|NIF Family Condemns Rabbis' Letter of Support for Convicted Rapist Moshe Katsav|
|Written by Ruby Ong|
The NIF family has reacted swiftly to condemn dozens of leading Religious Zionist rabbis in Israel who wrote a personal letter of support to former President Moshe Katzav who has been found guilty on two counts of rape. The letter said, "You should be brave and strong in your uncompromising stand for the truth. All residents of Zion await the day when this injustice will be removed."
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner of Bet El in the West Bank confirmed that the letter had been sent but said that it had been a private letter of support and it was regrettable that it had been made public.
In a response NIF grantee Kolech Religious Women's Forum said, "The Torah sees rape as murder and these rabbis must understand that by signing a letter of support for Katzav they are a party to his crimes."
NIF grantee Ne'emanei Torah Va'Avoda commented, "There is a distinction between legitimate criticism of the judiciary and cancelling and uprooting the power of the judiciary; the repercussions of this letter could be dangerous."
Katzav will be sentenced on March 20.
This latest controversy follows a letter by leading ultra-nationalist rabbis ruling that Jews cannot rent or sell property to non-Jews and a letter by some rabbis' wives urging Jewish women to have no contact with non-Jewish men.