was the end of Zionism, etc. I should be ashamed of myself? You should be ashamed of yourselves for writing such things about a democratic vote in the legislature!
[…] Yes, it’s the same media of which one journalist wrote that when I was elected President, he felt as bad as he felt the day that Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was murdered. Can you understand this comparison, citizens of Israel?
[…] I saw myself as a symbol of all those who do not belong to the elitist, ego-swollen clique of those who were born with a silver spoon in their mouths, who see themselves as the only ones worthy of representing the public!
For years, the press looked all over the place for something with which to besmirch me, but thank G-d, they found nothing. They went as far back as my 2nd grade school! But they found zero, they failed; they found nothing. I cannot understand where this hatred comes from, this urge to devour, that takes over the sense of truth and justice.
[…] I admit that I would like to resign now; you have succeeded in taking away the joy of serving in this honorable position. It would be easy for me to quit. I am tired of this witch hunt. But the alternative is to surrender. I refuse to give in to blackmail and lies.
The police set itself a target of convicting a President of the State – yes, this is true. They did this because the police knew it would be popular in the eyes of the media.
Not one of you – no journalists, no politicians, not even my lawyers – have seen the evidence. I know the truth. The evidence is on my side, the truth is on my side.
[…] But I ask you what should a man do if he knows he’s clean, the Attorney General has not decided, and it’s all a libel – should he give up and quit just because of a media lynch? No. I will not cooperate with anyone who wants to execute someone without a trial. You want to execute someone without a trial – do so; I will not cooperate.
McCarthyism has been revived here in Israel. And one of the worst dangers is the cooperation between the police and media. In any normal country, the media are the last line of defense for a citizen who demands simple justice and basic civil rights. When the police persecute people in a totalitarian country, the media rises to protect him. But here the media and the police work together, leak to each other – and the civil rights of the citizens are trampled. Where are the bleeding hearts? Why don’t they raise their voice against this injustice?
Read the full transcript here.