Moshe Katsav
Moshe Katsav Photo by Limor Edrey / Archive
Text size

"There's no doubt that God is a man," said the archbishop of New York, defiantly declaring what seems self-evident to him and his church before a demonstration of feminists. "Never mind, Your Excellency," replied the leader of the demonstration. "God forgives you."

Serial sexual harassers, not to speak of rapists, are said by some to have no God, perhaps meaning they have no compassion in their hearts. But Moshe Katsav, like other criminals, who even if they were not scrupulous about wearing a head covering before, equip themselves with one as court proceedings and decisions approach, actually does believe in God. Their God is the god of the rapist priests, the rabbis who offer not only their hands to the children under their supervision. Their God has always been a man. Not an ordinary man, but a man's man, a male chauvinist, condescending in his power, the dominant male in the herd, an alpha-type God.

My suspicions that there really may be a God (and, in that case, as Dahn Ben Amotz said, I'm screwed ), and He is cruel and a misogynist, have strengthened over the past four years. There was no end to the shame and embarrassment caused to all of us by the report that the person who had been elected president of the country by some terrible mistake, and afterward even convinced himself he was worthy of this exalted post, is, in fact, a serial sexual harasser and apparently a rapist as well. A harasser and a rapist - whose image with his sexual organ sticking out in front of him and his underpants down has come to haunt us - was my representative and yours as the person chosen to stand for integrity and equality and rights. An impeccable man.

What female God would have allowed such a man to evade the punishment he deserved for years and years? Unless, of course, God is a battered woman, we can only conclude that God is a man, and perhaps even a prominent activist in an association for men's rights and a subscriber to the cable porn channels.

Our frustration, not only that of women, increased geometrically during the past four years. The past weeks were full of foreboding. The air was suffused with a feeling that Katsav was going to get away with it, to come out clean because of some technical detail, to keep up - via his friends (have we mentioned David Mena? ), his relatives, his associates and those who esteem his memory - the campaign to the effect that it wasn't him who was running around the room with his whatchamecallit becoming flabby; it was the media whose nakedness was exposed, because they decided his fate too soon and without any basis for doing so.

The sense that Katsav was about to get off easy in the trial caused a few of us to suspect that if that really was how the legal system was going to work, Katsav may actually have been the appropriate president for a country that functions in such a way. But, as we said, there apparently is a God, and She is definitely a woman. Or, alternatively, there is justice in the world, and though the mills of justice grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small.

"The day of my joy is my disaster," wrote Solomon Ibn Gvirol. Katsav's days of joy as minister of tourism, as president and possibly in the course of the activities related to his hobby as well, were the disaster of all those harmed by him and a disaster for all of us. Is it any wonder that his disaster is now causing us so much joy?