GIL MK accused of sexual harassment

Party activist says outcome in Katsav case dissuaded her from complaining.

knesset plenum 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
knesset plenum 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Yet another accusation of sexual harassment surfaced in the Knesset Wednesday, as a senior activist for the Gil Pensioner's Party alleged that Party MK Yitzhak Ziv sexually assaulted her and continued to harass her. The 62-year-old activist said that the attack took place at Ziv's house weeks prior to the last election. As originally reported in Yediot Ahronot, the activist said that she had accompanied Ziv to his house, which was undergoing renovation work. She said that when they reached his bedroom the MK forcefully hugged her from behind, lifted up her shirt, grabbed her breasts and threw her down onto the bed. The plaintiff said she tried to fight off her alleged attacker and eventually succeeded in slipping away from his grasp and fleeing the house. Ziv has already issued a denial of the charges and has retained the services of attorney Zion Amir, one of the lawyers representing former President Moshe Katsav, to defend him. "This is political revenge and I have no doubt that the truth will be revealed," Ziv said. The activist first discussed reporting the attack to police two weeks ago. She told Yediot that she had decided against filing a complaint after she saw what had happened in the Katsav case. The woman told Yediot of the alleged attack two weeks ago, saying she intended to complain to police. However, she decided against filing the complaint, explaining: "What happened in the Katsav case reinforced my feeling that I should not complain since in the end, I will be excommunicated from society and he who hurt me will escape punishment." The 69-year-old Ziv serves as deputy Knesset speaker and is a member of the Knesset's Economics Committee and Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. He is a widower, has three children and lives in Ramat Gan. Since the 17th Knesset was sworn in, there have been several high-profile cases of sexual harassment including Katsav, Vice Premier Haim Ramon, and Labor Whip Yoram Marciano. Also on Wednesday, MK Yitzhak Levy (NU-NRP) submitted a bill to the Knesset calling to ban any person convicted of a felony related to sexual harassment from being an MK, even if the felony does not constitute moral turpitude.