Daily Israel Report

Police, A-G to Probe Reports about Education Minister

Reports of inappropriate conduct by Education Minister Saar may hinder his appointment to cabinet.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 2/19/2013, 11:57 AM

Gideon Saar
Gideon Saar
Flash 90

The Attorney General and police are looking into allegations of improper romantic behavior in multiple relationships by Education Minister Gideon Saar.

The allegations of improper conduct by Saar are described in a letter recently sent to the Prime Minister and numerous other people in Likud and the press. The letter is signed in initials only and was  allegedly sent by Saar's female assistant at the Education Ministry. It has been highlighted for over a week by Maariv's Shalom Yerushalmi and by News1, as well as Richard Silverstein's ultra-leftist Tikkun Olam blog.

The woman who supposedly wrote the letter is denying that ever she did so, as is her father, who is reportedly a Likud activist.

On Monday, Channel 2 also reported the letter and denied allegations by News1 editor-in-chief Yoav Yitzhak that there has been a media hush-up of the matter. Yitzhak says Saar is extremely well-connected in the media.

Sources close to Saar claim the letter is a forgery, intended to hamper his chances of being appointed as minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's next government. However, no police complaint regarding the alleged forgery is known to have been filed.

According to Maariv and other news sources, the Attorney General and police will look into the allegations made in the letter, and they will also determine whether the letter is a fake or not. If it is a fake – they will try to find who faked it and why.

Saar was in charge of Likud's fierce anti-Bayit Yehudi election campaign, which is seen by many as one of the main reasons for the right wing's disappointing showing in the polls. The surfacing of damaging allegations against him at this time may be indirectly connected to a reported general weakening in his political status, because of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's anger over Saar's handling of the campaign. Netanyahu did not appoint Saar to the coalition negotiation team this time, although  Saar headed the team after the 2009 elections.