January 19th 2018
By the P.See Team
Rape Survivor Denied Early Release for Killing His Rapist
Yonatan Haylu, an young Israeli man of Ethiopian descent was raped twice by the same man, and in order to avoid further abuse, Haylu killed his aggressor. Haylu was tried for murder and the court did not recognize his actions as self defense, claiming he was not in immediate danger at the time. Yonatan was sentenced to 20 years in prison, later reduced to 12 years by the President; while the maximum sentence for rape is seven years.
After seven years in prison, Haylu was up for parole but the committee decided against his case, following the state council’s recommendation. Said state council has a track record for closing many rape cases, claiming lack of public interest, while recommending early release for many sex offenders. This led to public outcry as it exposes the state’s preference of offenders to victims.
Affluent parent preferred in custody battles
The Israeli government is attempting to pass legislation regarding divorce custody battles. The proposed bill includes a section stating the court should prefer the wealthier party. This section was included to counter another one stating that the primary caregiver should receive custody of young children.
In Israel, the wealthier parent is required to pay alimony to the primary guardian, therefore the choice to appoint the wealthier parent as the main guardian does not change the financial situation of the children. The gender implications of both sections in the bill are quite clear, as women make an average 68% of a man’s salary.
Gender Segregation in Israeli Academia
Ultra-Orthodox political parties have long been pushing gender segregation in Israeli academia, to enable Ultra-Orthodox men and women to pursue academic studies (and join the workforce) in a modest environment. Several Israeli colleges already offer segregated courses for B.A. studies, new policy seeks to expand this to graduate programs as well.
Over the past few months, several cases opposing these policies, led by prominent academics and NGOs, have reached Israel’s supreme court. This week, the supreme court has ordered to defer the implementation of segregation policies until the cases have been tried.
Money, Power and Lap Dances
Yair Netanyahu, 26-year old son of long-standing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was caught on tape leaving a strip club with two friends. On the tape is a conversation between the three young men. They discuss obscene sums of money spent on strippers, going to ‘pick up’ local waitresses and pimping out Yair’s ex-girlfriend. Additionally, the tape features Netanyahu Jr. telling the son of Kobi Maimon, local Gas Mogul, that he should be grateful as PM Netanyahu has been kind to his father’s business interests, and should therefore fund Netanyahu’s sleazy escapades. Public debate about the morality of Netanyahu’s remarks about women ensued, but was side tracked by the political aspect of the situation and the hints to corruption.
Whistleblower Anat Kamm Revisits her Sentence
When Anat Kamm was completing her mandatory service in the Israeli Defense Forces, she was exposed to classified documents. Soon after her release she started working as a reporter and leaked the classified documents to Ori Blau, a veteran reporter, who later published the documents, leading to her arrest and conviction for espionage. She has since spent three and a half years in prison and received hate mail and death threats. Kamm is currently suing Ori and Haaretz, the newspaper he works for, for 2.6M shekels, for revealing her as their source. In a personal Facebook post, Kamm describes her working relationship with Blau as imbalanced in power, and blames Blau for not being responsible and explaining the possible consequences of her actions. Furthermore, at the time, Haaretz and Blau struck a deal with Israeli law enforcement which included giving up some of the documents they planned to leak and naming Kamm as their source, while defending other sources. Kamm was not part of said deal and was not aware of it at the time. Kamm points to the similarities between her ordeal and those of women in an inappropriate relationship with their superiors, facing unfair treatment in the workplace. This has led to much debate on her case, lawsuit and claims.
P.See is an Israeli Feminist online publication, providing a women’s outlook on the news, current events, culture and social issues. As a grassroots organization, P.See features over 2,000 women writers from all walks of life in Israel. Follow us on Facebook