Home inContext Israelis Targeted for False Rape Accusation

Israelis Targeted for False Rape Accusation

Catherine Goodwin
A British teenager, hooded, who accused seven Israelis of gang rape arriving at the Famagusta District Court in Paralimni in eastern Cyprus, to face charges of making a false allegation, July 29, 2019. (Photo: Iakovos Hatzistavrou/AFP)

Authorities in Cyprus arrested a British woman on Sunday after she admitted her rape allegations against 12 Israeli men were false. Five of the men were released last week, and the remaining seven were released on Sunday when the accuser recanted her original claim. 

The young men were provided legal counsel throughout the ordeal, primarily by Cypriot defense attorneys. Some of the young men were represented by Israeli Nir Jeslovich who, according to Ynet News, stated, “Cyprus police conducted a proper and professional investigation. I praise the courageous step they have taken.” Additionally, the Cyprus government notified the Israeli government of the arrests.

Strikingly, when the news first came out that the boys had been arrested, some newspapers immediately claimed that a mixture of “male chauvinism and ultra-nationalist supremacy” caused the incident. The report also indicated that the father of one of the falsely accused Israeli men said, “Only because of the media, the Jew haters, were they left [in Cyrpus]”.

The 19-year-old woman will reportedly be indicted on Tuesday when her lawyer is able to make the journey from the UK to Cyprus. According to the Times of Israel, “She will be charged with disturbing the public order, an offense that can carry up to a year in prison and a fine.”

A week and a half ago, the woman who was vacationing in Cyprus went to the police, alleging that the 12 Israeli men, ages 15 to 18, had assaulted her in the Pambos Napa Rocks Hotel. She told the police that two of the men held her down and that the rest of the men took turns abusing her, both through sexual violence and beating her physically. She admitted on Sunday that she had consensual sex with three of them, and she had made the police report because she felt humiliated after the boys recorded her without her consent and threw her out of their room when she refused to include a fourth. 

Israelis make up the third-largest share of foreign nationals visiting the country on vacation, with more than 250,000 making the short to the Mediterranean Island annually. Close bilateral ties between the Nicosia and Jerusalem began with a series of agreements in the mid-1990s and now even include joint military exercises.