The woman charging President Moshe Katsav of rape reportedly said that the president "used every kind of force imaginable" on numerous occasions spanning a few years.  He joins Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon, who resigned several days ago after being charged with sexual harassment, as well as a number of other ministers and government officials in Israel who have recently been facing sexual, financial and corruption scandals.

Chief editor of Ma’an News Agency, Nasser Laham, writes, "The Israeli public is disappointed and frustrated with these leaders that have turned into the worst kind of leaders more reminiscent of corrupt dictators in the developing world. Today Israel’s leaders stand accused of bribery, sexual assault, embezzlement, tax evasion, dishonesty, perjury, conspiring with the mafia, and even drug smuggling.

"Just looking at the last few years, it is easy to draw up a long list of corrupt ministers and even criminals:

1. The former Minister of Energy, Gonen Segev, was caught smuggling drugs from the Netherlands into Ben Gurion airport at Tel Aviv.

2. Former president of the State of Israel, Ezer Weizman, resigned after it was disclosed that he accepted bribes and other illegal payments.

3. Former Prime Minister and leader of the Likud opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his wife were charged with and investigated for financial corruption.

4. Former Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, and his son Gilad were under intense investigation for having received illegal funds. They destroyed the evidence.

5. Knesset member and son of Ariel, Omri Sharon, was imprisonment for financial corruption.

6. Likud member, Naomi Blumenthal, was imprisoned for bribery during her party’s leadership elections.

7. Former Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, was investigated for receiving funds in contravention of electoral law.

8. Labour leader, Shimon Peres, was investigated for managing the Peres Organization for Peace, which was actually used to collect money for political aims.

9. Former Minister of Police, Tzachi Hanegbi, was indicted on charges of perjury and forgery, fraud and nepotism for appointing friends to governmental positions.

10. President of the Jewish state, Moshe Katsav, has been accused of rape and sexual harassment.

11. Minister of Justice, Haim Ramon, tendered his resignation after it was discovered that he engaged in sexual acts in the Knesset.

12. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is accused of benefiting from the sale of his house in west Jerusalem, and continuing to live in it despite it being sold.

13. Former leader of the religious ‘Shas’ party, Aryeh Deri, embezzled government funds and spent years in prison.

14. Former defence minister and leader of the Third Way party, Yitzhak Mordechai, was found guilty of rape, which brought his political life to an end.

updated from:
Israeli President questioned for the second day for “sexual assault” on employee
2006-08-24 15:02:02

For the second day, the Israeli police questioned Israel’s President, Moshe Katsav, over charges files by a former employee accusing him of sexual assault, Israeli sources reported.

Wednesday’s questioning at Katsav’s residence lasted for seven hours. Katsav answered questions by a special interrogation team that was formed by the police. On Thursday, that team went back to Katsav’s residents to resume the interrogation and to listen to his responses to the charges.

Israeli online daily Haaretz reported that Katsav “vehemently denied all the allegations against him”. Later on, Katsav’s  attorney, Zion Amir, told reporters the he answered all questions and that the interrogation was carried out in a professional and positive way, Haaretz added.

The interrogation teams also mentioned two other complaints by two employees at Katsav’s office who said that they had sexual relations with him, Haaretz said.

On Wednesday, the Israeli police searched Kastav’s office, confiscated computers and documents.  

Meanwhile, head of the Knesset, Rohana Abraham, called on Katsav to have a vacation during the period of his interrogation.

Labor Member of Knesset, Yoram Marciano, began on Wednesday collecting the signatures of twenty Knesset Members. The signatures are needed to convene the Knesset to discus Katsav’s impeachment, Haaretz reported.

Knesset Committee Chairman, Ruhama Avraham, from the Kadima party, said that it is “improper to start this process while the interrogation is still ongoing”.

She also urged Katsav to have a vacation, until the investigation in included in order “to rescue the dignity of the presidency”.