Katsav festival going on in the media, there was one short sentence in a Yedioth article that grabbed my attention. It was an anonymous letter sent to the newspaper by a 45-year old religious woman about a rape attempt that happened to her when she was 18, while volunteering in a Tel Aviv hospital. She had a small injury and was treated by a doctor there. After the treatment, the doctor (40+) offered her a lift home. On the way, he made up some story about a female patient he had to visit in a hotel for treatment, to trick her into going into the hotel. While she was waiting in the hall, he asked her to bring his case and once in there, he assaulted her and tried to rape her. She fought him and managed to escape and run home, where her mother told her to keep the episode to herself as nobody would believe a teenager, but rather the well-known hospital doctor. This is the story in a nutshell, without many other details published in the article.
'Why didn't I see the signs?' was the woman's sentence that intrigued me. Because you couldn't. No unexperienced 18-year old has a chance against a 40+ criminal, who planned the rape in advance. What is it with us women that makes us feel guilty when we are sexually harassed? Why do we always ask ourselves whether we did something to provoke it or maybe didn't do enough to prevent it? Can a man understand this "logic"? How many such incidents (some 'successful') happen without anyone knowing about them or being punished? Why are we ashamed? (Actually I have a good guess for this one.)
In his own distorted view, Katsav doesn't understand what's wrong with showing affection (that's what he believes he did) to women, even though they say they are not interested. He belongs to a different place (Iran?) and time, not to our democratic reality, where women don't have to put up with this kind of behavior.
As for his sentence - I believe it should be more severe than that of an average person who has committed the same crimes. He not only hurt those women, but also, as a symbol of the state, embarrassed all the citizens (I feel personally ashamed) and caused Israel to get negative publicity. The punishment should be proportional to the damage he caused.