New PM spokesman 'unequivocally' denies sexual assault allegation

Army Radio initially reported allegations by unnamed American woman, who was later revealed to be an activist who was denied entry to Israel and protested at AIPAC confab.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
April 5, 2016 14:20
2 minute read.
David Keyes

David Keyes. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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An American women in her 20s who on Tuesday accused David Keyes, the Prime Minister's new English-language spokesman, of sexual assault is an anti-Israel activist denied entry into Israel in 2014.

The woman made her sexual assault allegation against Keyes a day after he posted his first tweet as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new spokesperson.

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The woman, who studied at Columbia University, was among the anti-Israel protestors at the AIPAC conference in Washington last month. She has published an article on Israel denying her entry into the country on a virulently anti-Israel blog, and was arrested in July 2014 while protesting in front of the office housing the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

In the past year, she has also joined forces with virulent anti-Zionist Max Blumenthal to write about alleged Israeli efforts to stifle BDS activists for a left-wing activist website.

Keyes completely denied the woman's allegations that initially surfaced Tuesday in which she claimed he sexually assaulted her in New York some two and a half years ago.

“I unequivocally deny the allegation,” he said in a statement, “there was no coercion whatsoever in the meeting between us.”

After undergoing a lengthy vetting process, Keyes – who prior to his appointment served as the founder and CEO of a New York-based human rights organization – formally took up his post last week. He replaced Mark Regev, who has taken up his duties as Israel's ambassador to London.



As part of the vetting process for the job that brings him into Netanyahu's inner circle, Keyes underwent and passed a polygraph test during which he was asked questions about whether he was involved in any criminal or sexual offenses.

Army Radio reported that the un-named American woman took to Facebook alleging that she was sexually assaulted by Keyes in his New York apartment in November 2013,  after she went there following a meeting in a coffee shop.

According to the report, the woman wrote on her Facebook page – which has apparently since been removed – that she repeatedly resisted his advances, saying 'No, I'd rather not,' at least a dozen times, but that Keyes persisted and coerced her.

“I still remember vividly the night that this happened, and have a record that corroborates it,” Army Radio reported that she wrote on Facebook.  According to the report, she expressed regret that she did not go to the police at the time.

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