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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ramon Convicted

A couple of hours ago, it was reported all over the news that Chaim Ramon, the ex-Minister of Justice, has been convicted for sexual harassment or whatever they're calling it. All three judges convicted him, and said that the girl's, called Heh, version of event corroborates with the evidence. I am a huge advocate for victims of rape, but I don't know how to feel about this yet. This wasn't a case of rape. It wasn't even a case of sex. It was a case of kissing gone bad. Ramon admitted that he kissed the girl. He whole-heartedly admitted to it. However, he claimed that it was consensual, and that it lasted all of 2 seconds. The girl claimed that she didn't want him to kiss her, and that he forced the kiss on her. The main question to ask here is, whether or not it was consensual, did it constitute sexual harassment? Even more, did it constitute enough of sexual harassment to warrant a criminal crime to be punished with jail time?

I say no, and I think this constitutes a dangerous precedent in all future cases of sexual harassment claims. This girl's job wasn't threatened, and he didn't use this to black-mail her or force more "sexual" favors from her. So, this sets a dangerous precedent as to what the definition of sexual harassment is in this country. This happened in the States when the concept of being able to sue a colleague or superior for sexual harassment was first introduced into the American legal and employment system. There was really no set of guidelines or rules that it got to the point that women were suing bosses for shaking their hands or looking at them funny or telling a sexual joke. That's when the legal and legislative systems had to step up and set strict guidelines and laws for what constituted sexual harassment.

What's going to happen now? There many cultures where kissing some-one is a form of greeting. Are politicians, especially Ministers, going to have to get written consents any time some-one wants to kiss them? What's going to happen in employment industries after this case? While I support a woman's right to protect herself in the work place, I do not agree with the outcome of this case. I worry what's going to happen as a result of the verdict. Forget the conspiracy theories and what-not, this case causes great concern for the future, and I for one hope that the verdict will be over-turned in appeal.

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At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be more worried that Ramon was accused and convicted because of changes he wanted to make to the judiciary.
He is not the first Justice minister to be falsely accused by the police and the legal system, and sadly probably not the last.

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Well, your first sentence concerns the main conspiracy theory floating around, that was why he was indicted. But, it would be extremely troubling to think that the judges themselves were in on it, outside of Mazuz and the cops.

At 8:13 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Olah, you make some very good points, which I hope are brougth up at his sentencing.

I'll say, though, that like Ceaser's wife, some officials need to be above even the possibility of reproach.

Impossible, I know, but with today's nosy media, elected gov't officials need to make the attempt.

At 3:21 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Oh, Michael, I totally agree with you, but does this fall into that category? I don't believe so. I think this is NOT a reproachable offense.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Michael said...

But it gave the appearance, and in today's world, that appearance seems to be all that matters.

It is unfortunate, but it is true.


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