Several women have come forward with stories of sexual assault by a current Bayit Yehudi MK in recent days.
Chagit Moriah-Gibor, who reached the 36th slot in Bayit Yehudi’s last primary, posted on a religious women’s Facebook group Wednesday complaining that there is a “roaring silence” about “a serving MK who assaulted and assaults women for years.”
Moriah-Gibor told Army Radio Thursday morning that she had testimony from three women, and that Army Radio reporter Hadas Shteif, who has exposed many sexual harassment and assault cases, has two more. None has gone to the authorities thus far.
Moriah-Gibor wrote on Facebook that women are afraid to go to the authorities or speak publicly about their experiences because they will pay to high a price.
As such, she asked women to send her testimony in order to expose the MK, and promised to keep their names secret if they wish.
“This is a classic case in which everyone knows but no one can do anything, and in the meantime, women continue to be hurt,” Moriah-Gibor wrote. “I know it’s difficult. I respect any decision and send hugs from afar, but I am still asking, let’s put an end to this. A group has power, and you are not alone.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that he spoke to the MK in question, who completely denied the allegations.
Bennett called on anyone who was hurt by someone in a senior position to complain to the authorities.
Knesset Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women chairwoman Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) called the case “further proof that the phenomenon of sexual harassment can happen anywhere and in all population groups.”
Touma-Sliman said she and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein worked together to make the procedure of complaining about sexual harassment easier for parliamentary aides and anyone else working in the Knesset.
“When women know they have a serious address that will take care of their complaints, then they do submit complaints,” she stated. “It will be very serious if it turns out that this MK did commit such a crime, in which case he must be prosecuted.”