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Israeli Presidential Candidate, Silvan Shalom, Accused of Sexual Harrassment

silvan shalom

Israeli minister, Silvan Shalom, accused of sexual harrassment by former employee.

In the second case in which an Israeli either serving as, or running for president has been accused of sexual harassment, Israel’s News1 reveals that senior minister Silvan Shalom is being accused of engaging in a sex act with a subordinate in 1999.  At the time, he was minister of science and technology.  Shalom is currently minister of industry, energy and water.  In the previous government, he was a deputy prime minister.  He is a senior leader of the Likud Party and widely seen as a competitor for party leadership when Bibi Netanyahu leaves the scene.

In 1993, Shalom married Judy Mozes, one of Israel’s wealthiest women.  Their net worth makes him by far the wealthiest Israeli politician.  They are truly what Israel would call a power couple if Hebrew had such a term.  Mozes is known as Israel’s Marie Antoinette.  She is a member of the 1% and prides herself on it.  Her brother owns a controlling interest in Yediot Achronot and her sister holds a controlling interest in El Al.  They are known as one of the wealthiest eighteen families which control an extraordinary amount of the nation’s capital.  There’s a rumor afoot that Judy’s taken away hubby’s allowance!  That might help keep him on the reservation!

About five years ago, then-President Moshe Katsav was also accused by several employees of engaging in sex acts and even rape.  After he was offered a deal that involved his resignation in return for a suspended sentence, he refused the deal and went to trial.  He lost and is still serving a prison term.  Though it will be difficult to prove a crime in a case that is so old (and in which the statute of limitations may’ve passed), Israeli MKs may not wish to chance another sex scandal rocking the Israeli presidency so soon after Katsav.

There is another phenomenon working in favor of Shalom in this case.  Israeli police do a terrible job of investigating rape cases.  They don’t like to bring them.  They don’t like prosecuting men for rape.  They like even less prosecuting wealthy, powerful men.  They tend to disbelieve the victims.  It’s highly doubtful even with good evidence that the victim in this alleged case would find justice.

Israel is still a good old boys club when it comes to sexual violence against women.  The newspapers are filled with stories of women murdered by husbands despite the police knowing of the deadly threat to the victim.  In one recent case, a man groped multiple women in a McDonald’s including a 12 year old girl.  Despite seven calls to the local police by witnesses, they took 75 minutes to arrive, and then blamed the delay on a Purim party hosted at the station house by the national police commissioner.  The commissioner had long left the party by the time the first call arrived.

That’s why it’s important that the media do its job.  In the case of Israeli ambassador to Norway, Naim Araidi, it refused to do its job and no one in Israel knows that he engaged in sex acts in the embassy and official residence with his staff.  He was allowed to return home and resign his diplomatic post in quiet.

At least in the present case, News1 has reported Shalom’s name and the rest of the media will presumably be able to follow suit and bring the matter to the attention of the Israeli public.  In numerous cases, the defendant in sex harassment cases gets a gag order preventing the media from reporting his identity.  It’s surprising this hasn’t happened here, given Shalom and Mozes’ prominence.

Forbes Israel published a 2011 article revealing Shalom’s $40-million net worth.  Forbes doesn’t put its articles online.  But when two other online Israeli publications wrote stories about the Forbes article, he threatened a suit and the published articles disappeared.  Yours truly retained copies of them here.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Matan March 24, 2014, 3:51 PM

    Interesting bit: “Eretz Nehederet”, Israel’s leading (yet mediocre) satire program, put the following words in Judy Mozes’s mouth: “Well he might not be the smartest, but at least he’s not suspected of sexual harassment”.

    This was two months ago.

    Source: link to talschneider.com

  • Alon Mizrachi March 25, 2014, 4:46 AM

    “There is another phenomenon working in favor of Shalom in this case. Israeli police do a terrible job of investigating rape cases. They don’t like to bring them. They don’t like prosecuting men for rape. They like even less prosecuting wealthy, powerful men. They tend to disbelieve the victims. It’s highly doubtful even with good evidence that the victim in this alleged case would find justice.”

    What a load of bollocks! How do you make up this slander? There is international statistics regarding the investigation and prosecution of sex offenders and Israel is ranked very high. Check your facts! You are so biased it’s hard to read… You should go see a professional.

    • Richard Silverstein March 25, 2014, 12:49 PM

      @Alon Mizrahi: you conveniently cite no credible source or any source at all, making your claim bollocks. Interesting also that Haaretz published an article the day after this post was published saying how abysmal was Israeli prosecution of sex crimes. I guess that leaves you out of luck. If you knew anything about this site you’d know I regularly cover Israeli sexual violence & the haphazard approach of the Israeli police & justice system to the problem.

  • Shoshana March 25, 2014, 12:13 PM

    Fifteen year old sexual harassment claims?
    That’s a little stale, even my Tikkun Olam’s standards.

    • Richard Silverstein March 25, 2014, 12:44 PM

      @Shoshana: I take it that you’ve never been raped? I hope not, but if you had been you would not react in as heartless & cruel a manner as you have here.

      • Shoshana March 25, 2014, 1:24 PM

        What does rape have to do with any of this? The fifteen year old complaint is for sexual harassment.
        And no, I haven’t been raped. Have you?

        • Richard Silverstein March 25, 2014, 6:23 PM

          @ Shoshana: Unlike you apparently, I know people who have been raped and I never make flippant comments about acts that cause such personal suffering. Asking me whether I’ve been raped is precisely what I mean by such snark & flippancy. It’s inexcusable & uncalled for.

          In fact, some of the reports about this incident have used the word rape. I haven’t heard the victim’s statement on Galey Tzahal, which might indicate her perception of the event.

          That’s a little stale, even my [sic] Tikkun Olam’s standards.

          I don’t think I’ll allow you to be the judge of what my standards are either.

          • Shoshana March 25, 2014, 10:06 PM

            Shalom tried to get a blow job from a subordinate. No rape. Not even an attempted assault.

            link to news.com.au

            I reverse the question you asked me about getting raped and I’m flippant and heartless. Super.

          • Richard Silverstein March 25, 2014, 11:55 PM

            @ Shoshana: Again with the heartless, cruel flippancy. How many times has a boss asked you to perform a sex act on him? And if you did, how did you feel about it afterward? Good? Or did you feel like shit, like you’d been used, like you’d been…well…raped?

  • Shoshana March 26, 2014, 12:43 AM

    The charge is fifteen years old, so the statue of limitations has long since expired. Once the statute expires the issue becomes one of personal revenge, not justice, and for that reason, it’s not newsworthy.

    Justice betters society. Revenge only betters the victim.

    • Richard Silverstein March 26, 2014, 11:24 AM

      @ Shoshana: One of my cardinal comment rules is not to repeat yourself. As soon as you do you earn automatic suspension of comment rights for this thread. So you won’t be commenting on this subject in this thread further. Don’t test the rule as you’re already in moderation.

      If the statute of limitations had expired both the attorney general and police would not be opening an investigation and would not have questioned Shalom under caution as they did yesterday. Further, you hold youself as a greater expert on the criminal justice system than the AG & police. What remarkable hubris.

      But I am glad to see that you’ve abandoned belittling the actual (alleged) sex act and intimidation, shame and suffering that accompanied it for the victim.

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