Is Israeli President Moshe Katsav Just Another Rapist Politician?

Moshe Katsav mey be the former President of Israel, but that does not mean he can't be convicted of rape and today, in a courtroom in Tel Aviv, that is exactly what happened. It is a step in the right direction to see these men in posiitons of power pay for the crimes, but let's not pretend like he is the first politician to be a raging sleazebag.

Katsav's case ws brought by three women -- two in the president's office and one in the tourism ministr and he was found guilty of two charges of rape, two charges of forceful sexual harassment and one charge of sexual harassment. His family, despite the guilty verdict, continues to deny that he did it

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it's a "sad day" for Israel, according to CNN. Of course, Israel should not feel alone in their pain.


Since he has been found guilty, let's assume his family is incorrect and since so many politicians get caught doing some of the more smarmy things in the world, it seems a safe assumption. It all begs the question: What is it about the quest for political power that seems to go hand in hand with sexual deviance?

If we think the US is immune, let's reconsider. Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Does that story ring any bells? She may have been a willing -- and eager -- participant in the Oval Office nooky (and yes, blow jobs are nooky) but she was 22 when it started in 1995, an intern and he was the President of the United States. It may not have been rape, but it was sleazy and icky and an absolute abuse of power. And he is not the only one.

John Edwards cheated on his cancer-stricken wife with a 40-year-old woman who he then impregnated. Eliot Spitzer -- then-governor of New York -- publicly fought prostitution while privately hiring them. Even Al Gore, the resident "nice family man" has been accused of sexual assault by two different massage therapists.

And that's not all. Former Waterbury, Connecticut mayor, Philip Giordano was convicted of sexually abusing two preteen girls—just 8- and 10 years old—and was sent to prison. Congressmen Mark Foley sent sexually explicit emails to interns.

It is a worldwide problem. In South Africa, President Jacob Zuma was tried and acquitted of rape in 2005.

It makes sense. To run for office, one must have a certain amount of narcissism and a desire for power that few others have. There must be a reason why even the politicians we think are the most moral, like Gore and Edwards, are later revealed to be total sleazebags. There also seems to be an element of invincibility. For a man as smart as Clinton to do something so obviously dangerous and just plain stupid is a mystery, but it also makes sense.

If these guys get off on power, adrenaline and invincibility, then doing sleazy -- sometimes even criminal -- things like this is no surprise. The whole "never trust a politician" cliche may have some truth, after all. After the scandals in the past several years, not much would be surprising.

Why do you think so many polticians end up in these kinds of scandals?


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