JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli judge resigned from a government appeals board on Wednesday after public uproar over reports he had told a courtroom that some girls “enjoy rape”.
Nissim Yeshaya headed a three-member panel hearing a young Israeli woman’s appeal for recognition as a victim of a nationalist attack for having been raped when she was 13, in a crime blamed at the time on four Palestinians.
He had remarked during a session on the case that “there are some young girls who enjoy rape”, an attorney representing the woman told Israeli radio stations on Wednesday.
The reports prompted swift calls from women activists and politicians for him to resign, followed hours later by a statement from the Israel Courts Authority saying Yeshaya had decided to quit.
It said he had “expressed his regret” for the remark, adding “he had had no intent to offend anyone or express an opinion”.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, the highest-ranking woman in Israeli politics, praised Yeshaya’s decision to step down for what she called a “grave” expression of what she called “a twisted and unacceptable idea women have been fighting against for years, of blaming the victim for being raped”.
“Judges must also realize that when a woman says no that’s what she means,” Livni said.
Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; editing by Andrew Roche