Despite a flurry of criticism directed at Israeli President Moshe Katsav over rape and sexual harassment allegations, support for Israel's embattled president remains strong among Southern California's Iranian Jews, Karmel Melamed reports in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. (With thanks: Albert)
"Many in the community here know President Katsav on a personal basis," said Sam Kermanian, secretary general of the L.A.-based Iranian American Jewish Federation. "The feeling is that he is not the type of person who is capable of committing the sorts of crimes attributed to him."
Katsav's ascension to the presidency nearly seven years ago marked the first time an Iranian Jew was elected to such a high political office in any government. The achievement served as a source of pride for many Iranian Jews worldwide.
Katsav, 61, has been accused of sexual harassment and rape, but no formal charges have been filed. A hearing is scheduled for May 2, after which Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz will determine whether to indict the president.
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