Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich on Tuesday slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for "sending the message that sexual harassment is not a serious offense" in the way in which he has dealt with allegations against his former chief of staff Natan Eshel.
Eshel played a central role in putting together last week's deal to bring Kadima and its leader Shaul Mofaz into the Netanyahu's coalition, despite the fact that he left his post in the Prime Minister's Office in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations. Israeli media also reported on Tuesday that Eshel was still receiving benefits from the state despite having left his post. Eshel, at one time the most powerful man in the Prime Minister’s Office, was forced to resign from his position in February after signing a plea bargain agreement admitting to misconduct toward a young female staffer.
Yavcimovich said in an Army Radio interview on Tuesday, that while she is not concerned with Eshel, she is concerned with the "immoral message" coming from the prime minister, who, according to the Labor leader, has not given proper credence to the severity of sexual harassment since allegations were first directed against Eshel.
The opposition leader said that the prime minister's behavior in the affair was especially disheartening after awareness of sexual harassment had grown significantly in the last decade.