Israel Police Chief: Anonymous Claims of Sexual Harassment as Bad as Sexual Harassment Itself

Roni Alsheich made the comments in defense of his decision to reinstate a senior officer embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal in 2015.

Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich enters the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.
Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich enters the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday, November 15, 2016. Emil Salman

Anonymous accusations of sexual harassement are just as bad as sexual harassment itself, said Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich during a 2015 meeting in which he decided to reinstate a senior officer accused of sexual harassment, according to a Ynet report.

"We must stop the phenomenon of anonymous allegations, unclear accusations and claims that are no worse than sexual harassments themselves - this point of balance is sensitive and we must maintain it," said Alsheich.

Deputy Commission Roni Ritman, the police's anticorruption chief, was accused of sexual harassment but Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided not to indict him on criminal charges, leaving his position in the Israel Police dependent on Alsheich.

During the meeting, the commissioner also said that "the dilemma is that on one hand, the Israel Police wants to show that it does not compromise with sexual harassment suspects, and other the other hand to prevent situations in which this approach turns into a double-edged sword used as a tool against officers nearing promotion in the Israel Police."

Two days after the discussion, Ritman returned to command the police's anti-corruption unit. “There is no real basis to take either administrative or disciplinary steps, even if there was no statute of limitation," said the police chief at the time.

"We can't ignore the questions floating over the complaint of the complainee," said Alsheich.

Alscheich added that it was "difficult to explain why the complainant withheld her complaint for five years."