Gideon Saar, known for his adulterous dalliances with a number of women, has now been accused in a new report by News1 (Hebrew) of at least 4-5 affairs with women who were either his subordinates or who sought his help in getting government positions. It appears, if the description is accurate, that sex acts were directly connected either to his supervision or to help getting them jobs. Both types of incidents, if true, would be criminal offenses.
Two years ago, I published a post here about a sex act in the restroom of a Tel Aviv club with a girl who was likely underage. A few weeks ago, I published a new story about a female member of his Knesset staff, Maya Katz, with whom he had an affair. She’s alleged to have written a letter of complaint to the prime minister and other Likud leaders. Afterward, she denied writing the letter.
Now muckraking Israeli reporter, Yoav Yitzhak, reports an entirely new series of sexual liaisons between Saar and multiple women and girls:
News1 has learned that Saar had sex with a number of young women and girls who were under his supervision in government positions in which he served and/or they were dependent on his pledges to help arrange jobs or positions in government offices and other public bodies.
The relationships with a number of them were known to more than a few sources, including some who serve public roles. Material on this subject was brought before the director general of the education ministry…who till now has not troubled to notify the relevant authorities or the attorney general. Information was also brought to Benjamin Netanyahu, who until now has not passed the information to the attorney general.
It should be emphasized that none of the female victims has dared to come forward and lodge a complaint against him, whether due to shame, or a desire to remain out of the public spotlight. It’s also known that at least two of the victims faced pressure against their lodging such complaints.
It’s important to note that while this article adds heft to the charges against Saar, it doesn’t prove his guilt. That will be left to a court of law. Saar’s case does begin to call to mind similar charges against Moshe Katsav, which circulated for years, before he was finally convicted or rape and sent to prison. Whether this happens to Saar is very much up in the air.
Yitzhak also accused all of Israel’s print and broadcast media of knowing the details of the story and refusing to pursue it because of Saar’s close relationships with reporters, editors, publishers, and other powerful interests who sought to protect him and his career. It’s a damning portrait of journalistic cowardice, if true. But one should keep in mind that Yoav Yitzhak is known as both an intrepid muckraker and a bit of a self-promoter. It makes News1 look all the more heroic for reporting the story when all the others shrank from doing so. So he may be overselling things a bit.
Though there’s no doubt that many reporters have known about this story and not reported it. One of the main reasons I’ve learned the facts as I have is that there are Israelis who feel this has gone on long enough and should be properly investigated rather than lingering on indefinitely through rumors.
One of those Israeli reporters who served as a shill for Saar is Amit Segal of Channel 2. A year ago he wrote in Mako that there was no story there. That Shalom Yerushalmi, one of those who reported the hell out of this, was barking up the wrong tree. Segal also wrote derisively that I:
Call [myself] an internet journalist, but vomit across the web unfounded rumors, figments of a rich eastern ["Mizrahi"] imagination which derive in fact from a western city from which he broadcasts his wild fantasies.
Note the outright Ashkenazi racism in accusing someone who allegedly has a tenuous conception of truth of betraying “Mizrahi” qualities. I’ve written here often about Israeli journalists who deserve Profiles in Courage awards and those who are water carriers for the élite. The latter fits Segal to a tee.
It is he who levelled false charges against Prof. Amiram Goldblum on the air, for which the Hebrew University professor sued and won damages in an Israeli court. I recently wrote that Shelly Yachimovich made a deal with Channel 2 political reporter Rina Matzliach to stifle coverage of Eretz Chadasha in return for scoops exclusive to her. One of these stories was reported by Segal, whose “revenge” was to tweet that I was a delusional fantasist, without offering any evidence to rebut my story.
When we find out whether Gideon Saar is guilty of these charges then we’ll know who’s a delusional fantasist and who’s sold his journalistic credibility for a pot of gold or a few measly favors. I wouldn’t bet on Segal to win.
Returning to Yitzhak’s story, he calls for an investigation by the attorney general into these charges, which is more than called for under the circumstances.