(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Political activists in Likud and Bayit Yehudi expressed hope on Monday that the election of alleged sexual harasser Donald Trump as president of the United States could lead to political comebacks for politicians who had been accused of harassment in their parties.
Former minister Silvan Shalom and former Bayit Yehudi faction chairman Yinon Magal both quit politics last December following harassment allegations. Magal was cleared following a police investigation in January.
In March, Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit’s decided to close an investigation of Shalom.
“Silvan, unlike Trump, didn’t do anything, so he should return here,” Or Yehuda Likud branch chairman Itzik Dadosh said at Monday’s Likud faction meeting. “Everything that has been said about Silvan is libelous.”
Or Yehuda Likud activist Amnon Sombol said Shalom was needed to strengthen the Likud. He said Trump’s victory gave him hope that Shalom could come back.
“Silvan did so much in Likud that his career shouldn’t end this way,” said Yavne Likud activist Susan Ben Abu Madar. “Bill Clinton cheated on his wife, and so did King David, but it didn’t make them less beloved. The women who complained about Silvan were grown-ups and shouldn’t have complained about incidents that happened years ago.”
But speaking privately, two Likud MKs said Shalom had too many skeletons in his closet to allow a comeback.
“He has had two strikes, and there is no third strike in politics,” a Likud MK said.
Dozens of Bayit Yehudi members have called upon Magal to make a comeback on his Facebook page. Golan Buchnik of Afula said Magal should be welcomed back because of his skills and not because of Trump.
Magal, who wrote on his Facebook page ahead of the election that Trump would win, told The Jerusalem Post that he was “on the shelf” and had not yet decided whether to return.
“I am in the business and innovation world now, and I don’t know whether I have a future in politics,” he said.