This morning a court in Tel Aviv headed by an Arab judge accompanied by two women judges convicted former president Moshe Katzav of rape and other sexual crimes. Much might be said about this, and even more has been said. In all the torrent of verbiage, however, it's reasonable to include the observation that Israel's legal system came through with high grades, and this is an indication of a type of strength. Something to be proud of.
So I've just taken a short tour of the Twitter feeds of the tiny part of Israeli society which spends its time compulsively documenting how bad Israel is, and how shaky and beleaguered its democracy. You might expect these folks would at least note that sometimes part of the Israeli system get things right; actually, given the size of the event (the Head of State convicted of rape and soon to go to jail), it might at least be worth pondering if this in any way balances the endless stream of horror stories.
I have included in the list only people who tweeted today. People who may be on vacation and in any case didn't tweet, get the benefit of the doubt.
Hagai El-Ad, the boss of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI): Nothing.
Rabbis for Human Rights: No tweets of their own, but one retweet of someone in Boston who seems to be doubting that the case can be construed as a sign of democratic strength.
+972 Magazine: Nothing.Though they did name Anat Kamm as their 2nd choice for person of the year in 2010 for defying the evil Israeli system.
Jessica Montell, the boss of B'Tselem: She initially responded to the verdict by commenting that "Israel had a President who was a serial rapist". Then, responding to a follower, she clarified: "I was not focusing on #Katzav the man, but on what it means for us as a society." This can be read in various ways, but it seems to me she's mostly criticizing Israeli society for having had such a president.
The NIF tweeted about a press release of theirs, which says the conviction is a win for women's rights and the rule of law,and emphasizing the role played by the NIF in making it happen. (Here's the press release). Personally I think their role was rather minor, but given that they've got to live off fund-raising, trumpeting their contribution is reasonable. And they noted the salient points, unlike some of their grantees.
Mondoweiss missed the story entirely - though to be honest, the Mondoweiss gang aren't Israeli, and aren't interested in Israel unless it disappears. (Ditto for Richard Silverstein).
Didi Remez: oops! Missed the story.
Rachel Shabi, of Guardian fame: Missed it.
Lisa Goldman (an active blogger and twitterer off on Israel's left): Why did it take more than four years?
Ran Cohen, boss of Physicians for Human Rights, gets it right, (in Hebrew). Likewise Naama Carmi, a former Chair of ACRI, also in Hebrew. Though Carmi's departure from ACRI, at the height of the 2nd Intifada, may have indicated that she was a bit too Zionist to survive in that corner of society.