Settler Leader Averts Ouster for Sexual Harassment Complaint

A mostly male panel of the Gush Etzion Council decides to leave Davidi Perl in office as chairman, citing a failure of the woman who complained against him to go to police or answer their questions.

Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Davidi Perl, left, meeting with Meretz leader Zehava Galon, August 2015.
Davidi Perl, left, meeting with Meretz leader Zehava Galon, August 2015. Credit: Emil Salman
Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger

A mostly male committee of the Gush Etzion Regional Council has decided against ousting chairman, Davidi Perl, after reports he had sexually harassed a woman and paid her hush money, an internal report released yesterday showed.

The allegations against Perl were made public last month on Channel 10 news.

The televised report said that Perl had agreed to pay the woman hundreds of thousands of shekels in hush money and promised not to run for reelection as head of the regional council.

Perl wrote the council a letter denying the allegations.

The woman who had complained provided the council with a statement, but refused to appear and didn’t file a complaint with police.

There was only one woman on the council committee that reviewed the case. The panel cited the complainant’s refusal to provide details as a reason for their decision not to oust Perl.

The committee also said it had asked the attorney general for an opinion, which it has not yet received.

Some Gush Etzion residents objected to the decision.

Eliaz Cohen, a member of Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, a poet and local activist, told Haaretz: “Davidi and his attorney could not have written anything better than this.”

Cohen said the committee “really wanted to do serious work but in the end they could not pry out a statement of public leadership as would be expected, at least from my point of view and the point of view of others who are no longer willing to remain silent.”

Cohen called on Gush Etzion members of the Takana Forum, a rabbinic organization that deals with sex crimes in the religious-Zionist community, to speak out. But Takanat has declined to comment.

"What kind of message does that convey?” Cohen said.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism