by Alice Sparberg Alexiou

Abusive Israeli General Gets Off Lightly

In March, it looked as if Israel’s sexual harassment law was finally baring its teeth when a Jerusalem court convicted army general and former Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordecai of sexually assaulting two women, one of whom had been a soldier under his command. But it was too soon for Israeli feminists to rejoice: as LILITH was going to press. Associated Press reported that a panel of three judges gave Mordecai merely an 18-month suspended sentence for his crime. According to AP, one judge—a woman—thought he should have gone to jail. But the other two, both men, said that they took into account Mordecai’s public achievements. His supporters, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency earlier reported, had objected that such acts with which Mordecai was charged—which included forcing the soldier to walk back to the army base alone at night after she refused his advances—”were a norm in the Israeli army and political circles for decades.”

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