Government selects sexual harassment cover-up suspect to nominating committee

The government on Sunday approved the appointment of former Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit as a member of the committee to locate the next Attorney General, despite allegations that Sheetrit allegedly paid a silence fee to her housekeeper for allegedly sexually harassing her.

No police investigation was conducted into this matter and Sheetrit denied the allegations.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Gideon Saar announced at Sunday’s cabinet meeting that, in accordance with a 2007 government decision, he intends to ask the AG’s nominating committee to examine candidates for the position. , of which the Minister of Justice will select the candidate.

Five ministers voted against the appointment: Labor Party Chief and Transport Minister Merav Michaeli, Meretz Chief and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai, Public Security Minister, Omer Bar-Lev (Labor), and the Minister of Environmental Protection, Tamar Zandberg (Meretz). ).

“The members of a hiring committee for a position as important as AG should be people with impeccable backgrounds,” said Michaeli. “This is not the case, and that is why the Labor Party ministers voted against [Sheetrit’s nominations],” she said.

Candidate Meir Sheetrit in the Knesset for the presidential elections (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM / THE JERUSALEM POST)

Meretz party coordinator Michal Rozin called the nomination a “shameful and humiliating incident” for the change of government.

Labor MP Naama Lazimi said: “I am proud of the members of my party who voted against the government’s decision. Setting limits and upholding values ​​is totally the policy we want to see here. Even if not everyone agrees, please continue being our job. “

Hagit Pe’er, director of the Naamat women’s organization, also commented on the nomination.

“Sheetrit’s choice for AG’s nominating committee is inappropriate, an extremely problematic ethical message that a person linked to the payment of silencing fees for sexual harassment can participate in the nomination of one of the most important guardians of Israeli democracy. “, said.

Also, the committee does not have adequate representation of women, as it only included one woman. Specifically, when the ‘MeToo’ mentality is spreading to more communities, the government’s message is morally problematic. Ministers who voted against the nomination should be supported, “Pe’er said.

A 2014 report in (then) Channel 10 accused Sheetrit of entering into a deal in which she paid her former housekeeper NIS 270,000 in exchange for her silence regarding allegations of sexual harassment against her.

Sheetrit ran for president in 2014, finishing second behind Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin by 10 votes.

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