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Israeli Attorney General Announces Inquiry into Saar Sex Allegations, Jilted Lover’s Letter Published

maya katz letter

Maya Katz’ letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu about Gideon Saar

Today, News1 reports (Hebrew, and Haaretz in English) that the Israeli attorney general, Yehudah Weinstein, has agreed to open a preliminary investigation into charges that education minister, Gideon Saar, had sexual liaisons with underage girls and women who he either supervised or who asked for help landing government jobs.  The prime minister suggested that the government’s chief legal officer consider undertaking the matter.  Saar’s appointment as minister in the new government will be delayed until the investigation is complete.  Though a separate Israeli media report says the AG has not asked for such a measure to be taken.

This is not (yet) a formal investigation.  In fact, the AG is calling it a “quiet inquiry.”  This usually means in the Israeli context that he doesn’t want to find any evidence that will force him to pursue the matter further.  But if he does, that could change.

One of the factors Yoav Yitzhak emphasized in his report was that sexual acts, even ones that are consensual between a government official and subordinates, are criminal acts.

Recently, Israeli media reported that leaders of the Likud had received copies of a letter sent by one of Saar’s “discarded” victims to the prime minister.  In it, she complained of the charges against the minister and said he was unfit to serve in his government.  Among the charges she outlines below is an incident I first reported here that Saar had allegedly engaged in sex with an underage girl in a Tel Aviv nightclub.  I also reported based on an independent source that the author of the letter was Maya Katz, who worked in Saar’s Knesset office and was a city councilor for Herzliya.  Israeli media have offered a censored version of the document.  I display in here in full with this translation:

Hon. Prime Minister of Israel–Benjamin Netanyahu…

I write you this letter after much thought and hesitation.

Several months ago a major expose was to have been published in Yediot Achronot about the education minister you appointed, Mr. Gideon Saar.

In this report, I appeared as someone who worked in the minister’s office who had a romantic relationship with the education minister.  Only after a number of meetings with the investigators and other good people I understood that these relations were problematic and in fact an exploitation of his position as education minister which injured me and caused severe depression to this day.

This investigation which taxed me greatly, led to the exposure of other affairs of the minister with fellow MKs and other celebrities like Orly Ines and Shelly Yachimovich.  All this [occurred] during a time when the minister was married to his wife, Shelly.  In truth, during the time of my affair with him, I knew he was married.  Today, I am very sorry about everything that happened.

The strange explanation I received about the cancellation of the report was that it involved a grave sexual charge in which the minister was accused of sexual contact with a minor which happened in the bathroom of Club Gilda [in Tel Aviv].  There, Saar DJ’ed once a week until this grave incident [happened].  In addition, I was told the broadcast was canceled since it involved a married minister.  I was also told the underage girl [at Club Gilda] had had sex under the influence of alcohol.  I do not wish to enter into other disrespectful details concerning this incident.

After I came to the realization that Gideon Saar came under the protection of the media and that it had degraded me and put me through many meetings which tore my soul from me, I decided to try to get on with my life.

I turn to you with one request: that you not nominate Gideon Saar as minister of education in your next government.  It’s not fitting and not ethical that he should be deemed fit to be education minister and a model to the younger generation.

I hope not to have to deal with this further.  But if you would like to meet with me your staff will know how to contact me through conversations with the staff of the education ministry.

With Blessing,

M.K.

In such allegations of sexual predation as may involve Saar, where there’s smoke there’s fire.  In other words, other women have been exploited by him in the same way.  I hope they will come forward, though I understand how difficult it would be for many reasons.

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{ 17 comments… add one }

  • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy February 18, 2013, 5:00 PM

    If I recall correctly, that same “Honorable” prime minister himself had extra-marital affair……………..gee!

  • dickerson3870 February 18, 2013, 7:59 PM

    RE: “Today, News1 reports that the Israeli attorney general, Yehudah Weinstein, has agreed to open a preliminary investigation into charges that education minister, Gideon Saar, had sexual liaisons with young girls and women who he either supervised or who asked for help landing government jobs.” ~ R.S.

    ALSO REGARDING GIDEON SA’AR, SEE: “The Likud presents: The craziest, most radical list ever expected to win elections”, By Noam Sheizaf, 972 Magazine, 11/26/12
    Knesset members behind attacks on the left, Arabs and asylum seekers won the day at the Likud primaries. All moderates but one were pushed down the list, and probably won’t serve in the next Knesset.

    [EXCERPT] The Likud, Israel’s ruling party the last four years, and the one expected to win the next elections according to every poll I have seen since 2009 (!), held its primaries on Sunday and Monday. The outcome was somewhat expected but is still stunning, and more than anything, it reveals the deep change Israel is going through. . .
    . . . All the so-called Likud “moderates,” except for Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, were pushed out of the top seed and will probably be out of the Knesset; that includes ministers Benny Begin, Michael Eitan and Dan Meridor. The most vocal backbenchers – those behind attacks on the left, Arabs and human rights NGOs – won the day. The Likud looks right now like the Tea Party’s dream team.
    Examples:
    ● #1 in the Likud primaries is Gidon Sa’ar, the current education minister and the person behind the school trips that take Israeli children to the settlement in occupied Hebron, and the effort to open a university in the settlement of Ariel. He also has a lot to do with the attempt to shut down the Department of Government and Politics at Ben-Gurion University in Be’er Sheva. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://972mag.com/the-likud-presents-the-craziest-most-radical-list-ever-expected-to-win-elections/60933/

  • Joel February 18, 2013, 10:30 PM

    Maya denies any connection to the letter.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4346537,00.html

    • Richard Silverstein February 18, 2013, 11:50 PM

      We’ve been over this ground before. People, please don’t repeat comments that have been raised multiple times before. I’ve addressed this in previous comments & am too tired to rebut this nonsense again.

