The media played a key role in turning a Palestinian man into the top suspect in a recent child rape case. But ever since charges against him were dropped, the press seems to have lost interest in the case.
By Uzi Benziman
If you Google the recent rape case of a seven-year-old ultra-Orthodox girl in an ultra-Orthodox settlement in the West Bank, you will find tens of thousands of results. At least until June 25.
After all, that was the day Mahmoud Katusa, a Palestinian from a nearby village who was falsely indicted on child rape charges, was released from prison once it became clear he was not the perpetrator.
Since then, the case has received very little media attention. One must wonder, then, how it is possible that a story that only weeks ago was described by the media as a “horrific and cruel act” — perpetrated by an “animal” against an innocent girl — has disappeared from both the news and the public’s consciousness?
The media silence that has followed the court’s decision is difficult to grasp; after all, the newspapers reported that the investigation will continue. They quoted the Military Advocate General, who said that an additional investigation is necessary in order to “exhaust all the necessary leads, both in relation to Katusa as well as others.”
This official commitment was made by all relevant law enforcement agencies, including the Military Advocate General and the head of Israel Police’s Department of Investigations and Intelligence. Yet two weeks have passed and the media has not bothered to update the public on the progress of the investigation.Read More