MK Magal resigns from Knesset

After third woman comes forward to accuse Jewish Home MK of kissing her against her will, he resigns.

Arutz Sheva Staff, | updated: 10:20

Yinon Magal
Yinon Magal
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal handed in his resignation to step down from the Knesset on Monday, as the testimony of a third woman accusing him of sexual harassment was revealed.

Party chairman Naftali Bennett responded on Monday, saying, "I received Yinon's resignation announcement, this is a fitting action. I hope that the process he is in will end as quickly as possible and he will be able to devote himself to his family and to his path ahead."

Police have launched a preliminary inquiry into Magal's behavior as chief editor of Walla, a post he held before joining Jewish Home and launching his political career.

The investigation came after former employee Racheli Rottner last week revealed he made highly inappropriate comments to her, and another former employee identified as A. complained he had touched her behind against her will. The MK responded by acknowledging he had made the lewd comments to Rottner, and stepped down as Jewish Home faction chairman.

But on Sunday another woman who previously worked with Magal outside of Walla before he became chief editor of the site revealed to Channel 2 that she had been sexually harassed by him. Her testimony in the form of a letter was published by Yedioth Aharonoth on Monday.

"In a chance meeting in the light of day, in a public place, maybe even caught on camera, after two minutes of small talk he came at me and suddenly kissed me," alleged the woman. "I didn't want it and didn't expect it, and it was very uncomfortable. It took me a few seconds to recover from the shock, to mumble something and get out of there."

"That moment two years ago Yinon crossed the line, that's a fact. Our acquaintance beforehand doesn't matter, nor does it matter what type of conversations we had, a man cannot push his tongue into someone's mouth without permission...how did he dare to do that?"

The woman wrote that Magal "has a sick pattern of behavior. After he kissed me against my will and I told those who I told, I understood that many women had similar experiences with him."

"Why didn't I complain? I wasn't at a stage in my life in which I wanted to draw fire, or that I wanted that people would start picking over my family life. After considering the matter I decided that the damage done to me as a result of that arrogant and invasive kiss was minor compared to the damage of making such a revelation."

"Take responsibility and resign"

Explaining why she decided to come forward now, she wrote that she doesn't know Rottner or A., but "it's very difficult to sit quietly while they're attacking them with all kinds of ridiculous and irrelevant accusations."

"I cannot sit in silence and watch Yinon admit (the things he said - ed.), not resign, and not take responsibility, and continue to believe that he can represent a public and speak about laws and values."

She likewise accused Magal of allowing those who complained against him of being slandered, and thereby "causing other women to think a dozen times before describing how they felt when they were sexually harassed, but as for him? He remains an elected official."

"Yinon, you know the truth. Take responsibility for your actions, resign and put an end to this public lynching they are doing against the women you harassed who came forward, and those who still haven't come forward," she concluded.

Magal, who is married and has four children, was placed on the Jewish Home list by party chairman Naftali Bennett. Until Monday he remained adamant that he will not resign, and so far the party has been very circumspect in addressing the scandal.




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