      Once again as an Israeli apologist you have two stories in front of you. You choose to believe the one that’s least credible because the other is so much more troubling. You know why the legal system suspects recantations? Precisely for the reason you should suspect hers. Now go cogitate about that…

      • Yonatan February 19, 2013, 5:14 AM

        I find it quite ridiculous that you’re attacking a respondent here for pointing out something important that was totally missing from your post – the person who allegedly wrote that letter accusing Saar in having sex with a minor strongly denies she’s ever written it. That’s an important piece of information that should be brought to the attention of the readers if the aim is not to manipulate their opinion but to give them all the information so that they can gain the broader perspective and decide for themselves what to think about it. It’s beyond me why you claim that this information is “nonsense” and what is this assertion based on.

        You also blamed the person who merely mentioned this important fact that he’s an “Israeli apologist”. I’m not sure how you derived that from his single sentence response, and I also don’t know what an Israel apologist is and how it is worse than immediately claiming that anything any Israeli official does should be condemned.

        If I am given an anonymous letter with the claim that it was written by someone, and then the same someone denies writing it, I think it’s pretty clear who I should believe.

        • Richard Silverstein February 19, 2013, 11:18 AM

          You’re now the fifth reader/commenter who’s mentioned it. The first time it was brought up here was over a week ago. So no one is concealing her alleged denial that she wrote it & you’re late to the party. And yes, you’re all pretty much acting as apologists for Gideon Saar. If you want to flack for predatory males that’s your prerogative I suppose.

          • Eden February 19, 2013, 11:30 AM

            I am no fan of predatory males and I know almost nothing about the accused but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt he is entitled to. Let’s remember the principle that all accused are innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.

  • bar_kochba132 February 18, 2013, 11:49 PM

    This is absolutely shocking. I completely understand how you are outraged I think all good progressives like yourself should relate to thiis minister the way they relate to Presidents Kennedy and Clinton who engaged in siimilar behavior.

    • Richard Silverstein February 19, 2013, 11:27 AM

      Frankly, I’m shocked that you’re so solicitous of my point of view. Other than the fact that President Kennedy’s sexual predation happened 50 yrs ago when such matters were dealt with differently by the media and society; and the fact that Clinton was impeached for his affairs, and Saar has faced no judicial or police process so far, you’re entirely right.

      • Eden February 19, 2013, 12:03 PM

        Clinton was not impeached for the affair but for lying under oath. The fact that a man as powerful as the POTUS would have sex with an intern working in the WH who happens to be less than half his age was despicable. In fact I believe a young woman con not freely consent to having sex with a man she works for.
        Clinton was never charged or prosecuted for statutory rape. Instead, the media ridiculed the victim. I think this was due in part to the fact that the economy was doing so well and that people were generally happy with Clinton and rightly so as he was a good president. I guess good presidents can be terrible individuals at the personal level and good people can turn out to be terrible leaders.

        • Richard Silverstein February 19, 2013, 6:11 PM

          He could have been charged with the affair but the Republicans, his enemies, chose not to because they knew they could not win conviction on this charge. It wasn’t Clinton’s choice not to charge him for the sex acts.

          No one ridiculed Monica Lewinsky. And she was not raped. Clinton acted like an idiot. But he didn’t rape her.

          In Israel’s case (Bibi, Saar, etc.) terrible leaders can turn out to be terrible people as well.

          • Eden February 20, 2013, 6:23 AM

            “But he didn’t rape her.”

            I would agree with you only if I could believe a 20 year old intern can freely say no to the POTUS.
            Rape is not limited to physically forcing yourself on someone. Having someone so vulnerable and dependent on you say yes does not mean it is not rape. If this was my daughter, I would consider it a rape.

          • Richard Silverstein February 20, 2013, 12:12 PM

            She was an adult. I don’t approve of what Clinton did by any means. But she wasn’t raped. And you’re not her father so stop being so melodramatic.

          • Elisabeth February 20, 2013, 2:04 PM

            I am as critical of pressure on women to have sex with employers etc. as can be, but my neighbor in Japan at the time gave me a printout of the Starr report (which was quite interesting to read as it gave you a view of daily life at the White House) and there can be no question that Monica Lewinsky was not only willing but even initiated the affair. It diminishes the term ‘rape’ to say that Monica Lewinsky was raped. Please take rape seriously.

  • bar_kochba132 February 19, 2013, 12:26 PM

    The most important factor here is the political orientation of the perpetrato Kennedy and Clinton get a “boys will be boys” pass since “progressives” lke them. Although Kennedy was a half century ago, he still has an aircraft carrier, major metrpolitian airport and space center named for himr. Clinton is still a beloved figure in liberal-”progressive” ciricles. Sa’ar is a cursed Likunik. That makes him despicable for doing the same things others are forgiven for.

    • Richard Silverstein February 19, 2013, 6:04 PM

      Clinton was IMPEACHED. Do you understand what that means? He didn’t get a free pass. He came within 2 votes of being drummed out of office. I really wish you would confine yr ignorance to Israeli politics. When you attempt to branch out into American politics your ignorance is even more egregious. No one has “forgiven” Clinton for what he did. On the contrary, every American who respects Clinton’s legacy understands it was indeliby tarnished by what he did.

      As for Saar, he doesn’t have half an ounce worth of the leadership qualities of either Kennedy or Clinton. All that he has in common is a rampaging male id.

  • Richard Silverstein February 19, 2013, 11:20 AM

    I agree with you completely. As I wrote last night, there’s a reason that judges mistrust recantations by witnesses after the fact. Original statements are deemed more authentic & trustworthy. Subsequent statements may be influenced by a myriad of factors that distort the original intent/judgment of the witness.

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