Israel, Justice

Don't Worry Rabbi Yoffie

You don’t want the respect of an alleged rapist anyhow.
Haaretz reports:

Police on Monday night seized computers and documents in a raid on the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, it emerged Tuesday. Among the computers taken in the raid was a computer from the president’s office.
The raid is part of an investigation into claims by a former employee that the president coerced her into sexual relations with him.
Katsav, who has denied wrongdoing, is facing possible rape charges as a result of the complaint.
[…] Law enforcement officials said Thursday that if the former employee’s claims that she was powerless in turning away Katsav’s advances are deemed credible, the investigation would then focus on possible rape charges against the president.
By law, intimate relations with a woman who is precluded from providing full consent by her own volition is considered rape. If, however, investigators find the relations were consensual, police could recommend charging Katsav with “forbidden consensual intercourse,” a statute which forbids exploiting a position of authority in the workplace for the purposes of having sex.

Full story.

10 thoughts on “Don't Worry Rabbi Yoffie

  1. “You don’t want the respect of a rapist anyhow.”
    So now an accusation is as good as a conviction? Or is that the standard you use only for people you don’t like?
    Try to save yourself some credibility. Delete that line.

  2. It’s difficult to imagine a mental affliction other than full-fledged Rightwing paranoia that could deem impeachment a “free pass.” In any case, it’s instructive to see that the Clinton crotch-sniffing brigade remains as aroused as ever after nearly a decade. Moreover, I can’t help but wonder if we’ll witness a comparable level of interest by the Right in a politician’s adulterous proclivities when it comes to the candidacy of Dolph Guiliani.
    With respect to Katsav, I’d have to agree, agonizingly, with J that labeling him a rapist is inappropriate. There are few more loathsome and incendiary transgressions with which a public figure – or anyone else, for that matter – can be branded, and I think particular caution ought to govern the manner in which such allegations are brought to the public’s attention. But the issue is complicated.
    Frankly, designating Katsav a “rapist” strikes me as problematic under these circumstances even if the employee’s accusations are ultimately substantiated. From a legal perspective, engaging in sex with a subordinate is – like statutory rape or date rape – a form of “constructive rape,” in which consent may be deemed ambiguous or altogether inoperative as a matter of public policy. While such conduct is criminal and morally repellent, I think it is entirely distinct from forcible rape, which is what I believe immediately comes to mind for most people when the term “rapist” is bandied about. Indeed, my own view is that the attempt to compress these assorted transgressions into a single, undifferentiated category of “rape” is a form of political correctness; not as the term is typically used by the Right to refer to any policy they don’t like, but in the Orwellian sense of using language in a conscious attempt to shape reality.
    On the other hand, this circumstance has absolutely nothing to do with the legal presumption of innocence, a concept that in the sheer frequency of its misapplication probably comes in second only to freedom of speech. “Innocent until proven guilty” means one thing: citizens aren’t deprived of their liberty or rights until they’ve been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal trial. What it most doesn’t mean is that it is inappropriate to report undisputed or widely supported facts, or draw inferences regarding the moral status thereof. Accordingly, if – improbable as it seems – Katsav denies the very existence of a sexual relationship between himself and his accuser, it would seem inappropriate to indulge in additional speculation on the matter until some corroborating evidence becomes available. If, on the other hand, the existence of said relationship is established, then there’s nothing remotely improper about noting what a repellent, bottom-feeding hypocrite the man is, regardless of whether his conduct satisfies the elements needed to a secure a criminal conviction.
    If evidence does exist that Katsav either manipulated or coerced a subordinate into performing sexual favors for him, I wonder if we’ll hear from the many adoring admirers who lauded his piety for refusing to address members of the non-Orthodox rabbinate as “Rabbi.” If true, it would be hard to even conceive of conduct that more dramatically exposes the crippling spiritual disease of self-righteousness.

  3. Gentleman,
    It doesnt take “the Clinton crotch-sniffing brigade” to connect the dots between 2 presidents caught with their pants down. In fact the immediate call to arms defending Clinton is far more telling.
    Impeachement – you are refering to the right wing conspiracy, right? Clinton remains the darling of the libs, years after he pulled up his pants after selling Israel’s shirt off it’s back to a terrorist thug for chance at the nobel peace prize . . . but dont get me started with your pal.
    Point: If you defended Clinton shut your trap.

  4. Merliner — Todah. And by the way, the ‘Clinton crotch-sniffing brigade cost the US taxpayers $70 million, mostly spent on Kenneth Starr’s Whitewater fishing expedition (we could do a double impeachment for a fraction of that).
    David Smith — just one correction in an otherwise excellent — as usual — post: Date rape is not on the same page at statutory rape.
    Date rape is of the standard forcible violent type; the only difference from the stranger on the street rape is that the guy and the woman have been on a date, which culminates in rape.

  5. Miriam:
    Thank you.
    I actually had something a bit different in mind with my reference to date rape, but was inexcusably sloppy in making that point – or failing to do so – in my comment. In fact, the issue is one I’ve been keenly interested in for quite some time, and I thought I’d include some thoughts I’d compiled about it some time ago.
    Of course, date rape nearly always refers, precisely as you’ve described, to an incident of sexual assault in which the accuser and victim knew each other beforehand. Indeed, when I first started hearing the term with any frequency some 15 years or so ago, I wondered why anyone had bothered designating a separate category for “date rape” in the first place. The only plausible rationale for the distinction I could come up with was the prevalence of proof problems associated with date rape, i.e., the presumption of consent that makes it more difficult to substantiate a rape allegation in that context. As to the conduct itself, however, rape is rape and force is force; this is no less true even if, for example, the victim is married to the rapist, or has been rendered unconscious through drugs or anesthesia.
    It was only a good deal later that I discovered, almost inadvertently, that the term “date rape” was being used to describe a rather different phenomenon, one outlined in a number of college guidelines of student conduct. As referenced in the Duke University student code, for example, rape is defined as an occurrence of sexual contact involving an individual that hasn’t provided his or her explicit and voluntary consent. As is plain, the critical variables in such incidents become the meanings of “consent” and “voluntary.” Such codes of conduct have moved far beyond the mere elimination of violent resistance as a traditional requirement to prove “forcible” rape, to a standard in which consent must be affirmative and unambiguous. As the Duke guidelines provide,
    Students should understand that consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance alone. Conduct will be considered without consent if no clear consent, verbal or nonverbal, is given. It should be noted that in some situations an individual’s ability to freely consent is taken away by another person or circumstance. Examples include, but are not limited to, when an individual is intoxicated, high, scared, physically or psychologically pressured or forced, passed out, intimidated, coerced, mentally or physically impaired, beaten, threatened, isolated, or confined.
    (Emphasis added). Incredible as it may seem, sex that is the product of “pressure” or “manipulation” may be deemed rape under the Duke code of student conduct, and it is this type of sexual conduct that is sometimes characterized as “date rape.” This same standard was embraced in another definition articulated by Catherine McKinnon: “Politically, I call it rape whenever a woman has had sex and feels violated.” This was what I had in mind when I suggested date rape as a form of “constructive’ rape.

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