- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Tel Aviv district judge stunned his court on Monday when, during a hearing on a rape victim’s appeal to be recognized as a terror victim, he said “there are some girls who enjoy being raped,” Israel Hayom first reported Wednesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, members of the Knesset’s Committee on the Status of Women, and even Israel’s Bar Association quickly condemned the remarks of retired judge Nissim Yeshaya, The Blaze reported.

Yeshaya was hearing the case of an Israeli woman who was attacked and raped in 2007, at the age of 13, by four Palestinian men, Israel Hayom reports. The four were convicted and the woman later petitioned the Defense Ministry asking to be recognized as a victim of an act of terrorism. The Defense Ministry denied the request and the court convened on Monday to hear the woman’s appeal, according to the report.

Army Radio quoted the victim’s lawyer as saying her client was arguing that some circumstances justify such recognition, “when [Judge Yeshaya] suddenly said, aloud and in earshot of everyone present, ‘There are some girls who enjoy being raped.’”

“Everyone in the room sat there in stunned silence,” Roni Aloni-Sadovnik said, according to Israel Hayom. “Even the other judges on the panel fell silent for several minutes. It looked like he did not understand what he had just said and why everyone was silent all of a sudden.”

“I have no doubt that he meant nothing malicious by it, but the problem is that it expresses a state of mind which is prejudice against victims of sexual assault,” she added. “When judges have such slips of the tongue, expressing what is really in their hearts, it is just the tip of the iceberg.”

A statement released by the Courts Administration said, “Things were said in the heat of the debate. There was never any intention to hurt or belittle the plight of rape victims and the judge apologized for his words. The Court Administration will review the matter and the retired judge has been asked to provide [the administration] with clarification.”

Upon learning of the judge’s comments, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revoked his endorsement of Yeshay for judicial arbitrator for the Likud, Israel Hayom reported.

“The judge was endorsement by the prime minister in the past. This was a miserable statement which is absolutely unacceptable. If this statement was, indeed said, the prime minister has no interest in seeing this judge presiding over the Likud’s court.”

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