After Outcry, Israeli Cop Convicted of Sexual Harassment Declines Position of Police Attaché to U.S.

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Ilan Mor, an Israel Police commander.
Ilan Mor, an Israel Police commander. Credit: Itzik Ben-Malki

The senior police officer who admitted to and was found guilty of committing sexual offenses will not be appointed as the Israel Police representative in the U.S.

On Wednesday the police announced that Commander Ilan Mor, who was found guilty of sexual harassment in a plea bargain agreement in 2013 and is now commander of the Traffic Police, met with Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich and declined the posting on "family and medical grounds." Alsheich accepted Mor's position but asked him to remain with the police force.

The move naming Mor to the prestigious position of the police's representative in the United States triggered an outcry. Hundreds of civilians wrote letters of protest to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. Zazim, a nonprofit organization campaigning for social and political change, launched a campaign against the appointment, pointing out that the police are supposed to be the address for women who have been attacked or suffered harassment.

In 2013, Mor was given a disciplinary trial and found guilty of sexually harassing two subordinate junior female police officers. The first case took place in 2011, when Mor held a senior position in the Tel Aviv District. Among his subordinates was a 28-year-old woman who had just joined the police. Late one night in March of that year, he called her while she was in Eilat on vacation with other officers from her unit. Mor told her he liked her and wanted to travel to Eilat in order to have intimate relations with her. The woman said the conversation had “embarrassing aspects.” She told Mor she did not want a relationship with him, but he continued to pursue her.

A year later, in 2012, Mor tried to forcibly kiss a junior female police officer against her will. The charges stated he had prior acquaintance with her family, and as a result helped her in being accepted into the police. Shortly after the policewoman began serving in the district where Mor was a senior officer, she invited him to come by her home to thank him. During their conversation, he tried to kiss her and she asked him to stop, but he tried to kiss her again. 

After Mor reached a plea bargain with the Justice Ministry’s internal affairs department, the case was transferred to the police’s internal disciplinary tribunal, which fined him 4,000 shekels ($1,035) and gave him a severe reprimand, but did not fire him.

Shortly after his conviction, Mor was sent to study at the prestigious National Security College, which also trains senior staff in Mossad and the Shin Bet security service. He was appointed as the head of the traffic police after completing his studies.

Both Alsheich and Erdan took arrows for naming Mor to the cushy position. Some feel Alsheich was bucking the attorney-general and prosecution, which had warned that the appointment was a problematic one.

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