Women's rights activists hung on Friday a sign reading “Rapists don’t deserve bridges” on the Rehavam Ze’evi Bridge over the Ayalon Highway near Tel Aviv, days after another activist was questioned over a similar protest.
“Rape is the most serious violation of privacy," the activists say, referring to the potential charges against the activist who was questioned.
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"The days are over when rapists are commemorated in the public space,” they added. “A straight line passes between bridges and promenades named after rapists and violence against women.”
Uri Givati, an activist from Tel Aviv, was taken into questioning on Tuesday on suspicions that he hung a sign with the word “rapist” on the same bridge in Ramat Hasharon, named after the controversial former minister and general, killed in 2001.
Givati was questioned on suspicions of violation of privacy, rather than vandalizing the bridge or for the original sign.
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Ze’evi was portrayed as a sexual predator, associate of organized crime, violent antagonist of journalists – and even as a cold-blooded killer – in an exposé aired on Uvda investigative show on Israeli TV in 2016. The show presented five women as having accused Ze’evi, who was was assassinated by four Palestinians in a Jerusalem hotel in October 2001 while serving as tourism minister, of sexual assault when they served under his command in the IDF.
Givati’s sign was put up last month using rope, which did not damage the bridge over. Police from the Glilot police station told Givati he was being questioned for violation of privacy because he publicized “a matter concerning the private life of a person, including their sexual past or behavior in a private place.” The maximum punishment for this crime is five years in prison.
During the questioning it turned out that the police suspected Givati of putting up the sign after fingerprints were taken from the scene. His fingerprints are in the police database because he was arrested during protests near the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem – arrests which Givati called false.