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Is Ethan Bronner whitewashing rape by a former Israeli President?

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In this New York Times piece about former Israeli President Moshe Katsav, set to begin a jail sentence today for rape, Ethan Bronner devotes this article to whitewashing his deeds by portraying Katsav as a respectable family man.  See him with his grandchildren… 

(Photo: The New York Times/Rina Castelnuovo)
Later, it seems like Bronner wants us to feel sorry for Katsav because he is Iranian:
 

But Mr. Katsav’s defenders, especially in this south-central town where he once was Israel’s youngest mayor, believe that he was the victim of ethnic and class prejudice. Born in Iran and brought here as a child, Mr. Katsav and his family lived first in a tent and then in a wooden hut. After studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he rose quickly, especially once the Likud Party came to power in the late 1970s.

“The fact is that I am from a Muslim country and from a development town,” he said, using the term for the poorer urban areas in the country’s periphery. Israel’s traditional elite has European roots and lives in urban centers like Tel Aviv.

And of course Bronner doesn’t really bring the victim up much at all, but, hey character witnesses galore for the rapist:

 

A neighbor, Sammy Vaknin, stopped by on Tuesday. He said that for him, Mr. Katsav represented the state in the same way the national anthem and the flag did. To send Mr. Katsav to prison, he said — “even if he did something wrong” — was like throwing the flag in the garbage.

“We might as well hand the country over to the Palestinians,” Mr. Vaknin said.

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What a disgusting bigot this Vaknin is. So giving the native inhabitants of Palestine a fair shake and their human rights is like throwing something in the garbage??? What a foul nest of vipers has been generated in that place. Such a shame for the Palestinians who have to deal… Read more »

Katsav has no support in Israel.
He deserves to go to jail.
Why dont you report about Egypt how not one single Muslim has ever served a day in a jail for killing a coptic christian.

Wow, I would have thought you’d play up the angle that Katsav faces discrimination in Israel as a Israeli Jew of Iranian descent. Because, I mean, when a public figure is convicted of crime, he is NEVER interviewed and given a platform, right? Like when Rod Blogojevich was accused, it’s… Read more »

“Like when Rod Blogojevich was accused, it’s not like he was given interview after interview to defend himself or anything. “ You are supposed to be some kind of lawyer? What a revealing picture of legal ignorance you present. I guess if Blogojevich was a better interview subject, or had… Read more »

“A neighbor, Sammy Vaknin, stopped by on Tuesday. He said that for him, Mr. Katsav represented the state in the same way the national anthem and the flag did. To send Mr. Katsav to prison, he said — “even if he did something wrong” — was like throwing the flag… Read more »