Lawmakers call on PM to suspend spokesperson over sexual misconduct allegations

“All of the accusations are deeply misleading and many of them are categorically false,” David Keyes claimed in response to numerous sexual harassment allegations against him.

By: Ilanit Chernick, TPS

Several Members of Knesset (MKs) have called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene following numerous sexual harassment allegations against his foreign spokesperson, David Keyes.

Keyes has been accused of sexually harassing at least 14 women.

On Thursday, MK Merav Ben-Ari tweeted that Netanyahu “must intervene.”

“It does not make sense that a senior adviser is harassing – one can even say obsessively – many women, and he continues to work as if nothing is happening,” she wrote. “If I had such a consultant (God forbid), I would have taken him to the Central Bureau of Investigation to clarify all the facts.”

Zionist Union MK  Ksenia Svetlova questioned Netanyahu’s silence. “Twelve women have already reported sexual harassment by the spokesman David Keyes, and the prime minister is silent and ignoring it.

“Is this the attitude towards women in the Prime Minister’s Office?” she asked. I demand that he act immediately against Keyes in a way that is proper to act against a sex offender!”

MK Michal Rozin said that Keyes should be suspended. “He not only represents the [Israeli] prime minister in the world, but also the state.”

She said that Netanyahu’s silence conveys a message of agreement.

“I’m calling on the prime minister to suspend Keyes from his position and to clarify the facts,” she said. “The courageous testimonies that were revealed sketch a troubling picture of an offensive pattern.

“While the world is progressing and displaying zero tolerance for sexual violence, the prime minister, who is loyal to his actions, is silent,” Rozin added.

The allegations came to light on Tuesday night after controversial New York State Senate candidate Julia Salazar and Wall Street Journal reporter Shayndi Raice came forward, accusing Keyes of sexual harassment.

According to reports by Times of Israel and Channel 10, another 10 women have come forward in recent months alleging that Keyes made overly aggressive advances and that there were incidents of inappropriate behavior, including one detailed accusation of physically aggressive conduct by Keyes.

On Wednesday, Keyes denied the accusations, stating: “All of the accusations are deeply misleading and many of them are categorically false.”