Avital says she was sexually assaulted

Labor presidential candidate says she fought off boss at the Foreign Ministry.

avital mk 298 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
avital mk 298 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Labor Party presidential candidate Colette Avital revealed in an interview with Channel 2 on Thursday that one of her bosses when she worked in the Foreign Ministry tried to attack her sexually. Avital also told The Jerusalem Post that the superior who attacked her later tried to prevent her advancement in the ministry. She said the incident enabled her to be understand women like those that were allegedly attacked by current president Moshe Katsav. "It happened many years ago and I defended myself," Avital said. "We women are not defenseless if you know how to object and push people away." Avital, who will formally announce her candidacy within the next 10 days, criticized one of her main opponents for the presidency, Vice Premier Shimon Peres. Avital questioned whether the 84-year-old Peres could handle a seven-year term as president. "Everyone has to consider whether they could work until age 91 in such a high office," Avital said. Avital considered Peres her mentor, but in the Channel 2 interview she denied rumors of an affair with Peres when she was Israel's consul-general in New York. "There never was an affair, just like Peres never had an Arab mother," Avital said, dismissing another well-known rumor about the vice premier.