Gush Etzion council turns to Attorney-General

Members of the Gush Etzion council appoint committee to investigate harassment charges against council head.

Ido Ben Porat ,

Davidi Perl
Davidi Perl
Arutz Sheva

Gush Etzion Regional Council members met on Thursday with council head Davidi Perl, after he was reported on Israel's Channel 10 as paying a young woman to keep quiet about accusing him of sexual harassment

In a letter to the council, Perl wrote that he is innocent, and that the woman approached him just before his daughter's wedding when he was willing to "sacrifice justice for quiet" and avoid the ensuing publicity for his family.

The woman turned to Takana, an extra-legal forum of prominent Religious Zionist figures that is supposed to deal discreetly with sexual abuse accusations, but Perl refused to appear before them, instead turning to rabbis and lawyers for assistance. No one knows who leaked the story to the media.

After the meeting, members of the board gathered for an internal discussion, and publicized a list of conclusions and clarifications.

The council explained that according to their responsibility to act in a legal, moral, and ethical fashion is not up for discussion.

"A person who has harmed someone else, cannot serve in a public position. We are not willing to legitimize the harm of another person," board members said.

However, they emphasized the need to proceed with great caution: "Woe unto us if we walk blindly after the published accusations of journalists, as important as those publications may be. We mustn't close our eyes and rush to judgment. As a public organization, we have an obligation and a responsibility to examine this issue in a professional, serious, and goal-oriented fashion, without undue criticism.

They have decided to turn to the Attorney-General for an opinion regarding the continuation or early termination of Perl's term as council head.

"For the sake of caution and clarity, and in order to be completely sure that we have done all that is necessary to uncover the entire story, a small committee will be appointed, which will meet with the different parties involved in the matter," they said.

In addition, a concern was raised that the council will be unable to perform its tasks appropriately, as a result of the questions raised about Perl.

"We will closely follow the activities of the council, to ensure that it is performing as expected," members said.