Judge loses Netanyahu support for Likud post after rape comment

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A judge in the running for the president of the Likud party’s court has lost the support of the prime minister after saying during a court hearing that “some girls like to be raped.”

Judge Emeritus Nissim Yeshaya made the statement on Monday during a hearing in Tel Aviv District Court. The comment was first reported Wednesday morning by Army Radio.


Yeshaya, who is a retired district court judge, was presiding over a closed-door social security appeals committee hearing in which a woman who was raped 6 years ago when she was 13 by four Palestinian youths from the Shuafat refugee camp was appealing a Defense Ministry decision not to classify the rape as a terrorist attack.

The judge said through a court spokesman that his words were taken out of context, and that they were said in the context of providing an example of a reason that it could not be classified as a terrorist attack.

“During the hearing, a question was raised regarding the proof of a causal relationship and in the heat of the hearing things were said in this spirit. There was no intention for these words to hurt or disrespect, heaven forbid, rape victims. The judge apologizes for these words,” according to the spokesman

The judge is currently a candidate for the president of the Likud party’s court, which handles internal party matters. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday withdrew his support for the judge for the position in light of the statement.

Yeshaya previously served as chairman of the supervision committee for the Likud party chairman elections. He retired from the Tel Aviv district court in 2009 at the age of 65, but continues to serve on legal panels.

The Courts Administration said it would summon Yeshaya to clarify his statement, amid calls from lawmakers and rights organizations to suspend the judge from serving on future panels.

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