The IDF and Sexual Predators? Israeli Feminists Protest an Officer’s Plea Bargain

On the 1st of December, 2016, Ofek Buchris, one of Israel’s most decorated military officers and former head of the Golani brigade, signed a plea bargain admitting to “conduct unbecoming an officer” and “wrongful consensual intercourse”. This admission came after half a year of vehemently denying he had any kind of physical relationship with his two accusers. Following the initial complaints against him, Buchris retired from the military (and therefore will receive his very handsome military pension), promising he would combat the allegations as a civilian. Buchris had initially been charged with rape, sodomy, sexual assault and conduct unbecoming an officer.

Ofek Buchris was considered a national hero, and for some, even after the plea bargain, he still is. He had won the chief of staff citation, a high military honor, for his actions during operation “Defensive Shield” in 2002. He was a decorated soldier and revered leader, one of the guys. Many of his friends and colleagues closed ranks around him and spoke up in the media about his character, claiming he could never have done what he was being accused of committing.